Outside-the-box thinking saves $2.5 million

Resourcefulness can often make the difference in a build when it comes to budget and time. In the case of the Rise on Chauncey, CA Ventures’ student housing facility on Purdue University’s campus, Brinkmann Constructors was there with solutions to get the project ready for the fall semester move in.

CA Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate developer, turned to the creative problem solvers at Brinkmann to reduce the cost of building while still constructing a quality product.

Brinkmann Constructors had a proven performance record on several other CA Ventures’ projects. By providing innovative design ideas and using unique construction techniques, Brinkmann was able to implement more than $2 million worth of solutions during the project.

“Once we started to digest the plans, we quickly identified most of the usual value engineering suspects,” said Matt Funk, Brinkmann’s Director of Preconstruction in St. Louis. “But we also thought of an “outside-the-box” idea that had the potential to save a lot of money. It would take some convincing and buy-in from both the owner and the design team, but it turned out to be worth it, literally.”

The idea consisted of a redesign of the building’s foundation and earth retention systems.

“The project had three levels below-grade, which required an earth retention system to excavate and a perimeter cast-in-place concrete basement wall,” said Funk. “We thought, ‘why not come up with a way to accomplish both tasks with a single system?’ We were able to eliminate nearly 22,000 square feet of concrete walls, which saved time as well as $2.5 million.”

And the Brinkmann team did all of this and completed the project within 19 months – just in time for fall 2019 semester move in.

“Being able to engage with Brinkmann early in the process allowed us to guide the architecture and engineering team to dial in the efficiency of the building without late redesign,” said Scott McLamore, CA Venture’s Senior Vice President of Construction Management. “This approach helped us get comfortable with the hard cost numbers early in our process when we were battling against many risk factors of the deal.”

At sixteen stories, the Rise on Chauncey is West Lafayette, Indiana’s tallest building and includes 283 fully-furnished luxury apartments. From studios to four-bedroom units, the 458,000 square-foot student apartment development consists of 675 beds.

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