Diverse career path leads Pfeiffer to EMJ

EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.

EMJ Construction Project Manager Anita Pfeiffer found success in many different arenas before finding a home at EMJ Corporation.

Born and raised in Allentown, Pa., Pfeiffer began exploring different career options while attending Cedar Crest College in her hometown.

She worked for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., a manufacturer of industrial gases, and then as a paralegal at a law firm in New York. After a couple of years in the legal field, Pfeiffer decided to pursue a new challenge and enter the retail industry.

Pfeiffer worked as a district manager for a number of years, then transitioned to the restaurant business, where she worked with a private owner to manage numerous locations.

She began noticing that her responsibilities in the retail and restaurant industries aligned closely with the responsibilities associated with a career in construction.

“In both industries, I worked closely with the general contractor to ensure stores would be ready for timely turnover,” Pfeiffer said. “The responsibilities were extremely similar, which made the transition to construction a smooth one.”

With the help of her brother, EMJ Lead Superintendent Greg Pfeuffer, she dove into a construction career. After gaining nine years of experience as a superintendent, she joined EMJ as a Project Manager in November 2014. She says EMJ presented a perfect opportunity to utilize her combined skills that she’d gained from years in other industries.

“I enjoy the empowerment and autonomy that I am granted in order to get my job done,” Anita says. “I love having numerous balls in the air and at the end of the day or week feel success through the dedication and collaboration of the team.”

From a young age, Pfeiffer was inspired by her mother, Alice Pfeiffer, who instilled in her the values she carries with her today.

“She was always concerned about others, and she led by example,” Pfeiffer said. “She taught me to be dedicated, determined, responsible, trustworthy, and courageous in her own way.”

Pfeiffer has followed in her mother’s footsteps, leading by example to her colleagues at EMJ. She was recently awarded a Jolley for Outstanding Performance, the corporation’s highest honor for an individual employee, at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting.

Pfeiffer sees many great opportunities in her role, but specifically appreciates the chance to craft and mentor the next generation.

“Nothing is more rewarding than helping those around you achieve success,” Pfeiffer said. “All my success has stemmed from the tremendous people around me, so it’s nice to return the favor to future generations.”

 

Related articles:

Employees honored for Outstanding Performance

Kissimmee 7-Eleven team receives state safety award

Congratulations to EMJ Special Projects’ 7-Eleven team for winning the Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award. This is EMJ Special Projects’ fourth award in the last two years.

This award, given by the University of South Florida’s Safety Consultation Program, was developed to motivate and support employers who emphasize safety through the implementation and maintenance of effective injury and illness-prevention programs.

The Kissimmee, Fla., 7-Eleven was a project for Equitas Management Group. It consists of a 3,000-square-foot building, four 8,000-gallon below-ground fuel storage tanks, and two overhead canopies on a 1.4 acre site. Ray Alamo, Superintendent, and Jon-Michael Davis, Project Manager, have continually encouraged and trained the team in safe practices to ensure that field staff works safely and efficiently on the job site.

Patrick Stark, OSHA Consultant at the University of Florida, presented the award to Alamo for his team’s commitment to workplace safety and health.

Congratulations to the team on this project: Ray Alamo, Superintendent; Zach Klassen, Project Engineer; Jon-Michael Davis, Project Manager, Mallory Harrison, Administrative Assistant, and Stephen Anderson, Intern. Thank you for your commitment to ensuring a safe work environment for all involved and continuing to positively represent EMJ Corporation.

Thanks also to CORE Safety Group who supports our teams through safety training and consultation and helps ensure that our EMJ Construction team’s are well-versed on the latest safety standards.

Alamo, who was recently awarded CORE Safety’s “Best of the Best” Superintendent Award, has continually been recognized for his commitment to safety. Read more about Ray’s previous recognitions here:

Superintendent Ray Alamo recognized for exceptional safety practices

Port St. Lucie Starbucks team awarded Sunshine Safety Award

7-Eleven team awarded Florida safety recognition

Accent Construction awarded Sunshine State Safety Recognition

Brookhaven Village team shines on Texas community

Tom Rue, Blake Kaylor and Tom Zylstra of EMJ Construction Special Projects are living examples of EMJ’s values as exhibited through their work at the start of the Brookhaven Village project earlier this year.

Brookhaven Village, a retail project in Addison, Texas, required demolition of five buildings prior to construction of the new development. One of these buildings was a daycare with approximately $50,000 worth of playground equipment. Rue, Superintendent on the project, spoke with Kaylor, Senior Project Manager, and Zylstra, Project Engineer, about opportunities for the equipment.

“My first thought was, ‘We need to find someone who can use this,’” said Rue. “I was not going to let something that could bring great joy be demolished in a landfill—if I could help it.”

Seeing an opportunity to serve, the team made it their mission to find a new home for the equipment. Rue called more than a dozen Addison churches before finally speaking with a local pastor, who gratefully volunteered his congregation to move the playground and reinstall it on their church grounds. By the end of the week, the playground equipment had been moved to its new home—saving the client time and money and providing great value to the church.

The team also reached out to the local police department and offered the soon-to-be demolished structures up for training. The Addison SWAT and Special Tactical Unit took him up on the offer.

Rue, Kaylor and Zylstra worked together to coordinate the demo schedule, allowing the SWAT team to use the facility for tactical training. The team used the facility to train on everything from blowing up doors with explosive charges to hostage negotiations.

The Addison SWAT team prepares for tactical training on the Brookhaven Village site.

 

“At EMJ, we promote core values of grit, trustworthiness and selflessness, and this team is a testament to these principles, serving not only the client, but going above and beyond for the residents of Addison,” said Doug Martin, President of EMJ Construction.

Sometimes, the project at hand is just the beginning. Thank you, Tom, Blake and Tom, for your selflessness on this project and for representing all that EMJ stands for!

Superintendent Ray Alamo recognized for exceptional safety practices

Safety is a responsibility of each EMJ Corporation employee and is a significant measurement of job performance. CORE Safety assists EMJ in leading safety trainings, educating our teams on the latest safety policies and procedures, and ensuring that our teams are prepared for the job site.

During EMJ’s company-wide 50th Anniversary Meeting, CORE Safety spotlighted individuals throughout our family of companies who went above and beyond the safety responsibilities of their standard job duties.

EMJ Construction Superintendent Ray Alamo was selected as the 2018 “Best of the Best” Superintendent for his commitment to job site safety.

CORE Safety’s Director of Safety Services Jorge Torres presents Alamo with the “Best of the Best Superintendent” Award at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting.

 

The Best of the Best Superintendent exhibits the following criteria:

• Positive attitude and behavior toward safety
• Plans ahead and foresees potential mishaps and intervenes
• Engages others in safe behavior and practices
• Maintains a clean and organized job site
• Maintains accurate, well-written and timely documentation
• Promotes a safety-conscious culture and mindset within his team

In addition to excelling at all of the above criteria, Alamo received this award for exhibiting EMJ’s values on and off of the job site.

In presenting the award, Jorge Torres, Director of Safety Services at CORE Safety Group, said, “[Ray] truly cares about each and every person that steps on his project, and his team members feel that and work hard for him.”

Torres added that Ray is always proactive in reaching out to CORE and the preconstruction team to ensure that subcontractors are fully pre-qualified, as well as to understand what assistance they may need from him. Alamo calls subcontractors directly to let them know, in no uncertain terms, what they will need before they can step on site and holds them accountable every day for those requirements.

This was recently said by a CORE Safety supervisor:

“Ray has a true passion for safety and strives to ensure his projects are as safe as possible. He takes every opportunity to learn and understand more about safety—even obtaining the Safety Trained Supervisor in Construction designation by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. His hard work and dedication to the EMJ safety program is an invaluable asset by all accounts.”

Visit one of his projects and talk to the workers; they will tell you how much they respect, trust and enjoy working with Ray Alamo. In addition to his recognition by CORE, his team has received the Florida Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award presented by the OSHA Consultation Program at the University of South Florida several times.

Congratulations, Ray, and thank you for your commitment to safety on every project.

Related posts:

Port St. Lucie Starbucks team awarded Sunshine Safety Award

7-Eleven team awarded Florida safety recognition

EMJ commemorates 50 years with anniversary meeting

3 reasons to request mock-ups on your next project

A mock-up is a full-size structural model made with the exact construction techniques and materials that will be used on a project. Typically, materials for mock-ups are ordered in small portions, then, executed by the project team in advance of the rest of construction.

In preparation for Ruby Falls’ expansion, the EMJ Chattanooga team performed mock-ups of various sections of the project. John Rudez, EMJ Superintendent, and Matt Elliot, EMJ Project Manager, explain three benefits of these mock-ups and why you should request them on your next construction project.

1. Confirm (or clarify) your vision
Mock-ups give clients, contractors and project teams the opportunity to assess a three-dimensional representation of a design, so that functionality, aesthetics and quality can be evaluated down to the smallest detail.

They take proactive planning and additional time to implement, but allow the client to make revisions to the project’s design before moving forward into construction. Additionally, materials for mockups are ordered in small portions so there is minimal waste if the client decides to go in a different direction.

“[The mock-ups] gave us a chance to look at the actual model and add those details in, in order to give the owner exactly what they wanted,” Elliott says. “There were many things that came out of this that helped the team put together the best possible product for the owner.”

Until you can see and feel the finished product, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Mock-ups remove any surprises and ensure owners fully understand various physical aspects of their project before it’s built.

2. Set expectations with your team
Mock-ups serve as a “trial run” for the project team to complete a task while learning what is important to the client. Superintendents can use this opportunity to set expectations, guide the team, and make changes to improve efficiency before construction begins.

mock-up, concrete slab, Ruby Falls, preconstruction, quality, superintendent

“By going through [a mock-up], our subcontractors learn the steps and understand their roles, and our owner understands and his expectations are set,” Rudez says.

“It’s a very heuristic approach to the building process, and allows the subcontractors involved to practice that they’re going to be doing, and allows them time to get prepared for that, so in the end they end up doing the project faster and more efficiently,” Elliott adds.

3. Pinpoint any potential problems
Even the most experienced construction professionals interact with new teams, materials, and processes on a daily basis. Mock-ups show pain points in the building process that otherwise may not be visible until construction—when any changes or errors would be costly and time-consuming.

“Mock-ups allow our team to pinpoint any and all issues well in advance of the construction phase,” Rudez says. “Knowing that we have several different types of finishes in different products, and some products that we are unfamiliar with on the job—I find it very helpful.”

Although creating a mock-up may seem like an additional expense during preconstruction, it could end up costing more to later repair unforeseen errors.

mock-up, concrete slab, Ruby Falls, preconstruction, quality, superintendent

“During the mock-up process, we found out several things: details that weren’t right or didn’t line up like the owner had anticipated,” Rudez continues. “Little things that they really hadn’t maybe thought about or detailed fully on their plans.”

You understand your project goals and vision better than anyone. But with the right leaders and valuable tools like mock-ups, your team should be in-sync with you to execute your project to achieve your goals.

Related articles:

EMJ to begin construction on Ruby Falls expansion

Ruby Falls team sets expectations through mock-ups

Photogrammetry offers easy, accurate solutions for owners and trade partners

EMJ’s 10 most-read blogs of 2017

EMJ published more than 80 stories on EMJCorp.com in 2017. In celebration of the new year, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most-read blogs of the year. Check out these popular stories, and visit our What’s New page for more news.

1. Great construction superintendent
While this blog was published in late 2016, it continues to  be discovered and read online. Pulling in more than 1,100 readers in 2017 through Google searches alone, this blog remains a fixture among EMJ’s most-read blogs.

5 qualities of a great construction superintendent

2. Branch Technology & a 3D-printed house
Published just a few weeks ago, this popular story already ranks number two in readership. As construction of this groundbreaking project gets underway in 2018, this is sure to remain a hot topic.

EMJ, Branch to build the world’s first 3D-printed house

3. EMJ ranks #69 among Top Contractors
Engineering News-Record ranked EMJ #69 among its Top 400 Contractors in 2017, and the news traveled fast across social media and our website.

EMJ ranks #69 on ENR’s list of Top 400 Contractors

4. Outstanding employee performance
Our blog recognizing the top performing EMJ employees of 2016 has been read far and wide by proud families, friends, colleagues and many more.

Employees awarded Jolley for Outstanding Performance

5. Market City Center opens
The opening of Market City Center, a 10-story, mixed-use development in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., garnered a lot of interest on our website. The project was the tallest building to be built in Chattanooga in several years, and the efficient and well executed project was a big story in the scenic city.

Market City Center opens in Chattanooga

6. Burt Odom on servant leadership
Tying in to our company purpose, to be people serving people, EMJ CEO and President Burt Odom discussed leadership with CityScope Magazine, expressing what he believes it takes to be a great leader and how a company develops leaders.

Burt Odom: ‘Great leaders are servant leaders’

7. Ruby Falls expansion
EMJ began work on an expansion of Ruby Falls, a popular tourist attraction in Chattanooga in Spring of 2017. Since then the team has been slowly excavating rock from the side of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., to make way for the additional facilities. It’s no surprise this blog has been well read, considering the uniqueness of this project.

EMJ to begin construction on Ruby Falls expansion

8. What to look for in a construction job
EMJ’s recruiting team worked with our writers to develop this fun blog, outlining what those seeking a job in the construction field should look for in their next employer.

6 things to look for in a construction company

9. The debut of EMJ Special Projects
Accent Construction was rebranded as EMJ Special Projects in late Spring of 2017. This news traveled fast and received a lot of attention online and on social media.

Accent Construction is now EMJ Special Projects

10. Guiding construction technology
Jonathan Deming, EMJ Director of Construction Technology and BIM, was featured on the blog in May. Emerging technologies in the construction industry and how they are applied on the job were a hot topic throughout the industry in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018 as more construction companies adopt these innovative tools.

Guiding teams into the future with construction technology

We hope you enjoyed our look back at 2017. These top 10 blogs are only a glimpse of the content published this past year. Click on What’s New at the top of the page to view more.

Preparing for winter weather on your job site

Lidl construction site; Danville, Va.; early 2017

 
The first official day of winter is December 21, though many areas across the country are already experiencing its hazards in full force.

While many occupations need only to worry about dressing appropriately and tracking the changing forecast, winter brings unique hazards and challenges to construction job sites.

Here are some tips from the EMJ team on preparing job sites for wintry weather.

People

 
Every superintendent’s top priority is the safety of his or her people, and winter brings risks that can be less noticeable than heat-related conditions. For example, fingers and hands are less nimble in the cold, which leads to accidents, and warm layers can hide signs of dehydration and overheating.

“To avoid these conditions, site leaders should designate a heated space for teams to warm up throughout the workday when temperatures are especially low,” says Brian Tiehen, Quality Manager at EMJ Construction. In addition, remind employees to bring winter gear in case of unexpected conditions.

Schedule

 
The unknowns of winter months can lead to project delays and frustration for both contractors and clients. Teams should take advantage of good weather and perform site work as quickly and efficiently as possible when conditions are positive for construction. However, know when it’s time to stop work and remain off of the job site during unsuitable weather.

“When possible, stay off of the site during severe weather conditions. It makes more of a mess than the work your team will be able to accomplish,” says Shane Hurley, Lead Superintendent of EMJ Construction Chattanooga. “And, cover all site work as quickly and effectively as possible.”

Meadow Glen Marketplace; Medford, Mass.; January 2017

 

Budget

 
There are several unique tactics that should be considered and budgeted for in advance of building through the winter season.

“On occasion, we’ve tented the building to avoid weather delays. It is, of course, an added cost, but is well worth it when we complete the project on time and the client can begin bringing in revenue,” says Tom Rue, Superintendent of EMJ Special Projects.

“Make sure you budget for concrete blankets, heaters, etc. in advance of pouring in winter months. Those add up surprisingly quickly,” says James Busbin, Lead Superintendent for EMJ Construction Chattanooga.

“It’s better that you return some cash back to the client after closeout if you don’t end up needing to purchase them, rather than adding cost if you do.”

Meadow Glen Marketplace; Medford, Mass.; January 2017

 

Site

 
Though not all delays due to unfavorable weather can be avoided, tools such as screens, heaters and anti-freeze can assist teams in preventing them.

“Use screens on scaffolding to raise the temperature at the building surface to allow subcontractors to apply materials such as mortar, EIFS and paint,” says Rue.

“Natural gas heaters (salamanders) can raise interior temperatures to allow work to continue and maintain manufacturers requirements for storage of materials,” he continues. “They can also protect piping such as sprinkler lines that once tested are usually holding pressurized water.”

However, if using gas heaters, ensure positive airflow to maintain breathable air. “I use RV anti-freeze in the P-Traps because sanitary tends to hold water during the winter,” says Busbin.

RV anti-freeze does not contain glycol, is environmentally friendly, and is designed to be flushed into the sanitary systems.

Questions about how to prepare your site and team for winter weather? Contact Jonathan Horne, EMJ Director of Quality, at jhorne@emjcorp.com or 423.490.3280.

Superintendents’ Guide to Reclaiming Your Time

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” -William Penn

Time management is crucial to the success of a construction project, and no one knows this better than superintendents, who oversee EMJ’s job sites each day. We asked our “supers” to provide tips for how they make the most of each work day.

Create a Routine

Our daily lives are filled with good habits, bad habits and a mix at both. When it comes to time management, habits make or break our efficiency. One of the best things you can do to improve your daily efficiency is to form a good routine.

“When you have a routine, it is one less decision you have to make. Reports should be written daily, and weekly coordination meetings should be held on the same day at the same time every week,” says Senior Superintendent Jason Dunnam. “If you find that there’s less time in the afternoon than in the morning to accomplish a required task, make a change. Be disciplined in what is required, and do those things without complaint.”

Prioritize Your Activities

To be successful with time management you need to understand the important items and less important items of the day.

“Think critical path. What has to happen today in order for us to do our job tomorrow?” says Lead Superintendent Ken Boyd. “You must have at least a four-week look ahead—I use an eight-week—to establish daily activities.”

Superintendent Lance Lindsey has found that creating a “kill list” daily is one of his most effective routines. “The list consists of items that are non-negotiable for maintaining the job flow and schedule. It’s called a kill list because if you don’t do, or kill, the tasks then it will kill your progress later.”

Expect the Unexpected

Disruptions, unexpected changes and sudden emergencies will pop up no matter how carefully you calculate and maintain your schedule.

“When you know that disruptions are inevitable, you make room for changes in your schedule and prioritize the things that absolutely have to get done,” says Superintendent Matt Alford. “Examine if it’s worth finishing the task at hand or if those disruptions need to be addressed right away.”

“There’s a huge difference between issues and disruptions: one’s pressing and needs to be taken care of now, and the other can be put aside until later,” adds Superintendent Shawn McDonald. “Addressing the urgency of tasks before jumping in saves time and improves efficiency long-term.”

superintendent, time management, job site, prioritizing, construction, field staff, guide

Delegate Tasks

There are only so many hours in the day, and you can’t create more time. Delegation, if done correctly, is a win-win solution. It builds teamwork, good communication and empowers employees with responsibilities and tasks—while providing you with much-needed time to oversee and manage the project.

“By learning to coordinate and communicate better with my staff and not doing everything myself, I’ve freed up my time to focus on critical issues,” says Lead Superintendent Mike Maffucci.

Know What Tools Are Available

EMJ supers understand that you can’t build a building unless you have the right tools. Time management works the same way, and EMJ provides a variety of tools for superintendents to manage more efficiently and easily. And, sometimes, the simplest tools are the most effective.

“The key to success is to schedule everything,” says Lead Superintendent Ron James. “Put it on your calendar as a meeting and then do it. I use One Note to track all action and ‘to do’ items. When I’m in the field, I utilize 3×5 note cards to keep track of items that need to be addressed.”

“I use Microsoft Calendar and set reminders, and I keep handwritten lists,” adds Superintendent John Rudez. “I review them first thing in the morning, add and subtract items, update and then work through them in a triage type of manner.”

Understand There Will Be Struggles

Despite all of the routines, tools, delegation and teamwork that you may implement, there are only 24 hours in a day. Don’t pressure yourself or get stressed if incidents interfere with your productivity—tomorrow is a new day. Learn from your mistakes, and make changes as needed.

“You have to realize that you may not get everything done,” says Senior Superintendent Phillip Crissman. “Stay on task and don’t put off the things that are difficult. Attack the difficult things first and stay focused on the things that matter to the project.”

superintendent, time management, job site, prioritizing, construction, field staff, guide

Interested in joining EMJ’s superintendent team? Learn more here.

 

Werntz builds relationships from the field

EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.

Misha Werntz, Level II Superintendent, didn’t have a traditional start in the construction industry.

After earning an International Business degree from John Brown University, Werntz joined EMJ as a Marketing Administrative Assistant in the Dallas office in 2012. After two years, then-President Burt Odom encouraged Misha to pursue work in construction operations. He accepted the challenge and transitioned into a role as a Project Engineer.

Werntz was immediately sent to Northaven, Conn., where the team was building a Cinemark movie theater—a fast-paced, three-phase project. It was during that 11-month project that he learned the importance of client relationships, dependability and learning as you go.

Team members on the Cinemark job, including project managers and superintendents, helped guide Werntz into his new role, but it wasn’t always easy.

“The transition from marketing to the field was tough. I got through it, but I’ve learned a lot from that. It forced me to find new ways to learn, and I’ve since been able to think proactively to prevent issues with each job that comes along.”

After three years as a Project Engineer, Werntz was promoted to Level II Superintendent, giving him the responsibility to help manage the project site. Since then, he’s worked on a Cinepolis in Euless, Texas, and he is currently building another Cinemark in New Caney, Texas.

For the future, Werntz’s goal is to develop into a lead superintendent role. “I’m ready to step into those shoes and learn to succeed in new opportunities.”

Werntz’s ability to build relationships with the EMJ team, those on the job site and with clients led to his promotion and is what Werntz believes is key to his continued career growth. He offers five lessons he has learned about building strong relationships with clients and teams:

1. Be yourself.
Don’t put on a mask; let the client discover who you really are. “If people don’t feel you’re being authentic, they won’t let down their walls. Open up yourself to other people.”

2. Find a mentor who can help you through good and bad.
Surround yourself with people who have been successful and learn from them. “I’m a strong believer in learning from other people. You can read everything you want on paper, but unless you apply it to real life, it’s not effective.”

3.  Ask for guidance from your coworkers.
If you have a concern, somebody might have the same concern or life experience and be able to help you out. “They’ve most likely been through what you’re going through and can save you time and effort by sharing wisdom.”

4.  Really listen to the client.
Listen to what they have to say, reflect on what they really mean and what they’re looking for. Don’t just pass off the work to someone else. “You can’t achieve a good client experience without being a servant.”

5.  Think like your client.
That’s the best way you can deliver: think and know what the client wants. “Ask questions, be confident in what you do, listen, and seek out ways you can learn and improve.”

 

To learn more about EMJ’s work and career opportunities at EMJ, visit our Projects gallery and Careers page.

Ruby Falls team sets expectations through mock-ups

EMJ’s Chattanooga team recently performed a polished concrete mock-up for the Ruby Falls project, giving the client and the team and a better understanding of what’s to come during construction.

A mock-up is a full-size structural model made with the exact construction techniques and materials that will be used on a project.

mock-up, concrete slab, Ruby Falls, preconstruction, quality, superintendent

“Mock-ups serve two purposes: to extract expectations from the client and to communicate what your team will deliver,” said Jonathan Horne, EMJ’s Director of Quality Assurance. “Mock-ups allow us to get the client’s feedback on our work at the preconstruction stage rather than after the task is completed on the project.”

The mock-up gives clients, contractors and project teams the opportunity to assess a three-dimensional representation of a design, so that functionality, aesthetics and quality can be evaluated down to the smallest detail.

“We want to present the true expectation so our client understands what they’re going to get when we are finished,” said John Rudez, Superintendent of Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, who showcased the mock-up in a recent video.

mock-up, concrete slab, Ruby Falls, preconstruction, quality, superintendent, John Rudez

Although creating a mock-up may seem like an additional expense during preconstruction, it could end up costing more to skip this step and later repair unforeseen errors.

“Any time you have a specialty finish it’s a good idea to perform a mock-up,” said Matt Elliott, Project Manager at Ruby Falls. “It not only aligns expectations but also ensures that the finish matches the consistency and pattern the owner desires.”

Understanding the difficulty of translating polished concrete to the client, the Ruby Falls team determined that a concrete slab mock-up, among several others, would be beneficial during their quality management planning meeting. They then reached out to the learning team to document the process.

mock-up, concrete slab, Ruby Falls, preconstruction, quality, superintendent

“We wanted to take the client through the process and outcome, and then realized that documenting it also served as a learning opportunity for our other construction teams,” said Elliott. “We knew that mock-ups were the best way to ensure that what we intend to deliver will meet and hopefully exceed expectations.“

Still in the early construction phase of the Ruby Falls project, EMJ’s team is beginning to focus on the end product, but with proactive techniques like mock-ups at the forefront of construction, our client experience is sure to exceed expectations.

“There is great value in mock-ups for our team by building trust, expanding knowledge and improving the client experience,” Horne added. “We know the risk of an unhappy owner is far greater than the cost to do it.”


Above: The EMJ team mocked up a wall section of the building to convey building envelope details, aesthetics, and more for the client at Ruby Falls.

 

Related stories:

EMJ to begin construction on Ruby Falls expansion