Embarking on a commercial tenant improvement project can be an exhilarating endeavor, promising to breathe new life into a space and elevate your business operations. However, beneath the surface of excitement lies a complex web of considerations and potential challenges. As any seasoned project manager knows, unforeseen obstacles often arise, threatening to derail timelines and budgets.

For many business owners, the world of renovations can feel like uncharted territory. While they may possess a clear vision for their space, they may not be fully equipped with the industry insights and expertise necessary to navigate the intricacies of a successful project. This knowledge gap can lead to delays and missed opportunities for optimization. In the realm of commercial tenant improvements, two critical factors reign supreme: schedule and budget. Yet, maintaining control over these pillars requires more than just wishful thinking. It demands the guidance of a skilled general contractor who can seamlessly orchestrate every aspect of the project, from inception to completion.

To shed light on the essential questions every business owner should consider before starting a commercial tenant improvement, we turn to our field experts that regularly work on tenant improvements of all shapes and sizes. Join us as we delve into the key inquiries that lay the foundation for a seamless and successful renovation endeavor.

Do you have an architect or engineer, yet?

Engaging an architect or engineer early in the tenant improvement process is essential for developing detailed plans and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations. These professionals bring expertise in design and structural integrity, laying the foundation for a successful construction project. While some general contractors offer in-house design teams, most work hand-in-hand with outside agencies. This partnership is essential to creating accurate, functional blueprints for the construction teams.

Example:
Imagine you’re renovating an office space and wish to hang large, framed photos and several designer light fixtures. By incorporating an architect or engineer early on, they can help you not only create the best layout, they can also offer industry insight for pricing, confirm the products are hung according to code, and ensure your design falls within the property managers guidelines.

Do you have permits started or scheduled?

Securing permits is a critical step in the commercial tenant improvement process, as it ensures compliance with local regulations and building codes. In most cases, construction can’t even begin without proper permits or city notices. If these aren’t secured early on in the process, construction activities may be halted or delayed in the future, leading to costly disruptions and legal consequences.

Example:
Consider a scenario where you’re renovating a retail storefront to create a more inviting shopping environment. Without obtaining permits for exterior modifications or signage, you risk fines or enforcement actions from local authorities. By scheduling permits early in the project timeline and ensuring all necessary approvals are obtained, you can proceed with construction confidently and avoid unnecessary delays.

Do you have an approved budget?

Having an approved budget is essential for managing costs and ensuring that the tenant improvement project remains financially viable. By establishing a clear budget upfront, project managers can make informed decisions about resource allocation, prioritize expenditures, and identify cost-saving opportunities to maximize the project’s return on investment.

Example:
Consider a scenario where you’re renovating a retail space to launch a new product line. With an approved budget in place, you can allocate funds for marketing initiatives, store fixtures, and inventory procurement while maintaining profitability targets. By closely monitoring expenses and adjusting plans as needed, you can ensure that the project stays within budget constraints and delivers the desired outcomes.

Do you have a pre-construction plan or schedule?

Developing a pre-construction plan or schedule provides a roadmap for executing the tenant improvement project efficiently. This includes identifying key milestones, allocating resources, and establishing timelines for each phase of construction, ensuring that the project stays on track and within budget.

Example:
Suppose you’re upgrading a commercial kitchen to meet new health and safety standards. A pre-construction plan outlines tasks such as equipment procurement, plumbing upgrades, and installation of ventilation systems, along with corresponding timelines and dependencies. By adhering to the plan and closely monitoring progress, you can minimize disruptions and deliver the project on time.

How long will it take to get products?

Knowing the lead time for procuring necessary products is crucial for project planning and scheduling. Delays in product delivery can significantly impact the overall timeline of the project and cause costly delays down the line. By understanding the lead time upfront, project managers can coordinate with suppliers and ensure timely delivery of materials as well as properly schedule future phasing. Alternatively, suggestions for like materials with shorter order timelines might be suggested.

Example:
Suppose you’re renovating a restaurant space and need custom furniture and fixtures to enhance the dining experience. If the lead time for these items is several weeks, it’s essential to factor this into the project schedule to avoid delaying the grand opening. By coordinating with suppliers early on and expediting the procurement process, if necessary, you can ensure that the project stays on track and meets deadlines.

Are there any preferred milestone dates crews should be aware of?

Identifying preferred milestone dates allows project teams to align their efforts and resources effectively to meet key deadlines. This ensures that critical project milestones are achieved on time, minimizing delays and ensuring smooth progress throughout the construction process.

Example:
Imagine you’re renovating a hotel lobby to coincide with the start of the tourist season. Identifying milestone dates such as the completion of the reception area or installation of decorative features allows the construction team to prioritize tasks accordingly. By meeting these milestones, you can ensure that the hotel is ready to welcome guests as planned, maximizing revenue opportunities.

Are there any sustainable certifications you want to pursue?

Integrating sustainable design principles and pursuing green building certifications can enhance the environmental performance and long-term value of your commercial space. By identifying sustainability goals early in the project, you can incorporate eco-friendly features and practices that reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and improve indoor air quality.

Example:
Suppose your commercial tenant improvement including renovating an office building and aiming to achieve LEED certification to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Incorporating features such as energy-efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and recycled materials can help you meet LEED requirements while reducing operating costs and enhancing occupant comfort. By prioritizing sustainability initiatives, you can create a healthier, more resilient workspace that benefits both the environment and your bottom line.

Are there any scopes the owner will take on themselves?

Clarifying which scopes of work the owner will undertake directly helps to streamline the construction process and avoid misunderstandings or duplicative efforts. By delineating responsibilities upfront, project teams can coordinate more effectively, minimize conflicts, and expedite project delivery.

Example:
Suppose you’re renovating a commercial space to accommodate a new tenant’s requirements. If the owner plans to handle interior design and furnishing independently, it’s essential to communicate these intentions clearly to the construction team. This allows contractors to focus on tasks such as structural modifications and MEP installations, while the owner oversees finishing touches and decor selection. By dividing responsibilities strategically, you can optimize efficiency and ensure a successful outcome for all parties involved.

Who is the final decision-maker to communicate with?

Identifying the final decision-maker ensures that critical project approvals and changes are addressed promptly and effectively. By establishing clear lines of communication and decision-making authority, project teams can avoid delays caused by indecision or conflicting directives, ensuring that the project progresses smoothly and stays on track.

Example:
Consider a scenario where you’re renovating a corporate office space to accommodate a new layout and technology upgrades. If multiple stakeholders are involved in approving design revisions or selecting finishes, it’s essential to designate a primary decision-maker who can provide timely feedback and sign off on proposed changes. This streamlines the decision-making process and empowers the project team to proceed confidently, minimizing disruptions and ensuring project success.

How do you like to have critical conversations?

Understanding stakeholders’ preferred communication styles during critical project discussions fosters more effective collaboration and problem-solving. By accommodating individual communication preferences, project teams can facilitate open dialogue, address concerns promptly, and make decisions collaboratively, enhancing overall project outcomes.

Example:
Suppose you’re coordinating a commercial tenant improvement project with a diverse team of stakeholders, including architects, contractors, and business owners. Some stakeholders may prefer face-to-face meetings for discussing complex issues, while others may prefer email or phone communication for quick updates. By acknowledging and respecting each stakeholder’s communication preferences, project managers can foster a supportive project environment where concerns are addressed promptly, and decisions are made collaboratively, ensuring project success.

Final Thoughts

Renovating a commercial space involves a nuanced process that requires thorough planning, coordination, and compliance with regulations. Commercial projects demand careful consideration of zoning laws, building codes, and permitting procedures. By addressing these questions and acknowledging the unique challenges of commercial renovations, stakeholders can navigate the process more effectively. Prioritizing thorough planning, permitting compliance, and adherence to codes ensures that commercial spaces meet functional, aesthetic, and regulatory objectives for long-term success.

If you’re looking to renovate your space, reach out to our team here. We’re happy to answer questions or connect you with the right team member for your project.

Starting a business in your garage is often an exciting and cost-effective way to launch your entrepreneurial journey. However, as your business grows and evolves, you may find that your humble garage can no longer accommodate your needs. This is a sign of success, but it also signals the need for expansion. Moving into a commercial building is a significant step that can be both daunting and rewarding. In this article, we explore the process of finding appropriate commercial space and what it entails to make a smooth transition from the garage to a dedicated business location.


1. Assess Your Needs:

Before you start the process of finding a commercial space, it’s essential to assess your business’s specific needs. Consider factors such as:

Space requirements

Calculate the square footage required for your operations, including office space, storage, specialized equipment, and future growth needs.

Location

Determine whether you need to be in a specific geographic area for customer accessibility or logistical reasons. This may also be a very personal decision based on the location of your residence, family, etc.

Budget

Establish a realistic budget for your new commercial space, including rent, utilities, and any necessary renovations.

Helpful hint: Architects are great at helping clients determine just how much space they need. Joining local business associations and industry groups can also connect you to growth coaches and like-minded entrepreneurs. Local chamber of commerce groups are another great resource.

2. Consult Your Banking Partner

It’s likely that expanding your business will require a loan. Utilize your existing banking relationships or discuss your needs with multiple bankers to find the one that will best accommodate your needs.

3. Consult a Real Estate Professional

Once you have a clear understanding of your needs and budget, it’s time to consult a real estate professional. A commercial real estate agent, also known as a broker, can be an asset in finding the right space for your business. They have local market knowledge, access to listings, and negotiation skills that can help you secure the best deal.

Note that brokers often specialize in certain types of real estate and can be on either the tenant representative side, or the landlord side. For example, some brokers may focus solely on urban office spaces while others might operate only in the industrial sector. Evaluate what category your business falls in to help determine which type of broker will be best for you.

Helpful hint: Architects and general contractors often know which brokers are best at finding specific property types. Ask them for referrals to help you find the optimal fit!

4. Define Your Business Requirements

When working with a real estate broker, provide them with detailed information about your business requirements. This includes your space needs, desired location, and any specific amenities or features you require. Be open to their suggestions and consider various options before making a decision.

Utilize your broker to help you understand the various types of lease agreements that exist. Deals on commercial spaces are always a negotiation, so being informed about what your options are can be pivotal in ensuring you can afford the space.

5. Research Zoning Regulations

Commercial properties are subject to zoning regulations and building codes, which dictate how they can be used. Ensure that the properties you are considering are zoned for your specific type of business. Zoning laws vary by location, so it’s crucial to research and understand the local regulations. Find a contractor or architect who is familiar with your business’s specific regulations. This may include unique fire, storage, and manufacturing codes that could effect whether or not you can produce your product in specific buildings or locations.

6. Budget for Additional Costs

Moving into a commercial building involves more than just rent. You’ll also need to budget for additional costs such as security deposits, utilities, insurance, permits, and potential renovations or build-outs to customize the space for your business. Factor in these expenses to avoid any financial surprises.

Determining construction costs early on is critical for any business, and reputable general contractors can help you with early construction budgets even before a final space has been determined. This can also be helpful when working through lease negotiations.

7. Negotiate Lease Terms

Once you’ve identified a suitable commercial space, work with your real estate broker to negotiate lease terms. Be prepared to discuss a variety of items during this process, including:

  • Lease duration and structure
  • Rent increases – timing and escalation
  • Maintenance responsibilities
  • Tenant improvement allowances
  • Growth opportunities
  • Any other terms that are important to your business

It’s likely that a real estate attorney should be consulted to review the lease terms and ensure you are well represented in this documentation.

8. Complete Construction and Plan for the Move

As you finalize the lease agreement, start planning the logistics of your move, starting with the construction process. If you have involved a general contractor in your early planning, now is the time to complete pricing and finalize contractual agreements for all necessary work. Your general contractor should specialize in the type of work you need, whether it’s large or small. In addition to construction, preparing for your move will require coordinating equipment relocation, inventory management, and onboarding added personnel. Develop a timeline and budget for the move to ensure a smooth transition.

9. Consider Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Obtain permits or licenses to operate in a commercial space in your particular jurisdiction. Consult with local authorities and legal experts to ensure you are in compliance with all necessary regulations. This may involve interacting with the city, county, state or even federal jurisdictions.

10. Promote Your Move

Don’t forget to let your customers and clients know about your move! Update your contact information, website, and social media profiles to reflect your new location. Consider hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony, open house or launch event to introduce your business to the community.

Final Thoughts

Moving your business out of the garage and into a commercial building is an exciting milestone that signifies growth and success. However, it requires careful planning, research, and collaboration with professionals who can help you navigate the process. By assessing your needs, consulting experts, and taking the necessary steps, you can ensure a smooth transition and set your business on a path to even greater achievements in its new commercial space.

If you’re ready to expand your space, get in touch with our teams. We can help connect you to the right people and start the preconstruction process to help you determine your potential costs.

Welcome back to Week 3 of our 2023 project reviews. This week, we are focusing on remodels and tenant improvements. Creating a welcoming and comfortable space requires careful planning, personalized touches, and constant communication with the client.

With limited time frames in schools, neighbors in offices, and workers in warehouses, it can be challenging to complete the required work without causing disruption. However, our teams leveraged their experience in these environments to meet strict deadlines, ensure the safety of high-end finishes, and bring the client’s vision to life.

Take a look at some of our favorite projects below.


Sig Sauer

A remodel of an existing building that included 30,000 SF of office space and 28,000 SF of warehouse/light manufacturing space. This project was highlighted by the installation of two pre-manufactured clean rooms. Perlo was involved in design input from the very beginning, producing multiple budgets through several design drawing updates while providing real-time constructability feedback. Our team also helped facilitate early mechanical and electrical design required to meet the project needs unique to clean room manufacturing.

During preconstruction, Sig Sauer, LRS, and Perlo worked together to create a space that met Sig Sauer’s operational needs, maintained their brand identity, and remained within their target budget. The success of this project highlights how involving the General Contractor and design-build trade partners early on helps establish a well-designed construction plan.

Additional features include:

  • Installation of 2 cleanrooms
  • Employee amenities including locker rooms, shower stalls, and a wellness room
  • Specialty compressor and hazardous material storage

“I believe that much of the success came from (Superintendent) Lance’s leadership onsite. Between the city and supply chain issues, the project came up against several delays. Every time, Lance managed to minimize the impact, and many times he brought us back to the original timeline. Lance worked hard, was kind but direct, and was always the first to arrive and last to leave. His experience and foresight saved us multiple times, and his years of leadership was obvious as I watched him work with subs, inspectors, and Sig.” – Patrick Pierce, Client/Facilities Manager, Sig Sauer

Perlo Team

Jordan Peterson | Senior Project Manager

Jakob Eisenbeiss | Project Manager

Lance Livingston | Superintendent

Kyle Kowalski | Foreman

McKayla Marshall | APM

Brandon Brooks | Field Safety Coordinator

Torry Worthey | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Lum’s Buick GMC

This project was a renovation of the existing customer service write-up area as well as a new, 9,000 SF service building for a premier Portland Metro auto dealer. To achieve an improved customer flow and visibility, the existing write-up area was opened up and included new finishes throughout. Utilizing a pre-engineered metal building, the new service center features nine new service bays, a fluid storage room and an employee restroom. The addition nearly doubled the current service department capacity and allows for Lum’s to receive electric vehicles.

“Lums Auto Group is one of the best owners I have worked with in my career. They are amazing community members and care about their staff and the people they serve. It was a pleasure helping them with this project, and effectively doubling their shop capacity.” – Stephen Alger, Senior Project Manager

Additional features include:

  • Remodeled customer lounge
  • Nine new EV accessible service stalls
  • New safety features including eye wash stations, sprinkler systems, and extra thick concrete slabs for service stall anchorage

Perlo Team

Stephen Alger | Senior Project Manager

Regan Cloudy | Project Engineer

Bill Phipps | Superintendent

Dave Moudy | Foreman

Eccles Elementary

Continuing our relationship with Canby School District, this project focused on the extensive design-build mechanical upgrades for this elementary school.

This project consisted of a complete mechanical system replacement, associated interior and exterior improvements, new flooring in select areas, and re-roofing. Additional work included hardware upgrades as well as preparing walls in each classroom to accommodate new marker boards, projectors, and upgraded technology.

“Working in a school requires tight planning. You have to implement MONTHS in advance. In a short schedule, we had the roof demoed, mechanical units installed, and the new roof set. Superintendent Kyncade and his foreman were huge in getting this wrapped up on time.” – Adam Smelley | Project Manager

Features include:

  • New roof
  • Fixture updates
  • Tight finish schedule to avoid disturbing active classes

Perlo Team

Adam Smelley | Project Manager

Kyncade Hardy | Superintendent

Nathan Wright | Foreman

Crystal Bentley | Senior APM

Brandon Brooks | Field Safety Coordinator

Alli Strand | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Boyland Kia of Portland

The Boyland Kia of Portland project included a full renovation of the original Portland Jaguar Land Rover store built in the 1970s. The interior was completely demolished, new windows were cut in to brighten the space, and new service drive canopies and customer entry points were added.

The project included a combination of new construction materials, and matching original ornamental features such as textured exterior walls, re-building the original ornamental fence pillars, and getting creative repairing out of plumb walls and floors that had settled over the decades.

Features include:

  • New fabricated ACM logo tower
  • Installation of several new ADA ramps and accessories
  • Addition of new steel service center canopy

Perlo Team

Jake Jensen | Senior Project Manager

Regan Cloudy | Project Engineer

Nick Butler | Superintendent

Travis Eaton | Superintendent

Jacob Chaney | Foreman

Alli Strand | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Baird Tenant Improvement

This was a complete 10,000 SF remodel of an office space located on the 3rd floor of a fully occupied 5-story building.

The work included demoing down to the studs, repairing imperfections in the existing slab on deck, reworking existing MEPF, and building out the new office to strict design standards from Baird and Shorenstein. For the first 1/3 of the project our crew worked nights to reduce noise impacting surrounding businesses and our team spent significant time coordinating logistics so that construction work would not impede all the other businesses operating in the building.

“This one was all about team coordination. We had to work nights for the first third of the project so we didn’t disturb other tenant in the building – even then we had to be extra vigilant to keep within Lake Oswego Quiet Hours. It was a lot of work, but it turned out great and both Baird and the property manager were pleased. We were even asked to return for another tenant job in the same building!” – Joshua Swake | Project Manager

Features include:

  • High-end fixtures and finishes
  • Multiple mural walls and art installations
  • Game room and custom kitchenette

Perlo Team

Jeff Hankins | Senior Manager, SPG

Joshua Swake | Project Manager

Kory Stark | Superintendent

Reygan Pattullo | APM

Alli Strand | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re expanding your business or updating the look and feel of your current office, it can be difficult to coordinate work and construction. Our teams have extensive experience operating in occupied spaces, working within tight deadlines, and implementing low-impact plans to keep your neighbors happy.

Looking to spruce up your space, contact our teams today. We’re ready to build for you!

As we continue with our 2023 review, we’d like to highlight some of our favorite food, beverage, and retail spaces. Our highly skilled teams take pride in their ability to adapt to any project and bring their creativity to the table. We understand that retail locations require a unique touch, and we are committed to bringing our highly-regarded abilities to produce exceptional results.

These spaces require a distinct level of finesse, on-the-fly transitioning, and landscaping work that is not typically needed for some commercial spaces. Whether it’s a small boutique or a large distribution center, we approach each project with the same level of dedication and attention to detail.

Moreover, these specialty projects are not just functional; they also create fun and engaging environments for the community. By helping clients bring to life designs with practical layouts, high-end fixtures, and customizable features, we strive to make these locations a destination for people to gather, socialize, and enjoy. We love blending functionality and aesthetics to create spaces that are not only visually appealing but also highly practical.


Vinovate Custom Wine Services

Vinovate’s new 24,000 SF facility features a gravity fed fermentation room that is 8-feet below the crush pad level along with a refrigerated fruit chilling room, three temperature-controlled barrel rooms, a bottling line room, and a two-story laboratory and office space build-out. Vinovate is a unique winery that operates differently from traditional wineries. Instead of producing wines for direct sale to customers, Vinovate is a custom crush facility that produces wines for smaller winemakers, who in turn distribute these products to their clients.. Once production begins, the winery will be capable of producing 40,000 cases of wine annually.

Specific to the construction, this rural site required all new well water storage and treatment systems, process wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary drain fields, and coordinating a new 480v 3-phase power supply with the local utility companies. Our team coordinated all of the tank and catwalk layouts along with the glycol chiller and associated piping, as well.

Additional features include:

  • 3,500 SF bottle crushing facility
  • Glycol chemical and cold room storage
  • Vineyard processing support such as new wastewater treatment, solar panels, and irrigation system

“I can’t say anything but great things about Perlo and their team that I’ve been working with on our winery project. I’ve built multiple wineries and tasting rooms during my career and this by far has been the most positive experience because of how professional Perlo is and how they are able to make these larger projects happen on tight timelines.” – Bryan Weil, Managing Partner/Winemaker

Perlo Team

Jake Jensen | Senior Project Manager

Kane VanDyke | Project Engineer

Josh Kelly | Superintendent

Demetrio Garcia Arias | Foreman

Crystal Bentley | Senior APM

Brandon Brooks | Field Safety Coordinator

Alli Strand | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Breakside Brewery – Beaverton

The new Breakside Brewery location marked Perlo’s first taproom and partnership with a brewery. Breakside Brewery‘s new location in Central Beaverton started as a small parcel of land for a food cart pod, but soon expanded to include the former furniture store next door. As with many adaptive reuse projects, the nearly 50-year-old building came with several surprises, not the least of which included splintering window frames occurring during paint prep. Luckily, our crew was able to self-perform the reframing of the windows without losing any of the original glass.

The newly renovated space boasts an interior bar with seating, a lounge area, restrooms, an event space, multiple fireplaces, and outdoor seating surrounded by landscape planters. The taproom has direct access to the food cart pod and seating area. Future plans include installing a converted shipping container that will serve as a kitchen and outdoor bar space adjacent to the building.

We were able to bring our experience with large-scale refrigeration to the taproom and back-of-house cooling system for a seamless experience. It was nice to work with such a Portland icon like Breakside, and potentially building a lasting relationship for future local breweries. – Kathleen Buono, Senior Project Manager

Additional features include:

  • Custom tasting room with high-end finishes and cold storage
  • Concrete floor modifications to provide level floor areas
  • Renovations made off an existing shared wall owned by a separate building

The project was an overwhelming success. Perlo was given the opportunity to perform all of the subsequent tenant improvement projects, and now both buildings are  is fully leased. Another great project for Perlo!

Perlo Team

Kathleen Buono | Senior Project Manager, SPG

Ray Caswell | Superintendent

Tyler Broderick | Foreman

Reygan Pattullo | APM

Antonio Gonzales | Field Safety Coordinator

Brandon Brooks | Field Safety Coordinator

Englund Marine – Eureka

This new 15,700 SF stand-alone retail facility on California’s Northern Coast features a standing seam metal roof with a unique concrete panel structure for repeat client Englund Marine & Industrial Supply. The building includes warehouse, retail, and office space along with a loading dock with overhead doors. Three bioretention facilities were added to handle stormwater prior to connection to the city storm system

.

As the 6th facility that Perlo has completed for Englund Marine, , our teams were able to offer continual improvements by reviewing the previous projects to ensure the new store aligned with the other locations. As a coastal facility, particular attention is paid to the specific environmental concerns that these geographic locations require. Proper waterproofing, weatherproofing and drainage are just a small part of the quality control processes involved in this type of work.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with the Englund team. They very much have a family-focused feel, which not only resonates with me personally, but also Perlo as a whole. Everyone who comes onto the projects wants to come back and work with them again. We can’t wait to see what they have planned next.” – Devin Koopman, Vice President | Partner

Features include:

  • Waterfront property developed with low impact soil and landscaping
  • All-in-one facility with warehouse, loading docks, office space, and retail storefront
  • 3-acres of mass grading required prior to construction

Perlo Team

Jacob Leighter | Senior Project Manager

Ray Caswell | Superintendent

Tyler Broderick | Foreman

Jadyn Bentley | APM

Torry Worthey | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Final Thoughts

Retail spaces are never just one thing. They often have to function as a manufacturing floor, an office, a dining room, a warehouse, and an event space. Being able to seamlessly tie these all together is essential to creating a comfortable and efficient environment for clients, employees and guests. Our project teams prioritize communication and creative problem-solving when building food, beverage, and retail locations to find this balance.

If you’re considering a new facility of this nature, contact our teams today. We’re ready to build for you!

As 2023 draws to a close, we are continuing our tradition of using this space to highlight the amazing work our teams have engaged in over the course of the year. We would like to take a moment to reflect on the fantastic projects our team has accomplished.  In the next few posts, we will highlight some of the different market sectors, building challenges, and unique builds we worked on this year.

Perlo’s 2023 portfolio showcased a diverse range of fun, essential, and groundbreaking projects. From self-storage in Tukwila, Washington to a 100-year-old theater in our own backyard in Portland, Oregon, we jumped feet-first into new states and new sectors. Even our famous tilt-up construction broke new barriers at Burnt Creek Logistics in Vancouver, Washington, which boasted nearly 700,000 square feet. If it needs building, improving, or expanding, our team can apply their versatility and adaptability to make it happen.

This week, we’re delighted to review our recent sports and entertainment projects. These businesses provide captivating experiences for audiences, and top of the line products for consumers to enjoy. Our teams worked closely with clients, architects, and designers to overcome specific challenges at each building, and we’re proud to say that the results were outstanding!


Tomorrow Theater

Covering nearly 9,000 SF, this unique revitalization project for the Portland Art Museum was completed by our Special Projects Group. Originally built in 1925 as a vaudeville space, the theater’s history includes hosting art house films, Spanish-language films, and most recently, was known as the Oregon Theater. Renovating the space included unique and artfully selected features such as blue marble countertops, a mirrored feature wall, and new custom seating. An important aspect of the project was paying homage to its past by displaying the original Oregon Theater sign.

This new space will now serve a variety of purposes including immersive theater experiences, Portland Art Museum programming, and a community event space. Working in a nearly 100-year-old building has its challenges. The owners requested the original wall tiles be saved and incorporated into the new design; however, during construction we discovered they were hollow terracotta which prohibited any mounting fixtures from being applied. This required our teams to hang everything in the theater itself from the ceiling; a task which necessitated specialty engineering. Now open, the theater has already been host to several events and will continue to be a staple to the community for many years to come.   

Additional scope included:

  • Grinding and sealing 4,000 SF of theater space
  • Installing almost 300 seats
  • Installing custom concessions façade, countertops, and food service equipment
  • Installing specialty fixtures including custom tiling, artisanal lights, and multiple art pieces

“Our family operated the former Oregon Theater between 1967 and 2020 and we are thrilled to see its reinvention…What was a fairly plain neighborhood theater has now been transformed into a work of art,” – Letter to the Editor, The Oregonian

Perlo Team

Joe Sprando | Project Manager, SPG

Bryan Esler | Superintendent

Kathy Ohannessian | APM

Antonio Gonzales | Field Safety Coordinator

Torry Worthey | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Brookwood Sports Complex

An interior and exterior renovation of a former manufacturing facility brings a new outlet for volleyball enthusiasts in Hillsboro. This project created a private volleyball club with seven courts, an athletic training area, private offices and team meeting areas, and all new restrooms. This change of use renovation triggered upgrades related to seismic, ADA access, energy code compliance, as well as landscaping.

The court area features fully furred perimeter walls with impact padding below 6-feet and Cardinal Complete acoustical panels above, all new high-bay LED lighting, and sport court flooring. Again, completed by our Special Projects Team, this work highlighted our ability to engage in preconstruction, to adapt to onsite conditions that required changes and persist in delivering a great community space.

“The site came with a lot of challenges. Fully changing the use of the building required a long list of upgrades. But the team on site was fantastic and handled everything, even as unknown conditions were uncovered as we built new facilities.” – Kathleen Buono, Senior Project Manager

Additional features include:

  • Leveling and preparing for 28,000 SF of sports court flooring
  • Roof modifications including maintenance, patching, and skylight installation
  • New build-out of athletic facilities such as training rooms, meeting spaces, and updated bathrooms

The project was an overwhelming success. Perlo was given the opportunity to perform all of the subsequent tenant improvement projects, and now both buildings are  is fully leased. Another great project for Perlo!

Perlo Team

Kathleen Buono | Senior Project Manager, SPG

Joe Kane | Superintendent

Gary Cox | Foreman

Kathy Ohannessian | APM

Alli Strand | Subcontractor AP Specialist

Evergreen Aviation Conference Center

Breathing new life into the Evergreen Aviation campus, this project was a renovation of the existing office and storage space located in their IMAX Theater building. Among the updates were new meeting rooms, restrooms, finishes, and an upgraded HVAC system.

A major component of this project was installing a new exit stairway accessible from each floor of the building, which required cutting through two floors and tying into the existing steel structure as well as extending the exterior loading dock. As the Evergreen Aviation campus continues to expand, we were proud to be a part of this newest adaptation to bring community together.

Features include:

  • Conference room updates of space and fixtures
  • Addition of multiple stairways and shafts
  • Updating HVAC system for 42,000 SF of conference space

Perlo Team

Thomas Quesenberry | Vice President | Partner

Mike Lutz | Superintendent

Levi Anderson | Foreman

McKayla Marshall | APM

Mike Souder | Safety Manager

Final Thoughts

When you welcome customers and employees to your space, it’s important to make them feel comfortable so that they can enjoy the experience and participate with ease. At Perlo, we understand the importance of people in creating a positive environment, and we are proud to help companies and organizations achieve a harmonious balance between place and space.

Our team has extensive experience in industrial safety and manufacturing precision, and we use this expertise to help sports and entertainment venues outperform their competitors with open design concepts and industry-leading safety measures. No matter the size of the job, whether it’s a locker room update or a brand-new auditorium build-out, we are committed to delivering exceptional results as we continue to expand our services into these sectors and beyond.

Historical and adaptive reuse buildings can help preserve a community’s cultural heritage. In some cities and towns, especially in the Pacific Northwest, there are regulations to prevent culturally significant buildings from being demolished and replaced with newer complexes or parking lots. While preserving the past and embracing the future, historical and adaptive use buildings offer a unique blend of nostalgia and innovation. In this post, we will delve into the power and purpose of transforming these significant projects into long-term investments and explore the definitions, rules, and regulations that govern their renovation.


Definitions

Historical Buildings

Also referred to as heritage buildings, are architectural gems that have stood the test of time. These structures carry historical, cultural, or architectural significance, and their preservation is important to maintaining a connection with our past.

Adaptive Reuse Buildings

Existing structures that have been creatively repurposed for a different function. Instead of tearing down these buildings, they are adapted to serve modern needs while retaining their historical value.

Considerations for Salvaging Existing Buildings

There are many cost-effective reasons as to why an owner or developer may choose to adapt or reuse a space. Demolition of buildings is costly, and not always permitted. New buildings often take longer to construct, while in comparison some existing spaces can remain habitable while construction is on-going.

Preserving historical and adaptive use buildings requires adherence to specific rules and regulations. These guidelines are in place to ensure that the integrity and historical value of these structures are not compromised during restoration or repurposing.

In many jurisdictions, obtaining permits and complying with building codes is required. Historical preservation societies may also have their own set of guidelines that must be followed.

In the Portland Metro area, there are specific zoning regulations regarding historical buildings:

“Historic resources are subject to land use regulations provided by Portland Zoning Code Chapter 33.445, Historic Resource Overlay Zone. The regulations apply to certain alteration, addition, new construction, demolition, and relocation proposals affecting historic resources.”

When assessing whether a prospective building can be preserved or adapted to suit a new business or function, there are several steps to take to ensure that the project will be a success. Here are four vital steps to guide you through the process:

1. Site Assessment

Before diving into any restoration or repurposing project, it is crucial to thoroughly assess the condition of the building. This assessment includes evaluating the structure, identifying damages or weaknesses, and determining potential for adaptation. By conducting a comprehensive site assessment, you can gain valuable insights into the feasibility and scope of the project.

2. Get an Estimate

Once the site assessment is complete, it is important to obtain accurate cost estimates for the project. This includes factoring in expenses for repairs, permits, renovations, and any necessary modifications for the new use. Obtaining estimates from experienced contractors  will help you develop a realistic budget and avoid any financial surprises along the way.

3. Hire Reputable Professionals

To ensure a successful historical or adaptive use building project, hiring reputable professionals with experience in restoration and adaptive reuse is crucial. Architects, contractors, and consultants with knowledge of historical preservation will help you navigate the various regulations and bring creativity to the table, ensuring that the building’s historical value is preserved while meeting modern requirements.

4. Finalize Plans and Build

After conducting site assessments, obtaining estimates, and assembling a trustworthy team, it is time to finalize plans and begin the building process. A careful balance must be struck between preserving the historical elements of the building and incorporating modern design and functionality. By working closely with your team of professionals, you can bring your vision to life while still honoring the building’s unique heritage.

Examples of Renovation and Adaptive Reuse

Tomorrow Theatre | Portland, OR

Consisting of nearly 9,000 square feet, this Special Projects Group renovation is substantially complete and scheduled to open in late fall 2023. The theater was built in 1925 and was originally a vaudeville space which has gone through many changes over time. It once hosted art house films, Spanish-language films, and most recently, was known as the Oregon Theater.

The project includes some unique and artfully selected features such as blue marble countertops, a mirrored feature wall, and new custom seating. The space also pays homage to the past by displaying the original Oregon Theatre sign and utilizing the original seatback chairs as an art installation backdrop on an interior feature wall.

Since the original building was constructed with hollow clay tiles, some design choices had to be revised-such as anchoring certain features to the walls. This newly revitalized space will serve as a venue for multimedia storytelling and as a creative center for Portland Art Museum’s PAM CUT.

Boyland Kia | Portland, OR

The original structure was built approximately in 1974 before being remodeled in 1994 to become a Jaguar Land Rover Dealership. Over time, the building became vacant and dilapidated. This full renovation included demolishing of the original interior, and adding new windows that were cut in to brighten the space. New additions included service drive canopies and customer entry points.

The project included combining new construction materials and matching original ornamental features such as textured exterior walls, re-building the original decorative fence pillars, and some creative repairs to plumb walls and floors that had settled over the decades. The project is now complete and breathes new life into the surrounding area.

MUV Fitness | Troutdale, OR

This massive 126,500 SF space was once a Safeway Grocery store and was originally constructed in 1997. The entire interior is currently being re-built to encompass a full gym, complete with basketball courts, a sauna and hot tub, daycare center, reception area, and open workout spaces. The project highlights creativity, adaptive reuse, and the right team and resources to get the job done.

Final Thoughts

Historical and adaptive use buildings are not just remnants of the past; they are gateways to the future. By preserving the beauty and historical significance of these structures, while adapting them to meet modern needs, we are able to honor cultural heritage while embracing sustainable and innovative approaches to architecture.

Whether it’s a vacant grocery store chain repurposed into a vibrant state-of-the-art gym or a vaudeville adult theatre repurposed as a film and arts space, historical and adaptive use buildings are testaments to the harmonious blend of the past and the present. By understanding the definitions, rules, and regulations that govern their transformation, and by following a systematic approach, we can ensure that these buildings continue to captivate us for generations to come.

If your next historical project is in need of new life, contact us today.

The Pacific Northwest region of the United States has long been known for its natural beauty, strong technology and manufacturing sectors, and progressive values. As the region continues to grow and evolve, real estate owners and investors must adapt to changing market demands, incorporate sustainable and resilient design features, leverage new technologies, and meet the needs of changing demographics.

In this blog post, we will explore how repositioning real estate assets can help meet these challenges and position owners for success in the dynamic Pacific Northwest market.


More than 1 billion square meters of office space globally will need to be retrofitted or converted to new uses by 2050.

Shifting Market Demands: Adapting to a Hybrid Work Model

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many traditional ways of working and living, and the Pacific Northwest is no exception. The office market had hit a 30-year high of 17.3% vacancy at the end of 2022, according to CBRE. With the trend towards remote work and the rise of the hybrid work model, demand for traditional office space continued to decline. However, this does not mean that the office market will disappear entirely. As of March 2023, office occupancy has returned to about 50% of pre-pandemic levels. Real estate owners and investors must adapt to changing market demands by repositioning existing office and industrial assets to accommodate a hybrid work model.

Some options to create more flexible spaces include:

  • Incorporating flexible and adaptable spaces that can be used for co-working or collaboration. For example, a building may include conference rooms that can be easily reconfigured for different group sizes, or private offices that can be rented on a short-term basis.
  • Outdoor amenities such as green spaces or rooftop decks can provide a much-needed respite for workers who spend much of their day indoors.
  • Breathing new life into previously vacant and weathered industrial structures with new additions or tenant improvements.

There has been a myriad of discussions about converting office spaces to multi-family housing, but developers are generally finding this idea is too costly to pursue at this time. Restrictions such as building codes, large floor plans, centralized utilities and other challenges make this option untenable for most investors.

Global real estate giants like JLL see the office market remaining challenging, but with less new construction of this product and a continued, although slow, return to the office, it is not obsolete. Give the increased age of the buildings, regardless of the continued use, JLL predicts that, “more than 1 billion square meters of office space globally will need to be retrofitted or converted to new uses by 2050.”  

224 Logistics is a 1,000,000 SF facility that had been expanded and remodeled over the course of several decades. Perlo completed an entire re-roof, seismic upgrade and a variety of repairs to bring this aging building back to life for future multiple market sector tenants.

Sustainable and Resilient Design: Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change

The Pacific Northwest is known for its natural beauty and progressive values, but it is also seeing an increase in natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and floods. Additionally, workers are demanding more eco-friendly workplaces. In order to increase the resilience of real estate assets in the face of these challenges, it is important to incorporate sustainable and resilient design features into new and existing buildings. One way to do this is by incorporating earthquake-resistant design features such as:

  • reinforced concrete or CMU walls,
  • foundation anchors, and
  • flexible framing systems.

We detailed the importance of and logistics to complete seismic upgrades in a previous article here.

Related to fire risk, defensible space around buildings, such as fire-resistant landscaping and fire breaks, can help protect buildings from wildfires. Evaluating fire resistant building materials, such as concrete, metal roofing and other details, can aid in preventing the spread of fires, as well.

Sustainability

Sustainability measures are important for the environment as well as workers. Measures that can be taken to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings include:

  • Utilizing green energy sources
  • Installing green roofs and rainwater harvesting systems to manage stormwater runoff and reduce the impact of floods
  • Incorporate natural lighting and greenery
  • Install smart windows
  • Utilize controls to manage mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
  • Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

According to a JLL survey, ‘Up to 81 percent of workers aged 21 to 30 expect their company to follow sustainable business practices, and 70 percent of them would prefer to work for a sustainability leader’.

Leveraging New Technologies: Staying Ahead of the Curve

The Pacific Northwest is home to many leading technology companies, and as such, there is a high demand for buildings that can support the latest technologies. Real estate owners and investors who are able to incorporate these technologies into their buildings may be better positioned to attract tech tenants and stay ahead of the curve.

One way to do this is by incorporating high-speed internet connectivity, such as fiber-optic internet, into buildings. This can help attract tech tenants who require reliable and fast internet connections. Additionally, smart building systems that incorporate internet of things (IoT) technology, such as sensors and automation systems, can help improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

What is the ‘Internet of Things’?

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes physical objects embedded with sensors and actuators that communicate with computing systems via wired or wireless networks—allowing the physical world to be digitally monitored or even controlled. For example, automated vacuums, self-checkout counters, autonomous vehicles, etc.

Changing Demographics: Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Population

The Pacific Northwest is becoming increasingly diverse, with growing populations of immigrants and younger generations. Real estate owners and investors who are able to adapt to these changing demographics may be better positioned to capture new market opportunities.

One way to do this is by repositioning existing retail assets to meet the needs of specific cultural groups. For example, a shopping center may cater to a particular ethnic group by including stores that offer culturally-specific products or services. Multi-generational housing that allows extended families to live together may become more popular as the population ages and becomes more diverse.

Another way to meet the needs of a diverse population is by repositioning existing office assets to support co-working or collaboration among entrepreneurs and small business owners. This can help create a sense of community and support for these individuals, who may be underrepresented in the traditional business world.

Final Thoughts

Repositioning real estate assets can be a powerful strategy for real estate owners and investors in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. By adapting to changing market demands, incorporating sustainable and resilient design features, leveraging new technologies, and meeting the needs of a diverse population, owners and investors can stay ahead of the curve and position themselves for success in this dynamic market.

By repurposing assets, adding earthquake-resistant features, and integrating smart building technology, real estate owners and investors can create value for themselves and their tenants while contributing to the long-term health and vitality of the region.

Perlo is a Pacific Northwest regional commercial general contractor that specializes in both new, non-residential construction and renovations. If you are considering repositioning one of your real estate assets, please contact us today.

Perlo is well known for its extensive, industrial, ground-up construction portfolio. A drive around the Portland Metro area’s commercial districts will surely include buildings completed by our teams. In fact, a recent review of the City of Canby demonstrated that Perlo has completed most of their tilt-up buildings, and a glance at the Wilsonville area shows much the same. It is less well-known that Perlo completes commercial construction in a wide variety of market sectors outside of the industrial space, including:

Approximately 30% of our project portfolio each year is made up of projects outside of the industrial market sector.

Additionally, roughly $25 million of our annual revenue to date is completed by our elite Special Projects Group, which is a dedicated cohort of project managers and superintendents that work exclusively on small repairs, renovations, tenant improvements and sustaining projects in every market sector we serve. Today, we will explore the history and growth of our talented Special Projects Group (SPG). They serve an important role in our organization, and they are often the backbone of developing new relationships, maintaining existing ones, and providing excellent customer service to our clients for the lifetime of their buildings. 


The Inspiration for SPG

The Special Projects Group was formally established in 2009 when Perlo’s ownership saw a need to better serve our customers between large building projects. Perlo would be commonly called out to expand a building or build an additional structure for a past client and, while touring their facility, discover that they’d hired a smaller contractor to complete minor renovations in between. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to use Perlo; it was that they didn’t think we would be interested in such small work. Unfortunately, the quality these owners received for these smaller projects was often poor. 

Thus, an idea was born: a dedicated group of project managers and superintendents that worked specifically on smaller projects, including repairs, renovations, tenant improvements and sustaining projects. 

Small Beginnings for SPG  

The ideation for this group was given to a two-person team in 2009. Armed with company resources and empowered to establish the department’s structure and flow, the two created a framework and performed small projects to the tune of $250,000 in revenue in the first year. Projects within the department included all kinds of small repairs, such as: 

  • Concrete slab repairs
  • Service repairs – bollards, door replacements, maintenance
  • Small wall repairs
  • Turning two offices into a single conference room
  • Tenant improvements
  • Floor restorations
  • Emergency repairs – vehicle crashes, roof collapses, storm damage

While the revenue number was small, the need for Perlo’s services was evident. Clients were delighted to find they could call on their trusted general contractor for both large and small project needs.

A Trajectory of Growth  

Following SPG’s creation in 2009, the group continued to grow and expand their volume, nearly doubling revenues each consecutive year. As the group grew, their processes refined, and the department structure became more precise, efficient, and highly effective. By 2018, the department had grown to nearly $ 17 million in annual revenue, with four full-time project managers and six field superintendents regularly completing these small construction projects for both current and new clients. Projects also continued to grow in technicality and complexity, including: 

Tuality Healthcare OR Remodel >

Re-construction of two operating rooms in an occupied medical facility to ensure code compliance and more modern working environment for surgery team.

Mahlum Architect TI >

Mahlum’s new, wide open floorplan is within the Custom Blocks Development, a location with built-in character from an old metal stamping shop.

The Duck Store Washington Square >

Tenant improvement of a 2, 300 SF retail shop for the famous Oregon “Ducks” team that doubled the size of the sales floor.

With a 24/7 emergency line, customers could call anytime for regular work, including emergency repairs. Some of these projects have included: 

VLMK Engineering + Design Repair and Renovation >

After a massive oak tree fell through the roof, our SPG team came in to repair and reconstruct this office building. The job entailed replacing all of the steel and Tectum tile roof structure as well as repairing the damaged concrete girders.

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. A new replacement structure was designed and installed to replace the facility’s roof joists and rear wall.

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.

In addition to these larger emergencies, SPG regularly completes repairs on existing spaces from vehicular collisions, damaged truck docks, forklift collisions at interior columns, and even a couple of building repairs due to trains colliding with exterior walls! For example, during the extreme 2021 winter storm, we promptly responded to six roof collapse emergencies and quickly repaired the majority.

Today’s Special Projects Group  

Currently, the team still services our existing and new clients for ongoing maintenance, repairs, and upgrades for all their project needs. In addition to service items, SPG is focused on bringing awareness of their experience in the Tenant Improvement market sectors, completing projects from small carpet and paint renovations to multi-million dollar build-outs. 

Our tenant improvement focus has received the most growth over the years, both in revenue and processes. The cohesive team works closely to coordinate labor and subcontractors for projects that are often fast-paced and mission-critical for our clients.  

Our talented and dynamic SPG stands out amongst the crowd for their ability to respond quickly and efficiently. Our superintendents are empowered to self-perform a multitude of work. Overall, our team holds exceptional awareness of tenant improvement skillsets and experience. 

Final Thoughts

Perlo’s Special Projects Group is available any time for repairs, renovations, tenant improvements and sustaining work. If you need these types of repairs, you can call us anytime at 503.624.2090 or email spg@perlo.biz to get connected today.   

This week, our Year in Review series resumes as we continue to explore the variety of our construction projects across the Portland Metro Area. From storage facilities to auto dealerships, we demonstrate our ability to deliver successful results across multiple market sectors.


StorQuest Self Storage

This recently completed project features a 4-story, ground-up, self-storage facility in Happy Valley, Oregon. The project included a daylight basement, metal truss roofing, and a covered loading dock. The unique design included varying pitched roofs at different elevations and cultured stone on the corners of the building. Additionally, the project was built on a hillside next to Rock Creek, which required our teams to excavate and export substantial amounts of dirt from the site. 

Due to rising costs, the project team sourced all materials during preconstruction to guarantee the project stayed on budget. According to Project Superintendent, Joe Kane, one of the greatest challenges of the project was the size of the building site. Because the site was so small, the material had to be stored offsite and trucked in ’just-in-time’ for installation. In addition, getting the concrete trucks and pump truck on site for pours was difficult, there was just enough room to back a single truck in. The others had to wait down to street to avoid blocking traffic on busy Sunnyside Road.

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

  • Structural concrete footings
  • Cast-in-place walls for the basement

Despite the tight job site and constant erosion control monitoring of Rock Creek on the west side of the building, the team completed an impressive concrete pour of a 4th floor deck and were successful in delivering the project on time.

Perlo Team

Jeremy Maynard | Project Director

Erich Schmidt | Senior Project Manager

Joe Kane | Superintendent

Gary Cox | Foreman

Brooke Carswell | APM

Mars Gracida | Field Safety Coordinator

Herzog-Meier Mazda

This project consisted of the new, ground-up construction of a two-story Mazda showroom, the remodel of an existing service and parts sales building, and the addition of a new, ground-up service, detailing, and photo booth building.

From the preconstruction phase, special considerations and planning needed to be made to accommodate existing conditions and ongoing showroom operations, including:

  • Large, underground water retention storage facility
  • Site logistics
  • Customer safety

Like so many projects completed within the last couple of years, supply chain disruptions presented an enormous obstacle for the team, but they were able to draw from recent experiences to enact strategies to keep the schedule on track.

The Perlo work crews self-performed the following scopes:

  • Structural concrete work
  • Roof structure installation

Superintendent Jay Edgar reflected on what meant the most for him about this project, “This new dealership sits along the highway with four others that I have previously built. Each one was different in its own design. I am very proud of all these buildings”. The opportunity to perform multiple times for the same clients and those nearby are a true testament to the success that Perlo has achieved in the construction of Auto Dealerships.

Perlo Team

Jake Jensen | Senior Project Manager

Joe Sprando | Project Manager

Jay Edgar | Superintendent

Dave Castillo | Foreman

Regan Cloudy | Project Engineer

Crystal Bentley | Lead APM

Jadyn Bentley | Admin Assistant

True Terpenes

Located in Hillsboro, Oregon, this project consisted of a 22,000 SF tenant improvement in an existing office and warehouse space for a CBD production tenant. The scope of the project included constructing a second-level mezzanine, new office spaces, conference rooms, and a manufacturing space with clean rooms and warehouse storage.

To prepare for the project, special considerations needed to be made in the design to consider existing conditions, such as mechanical units, office spaces, and a stained concrete floor. The mezzanine was constructed above an existing office space which, according to Project Manager Adam Smelley, posed some challenges.  

Perlo’s team self-performed the following scopes:

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

Superintendent, Kyncade Hardy, explained that delays in sourcing the structural steel for the mezzanine as well as the custom-colored cloud ceilings requested for the open office area were both large hurdles to overcome. The team made sure to be honest and transparent in their communication with ownership about progress of the project to ensure that the completion of the project was on time, as well as finding creative solutions to work around these challenges. True Terpenes had a tight schedule to bring in their equipment, so finishing on time was critical.

The Perlo Podcast featured an onsite episode all about True Terpenes. View it now in our Newsroom.

Perlo Team

Adam Smelley | Project Manager

Kyncade Hardy | Superintendent

Nathan Wright | Foreman

Brooke Carswell | APM

Mike Souder | Field Safety Coordinator

Dragonberry Produce Expansion

This new 29,700 SF tilt-up concrete distribution center is located in Canby, Oregon and is the second facility Perlo has built for Dragonberry Produce. The building included a 6,100 SF cooler and a 2,500 SF freezer with high-speed doors, a natural gas generator, and two high-end office areas with a future separate tenant build-out area for nut processing. The site includes a loading dock, passenger car parking, two swales and drywells for storm water management, a truck scale, and two drive aisles for access.

There were two driving factors in the design of this project: flexibility and sustainability. As the Northwest’s premier specialty produce distributor, it was important to the client that their freezer have a dual function as both a freezer and cooler. To accommodate this, adjustments were made in the design, including a glycol system installed under the slab-on-grade to protect the concrete from freezing. Additionally, although natural gas generators are not common, this system was selected because it is more sustainable than diesel generators.

Perlo’s team self-performed the following scopes:

  • Structural concrete
  • Depressed freezer slabs
  • Truck scale foundation
  • Interior mezzanine wood structure
  • Exterior wood accent wall
  • Interior stairs
  • Miscellaneous installations

The project team encountered multiple situations that required quick thinking and flexible maneuvering, including:

  • The late addition of a truck scale.  
  • Jurisdictional requirements to change the site utility design

Both of these examples required coordinated efforts to provide the most timely and economical solutions for our client. Senior Project Manager, Jacob Leighter, recalls that “we had several onsite meetings with the city, Owner, Design Team, and Excavation Subcontractor to resolve the site utility problem quickly to keep the project moving.”

In the end, the project was successfully delivered by the project team.

Perlo Team

Jacob Leighter | Senior Project Manager

Steve Dusenberry | Superintendent

Philip Overbye | Foreman

Brooke Carswell | APM

Jadyn Bentley | Admin Assistant

Final Thoughts

Perlo embraces the opportunity to prove our ability to adapt to and persevere over any challenges or adversity that might arise in the course of our projects. Our Perlo Practice #2, “Solutions show up as problems” is the core of our approach to any project. We pride ourselves on the creative and innovative thinking our team brings to the table that ultimately drives our success. We look forward to continued growth across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Perlo’s projects in 2022 represented a diverse group of market sectors that reflect a hopeful outlook of what lies ahead for our community. Perlo continues to expand its geographic reach, with this years’ projects spanning across the metro area into Southwest Washington and beyond. While we may be best known for our work with new tilt-up construction, our list for today includes a wide variety of project types, demonstrating the depth of talent on our team, as well as the versatility and flexibility in our work.

This week we are taking a look at the interstate and regional projects that took us from the Oregon Coast to Northwest Washington.


Bay Area Hospital Pharmacy Renovation

Completed in the Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, Oregon, this project was unique in that the work was completed within an existing and occupied hospital. The renovation and expansion focused on the Clean Suite, Receiving Area, Office, and Medical Supply Room. The project also included a new exterior shaft and mechanical room that had to be constructed around and fully enclose the existing shaft and mechanical rooms.

Preconstruction required inventive planning with the design team and hospital ownership. Schedule delays from the air handler unit manufacturer resulted in a shift to the design with a removable section of the exterior wall so that the air handler could be craned into place after the construction of the new mechanical room was complete. Another unique aspect of this project included maintaining existing pharmacy operations by assisting the ownership and design teams in acquiring the necessary permits to temporarily relocate the pharmacy during construction. According to Project Manager, Taylor Regier, “this allowed the project to be constructed in essentially one phase.”

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

  • Selective demolition
  • ICRA barriers and temporary protection
  • Trench pour backs and housekeeping pads
  • DFH installation
  • Miscellaneous building installations

Major challenges the project team faced included manufacturer caused equipment delays, unknown conditions revealed during selective demolition, and persistent Oregon Coast rainfall. With a lot of flexibility and creativity, the team was able to work with the local AHJ to pass inspections and receive the necessary approvals to successfully complete the project and get the pharmacy back to a fully operational status.

Perlo Team

Thomas Quesenberry | Project Director

Taylor Regier | Project Manager

Christian Rohr | Superintendent

Brooke Carswell | APM

DSW3 Burlington

This project included the development of a 25-acre site and a new 111,000 SF Amazon Delivery Station. The concrete tilt-up building includes dock doors, employee break areas and restrooms, extensive sitework, and also included the installation of extensive infrastructure for several electric vehicle charging stations.

Located North of Seattle, this delivery station was constructed in the airspace enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration. Project Manager Joshua Swake describes “working in FAA air space and having to navigate their requirements was both a special consideration during preconstruction planning and an ongoing challenge, as well.” With consistent communication and record-keeping, the team was able to keep the schedule on track.

The Perlo work crews self-performed the following scopes:

  • Structural concrete work, including foundations, slabs, and tilt walls
  • Doors, frames, and hardware installation
  • Toilet accessories and partitions installation

The specific location required a considerable amount of coordination with multiple agencies to fulfill their requirements. Embracing challenges is what our teams do best, so with significant communication and consistent processes in place, the team was able to complete the job on time and with satisfied end-users.

Perlo Team

Thomas Quesenberry | Project Director

Jacob Leighter | Senior Project Manager

Joshua Swake | Project Manager

Mike Norris | Superintendent

Lance Livingston | Superintendent

Regan Cloudy | Project Engineer

McKayla Marshall | APM

Evelyn Moran | Admin Assistant

Block 10 Tenant Improvement

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Washington, this multi-story built-out in a new mixed-used building was completed by our Special Projects Group. Impressive details bring out the true personality of this building with floor-to-ceiling windows, high-end finishes, and unique construction materials utilized throughout. One of the more unique features is the use of Falkbuilt wall paneling, which is a sustainable, prefabricated wall covering that helps improve installation efficiencies when compared to drywall.

A key challenge of this project was that the tenant improvement was occurring at the same time that a separate general contractor was completing the shell. This combined with the urban location of the building meant that our SPG team had to ensure clear communication and collaboration with the core project team as well as the other contractor to successfully complete this unique project.

Perlo’s SPG team self-performed the following scopes:

  • Doors, frames, and hardware installation
  • Trim installation
  • Restroom accessories installation
  • Miscellaneous finish carpentry

The design included an impressive array of high-end finishes from the ceilings to the wall treatments to the light fixtures. Senior Manager, Jeff Hankins explains “the amount of detail work performed to create the finished space is hard to fully appreciate.” Overall, the project was highly rewarding because of the lessons learned for future projects, the relationships built with partners on the project, and the opportunity to be innovative, resourceful, and collaborative throughout the process.

Perlo Team

Jeff Hankins | Senior Manager, SPG

Kory Stark | Superintendent

Brent Schmitz | Superintendent

Ted Hill | Superintendent

Kathy Ohannessian | APM

Jadyn Bentley | Admin Assistant

Evelyn Moran | Admin Assistant

Ridgefield Industrial Center

Recently completed on a 50-acre site, this speculative warehouse space consists of concrete tilt-up panels with open web joists and a metal deck roof system as well as thirty-six feet of clear height throughout. Preparing site required coordination with local authorities for extensive wetland mitigation and included public right-of-way improvements.

The project team faced record levels of rainfall during the construction work. As we discussed in a previous post titled, “Wet Weather Construction Challenges”, these conditions have an enormous impact on the schedule and scope of work. Project Manager Nate Brown explained that creative scheduling to pour concrete in tight windows of time was a large part of their strategy.

Perlo’s SPG team self-performed the following scopes:

  • Structural concrete including foundations, slabs, and tilt panels
  • Doors, frames, and hardware installation
  • Miscellaneous accessories installation

Another challenge the team faced was delays in permitting due to the small-town jurisdiction lacking the resources to manage the high demand of requested permits in this growing market. Despite all these obstacles, the team was able to stay on track and complete the project efficiently and expediently. Nate remarked that, “the project team was excellent, we worked well together and even in the challenging times we kept our focus on the tasks at hand to complete the job.”

Ridgefield Industrial Center was also the focus of The Perlo Podcast, which can be found on your favorite listening platforms or by visiting our Newsroom.  

Perlo Team

Chris McInroe | Project Director

Drew Carter | Senior Project Manager

Nate Brown | Project Manager

George Trice | Superintendent

Cy Whitmore | Foreman

Crystal Bentley | APM

Final Thoughts

Perlo embraces the opportunity to prove our ability to adapt to and persevere over any challenges or adversity that might arise in the course of our projects. Our Perlo Practice #2, “Solutions show up as problems” is the core of our approach to any project. We pride ourselves on the creative and innovative thinking our team brings to the table that ultimately drives our success. We look forward to continued growth across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

“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
Drew Carter
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.