Dec 9, 2020

Roosevelt Library appoints local firms to manage development

Dominic Ellis
3 min
North Dakota-based architecture and construction firms appointed to assist with development of the project in Medora, North Dakota
North Dakota-based architecture and construction firms appointed to assist with development of the project in Medora, North Dakota...

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Foundation has chosen North Dakota-based architecture and construction firms to assist with the development of the project, which will be built in the city of Medora.

In a statement, the library foundation has selected JLG Architects to be the project’s architect of record, and JE Dunn to be the construction manager on the long-planned project. Founded in Grand Forks, the architecture firm has offices in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota, while JE Dunn is a Kansas City-headquartered company, with a large footprint across the US.

Contract negotiations with both companies are underway, the statement adds.

In September, the foundation picked Norwegian-American architecture firm Snøhetta to design the high-profile project, but Library CEO Ed O’Keefe said that it was important to have a North Dakota firm take the lead on the project, with JLG’s involved in holding all of the contracts for Snøhetta and its subcontractors, while working with JE Dunn to realise the vision of the project, he explains.

“This is a North Dakota initiative bringing North Dakota jobs,” says Ken Vein, the library's director of design and construction. “The Architect of Record and Construction Manager are just the start of what will be a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment in North Dakota.”

The foundation will also add two new offices in Bismarck and Medora, the statement adds, as well as two new full-time staffers in the state. Tony Erickson, of Grand Forks, will be appointed as the associate director of design and construction, while Amy McCann, of Medora, will be the administrative director of design and construction, according to the release.

Having been in gestation for a while, the project has recently picked up steam over the last six months, culminating in October, when the foundation announced that it had reached its goal of raising £74.6 million in private donations, including £37.3 million from Rob and Melani Walton of the Walmart fortune. The milestone came with the promise of public funding as the foundation unlocked an endowment that state governor Doug Burgum and the State Legislature approved in 2019.

As part of the deal to receive public money, the foundation will need to pay £223,903 to the city of Dickinson as reimbursement for planning on the library, which was previously slated to be built in that city.

Furthermore, the foundation says that it will also set aside £7.45 million by the end of 2021 to be given to Dickenson State University to establish a digital archive of Roosevelt-related documents.

The proposed library aims to honour and recount the complex history of Theodore Roosevelt, the one-time governor of New York, who became the 26th president of the United States. As a young man, Roosevelt spent parts of three years hunting and ranching in what is now present-day western North Dakota, prior to his career in national politics.

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Jun 24, 2021

Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Skanska plans to build a 28-floor office tower in Houston as its London office receives WELL Platinum sustainability ranking and drone trials are underway

Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.

Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.

1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.

Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.

Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.

The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.

The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.

The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.

Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."

“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”

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