My Most Challenging Project: J.C. Restoration, Inc.

Project Overview
Thunderstorms with heavy winds and hail produced widespread damage across Wisconsin during July 2016. Two buildings on the Epic Software Campus in Verona, Wisconsin — Oz and Grimm, which were located within an active construction site — were flooded by the storms. Both buildings required immediate drying for construction to continue.

A&J Specialty Services DKI (DKI) was originally called to the loss in 2016, and J.C. Restoration (JCR) was called in to assist, due to A&J’s limited manpower. The JCR team immediately headed out to the site, 130 miles away, for the initial inspection.

What were the challenges?
On arrival, teams discovered that multiple areas were affected, including the drywall, insulation and flooring in both buildings. Logistics for equipment and personnel were a challenge, due to the large amount of square footage affected, the distance between the two buildings, the confusing building layouts and the immediate deadline. Each building was in a different phases of construction, which meant that battling the outside environment was also a challenge.

The buildings were a significant distance from one another and treated separately. Due to the construction zones and lack of direct roads, it was a five-minute hike between the buildings. Both buildings needed to be treated as separate drying chambers.

By working with the construction company and managing employees, we were able to keep things moving things forward in a timely and efficient manner. All parties met at the project’s onset to establish goals and address challenges, including:

Addressing areas that were wet, as well as those where drywall needed to be removed while the construction team removed affected materials to allow the JCR team to clean and disinfect.

Determining placement of desiccants and generators, which meant working with construction team members to find points of access and ensure cords and power would not be a safety issue.

Figuring out equipment and power needs for both buildings.

How did you overcome these challenges?
We established wet areas using blueprints, which was key to managing the construction and JCR personnel efficiently.

From the onset, teams and management were split between buildings with the information flowing through the JCR production manager. Communication between the JCR production manager and construction manager was critical to keep the project moving efficiently and coordinate the equipment and personnel between two buildings.

Even with the challenges, the JCR and DKI teams successfully completed the job and removed all equipment within five days to allow the construction workers to continue working on site.

What lessons did you learn that could be applied to future projects?
We learned the importance of collaboration. Working hand-in-hand with the construction company was essential. Not committing to too much by allowing the construction company to assist us resulted in great savings. The construction company knew the layout of the buildings and we established clean and concise communication with documents (prints), meetings and a direct line between both parties. Utilizing the construction company’s assets and knowledge of the buildings resulted in substantial savings in both labor and time. The amount of additional labor needed to complete the removal would have been substantial and cost a significant amount to complete. This would also have led to additional drying time. We were able to complete the project in five days — two days faster than the initial timeline.

We also learned the importance of logistics. Having workers, trucks and equipment in place prior to arrival was important. Everyone and everything had a location or area assigned to them to complete. Once again, this included working with the construction company to ensure areas were free of construction equipment and ready for delivery.

Shane Engler, JCR Production Manager, has over 11 years of experience in the disaster restoration industry. During that time, he has held many responsibilities with JCR, from lead water technician, superintendent, to project manager. Due to the nature of the industry, daily planning and scheduling is very fluid. Shane is an expert in making sure all scheduling, budgeting, producing and billing for any water losses are handled, as well as having an on-site presence, making sure every aspect of a project is running smoothly. For more information, visit jcr24.com. 

This article was shared in C&R with the permission of the Restoration Industry Association.

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