UNC-Chapel Hill Physical Science Building 


The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Physical Science Building is an excellent paradigm for discovering the value of precise preconstruction planning - replete with multiple contingency options. Although multiple paths complicate scheduling, they do provide the orderly means and thoughtful logistics needed to build in the heart of a major university campus, during the school year, which of course, includes a season of ACC college football. A season, incidentally, where Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and North Carolina State are all home games!

The project consists of a cast-in-place, four-level classroom, laboratory and lecture hall in the midst of the UNCCH campus. Balfour Beatty turned to UFI early on in the preconstruction phase to provide preliminary schedule and budget assistance. Fortunately, United Forming was the successful bidder and Balfour Beatty awarded UFI the complete turnkey structure.

UFI and Balfour Beatty coordinated critical activities and developed a unified project schedule and logistics plan to meet the challenges ahead. One of the more implacable obstacles was daily traffic congestion surrounding the site. With support from the Balfour Beatty team, UFI secured authorization to conduct early morning concrete pours, which avoided additional congestion and interruption while classes were in session.

All the preceding planning and preparation paid off early in the project when the team discovered a portion of the foundations required modification. The foundation redesign presented the team with a six-week delay on the front end. With Balfour Beatty’s collaborative management approach, United Forming and fellow subcontractors re-sequenced the work to successfully overcome the delay. As a result, the structure topped out on schedule. The team’s actions prompted remarks from Sid Stone, UNC Facilities Manager, who said, “Our proactive approach to this problem saved the project from costly delays and enabled Balfour Beatty to maintain the scheduled opening of the facility to serve the students.”