Awards Life Science

BW Kennedy & Co. to Receive Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction from ABC for Life Sciences Project

580 Pleasant St. / Photos by Anton Grassl Photography

Watertown, MA – The Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) has selected BW Kennedy & Co. to receive an Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction for the transformation of 580 Pleasant St. in Watertown into a state-of-the-art life science building for client Griffith Properties.

BW Kennedy was hired as the design/build contractor to convert the existing manufacturing building into a Class A multi-tenant lab building. The 147,000sf, 3-level building includes a half-level basement and new rooftop mechanical penthouse. Designed by DiMella Shaffer, the entire facade of the building was reconstructed with a lab module, using curtainwall and architectural metal panels.  A new lower main entrance and thru building lobby is designed to provide abundant daylight and a direct visual connection from the front to the Charles River in the back.

Amenities include a grab-and-go market in the main lobby, along with bike storage, a fitness center with bathrooms and locker room, and conference center located on the lower level. A new raised outdoor patio overlooks the Charles River and a stone dust path was installed to connect to the nearby Charles River Walkway, continuing the pathway through the property and completing a walking loop for use by tenants.

The project offered many challenges beginning with the site conditions, proximity to wetlands, an aggressive 16-month construction schedule, and COVID-19 impacts on product availability and cost escalation. The original structure was constructed on a landfill. The new foundations and concrete slab needed to be supported by piles due to the landfill. After the piles were driven, BW Kennedy installed a complete vapor mitigation system to contain the soils as well as flashing any penetrations. Detailed care had to be taken to ensure there were no punctures in the barrier. BW Kennedy worked closely with the architect and engineering team to design areas for the most cost-effective approach balancing soil export, the number and depth of piles, and the architectural layout.

The work included a large demolition and hazardous abatement component. The demolition of the existing structure included the complete removal of its exterior masonry walls, roof, roof top units and mechanical systems. BW Kennedy procured an early demolition permit, which allowed the demolition phase of work to begin ahead of the full design and building permit. This shortened the overall project schedule by three months.

Using a design/build delivery method, the company was able to release long-lead items (HVAC, electrical) ahead of final design and engineering. As complications with lead times extended during construction due to COVID-19, representatives of BW Kennedy say this early release was essential in preventing further delay, and that proactive efforts such as this, alongside upfront coordination, resolved potential issues before they could materialize in the field.

Finally, while constructing the base building core and shell, the client directed BW Kennedy to also begin construction of a 24,000sf spec suite and a 37,000sf tenant fit-out within the base building. These two added projects required BW Kennedy to closely coordinate the base building schedule with the additional projects to ensure timely completion.

Primary Team Members

Owner/Client: Griffith Properties LLC

Construction Manager: BW Kennedy & Co.

Architect: DiMella Shaffer

Structural: Goldstein-Milano

Mechanical: Environmental Systems Inc.

Electrical: Nappa Electrical Contractors

Plumbing: North Shore Mechanical Contractors

Fire Protection: Impact Fire Services

Civil: VHB

Subcontractors on 580 Pleasant St.

A&M Roofing
Advanced Building Systems
ALTA Dock and Door
Anchor Excavation
Baron Industries
Bay State Building Specialties, Inc.
Boston Landscaping
Building Envelope Technologies
Capital Tile & Marble Company
Capone Iron Corp.
Cosentini Associates
Fabrizio Corp.
Feldman Surveyors
Form-Up Foundations
General Contracting Services
Gorman Thomas, Inc.
Harris Environmental
Matrix Interior Construction, Inc.
Noble air
Northbridge Building Products
Northeast Geotechnical
O’Connor Door Corporation
RicMor Construction, Inc.
Robie Windows
Sheet Metal Systems and Design
Skinner Demo
Solid Earth
Streamline Waterproofing and Caulking
W.T. Kenney Company, Inc.