Boldly Going Where No CM Has Gone Before

Swinerton San Diego challenge the traditional method of project delivery


On November 1st of 2007, SMC San Diego embarked on a new project that will challenge the traditional methods of project delivery. Relying on a strong partnership with the project owner, Narven Enterprises, SMC SD will develop and open two new Hilton hotels, totaling 330-rooms, in the Cortez Hill area of downtown San Diego. The unique nature of this partnership is based on a common belief that the traditional methods of building projects is in need of change. The guiding principles are shared responsibility, ownership and project advocacy.



Collaborative Project Delivery 

The project, 719 Ash, has adopted a strategy that includes extensive VD&C involvement, LEED Certification and a Multiple Prime contract methodology that includes direct contracts with each of the design partners and each of the prime trade contractors. The project management team, led by Senior Project Manager Barry Choy and Preconstruction Manager Frank Downey, are empowered to represent the Owner's interests and deliver a project that successfully meets the needs of two separate Hilton brands. The building is a complex and unique mix of two separate hotels, a Hilton Garden Inn and a Hilton Homewood Suites, sharing one structure. But that is far from the most unique aspect of this project.


Defining Expectations 

Executive Vice President of Narven Ried Floco understood, through years of hotel operations, sales and development that he wanted to do things differently. His experiences with traditional project delivery, where design was done without participation of the construction team, created projects that had built-in inefficiencies and cost overruns. He understood that "price guarantees" drove up costs, and required team members, too often, to work for their own interest rather then the interest of the project. Ried wanted to build a team and a hotel that pushed conventional methodologies and challenged the industry norm. Ried saw SMC SD as a qualified partner that was willing to explore every opportunity to direct change.


Working in the traditional environment where information is not openly shared between "camps" has been a struggle, but embracing the responsibilities that come with this new delivery methodology is different and can be overwhelming. With all team members continuing to be focused and understanding the goals of delivering, we are confident that this collaboration will result in a more successful project.


Virtually Building Day One 

The team recognized that the only way to move forward to create an efficient, cost-effective building was to deploy an intense VD&C model-driven design. Working with Vico Solutions, our VD&C partner, and our internal resources of Dan Gonzalez and Project Engineer Jeremy Tolmen, the design has been consistently modeled, starting at the schematic design phase.


Early in the process, the schematic model was viewed as a high-tech rendering versus a design tool that could highlight issues and drive the decision making process. The perception of the model changed early in the design development phase of the project. With the parking structure design beginning to take shape, the traditional problems of visualizing parking spaces, ramp tie-ins and clearances began.


Our VD&C team, led by Jeremy, kept the model progressing with the design. The model became the definitive "coordinator" of the Architects' design as issues were visualized in near real-time and resolved so the project could continue on. Our team meets on a weekly basis to coordinate design issues with the assistance of the visual model. It is now common in design meetings for the team to look to Jeremy to provide leadership and understanding regarding the buildability of a proposed design.


LEEDing by Example

Ried's commitment to developing an efficient and healthy hotel project has been the driving force behind the push for LEED certification. Ried's commitment stems from the strong encouragement from his daughter and his core belief that we can "do the right thing and succeed" by developing a building that it is efficient, saves resources and provides a more productive and healthy environment for employees and guests.


Strategy Visioning

In January 2008, Laura Rodormer, SMC Green Consulting Services Division Manager, conducted our first Charrette with the project team to identify sustainability goals and how to incorporate them into the design and construction of the Hilton. The Charrette, which occurs early in the design process, provides an opportunity for the project team to build consensus on project design priorities and attempted LEED credits. This process creates an integration of the project team as each person understands the sustainability goals, and the strategies and responsibilities for meeting them.



 - LEED Certified/LEED Silver

 - Reduce maintenane/Repair/Replacement

 - High-quality air and lighting

 - Reduce water runofft



 - SmartKey system

 - Water source heat pumps

 - Daylighting

 - High-efficiency lighting

 - Eco-Roof

 - Fly ash in concrete

 - Green hotel and business operations


Innovative Ideas

 - Utilize Public Arts budget to create display relating to the sustainability of the

 - Design competition for public art

 - Educational programs

 - Green leases for commercial space


Delivering the Vision

Working in an environment that requires all parties to work in constant collaboration to deliver the owner's goals is often uncharted territory. The SMC project team will continue to work as a strong partner to ensure the project's innovative approach and delivery is successfully realized. This exciting relationship is sure to expand our understanding of collaborative project delivery. Ried's vision and the collaborative team members are sure to deliver a beautiful new hotel to the San Diego skyline, which stands as a strong steward to the environment and a model for partnership and efficiency to the construction industry.


About Vico Software

Vico Software, Inc. provides software and services to the building construction industry. Building owners, general contractors, and construction managers use Vico's software to reduce risk, manage costs, and optimize schedules on large, complex building projects. Vico’s integrated 5D Virtual Construction™ solutions, first released in 2005, pioneered the 5D category. The benefits of our solutions and services have been proven with over three hundred customers and two hundred completed building projects to date.

About Swinerton Incorporated

The Swinerton Family of Companies provides commercial construction services throughout the Western United States, delivering innovative construction solutions and outstanding customer service to a diverse range of business clients that demand exacting performance.  Established in 1888, Swinerton formally incorporated in the State of California in 1908 and holds California Contractor License No. 92. Today, Swinerton offices are located throughout California, in Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, New Mexico and Washington.

Holly Allison   
Vice President of Marketing
Tel:                (978) 882-0170