Bradbury Stamm – Judicial Complex

As one of the oldest and largest general contractors, construction managers and design/builders in the Southwest, Bradbury Stamm has significant expertise in a variety of construction sectors including residential, commercial, industrial and institutional. “Whether the project is big or small, we do what it takes to do it right the first time, with value to the client constantly in mind,” it says.

Client satisfaction is a top priority for Bradbury Stamm. As a result, repeat clients make up the majority of its portfolio. Founded in 1923, the Albuquerque, N.M.-based company has evolved into one of the most progressive contractors in its region. It completed the first LEED-certified project in New Mexico, and continues to embrace new building methods and cutting-edge technologies.

“Construction is a dynamic experience that involves working with many entities from government bodies, architects, utilities, architects, engineers, interior designers, subcontractors to suppliers,” Bradbury Stamm says. “There are already a lot of decisions that have to be made by an owner building a facility – we provide our experience working in New Mexico, our understanding of construction costs, constructability issues and LEED requirements to help ensure the greatest value to the owner.”

New Judicial Complex

In January 2009, Bradbury Stamm broke ground on a $44 million replacement facility for the Judge Steve Herrera Judicial Complex in Santa Fe, N.M. The facility will have about 10 courtrooms for the county’s court systems, including general, civil, criminal, family and juvenile. Judges chambers, clerk areas, file storage spaces also will be included, as well as holding cells, evidence storage and other criminal processing activities.

The new three-story, 189,000-square-foot Steve Herrera Judicial Complex will include a 63,000-square-foot parking structure with two levels below grade. The parking structure will be composed of post-tension concrete with a four-foot-thick concrete mat slab foundation.

The building will sit atop a drilled pier foundation system with a steel frame and stucco exterior. It is a city of Santa Fe requirement that buildings adhere to the Pueblo Spanish and Territorial architectural style and be approved by the Santa Fe Historic Design Review Board, Bradbury Stamm Senior Project Manager Dan Lyons says.

Above the underground portion of the parking structure will be a large plaza area that is “typical of the Santa Fe atmosphere,” Lyons describes. “There will also be a 35,000-gallon rainwater cistern for rainwater storage and used for irrigation.”

A Surprise on Site

The Judge Steve Herrera Judicial Complex project faced significant delays after Bradbury Stamm identified traces of gasoline in the soil conditions on site. At one time, there were several gas stations adjacent to the site where gasoline had leaked from old storage tanks. As a result, the city of Santa Fe was forced to shut down the project in June 2009.

Santa Fe County hired an environmental consultant, and Bradbury Stamm worked with the county and consultant to find a contractor to perform remediation on the site. After remediation was completed, the project was restarted in February 2011 – one month after it was supposed to be completed. “It was a challenge for us to keep the subcontractors interested in the project and be able to start again after a delay of almost two years,” Lyons recalls.

Bradbury Stamm already had performed a sizeable portion of the excavation and temporary shoring before it discovered the gasoline. “They had to excavate deeper than what was originally intended to take all this soil out,” he says. “We had to modify the existing shoring by adding drilled piers in front of all the shoring columns and had to install additional tie-backs to be able to excavate.

“If there is one thing we’ve all learned from this project, it’s that you have to make sure to confirm with your owner and the design team that they’ve done a thorough investigation of the site before you start construction,” Lyons adds. “If they had known about this prior to us starting, it would have been an easier remediation process and would have not have delayed the project nearly as much as it did.”

Teamwork Prevails

Now back on track, the main challenge Bradbury Stamm faces is a tight site. “This is a little unusual for New Mexico construction in that we don’t typically have such a tight site, especially with a two-story underground excavation,” Lyons says. “It will be quite a challenge to find places for lay-down and storage.”

However, Bradbury Stamm has confidence in its subcontractors’ abilities to work through the challenges and complete the project by December 2012. “Many of them are companies we’ve done quite a few jobs with in the past, and we know what they’re capable of doing,” Lyons says. “We want to make sure they are able to handle a project of this size and have the experience and manpower to be able to build a high-security judicial complex.” Bradbury Stamm’s key partners include Enviroworks LLC, Land Science Technologies and Ultra Painting.

Given the complexity of the project at hand, Lyons says he admires the county’s commitment to see this project through to the end. “They’ve had a tough time with this project, the delay and the whole circumstance of dealing with this remediation,” he notes. “But throughout, I’ve been impressed with their determination to clean up the site and continue on with the project.”

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