(WASHINGTON, DC) –The Bowser Administration is pleased to announce that the Department of General Services (DGS) has been awarded the 2021 Project of the Year Award by the Construction Management Association of America – National Capital Chapter (CMAA-NCC) – for its achievement managing the District-wide emergency HVAC retrofit program within D.C. Public School (DCPS) during, and the result of, the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort was immediately championed by DGS with a primary focus of maintaining safe and healthy environments for students and staff at all 116 District school locations.
In support of the safe reopening of schools, the $24 million program was completed on an accelerated schedule between September and December 2020, implementing HVAC upgrades in every DC public school to improve air quality, ventilation, and filtering of airborne viruses, including COVID-19. DGS secured Cube Root Corporation as the prime program and construction manager – along with AECOM and JDC, which assisted in management efforts – to oversee the efforts of 13 contractors working concurrently at multiple sites. The integrated approach to services included condition assessments, procurement of equipment, logistics, quality management, contract administration, and project controls.
“I am grateful to Mayor Bowser for providing the funding that allowed this critical safety program to occur for District students and teaching staff,” said DGS Director Keith A. Anderson. “Partnering with Cube Root Corporation, and its contractors, was the perfect match for this vital job. I could not be prouder of the DGS Capital Construction team for their diligent work and helping us achieve this important recognition.”
Working with SETTY & Associates – the program engineer of record – the Emergency HVAC Retrofit program focused on approaches to respond to unique challenges, cost management, customer service, innovative project delivery, overall management, project delivery method, quality management, risk mitigation, safety management, schedule management, sustainability standards, and team leadership. Some unique challenges included working within a constrained delivery schedule and assessing school facilities to identify systems and filters needed for each school.
“Cube Root was honored to support DGS in delivering these emergency HVAC upgrades in support of the safe reopening of schools,” said Omar Stephenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cube Root Corporation. “This was a truly comprehensive program addressing the air quality in every room of all 116 public schools in the District. The results of this program are real and measurable, with installed air quality sensors showing increased air circulation and decreased levels of particulate matter which can act as a carrier of airborne viruses, including COVID-19.”
To achieve successful outcomes, Cube Root, Corp. held daily meetings with DGS and DCPS, providing advanced notice about planned activities at each school to ensure coordination with on-going operations. Safety protocols were a top priority during the implementation of the emergency retrofit program; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 protocols were strictly followed. Prior to implementation, schools were cleaned and tested to minimize and/or prevent any COVID-19 exposure.
The CMAA-NCC presented the 2021 Project of the Year Award at its June 17, 2021 Virtual Awards Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
“The CMAA National Capital Chapter is excited to award the 2021 Project of the Year in Education Category, for less than $50 million, to the D.C. Department of General Services and Cube Root Corporation for their work on the COVID-19 Emergency HVAC Upgrades for D.C. Public Schools and their contributions to the construction management industry,” said Mary Martin, CMAA-NCC Awards Chair.
Established in 1982, the National Construction Management Association of America sets the standard of managing capital construction projects across the country. Its mission is to promote the profession of construction management and the use of qualified construction managers on projects and programs.
Cube Root Corporation is a Washington, D.C. based engineering management consulting firm offering a variety of services in construction, program, and facilities management with a commitment to maintaining strict quality assurance.