ARCO Design/Build

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Case Study | THD Call Center | Kennesaw, GA

Project Timeline - January 1, 2011 - July 31, 2012

Project Scope

700-person call center – site development/grading, underground utilities and storm, asphalt and concrete pavement, perimeter concrete tilt walls, steel-framed interior

Square Footage

80,070 square feet

Equipment Installed

  • Redundant electrical & data services to power building
  • UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect mission-critical infrastructure
  • Generator backup with phased power restoration to building
  • Pre-action fire suppression systems
  • Building automation system
  • Underground-fed systems throughout
  • Raised access floor system
  • Overhead data cable tray loop
  • Exposed spiral duct and floating ACT ceiling systems
  • Suspended operable wall systems
  • Fitness center and gym equipment
  • 6 break areas with kitchens
  • Concrete reception desks with cast-in wood grain
  • Stained concrete floors
  • Reclaimed lumber finishes

Unique Challenges

  • Coordination of drawings and management of design teams
    • Building provided shell architectural and structural drawings
    •  ARCO provided shell mechanical, electrical, and fire protection drawings
    • Call center tenant provided all design and engineering for the interior build out
  • Shell building was four months into construction before the interior buildout was added to ARCO’s scope.
    • Required extensive changes and modifications to many of the shell building    components already purchased or in places such as storefront doors, floor slab    finishes, HVAC, fire protection, and electrical systems
  • Original shell building schedule duration: 8 months
    • 80,000 SF call center buildout required fast-track construction only adding one month    to the end of the schedule for a total of nine months from start to finish
  • Procurement of long-lead items associated with the tenant improvement buildout such as reclaimed lumber, interior glass systems, ceiling clouds, custom millwork, etc. while maintaining a fast-track schedule


ARCO maintained a consistent and collaborative workflow through:

  • Weekly design meetings establishing partnerships directly with each of the design teams ensured design adjustments were consistent from one drawing set to the next as the project progressed.
  • Weekly OAC meetings were held to maintain and prioritize a list of critical design decisions with necessary dates to avoid schedule impacts, which were reviewed in depth with the building owner/tenant weekly.
  • Real-time presentations of cost, schedule, and design impacts were made prior to making drawing changes to allow owners/tenants to make informed decisions and save time/money, resulting in a far superior finished product.

Due to lead times, space inside the building, and the inability to protect high-end finishes for months of fast-track construction, ARCO recognized the schedule could not follow the traditional path and achieve the level of expected finishes. To overcome these obstacles, we used the following methods:

  • Floating cloud ceiling systems were pre-engineered with openings for lights and other MEP fixtures predesignated, cut to size, and labeled prior to arriving on site. MEP systems were completed and suspended just above the ceiling prior to the ceiling being installed with adjustable duct elbows, flexible sprinkler pipe, and adjustable light suspension system allowing the finished products to be quickly dropped in for a finished look.
  • Fire sprinkler piping, HVAC ductwork, electrical conduit, drywall corners, and special shapes were field measured, built off-site and brought in cut to length for quick and coordinated installation.