“This is The Perlo Podcast. We talk construction – it’s people, it’s challenges, it’s opportunities. We talk to industry and trade experts, movers and shakers, and people who get buildings built right. Join us. You won’t regret it.”

For full episodes you can visit our YouTube page or search “The Perlo Podcast” wherever you get your podcasts.

Welcome back to Episode 6 of The Perlo Podcast! Host Elissa Looney, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Perlo Construction, is joined by Perlo’s expert team in education settings: Drew Carter, Senior Project Manager; Stephen Alger, Senior Project Manager; and John Tompkins, Project Superintendent. In today’s episode, we’ll being going over K-12 projects and what makes them so unique.

Elissa Looney
Podcast Host & Director of Strategic Initiatives
Adam Smelley
Senior Project Manager
Stephen Alger
Senior Project Manager
John Tompkins
Project Superintendent

What are Some of the Factors That Go Into Planning Summer Projects?

Education projects often take place in the summer, when students are no longer in school. During the shortened summer construction season, we often see remodel projects that include anything from re-roofing upgrades and siding repairs to a “fluff and buff” on interior finishes. A lot of the time, these are projects that can’t be done while the campus is occupied when students are in school.

Drew notes that the biggest consideration when defining the scope and timeline to complete a project over the summer is, “Do we have enough time to actually do the work on the plans?” He remarks that although there is a lot that can get done in the summer months, it comes down getting on the campus early to look at the existing conditions and ensuring the construction documents are the same as what is actually on the ground.

John agrees, and adds, “The sooner you get into the building and get things opened up, the sooner you can get the District involved to figure out next steps.” This concept is something that the team learned first-hand, as John reminisces on one example where project teams opened a wall on a school project and discovered significant siding and structural issues that equated to about $100,000 worth of extra work.

Another option for project teams is to get into the building during a spring break or Christmas break period, which allows teams an early start to what they can tackle in terms of existing conditions, purchasing materials, getting a plan in place, and knowing who to contact. According to Stephen, the real key is what you can get done ahead of time, as “one week in advance is massive for a summer project when it is only 10 or 12 weeks long.”

” The safety part is really the toughest aspect on an occupied site when trying to make sure it accommodates the school and allows them to be operational.”

Construction Strategies When Spaces are Occupied

Elissa kicks off this topic by asking the team what changes in our strategies when a project can’t fit into a summer time frame and you must remodel a campus over the course of a school year. According to John, the biggest thing that changes is safety. “We know how to keep our workers safe, and we take it all seriously, but when it comes to having kids in your work area, it takes it to a whole other level,” he remarks. In one recent Perlo project, project teams put up barricades to cover demolition and used a material called ‘core ply’. Teachers ended up making murals on the material and, closer to the removal, Stephen came up with the idea of letting the kids in each class draw on it, as well. The goal for this innovative idea was to make the construction less intimidating for the students while still keeping them safe.

“The safety part is really the toughest aspect on an occupied site when trying to make sure it accommodates the school and allows them to be operational. The communication with the school to explain what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, what we need from them, and what they need from us is critical and is a challenge because of how many stakeholders we have,” explains Stephen.

With constantly changing expectations from the District, the general contractor, the school, the principal, and the facilities, there is always a constant struggle to find out who makes the final decisions.

What Makes K-12 Construction Different?

School buildings are constantly getting more sophisticated and complex. Each school has different bond objectives and requirements that come from funding sources, such as energy efficient or smart buildings, so there are many different systems in place that have to be cohesive. Elissa notes that it seems as though the districts have been working hard to standardize their processes for construction so that technology is centralized and processes are made more streamlined for future remodels.

Many schools are older buildings, so there are typically add-ons and renovations taking place. However, these are usually only done every 20 or 30 years, rather than more frequently. This means that improvements often haven’t been done for the duration of that time, and many facets of the building may be out of date or obsolete.

Building Schools to Stand the Test of Time

Schools must think about quality, as systems and materials must last 20 to 30 years. As a result, there is a bit more money spent upfront to make sure that the materials going into the buildings are high-quality, or else they won’t stand the test of hundreds of students every day. The goal is to make these buildings as flexible as possible, including taking innovative routes to make schools more secure and safe in the case of an unauthorized intruder.

Hard Bidding vs. Negotiating on K-12 Projects

At Perlo, w enjoy and encourage the CM/GC process. It allows for a stronger team aspect where everyone involved in the process is on board and there is ample time to look at everything upfront to make sure all facets of the project are correct.
From a school or community’s perspective, there are some advantages to a hard bid if it is a simple project. However, in the case of occupied schools, the CM/GC process has many more advantages, including:

  • Teams have the time to meet with the school to understand what their needs and challenges are.
  • There is an added benefit of project teams being able to do value engineering upfront, so the school doesn’t get blindsided by anything during construction.
  • There ends up being extra time and money to do more of what the stakeholders really want to do, such as painting the ceilings or adding tracks.

According to Drew, the communication piece is the biggest difference between a hard bid and a CM/GC process. If the team is involved early on and are attending coordination meetings with the users, design team, and facility maintenance, it is beneficial to hear what people’s needs are and what’s important to the different stakeholders to ensure the end result works for everyone and that project teams can deliver a high-quality project on time. If a CM/GC model is decided on and the contractor is brought on early, they are able to give advice on how to get the best value out of a project.

What You Need to Know About the Education Space

“These are always complicated projects. One of the items that is unique about schools is that often times there is a lot of emotions with the projects. Communities have ties to these buildings,” Drew states.

Drew also notes that these are complex projects with a lot of stakeholders. Overall, it can be more of a juggling act compared to a typical project. With a school, you’re working for the students, the staff, the custodial service, the District, and all of these different stakeholders that have ties to that building. It’s a constant juggle between making sure that everyone is heard but still being decisive and moving forward to get the project done.

Final Thoughts

Every school project is unique, with a different “recipe” for each. As focal points of the community, project teams must take innovative routes in order to deliver each project on time and on budget. Perlo is proud to contribute to our communities through our schools and understand the ever-evolving processes that make the end result so special.

“This is The Perlo Podcast. We talk construction – it’s people, it’s challenges, it’s opportunities. We talk to industry and trade experts, movers and shakers, and people who get buildings built right. Join us. You won’t regret it.”

For full episodes you can visit our YouTube page or search “The Perlo Podcast” wherever you get your podcasts.

Welcome back to the Perlo Podcast for Episode Five! Host Elissa Looney, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Perlo Construction, is joined by Kyncade Hardy, Superintendent, and Adam Smelley, Project Manager, on the site of True Terpenes, one of Perlo’s tenant improvements in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Elissa Looney
Podcast Host & Director of Strategic Initiatives
Adam Smelley
Project Manager
Kyncade Hardy
Project Superintendent

General Overview of True Terpenes

True Terpenes is a tenant improvement currently underway consisting of interior improvements in a 20,000 SF existing tilt-up building. The building interior, which had originally consisted of existing office space, was demolished to create the following:

  • A second-level mezzanine
  • Additional office spaces
  • Conference rooms
  • Manufacturing space complete with clean rooms and a warehouse

Kyncade Hardy, Perlo Superintendent on this project, notes that there are quite a few components to this tenant improvement, including a hazardous materials storage room with a concrete curb and steel barriers for chemical storage, as well as areas of the building with a Corrosion Resistant Coating (CRC) on the flooring to protect from the chemicals used for CBD production. In addition, this job required considerable HVAC and mechanical work for proper ventilation and air movement.

Adam Smelley, Perlo’s Project Manager on True Terpenes, remarks, “One of the unique things we’ve done is that we’ve maintained the general office area by adding a mezzanine area above that to amplify their office space.” In addition, the project team is also taking what was an existing warehouse from the previous tenant and modifying it for the current process rooms, complete with process piping and other production systems throughout.

Because the roof lacked the space necessary to store the building’s mechanical systems, concrete pads were added to the outside of the building as well as another second-level mezzanine. Kyncade states that this has been a great asset, as it has allowed them to avoid the risks and challenges that come along with opening roof structure in the winter.

The project, which kicked off in mid-November of last year, is expected to be completed in April of 2022.

Where True Terpenes is Today

This space has remained unoccupied for the majority of the work, along with being in the unique position of being procured through a negotiated strategy. This gave project teams the time to go over four rounds of budgeting before taking on the unique existing conditions. Adam states, “The client has been great to work with, and they were open to following our path on which is the best route to remedy the conditions and make this the right product for them.”

Kyncade describes the current conditions of True Terpenes as very close to completion. He describes that on one half of the interior, the office space area and mezzanine are in place, and the crews are currently finishing the drywall both upstairs and downstairs. On the other half, crews are finishing up the Fiberglass-Reinforced Polymer (FRP), a strong yet lightweight building material that resists corrosion, in the clean rooms. Electrical rough-in has been taking place in the clean rooms and manufacturing side, with ceilings ready to be installed in the area. It was crucial, especially with FRP, that project teams knew where certain facets of electrical work came into play. These factors, such as the location of outlets, are why project teams took multiple walks through the facility with the client to plan accordingly.

The mezzanine structure also contains a 4-inch concrete slab, which was initially intended to be stained concrete. In the end, the client decided to go with marmoleum flooring, which saved time on the job and helped maintain cleanliness on the jobsite. Elissa notes how stained concrete is a notoriously tricky item due to its intense requirements for maintenance to keep it looking nice. Although it might look great once it’s completed, it takes a lot of effort, coordination, and knowledge to maintain. “We love concrete as a company, but sometimes we look at these things and think that it may be safer to cover it up,” Adam states.

Regarding interior finishes in the building, the stairs leading up to the mezzanine will have a wood tread with the handrail around the mezzanine featuring a stainless-steel cable with a wood top rail to match the stair treads. In addition to a ceiling cloud over the office area, these features all come together for some truly unique and high-end finishes.

Final Thoughts
Like what you hear? Check out the full podcast to see a tour of this in-progress project.

Construction takes place in many locations, often without the general public present. However, many projects are completed in spaces where it’s not feasible to move occupants out while completing the work. When a space is occupied, unique challenges exist when it comes to getting work completed safely while minimizing any disruption in the health and productivity of the day-to-day occupants.

Today, we will look at the challenges presented when construction occurs in occupied spaces and tips for how to overcome them.


1. Maintaining Safety of Building Crews and Day-to-Day Users

Jobsite safety is always a top priority on construction sites. This priority increases when members of the general public will be or are expected to be nearby, and even more so if they’ll be occupying the same space as the construction crews.

Safety is established in a variety of ways, with most having a developed plan tailored specifically to each jobsite. Teams should consider all factors, including:

What is the location of the non-construction personnel?

  • Do any existing walls separate them, or will a temporary wall or barrier be needed?
  • Will work be occurring overhead? If so, what kind of protection must be erected?
  • Is there a chance that debris could reach occupants?

What age and demographic are nearby?

  • School aged-children or those with special needs may require extra precautions, such as hard-walled barriers.
  • Incarcerated or mentally ill occupants may need hard-walled barriers that are unable to be weaponized in any way.

Are the nearby occupants going to be the same people each day, or are they members of the general population that differ on a daily basis?

  • If occupants are in the space from day-to-day, more direct communication protocols can be established to determine entry points and walkways.
  • If the space is designated for public use, such as an airport, zoo, or other public building, extremely clear barriers and signage must be erected to communicate effectively with passers-by.

In addition to considering the people in the building, contractors must have plans in place to protect the existing building elements and equipment. Spaces that include food manufacturing or healthcare facilities will have additional protocols required to protect products and/or patients. In Mission Critical facilities, safety of the existing mechanical systems maintaining servers is paramount.

Attractive Nuisances

Avoiding disruption and maintaining safety often hinges on reducing attractive nuisances. An attractive nuisance is anything on the project that is both dangerous and enticing to children. Examples include, but are not limited to: heavy machinery, fence climbing, scaffolding, and construction materials or debris. Project signs ( i.e., No Trespassing) are not generally considered preventative measures. To minimize these attractive nuisances, project teams must:

  • Remove the hazard(s)
  • Discard construction debris on a daily, if not hourly, basis
  • Secure and obscure the hazard(s)
  • Lock heavy equipment doors and/or remove keys
  • Remove, store out of reach, or secure ladders
  • Provide locked enclosures around scaffolding/stair towers
  • Provide a fenced storage area for stored construction materials
  • Ensure fencing includes driven posts to prevent displacement
  • Consider opaque fence fabric along public areas

While production and quality are near the top of the priority list for every construction company, the safety of workers and occupants is the most important of them all. Great consideration should always be given to this topic to ensure that at the end of the day, workers and occupants all return home safely.

2. Minimizing Noise, Dust and Odors

Construction is inherently dirty, with saw-cutting and demolition procedures often generating dust and debris, activities such as paint and carpet installation generating odors, and more. Occupants are understandably averse to experiencing the effects of noise, dust and odor, requiring contractors to find ways to prevent these factors from affecting building users.

With special care, the noise, dust and debris can be minimized. Some strategies may include:

Minimizing Dust

  • Use wet-saw techniques and vacuums
  • Enclose areas of demolition
  • Utilize floor sweep products
  • Cover vents with filters
  • Utilize mechanical air scrubbers

Minimizing Noise

  • Schedule noisy activities for unoccupied hours
  • Utilize hand tools in lieu of power tools
  • Complete pre-fabrication efforts off-site and assemble onsite
  • Schedule work windows where noise is allowed, accepted, and has been communicated with building users
  • Utilize prefabricated wall systems such as Dirtt

Minimizing Odors

  • Utilize Low or No VOC products
  • Utilize charcoal filters on mechanical systems
  • Install negative air machines with air exhaust to the outdoors

A failure to prevent dust, noise and odor from interrupting building users can be inconvenient at best, and dangerous at worst. Containment of contaminants is vital in locations such as hospitals and other medical facilities. In office or school settings, dust, noise or odor can cause headaches or other symptoms, forcing lost work time by occupants in addition to inconvenience and possible pain.

3. Developing Effective Phases and Schedules

Safety, health and productivity are all optimized with proper planning. This includes phasing work areas, staging prep space, and creating effective schedules that account for maximizing work while minimizing disruption to occupants. Phasing plans and work schedules all tie into the larger site logistics strategy for a given project.

A variety of factors will play into this planning, including, but not limited to:

  • Building work hours and occupancy levels
  • The location of the construction work relative to occupants
  • The complexity of the work:
    • Can the work be completed in a single shift? Or must it be completed in multiple shifts over time?
    • Will the work disrupt utilities that serve the building?
    • Will the work take place directly above or around occupants?
    • How much labor is required to complete the work?

As the saying goes, ‘Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance’. Planning for phasing and scheduling of the work is critical to maintain safety and productivity in occupied spaces.

4. Minimizing Utility Interruptions

A significant challenge when completing construction work in occupied spaces relates to modifying utility services such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical and fire protection systems, as well as security and low voltage. Let’s look at some examples of modifications to those systems and the simplified ways to minimize interruptions to existing operations:

Upgrade electrical service to add capacity.
This process requires shutting down the building power to add the new capacity to the system. Some options for minimizing the interruption might include:

  • Preparing prior to a shutdown by coordinating an optimal time, usually off-hours. This shut down must be coordinated with, at minimum, the building occupants and owners/manager, the electrical utility company, and security company. 
  • Utilizing a temporary generator to maintain power to the building while the shutdown occurs.

Modify the fire protection system to add or remove sprinkler heads:

  • Notify the fire alarm company to put the alarm system in ‘test’ mode during the work.
  • Utilize personnel for temporary fire watch while the system is shut down.

There are many examples of means of minimizing interruptions during utility modifications. The most important steps in the process include extensive communication with all affected parties. These entities include the building occupants, ownership and/or management company, the utility company(ies) involved, all associated alarm companies and trade partners.

With extensive communication, the best path forward can be identified and implemented.

5. Coordination of Staging Areas and Materials Storage

In today’s tumultuous climate of long lead items and procurement challenges due to supply chain constraints, it’s more important than ever to ensure materials are procured on time to meet the schedule for the work. This may mean ordering materials earlier than previously required, and in turn, having a place to store them. The most ideal location is onsite to simplify logistics, but site constraints may prohibit this as an option.

Part of the preconstruction planning process for any project includes looking at the timing for materials procurement and where to store them upon arrival. The size and availability of space on a given site determines how much material can be staged in that location. When a building or space is occupied by the public, the options for storage are often more limited than on a vacant site. It’s not ideal for materials to be moved multiple times, so it may be more conducive to store them offsite and bring them to the job on a just-in-time basis.

As with all aspects of the site, planning for the storage and staging of materials must be done in conjunction with the building users to minimize the impact to their operations.

Final Thoughts

Proper planning is the key to solving all challenges related to occupied space construction. With proper planning, any challenges that arise during the work can be optimally navigated and solved in a manner that minimizes delays and interruption to building occupants.

Our teams are knowledgeable about the challenges involved in completing work in occupied spaces. If you’re considering a project, get in touch with us to discuss your options.

Perlo is well known for our industrial portfolio and larger projects across the Pacific Northwest. However, a lesser-known but important part of our business includes tenant improvements and repairs by our Special Projects Group (SPG) team. What started off as small department focused on helping existing clients with minor building repairs has grown into a multi-million-dollar business, and a crucial part of our fabric that allows us to truly service the full lifecycle of our clients’ businesses. Our Special Projects Group will complete nearly $20 million in small projects in 2021 alone, ranging in value from a few hundred dollars to several million.

Today, we’ll look back at several of Perlo’s tenant improvement projects completed this year. 


Nuna Baby TI

This two-story tenant improvement included 13,000 SF of upgraded space, including offices, an employee fitness room, warehouse upgrades and restrooms, as well as the installation of a new elevator. The mezzanine space required new footings, steel columns and brace frames. The finishes for this project included raised shaker-style cabinet doors with custom colors in the kitchen, a butane-fueled fireplace in the break room, custom wall paneling and ceiling tiles, and a living plant wall in the entryway.

The open-to-structure ceiling and large windows installed between the office and warehouse on both levels to view production yielded a unique, modern-industrial feel. In addition to the unique finishes, the team coordinated closely with the tenant’s IT team, which attended nearly every weekly meeting. The project included a robust server room with a raised floor, Liebert cooling system and a specialty Novec Clean Agent fire protection system.

Nuna Baby occupied a core and shell space that Perlo initially constructed. With a 6-month schedule duration for the TI and a completion date of June 30th for a grand opening celebration, the team was challenged by delays in permitting due to COVID protocols in the city. Perlo Project Superintendent, Brent Schmitz, maintained his relationships with the local building inspectors to move forward with some elements of construction ahead of permit issuance. While the permit was delayed by approximately two months, our team was able to make up about one full month of time and finish by the desired completion date.

Additional project challenges included phasing the work to achieve a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy so that the tenant could occupy the fitness area and warehouse while the remainder of the work took place. Our team successfully navigated the warehouse traffic, including racking installation, forklift operators, and other activities throughout construction.  

Perlo’s crews self-performed a variety of elements, including:

  • Concrete footings
  • Doors, frames and hardware installation
  • Miscellaneous accessories installation, including art and décor
  • Miscellaneous wood framing

Perlo’s relationship with Nuna Baby continues as they look forward to expanding into the remainder of this building and an additional building located next door. 

As Project Manager, Nick David says,

“We really built up a trusting relationship with the owners and tenant. All sides maintained great communications, and they trusted us to build it right. There were changes on the fly that required us to be flexible, and the collaboration and trust amongst all team members really made it all work.”

Perlo Team

Chris McInroe | Project Director

Jeff Hankins | Senior Project Manager

Nick David | Project Engineer

Brent Schmitz | Superintendent

Kathy Ohannessian | APM

BOGS Footwear TI and Spec Suite 125 at Custom Blocks

These two tenant improvements started in July of 2021 and completed the interior build-out of the Custom Blocks space in Portland, Oregon. Comprising of BOGS footwear and an additional speculative space, the two projects were done in just ten weeks and aimed for finishes that achieved a clean, industrial-modern look. With polished concrete floors, a wood base, exposed wood-structure ceiling, and white Timely frames with wood doors, the BOGS TI included approximately 100 lineal feet of custom wood and steel shelves made from vertically laminated 2 x 4’s.

The build-out also included:

  • Four (4) private offices
  • One (1) conference room
  • A break room
  • A large open office area
  • Collaboration spaces

While both projects were relatively smooth, material lead times were a significant challenge. With a short project duration, lead times of eight weeks on materials such as glass, doors, frames, and appliances were critical. To prevent delays on the glass, the team worked with the frame and glazing suppliers to custom order each piece to match in lieu of the standard field measure following frame installation. Appliances had an eight-week lead time, but along with much of the United States, shipping delays caused these to be delivered even later than expected. 

Perlo has now completed five (5) tenant improvements within this building, including the Roundhouse TI, Mahlum TI, SAXX TI, and finishing with the BOGS and Spec Suite TI’s.  Prior to these tenant improvements, the building was used as a stamping mill. The owner has maintained many unique features that demonstrate the building’s history within their renovations.

Senior Manager of Special Projects Group, Jeff Hankins, noted that,

“the respect for the history of the building and the components that the owners chose to leave was neat to see. We really enjoyed how unique these projects turned out, even though the build-outs were relatively simple.”

Perlo Team

Jeff Hankins | Senior Project Manager

Brent Schmitz | Superintendent

McKayla Marshall | APM

Salem MAT Clinic TI

This renovation project created an updated drug treatment clinic for the Salem area, owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) clinic was constructed in a building with neighboring tenants occupying the second floor, and our teams successfully maintained their functionality throughout construction.

The project included new exam rooms, a welcoming reception area, childcare space, and counseling rooms. To complete this work, construction teams completed soft demolition, interior wall construction, flooring and paint, and a new pharmacy space. Additional work included reconfigured zoning for the mechanical system to maximize existing rooftop units. The project also included an extensive security system with special attention to the pharmacy and entrance/exit.

Particular care was taken to work with all of the regulatory agencies that oversee clinics such as these. They include:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Oregon Health Authority (OHA)
  • United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Our construction teams have worked on several projects for the tribes over the last few years and continue to provide pricing feedback for future projects.

Perlo teams self-performed the following scopes:

  • Soft demolition
  • Concrete pour back
  • Miscellaneous accessories installation
  • Doors, frames, and hardware installation

Of these projects, Project Manager Taylor Regier noted,

“The services these clinics provide to the communities around them are critical. With the restrictions on zoning for where these can be placed in relation to neighborhood schools and daycares, the tribe has spent a significant amount of time picking their locations and putting thought into how best to serve the community with each one.”   

Perlo Team

Taylor Regier | Project Manager

Christian Rohr | Superintendent

Kayla Davis | APM

Special Project Group Roof Repair & Awning Collapse Projects

The Winter Storm of February 2021 rocked the Portland Metro area, knocking down trees and cutting off power to tens of thousands of residents for a week or more. The accumulation of snow wreaked havoc on many residential and commercial buildings as the snow load stressed building members beyond their limits.

Our Special Projects Group is available 24/7 for emergencies of this nature. Our trusted group of engineering consultants and subcontractors help us to move quickly, efficiently, and safely in instances such as these. Perlo was called upon to help repair many businesses across the region, engaging in temporary shoring and protection measures to minimize damage and prevent further collapse, as well as rebuilding efforts to make these structures whole.

Here’s a snapshot of the work we completed to restore these snow-laden buildings back to full occupancy:

Les Schwab, Powell Boulevard

The existing roof collapsed over the service bay. To repair and re-construct this building, our teams installed CMU bracing on the rear wall to stabilize the building and remove all damaged materials. We then built a new shear wall to stabilize the showroom, which allowed Les Schwab to re-open and resume operations at about 30% capacity. Temporary power was pulled from the alignment bay building next door to power the showroom, as the damage cut the power to this area. PGE has now provided temporary service so that both buildings can be operating at full capacity.

Due to lead times of materials, the team re-designed the structure for wood trusses in lieu of steel trusses. Perlo is currently leading the coordination of the design and permitting processes in conjunction with architects at Mackenzie to get approval for the rebuild. This project is still underway at this time.

Project Manager, Caitlin Nault, said that, ”the local teams and design team, as well as the corporate Les Schwab teams, have all been really engaged and helpful in moving this project forward.”

Perlo Team

Caitlin Nault, Project Manager
Bryan Esler, Superintendent
Tyler Broderick, Foreman
Kathy Ohannessian, APM

Les Schwab, Sandy Boulevard

Existing building leaks combined with the snowstorm compromised the back wall of the alignment bay, spurring our teams to install shoring for temporary safety. Along with VLMK Engineering + Design, a new replacement structure was designed and installed to replace the facility’s roof joists and rear wall. Additionally, the entire building was re-roofed as part of this effort. Les Schwab was able to remain operational for the duration of construction.

Perlo Team

Caitlin Nault, Project Manager
Bryan Esler, Superintendent
Kathy Ohannessian, APM

Les Schwab, Clackamas

The awning at this facility collapsed under the snow load. Perlo removed the damaged structure, furnished and installed a new awning, repaired paint to match existing, updated the signage anchorage, and re-installed the building signage.

Perlo Team

Caitlin Nault, Project Manager
Tyler Broderick, Foreman
Kathy Ohannessian, APM

Gresham Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Roof Repair

With significant damage to their existing building, our teams mobilized in response to more than 11,000 SF of collapsed roof structure. Initial work included safely removing the collapsed structure, fixing damaged Repair Shop equipment and finishes, as well as building a new temporary shear wall and connecting temporary power so that the building could be partially re-opened for business.

Designs took place and construction began to rebuild the removed building sections with new wood trusses, built-up roofing, rebuilding the electrical room, compressor room and tool room. The scope included all new electrical, air and oil distribution, a new vehicle exhaust system, epoxy floor coating, Service Write-up Area finishes, and power to new lifts.

Perlo Team

Kathleen Buono, Senior Project Manager
Steve Dusenberry, Superintendent
Darrell March, Superintendent
Kayla Davis, APM

NWIC Building 1

Built in 1967 with cantilevered glulam beams, the snow load caused one (1) curved glulam beam to fail. Earthquake strapping prevented complete failure and further damage. With significant electrical conduit and fire sprinkler piping running underneath the glulam beam, options to repair were not simple. With help from Mackenzie., an approach utilizing sections of steel channel spliced together once in place was developed.

This method required steel fabrication with curved steel to match the beam, jacking the broken section of the glulam beam into place and securing it with lag screws to act as blocking for the steel channels. A 25’ x 25’ section of roofing was replaced at the broken glulam section and tied into the existing to seal up the envelope.

Perlo Team

Russell Emmerson, Project Manager
Ray Caswell, Superintendent
Kayla Davis, APM

GrayBar Roof Collapse

This project consisted of the replacement of approximately 5,000 SF of the roof structure and associated lighting and roofing due to collapse under the snow load. Additionally, one (1) column and footing were found to have settled significantly under the weight of the snow.

Perlo Team

Nick David, Project Manager
Tracy Robinson, Superintendent – demo
Mark Helling, Superintendent – construction
Brooke Hazel, APM

Final Thoughts

Stay tuned for next week, when we look back at more of our completed in 2021 projects!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 128 people die in the United States every day as a result of an opioid overdose.  Locations like the Medically Assisted Drug Treatment (MAT) Clinic recently completed in Salem, Oregon is one location that helps to fight the opioid crisis by providing addiction counseling and services to the community.  

Recently completed by Perlo and PKA Architects, the Salem MAT Clinic renovation was a 6,000 SF tenant improvement in an existing building that included the construction of a new pharmacy, as well as multiple exam rooms, counseling rooms, staff break areas, dosing rooms, a lab/nurse station and patient waiting rooms.  The new space will operate as a rehabilitation clinic for patients with opioid addiction. Owned by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, this community service-based clinic included mostly standard construction elements, with many regulatory concerns to work through. 

With a 3-month construction duration, the longest leg of the project was the preconstruction phase, as Perlo worked with the ownership teams for more than a year to help identify, budget for and gain approval on the build-out in this space.  Rehabilitation clinics require extensive review by a variety of regulatory agencies, and this unique factor tends to make the preconstruction process much longer than the actual construction. 

Today we will explore a little more about what went into the clinic, the agencies involved in review and unique construction elements of this kind of facility. 


Construction Elements for Rehabilitation Clinics

Much of the construction work on this project was relatively standard, with items like casework, paint, VCT flooring and the demolition and addition of walls. Some unique items included the following for additional safety and security:

  • New and existing walls had stricter sound rating requirements for privacy concerns.
  • Pharmacy walls are full height and reinforced for security. 
  • Pharmacy security protocols included security window film and roll-down gates at window enclosures.
  • An extensive security system with alarms and cameras in all possible locations.
  • All building and furniture elements are secured and unable to be lifted, thrown or otherwise used as a weapon.
  • Backup power beyond normal egress requirements was installed to provide at least 4 hours of power in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, our teams engaged in selective demolition and re-routed existing ductwork for the new layout.  Existing roof-top units (RTU’s) were able to be used for the new layout. This particular space also included some new underground plumbing, installation of a new split system and a full refresh of all finishes. 

Regulatory Agencies for Rehabilitation Clinics

Rehabilitation centers such as this one are regulated by a variety of jurisdictions in addition to the local city or county governments. Application and approval processes and/or inspections were completed by the following agencies in addition to the local building department:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Oregon Health Authority (OHA)
  • United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Each one of these regulators govern various facets of the project. The CARF and SAMHSA approvals are applied for during the design phase and requires the floor plan, location and a rough schedule outline be completed before applying.  The DEA and OHA regulators are more concerned with the actual construction work and those reviews take place during and post-construction.

While the owner was largely completing the day-to-day interactions and approval processes with each of these regulators, the construction timing had to be planned well in advance so that onsite inspections could take place.  These agencies often set inspection dates months in advance of their site visits, so maintaining the construction schedule was critical for keeping the approval processes on track for each regulatory agency.

In addition to the known regulations that each of these agencies required, the site inspectors had the power to issue additional changes during their visits. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was common to have preconstruction walk-throughs with these agencies, but current operations make that option far more limited.  With this in mind, it was critical for the design and construction teams to be well aware of the requirements of each agency and include those in the construction documents to minimize any re-work or schedule delays.

A Team Effort from Preconstruction to Closeout

The ownership, design and construction teams spent considerable time searching for the right space to place the Salem MAT Clinic.  Regulatory agencies have strict requirements for locations of rehabilitation clinics in terms of proximity to schools and daycares, as well as requirements for access to public transportation.  These guidelines reduce the quantity of real estate options available to the operator and makes finding an ideal location that isn’t cost prohibitive the first puzzle to solve.

Beyond finding and identifying the physical location, preconstruction efforts included several rounds of budgets and backchecking with the various agencies for approval of the design. With the many agencies involved, close communication between all parties during both preconstruction and construction was paramount.

The coordination with the security vendor was one of the most important pieces of the construction and closeout process.  Compared to normal renovation projects, this clinic required significantly more work than normal to plan and install security systems and coordinate with the vendor for the transition to regular monitoring.  With proper pre-planning, this system was installed without interruption. 

In addition to the work related to the tenant improvement space, the building itself had a second-floor tenant that remained operational during construction.  There are future plans for that tenant to vacate the building, and an expansion of the Salem MAT clinic will take place at that time.  With future planning in mind, the current space was designed to easily expand into the other areas of the building while still allowing for secure separation between spaces during construction and for future uses. 

Final Thoughts

The Perlo team was grateful to have the opportunity to complete the Salem MAT Clinic with the Grand Ronde tribe and PKA Architects.  From start to finish, the group was collaborative, thoughtful in their planning and above all, great to work with. We support their mission and service to the Salem community in supporting those recovering from opioid addiction.

Perlo engages in a wide variety of healthcare projects and is happy to help with clinics such as this one. If you have an upcoming project, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our teams here

Addiction Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help available.
Please visit https://findtreatment.gov/ or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

We have come to the final week of our Year in Review series! Last but certainly not least, we’re focusing today’s blog on the work completed in 2020 by our Special Projects Group (SPG). This team has completed more than 33 tenant improvements this year, in addition to 55 smaller service repairs, with projects ranging from just $665.00 to $3.1 million. With a focus on TI’s and small repairs and maintenance items, our SPG team responds to all things building related to serve clients long after their buildings are finished, and frequently completes remodels or new build-outs in existing spaces.

Some of the types of work our SPG team tackled this year included:

• Four educational projects
• Six exterior wall repairs caused by vehicles – and one from a train!
• Various door and window repairs
• Parking lot modifications

  • Concrete footings and equipment pads
  • New and remodeled clean rooms
  • Adding dock pits and overhead doors to existing buildings
  • Full tenant improvements

For more details, let’s dive into some of the tenant improvements that were completed this year:

Dealer Spike Water Damage Repairs | Wilsonville, OR

The Dealer Spike water repairs project was the unfortunate result of the break in an existing 8” sprinkler main, which flooded the majority of the 44,000 SF space that Perlo remodeled in early 2018. Perlo responded along with Harbro, now known as BluSky, to evaluate the damage. BluSky provided the immediate efforts to remove the water and dry out the space, and Perlo then provided all of the restoration work after negotiations with the insurance company were completed.

This modern, suburban office space required drywall repairs, restroom repairs, and new carpet and paint.  In addition, the space included significant modular furniture that had to be considered in the planning to rebuild the space while it was fully occupied.  All finishes were repaired or replaced to match those installed during the original tenant improvement. 


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff of Dealer Spike relocated to remote office conditions, which allowed Perlo to condense the schedule for repairs into a single phase.  This saved the owner both time and money.  The project team had to spend time planning and executing the work while maintaining strict safety protocols for cleanliness and social distancing, however, to reduce any spread of the virus.

Work was completed well ahead of schedule and is now back to its original, beautiful condition.  While we are sorry that the owner had to deal with such a catastrophe, we were happy to lend a hand in their time of need.  Our Special Projects Group specializes in just this kind of thing and is available to respond at a moment’s notice.   

Owner
Dealer Spike

Perlo Team
Jeff Hankins
Ted Hill
Kathy Ohannessian


High Tech Lab Client Tenant Improvement | Tualatin, OR

The project included interior tenant improvements of approximately 12,113 SF on the third floor and 25,015 SF on the fourth floor of an existing office building in Tualatin, Oregon. Work included new private offices, open office areas, conference rooms, break rooms, a lounge and café area, new casework and finishes throughout. These spaces have been vacant shells for the 10+ years since the building was constructed.

The COVID-19 virus posed several challenges to the project due to the nature of the work in an interior space and social distancing requirements. In addition, we discovered undulation of the existing slab, which we mitigated by modifying relite frames, drywall and paint, among other efforts. The original design for the grease interceptor was to mount them under the 4th floor slab on deck, but Perlo and the plumbing contractor were able to provide cost savings with an alternate grease interceptor design that kept these above the deck.

Near the end of the project, as Perlo continued to gain the owners trust and confidence, Perlo was awarded the interior and exterior signage packages. In addition, Perlo was awarded the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Crosswalk project, where Perlo has assumed the design/build work to install lighting along the pathway from their main campus to this remote office less than a mile away.

Our teams very much enjoyed working through these projects with the owner and were happy to deliver the work on time in spite of the challenges that COVID presented.

Owner
Confidential

Architect
Mackenzie

Perlo Team
Nick David
Will Fowler
Kathy Ohannessian


Coremark Tenant Improvement | Clackamas, OR

This project for CoreMark included the buildout of three new office spaces in two buildings with the following square footages and scopes:

Building A – Southwest office: 2,720 SF
New office space, two new restrooms and a trucker lounge.

Building A – Southeast office: 10,200 SF first floor and 3,060 SF second floor mezzanine.

First floor office space and a second floor mezzanine with a main office, large breakroom, open office space, four large new restrooms and three conference rooms.

Building B
Upgraded electrical service, new fencing and access control, as well as installation of 16 new dock pits.

Completing these improvements began concurrently with both the COVID-19 virus and the wildfires that threatened much of Clackamas County. The work had to be shut down for various timeframes due to these events. Our team has worked hard to overcome these challenges and accommodate extensive tenant changes to the scope along the way.

Owner
Trammell Crow

Architect
Mackenzie

Perlo Team
Caitlin Nault
Derek Diaz
David Pillster
Kathy Ohannessian


Nasco Tenant Improvement | Gresham, OR

The Nasco TI was a 53,750 SF warehouse and office build out that included three new private offices and a conference room, new electrical distribution for work stations, revised lighting for racking systems, a 1,650 SF high-piled aerosol storage cage, six dock pit packages and eight battery charging stations.

Time was of the essence to complete this work, as the tenant needed a quick turnover timeline. To expedite long lead times, we split the delivery of the dock pit packages for a faster installation. Finally, we were able to negotiate a temporary certificate of occupancy for the tenant to occupy a large storage area within the building so they could move materials to the new space ahead of the full building completion.

Owner
Exeter Property Group

Architect
Mildren Design Group

Perlo Team
Kathleen Buono
Will Fowler
Kathy Ohannessian


XPO Tenant Improvement | Gresham, OR

This 84,341 SF warehouse tenant improvement in Gresham included all new electrical distribution for work stations, two HVLS fans, an IT room, four dock pits with air-powered levelers, seals, bumpers, dock light/fan combinations and restraints, and two battery charging stations.

The tenant challenged our team to expedite the work into a schedule of less than 8 weeks. Changing suppliers was required for the dock pits and HVLS fans in order to meet the new deadline. In spite of these and the air quality challenges that resulted in non-working days due to the local wildfires, the team rallied to complete the work one full week ahead of the accelerated schedule deadline.

Owner
Exeter Property Group

Architect
Mildren Design Group

Perlo Team
Kathleen Buono
Brian Essler
Kathy Ohannessian


Grocery Outlet & NW Fad Tenant Improvements | Ridgefield, WA

A warehouse in Ridgefield, Washington recently constructed by Perlo was demised into three spaces for tenants.  An existing tenant occupied one space, and Perlo engaged to finish the final two for Grocery Outlet and NW Fad.  Construction included two new demising walls and two full office build-outs, complete with all new restrooms, break rooms, offices and MEP systems to support each space. Restrooms to serve the warehouse and dock pits were also added to both spaces. 

Owner
Trimaco

Architect
Mackenzie Architects

Perlo Team
Caitlin Nault
Tyler Broderick
Kathy Ohannessian

These projects ran smoothly and were near completion when the COVID-19 virus shut construction down in Washington State. This caused delays in getting final certificates of occupancy, although our teams were able to achieve a temporary certificate of occupancy so that the tenants could install their racking and begin moving inventory into their spaces.

In closing, it’s important to note that our SPG team is ready to help businesses re-open post COVID with additional safety measures in place to encourage health and wellness.  Check out our Office Resource Guide for more information or take a look at a few of the previous tenant improvements our SPG team has completed.

This wraps up our blog posts for the year 2020.  We wish you all happy holidays, and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

When a tree falls through your roof or a train drives through your building, who are you going to call? What if you just need a small renovation?

At Perlo, these situations fall to the Special Projects Group (SPG) and yes, those are real examples! The SPG began in 2009 with Elissa Looney and just one field carpenter. Since then, the group has become a significant part of the Perlo team.

There are now four dedicated project managers, six superintendents and many others who are pulled in on an as-needed basis for projects. The SPG exists as a resource for owners, tenants and property managers. The goal is to respond to any warranty issues as quickly as possible and to ensure we’re taking care of our clients across ALL of their construction needs. No job is too small!

The SPG encapsulates the Perlo Way: working hard and always doing what’s right.

Who are the SPG?

With their fully-equipped vans, SPG superintendents stand ready to respond in times of need. Small repairs are often taken care of on-the-spot, while larger jobs are assessed and teams deployed as soon as possible.

The SPG are a tight-knit team. They’re often finding creative ways to solve problems and assign projects based on the skills of individual team members. Variety is the norm for them – you can find them attending to projects large or small.

SPG superintendents are multi-disciplined experts. They may be managing several projects at once, including coordinating with subcontractors. SPG superintendents are adept time-managers and have great, practical skills of their own. An SPG superintendent might be found installing accessories, fixing a door, putting in drywall or building schedules for bigger jobs.

What does the SPG do?

The SPG focuses on tenant improvements, renovation and repairs. This includes projects like emergency situations (for which Perlo has a special phone line for after-hours calls) as well as for less urgent needs such as a “fluff and buff” to update flooring and paint for a new tenant.

It’s important to Perlo that clients know the company is there for them. It doesn’t matter if the project seems small, Perlo always wants to see it done right! “I always say that I want Perlo to be someone’s first call when a building issue arises,” shares Jeff Hankins, the Senior Manager of SPG. “If we can’t complete the work ourselves, I’m happy to refer them to someone who can.”

The SPG team has done everything from major repairs to referring high-quality subcontractors to complete flooring or storefronts. With a $250 minimum project size, and larger projects running to $3 million or more, the SPG means it when they ask clients to call at any time. Here are some examples of how the SPG team has helped out.


VLMK Engineering + Design

VLMK Engineering has a unique, vintage building in Southwest Portland. When a 100-year-old oak came crashing through their roof, it caused severe damage.

The SPG received the call early on a Sunday and promptly arrived to install temporary shoring and prevent further damage. To add even more urgency to the situation, a major storm was forecast over the next few days. The SPG worked hard to install a temporary roof structure prior to snow arriving, followed by a complex replacement of the original tectum roof.

Water intrusion from the tree damage meant that the team also had to redo the finishes on all of the second floor and much of the first. The renovation was completed, while protecting the existing terrazzo floors and vintage windows.

Portland French Bakery

The Portland French bakery had a tricky problem: their wood roof deck was significantly damaged, requiring a whole new roof. However, the bakery still needed to be able to operate safely and make their delicious products throughout the project.

Enter the SPG. Through careful planning and management, they split the roof project across two summers, while ensuring that food safety would remain throughout production. While they were at it, they gave the exterior a refresh and upgraded the building’s mechanical systems.

This is a great example of how the SPG works to manage complex client needs. Many commercial businesses need to be able to use their buildings throughout construction projects, so the SPG finds ways to make it work. Occupied construction requires extra levels of detail, planning and care; including noise, dust, safety and timing. The SPG are accustomed to working quickly and efficiently!

Mahlum Architects

Mahlum Architects set the Living Building Challenge in their sights when it came time to renovate an existing warehouse for their office needs. They targeted the “materials petal,” the part of the challenge that demonstrates low-carbon and low-impact in terms of building materials.

The SPG was called in to do the construction work on the project, using specified eco-friendly materials, with a focus on minimizing waste. Working with Mahlum’s project team, close to 95% of waste materials generated onsite were recycled. The result is Portland, Oregon’s first Living Building Challenge-certified project.


Building Modifications for COVID-19

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and organizations that are continuing to operate — or looking to re-open — have needed to adapt to different operational needs. The SPG has been there to help, completing a variety of projects to modify buildings to account for these needs.

The team has come in to take care of modifications such as touchless door openers, including automatic or foot-opened doors; installation of hand sanitizer dispensers; installation of plexiglass dividers; additional trash cans; and new signage. The SPG is also available to manage entire touchless systems, including faucets and towel dispensers. Several companies are taking advantage of this time to make permanent changes that will satisfy health and hygiene needs into the future.

No job is too small…

The SPG would like to encourage companies to call any time they need a repair, renovation or tenant improvement work done. At Perlo, “doing the right thing” includes ensuring that the right people come to do the job. The SPG will always assess the project requirements. If the project falls outside of the SPG’s scope, the team will readily refer companies to our list of vetted, reliable subcontractors. Find out more about the SPG or get in touch with us at spg@perlo.biz.