When the Construction Project Team Made 122 Design Changes in the Name of Safety

May 17, 2021
Richard Korman & Scott Van Voorhis - Engineering News-Record

It’s not every day that a project interior designer sits down with the project team to discuss construction and occupant safety. But in 2019, Keith Switzer, who heads interior design firm INTEC Group, found himself in meetings doing just that as plans took shape for a four-story office and research building in the Boston suburb of Billerica. The project’s owner, drug maker EMD Serono, was “very keen” on safety, Switzer recalls. So leaders from the project’s prime contractor, Erland Construction, and much of the project team gathered regularly in an existing building at the project site, and later sometimes in a project trailer, where the vibe was for a “roll up your sleeves effort … literally everyone at the table throwing out ideas.” Even after the pandemic shifted the meetings to the internet, the basic mission as Switzer sees it was to explore ideas where “if you did this differently, this would be a safer way of doing XYZ.”

Reprinted courtesy of Richard Korman, ENR and Scott Van Voorhis, ENR
Mr. Korman may be contacted at kormanr@enr.com


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