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Best Safety: Trophy Office Space Earns Top Safety Prize

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Photos by Fredde Lieberman Photography
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The goal for 815 Connecticut Ave. was to reposition an aging 1964 building, which is located on a prime site overlooking the White House, into a trophy property. By the project's completion in June, the team, led by Forrester Construction, had tallied award-winning safety statistics.

Throughout the 533,227 man-hours logged, the project had no OSHA recordable incidents or lost time. Forrester implemented its comprehensive, behavior-based program involving a host of tools, training initiatives and site observations to achieve these results.

Beyond the safety of the construction personnel, the team also focused intently on the safety of the tenants, who occupied the building during construction. Additional measures were taken on a daily basis to ensure that the construction areas were left in a safe and clean condition. Each area was reviewed and evaluated to ensure there would be no potential risks for the building tenants while performing daily activities. A Quick Response Team was on site during the day to ensure that potential hazards were addressed immediately.

The project scope made it challenging to work around tenants. The team had to demolish the existing facade and install a new curtain wall system. To do this, Forrester designed a custom temporary wall system that would replace the existing facade in the interim of the demolition while allowing office staff to continue to occupy their spaces with minimal disruption.

Additionally, the owner mandated that—to minimize the impact on tenants—only 20-ft-wide vertical bays from floors two through 12 could be worked on at a given time. No work activity could take place that would disrupt retail tenants, which included a health care facility, high-end restaurant and hair salon.

Mechanical and electrical infrastructure was also upgraded throughout the building, which is seeking LEED-Gold certification.

The project finished on time. John Shumar, director of safety at Forrester, credits the safety program for keeping the project on track.

"We have a proven track record which shows that a safe project will drive schedule," he says.

815 Connecticut Avenue Washington, D.C.

Key Players

General Contractor: Forrester Construction Co., Rockville, Md.

Owner: DRI Development Services, Arlington, Va.

Lead Design: VOA, Washington, D.C.

Structural Engineer: KCE Structural Engineers, Washington, D.C.

MEP: Joseph R. Loring & Associates, Washington, D.C.

Submitted by: Forrester Construction Co.

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