One of the biggest construction news items coming out of Pittsburgh in 2009 is the long-anticipated opening of the new Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP). Moving its operations from an ailing, aging building to a new campus with state-of-the-art equipment, CHP opened its doors in May 2009. And as children, parents and medical professionals walk the hallways and occupy patient rooms, the thousands of hours of work by INSTALL flooring professionals and Forbo representatives will support them.
For 15 months, crews of 30 men from Spectra Contract Flooring, a Pittsburgh-based contractor who employs only INSTALL professionals from the Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters, worked to complete the project. Every day, at least half of those crews were INSTALL-certified. They encountered challenges such as an unanticipated crumbling substrate and an incredibly difficult scheme of Forbo Marmoleum that included up to 26 colors in sections. The installation included much coving, heat welding, design work and a substantial amount of water jet cut design. They also had an end user that had a no-nonsense deadline that had to be met, regardless of how badly those challenges affected their work schedules.
“This is, by far, the biggest and longest running flooring project we’ve encountered in the Pittsburgh market,” said Bob Meyer, flooring representative for the INSTALL professionals.
Steve Paull, operations manager of Spectra, agreed, adding that the schedule and design intricacies meant sometimes working on five different floors at once and logging lots of overtime. It also meant special training to expertly place the high-end flooring materials.
“We hosted Forbo certification classes for Spectra and a few of them went on to the Forbo Master Mechanic School. Their diligence to learn showed, because they did a great job on this project,” said Tom Schildkamp, Forbo’s Northeast technical representative. “The installers were well trained, very professional, and they did things the correct way. And, they are just nice people. Spectra should also be complimented. This project is a great testimony of the relationship of Forbo training and INSTALL.”
At any given time on the project, there were 4-6 Forbo Master Mechanics and 10 Associate Mechanics, an asset that Paul said helped keep the project productive and on schedule.
Schildkamp added: “I visited the site several times over the last couple of years and I can tell you that the installers did an outstanding job. As part of my job responsibilities I sometimes have to conduct complaint inspections. I look at a fair amount of installation problems that are of much less material and much easier installations. With the Children’s project I am extremely proud to be associated with Spectra Pittsburgh and their installers.”
“Forbo is one of the founding partners of INSTALL,” said John McGrath, Director of INSTALL. “Their ongoing commitment to keeping our flooring professionals on top of new installation methods and new products is to be commended. The CHP project is a great example of an INSTALL partnership at work.”