Virtual planning aids healthcare renovation project

Parkridge Health System is getting an upgrade, thanks to support from HCA’s FacilitiGroup. The hospital kicked off a $3.1 million chiller and cooling tower replacement project last month in partnership with the EMJ Construction team.

According to Parkridge, “This significant upgrade will improve the facility’s ability to manage its interior climate controls and overall utility efficiency.”


The new structure is being built within a mechanical “bull-pen” full of multiple utilities and services, leaving little to no room to spare. This complexity, combined with the need to continue operations at the hospital without disruption, required extensive planning and critical analysis before construction began.

“After reviewing the drawings, Lee Company and EMJ Superintendent David Taylor had concerns that the new chiller equipment wouldn’t fit into the roll-up door considering the adjacent air-cooled chiller located only a few feet away,” said Lance Truett, EMJ Project Manager.

If the equipment could not fit through the roll-up door, the team would need to identify an alternative method for installing the new equipment. To test the installation scenario, the project team enlisted the help of EMJ’s Construction Technology Department, which specializes in building information modeling (BIM) and other virtual imaging techniques.

“Employing laser scanning for existing conditions was the perfect solution for the Parkridge project since we were dealing with a high degree of complexity and congestion,” said Jonathan Deming, EMJ Director of Construction Technology. “This process has enabled our team to move forward with complete confidence and certainty.”

A “scan” is a powerful laser recording that captures a site’s shape and appearance and converts those conditions into 3D models and structural drawings at sub-millimeter accuracy.

“Roger Aasheim and Will Callery laser scanned the existing conditions and overlaid the new construction along with a 3D model of the chiller equipment provided by the chiller manufacturer to see how it was all going to go together,” said Truett. “With their help we were able to demonstrate that moving the building 18” east would eliminate all concerns and site constraints. Moving the structure also makes the installation safer and the future maintenance possible.”

With a modified construction plan approved and in place, the team and its trade partners kicked off the Parkridge renovation in late August. Demolition of the existing cooling tower is complete, and temporary towers are fully operational.

Working in conjunction with the technology team at HVAC company Lee Company, the EMJ team is currently modeling the pumps, piping, and control panels of the new space to fully understand the structure and ensure smooth and efficient construction continues throughout the project’s duration.

The Parkridge project is on track for early 2019 completion.  Congrats to the EMJ Construction Healthcare team on a job well done!

Roger Aasheim, Virtual Construction Engineer II
Will Callery, Virtual Construction Manager
Zach Klassen, Project Engineer
Lance Truett, Project Manager
Sam Marks, Preconstruction Manager
Cody Stubblefield, Project Engineer
David Taylor, Superintendent

EMJ to begin Independence Mall overhaul


EMJ Construction is proud to announce its partnership with Brookfield Properties on the Independence Mall redevelopment in Wilmington, N.C.

“We are honored to be selected for this project,” said Jeff Brewer, EMJ National Account Executive. “We previously built Mayfaire Town Center in Wilmington and are looking forward to again serving that community.”

Originally built in 1979, the traditional, enclosed Independence Mall is being revamped into an open-air, streetscape-style shopping experience. The new development will be called the Collection at Independence and include 126,000 square feet of new retail space, 15,000 square feet of restaurants, and a new indoor-outdoor food court area.


The initial project consists of tearing down a portion of the mall and a Sears anchor store, replacing them with new, outward-facing retail, 10 new restaurants, and a 25,000-square-foot grocery store.

The ultimate goal for EMJ on the project is to provide a new look for the development while ensuring safety for employees and customers of the mall. Independence Mall presents several construction challenges due to its size and typical foot traffic during the day.

“We are tearing apart an existing mall that’s going to remain in operation,” said EMJ Senior Preconstruction Manager Joe Woolums. “This requires careful planning and coordination to ensure both safety and no disruption to operations while we complete the demolition and redevelopment.”


Construction plans are in full swing, and the team hopes to begin demolition this fall and deliver the first retail spaces in mid-2019.

The redevelopment of traditional, enclosed malls is a growing trend in the retail industry. Read about EMJ’s work on the mall redevelopment at Cool Springs Galleria here, and learn more about our team’s retail experience here.

Signal Mill named among 2017’s Outstanding Projects

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project.


In this five-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Outstanding Project recipients and why they were selected for these awards. Directors and Vice Presidents of the corporation nominate for Outstanding Project, which is given to a project team that delivered an exceptional client experience, added value, overcame challenges, demonstrated exemplary planning and execution, and built client relationships.

This year, EMJ recognized five projects with this award:

Signal Mill, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Tranquillity 8 Solar, Fresno County, Calif.
West Towne Marketplace, El Paso, Texas
Market City Center, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Wegmans, Medford, Mass.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight each project and the team that brought it to life on the blog. This week, we’re featuring EMJ Construction Special Project’s historic renovation at Signal Mill.

Originally constructed in 1916 as a textile manufacturing facility, Signal Mill is a two-and-a-half-story, 34,560-square-foot structure in Chattanooga’s sought-after North Shore District.

EMJ Construction Special Projects partnered with North Shore Project, LLC, the Woodbery Group and Hefferlin & Kronenberg Architects to renovate the building in 2016. In 2017, the high-end, mixed-use development opened to the public, featuring space for boutiques, specialty food shops and offices as well as Edley’s restaurant at the opposite end from a second restaurant, Food Works, which remained in operation during the renovation.

Together, the team navigated and overcame challenges including weather delays, considerations for an operating tenant, late changes to finishes, and tight deadlines to complete a beautiful historic renovation.

“Our team kept the client relationship and the client’s goals at the forefront throughout the duration of the project,” said Chas Torrence, Executive Vice President, EMJ Construction Special Projects. “They effectively collaborated with the engineers, architect and owner to resolve conflicts and keep the project moving with a keen eye for quality and long-term maintainability.”

The resulting client experience has opened the door for EMJ to perform work for this client in other cities across the Southeast.

Congratulations to the Signal Mill team from EMJ Construction Special Projects:

Gabe Thompson, Director of Construction
Matthew Schaller, Project Manager
Bert Carden, Superintendent II

signal mill

Pictured, from left to right, are Gabe Thompson, Bert Carden, Matthew Schaller and Chas Torrence.


Team celebrates completion of Sam’s Club, Walmart stores

Sam’s Club in Fort Worth, Texas, opened on Friday, January 12th following an extensive remodel.

The project included interior and exterior demolition, renovation of refrigerated cases, offices, restrooms, showroom spaces and more, and construction of several new areas, including the hearing center, café, pharmacy and health care center.

All work was performed at night, allowing the store, which is owned and operated by Walmart, to remain open throughout the remodel.

“This was our first Sam’s Club remodel,” said George Heath, Vice President – Retail Single Tenant, EMJ Construction – Dallas. “We took many years of remodel experience to Walmart and provided a new phasing plan and a new barricade system that allowed them to advertise the upcoming improvements and resulted in a gain of store sales.”

As a result of the project team’s innovative logistics solutions and commitment to exceeding the client’s goals, Walmart says it plans to use this project as a model for future Walmart and Sam’s Club renovations.

Sam's Club - Fort Worth, Texas

On Wednesday, January 24th, EMJ’s Dallas team again celebrated at the grand opening of the new Walmart Supercenter in Prosper, Texas.

The EMJ team performed all site work on the 18-acre development in addition to constructing the 193,525-square-foot store.

“The combined team delivered an outstanding client experience that has led to three additional projects,” said George. “I can’t tell you how proud I am to have this team represent EMJ in the Walmart program.”

Walmart Supercenter - Prosper, Texas

Congratulations to the team members on these projects:

Jeremiah Rader, Superintendent
Donny Scott, Superintendent
Denver Moody, Superintendent
Andrew Scott, Level II Superintendent
Aaron Scott, Level I Superintendent
Matt Connors, Project Manager
Heath Wilson, Director of Construction
Andrew Lackey, Project Engineer
Erick Perez, Project Engineer
Shaunese Farris, Senior Administrative Assistant
Sheila Nazario-Thomas, Senior Administrative Assistant

Accent Construction Services prepares for Signal Mill project

Photo by Tim Barber / Times Free Press.


Accent Construction Services, a member of the EMJ family of companies, looks forward to collaborating with The Woodbery Group to transform its vision for the new Signal Mill project in Chattanooga’s North Shore into a reality.

The Knitting Mill Antiques building spans 60,000 square feet with a two-and-a-half-story (with a windowed basement) structure.

“It’s a 100-year-old, beautiful building,” said David Woodbery, the Atlanta developer. “We really want to bring out its character, its charm and its authenticity. People want that — and you can’t recreate it.”

Accent will convert the building’s first and second floors into a space for boutiques, specialty food shops, offices and a second restaurant at the opposite end from Food Works, which will remain in the building. Parking spaces will also be added to the site.

Woodbery wants to welcome the first tenants to the new Signal Mill building in early 2017.


Related article:

Antique Mall on North Shore to close by end of August; new owner to renovate property