California ISO Wins CMAA Chapter Award

Vanir is pleased to announce that the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) project has won a 2011 Project Achievement Award from the Northern California Chapter of CMAA.  The project won Project of the Year for buildings over $25 million.  The Vanir team, along with representatives from CAISO, Dreyfus & Blackford Architects, and Clark Design/Build were honored at an awards ceremony held on April 20, 2011.   

The Project Achievement Awards are highly competitive and recognize excellence in construction and program management.  The Judges Committee is composed of owners and professionals in the construction management industry.  They consider outcomes; overall management; safety, quality, cost and schedule management; complexity, innovation and creativity, as well as client service and satisfaction as the basis for the awards. 

CAISO is a non-profit, public-benefit corporation that operates California’s wholesale transmission grid, providing open and non-discriminatory access supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive planning efforts. Since its inception in 1998, ISO has leased several commercial buildings that were not ideally configured and lacked the level of reliability, redundancy and security needed.  This project allowed ISO to design and construct a purpose built facility that addressed its unique functional needs.

Vanir was originally hired by the owner to provide limited advice and counsel in managing the project. However, when the originally selected design-builder and the owner mutually decided to part ways during the design phase, the project was in jeopardy of facing a major setback with delays and lost work.  As a result, the client asked for more involvement from Vanir as a PM/CM on the project. Vanir was able to develop a “Plan B” that incorporated the existing architect as the Architect of Record, kept the original design work intact, created bridging documents, and solicited a new design-builder. In the end, this proactive approach resulted in reasonable contract terms for the owner; the original scope staying intact; no lost time on the schedule; and a savings of $17 million in the process.  Vanir’s services included project management throughout the design phase, and full owner’s representation during the construction phase.

The 277,000 SF complex includes an operations wing, a conference and training center, and a three-story office wing that serves more than 500 employees in an open office environment.  The project had a particular emphasis on reducing energy consumption.  Numerous green building measures were also employed to ensure the project achieved an exemplary level of performance.  These efforts included water efficient landscaping and reclaimed/gray water irrigation; an air conditioning system with a thermal energy storage (TES) tank to reduce peak energy consumption by allowing chillers to be cycled off during peak energy periods; and Vanir Energy installed photovoltaic panels utilized in both rooftop configurations and also in parking lot arrays that also provided shaded parking.  The project is expected to achieve a USGBC LEED Platinum rating.