Burns & McDonnell Tenant Buildout

Burns & McDonnell, a leader in engineering and consulting, sought to transform 25,000 sq. ft of space into a modern workspace that mirrored their innovative ethos, all within a tight budget and deadline. Highlights included frameless glass offices for a spacious feel, high-tech training rooms, and thoughtfully designed collaboration areas. Leveraging our skilled in-house labor enabled us to deliver these high-quality, cost-effective solutions on time.

Chesapeake, VA
24,980 ft²

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Client Overview

Burns & McDonnell is a prominent engineering, architecture, construction, environmental, and consulting services firm. They specialize in designing and executing complex projects in sectors such as aviation, energy, telecommunications, environmental, and infrastructure. 

Project Scope

This project involved a complete interior renovation of the entire third floor of a Class A office building, encompassing 25,000 square feet of office space, with the aim of achieving a modern and visually appealing aesthetic. The buildout entailed a complete demolition and transformation of an existing space into a contemporary environment to accommodate various departments, meeting rooms, conference rooms and offices while maintaining a cohesive and unified workspace. The project had to fulfill Burns & McDonnell's daily operational requirements while also serving as a showcase for both current clients and potential clients.

  • Glass Wall Offices:  A notable aspect of this project was the installation of frameless glass wall offices to promote natural light penetration, and a sense of openness within the workspace.
  • Updated Elevator Lobby and Reception Area:  The scope included revitalizing the elevator lobby area to enhance functionality, aesthetics, and visitor experience. This involved modernizing the finishes, lighting, and signage to create a welcoming and sophisticated entry point. The deep L-shaped reception desk featured a spacious work surface ideal for accommodating multiple tasks and ensuring efficient workflow. 
  • Huddle Rooms:  Several 5-person and 7-person huddle rooms were constructed to offer intimate spaces for quick meetings, discussions, or impromptu collaborations.
  • Charrette Room:  A dedicated charrette space was built with seating for up to 24 people.   
  • Training Room:  MBS built a training room equipped with the necessary audio and visual technology and amenities to support sixty employees’ training and development initiatives. In building the walls for this room, two layers of drywall board were used along with sound caulk at all seams, joints, edges, and cuts to reduce the sound carryover into the office space. 
  • Conference Rooms:  New Gypsum Sound Control walls were constructed to reduce the transmission of sound between rooms for privacy and to minimize disturbances in the typical office setting. Notably, this project had a total of nine conference rooms, two of which were large Client Conference Rooms. 
  • Collaboration Rooms:  Collaboration rooms were built to facilitate teamwork and creative collaboration among employees, featuring conducive environments for brainstorming and project discussions. 
  • LAN Room/Plot Room/Copy Rooms:  Heightened considerations were given to the electrical and data requirements of these rooms due to the specific technological demands of this client. A 2-ton ductless split system air conditioner with independent thermostat control was installed in the LAN room to allow for precise temperature management for their networking equipment.
  • Break Rooms:  The project included the construction of two large break rooms to provide comfortable and functional spaces for employees to relax and recharge.  Water filtration systems were installed to serve both the commercial-sized coffee maker and large Ice Maker/Water Dispenser.
  • New Mother’s Room: Installation of privacy measures to ensure a secure and private environment for nursing mothers were used. Additionally, a sink was installed to facilitate convenient access to water for hygiene purposes.
  • Restrooms:  Built to ensure compliance with building codes and ADA accessibility standards, the restrooms were constructed using durable materials and finishes to withstand heavy use and frequent cleaning while meeting modern standards of comfort.

The Challenge

  • Initial Concerns:  Due to the expansive size of the buildout, the two initial concerns of Burns & McDonnell were staying within their allocated budget and meeting the deadline for their office opening. 
  • Specific Needs: Burns & McDonnell was very specific in their design requirements, necessitating meticulous attention to detail and customized solutions tailored to their exact specifications. 

Our Approach

  • Consultation, Planning and Estimating: Our consultation with the Burns & McDonnell team played a pivotal role in aligning our approach with their goals. It provided us with valuable insight into their preferences and expectations. Through studying their architectural plans and maintaining open communication with active listening especially during the consultation process; we gained a deep understanding of their vision and priorities for this project while remaining mindful of their budgetary needs. Throughout the procurement stage, we carefully worked with Burns & McDonnell to examine each component of the buildout to find cost-effective solutions without compromising quality, aesthetics, or functionality. This enabled us to provide them with a precise estimate that met with their approval. We also provided Burns & McDonnell, a comprehensive schedule detailing each phase of the construction process, complete with anticipated timelines for permitting, submittals, demolition, framing, electrical, drywall, ceilings, lighting, sprinklers, plumbing, blocking, HVAC, painting, glass installation, flooring, clean up, and inspections.
  • Customized Solution:  We provide in-house skilled labor for all non-trade related work, enabling us to tackle Burns & McDonnell’s dual concerns of budget adherence and timeline management.  By consistently utilizing in-house labor, we were able to maintain heighted control over the project costs by directly overseeing tasks and reducing the overhead costs associated with outsourcing or subcontracting. These savings were then passed onto our client and reflected in the estimate provided to Burns & McDonnell, effectively meeting their budgetary requirements. Also, by leveraging our in-house skilled labor, we had greater flexibility and control over the construction process. This ensured skilled workers are available when needed and that the project progresses on schedule, ultimately aiding in meeting Burns & McDonnell’s deadline efficiently.

Results and Impact

Burns & McDonnell now enjoys a dynamic workspace tailored to their needs, fostering productivity, collaboration, and innovation. The project not only met but exceeded budgetary constraints and timelines, showcasing our commitment to excellence, the finished product stands as a testament to our dedication to delivering state-of-the-art office space to a valued client.

Four years after the project’s completion, we reached out to Burns & McDonnell to ask about photographing their space for our website with the intention to showcase how our buildout has endured over time. Their warm and generous response, granting us full access to their entire space, is a testament to the positive experience they had with us and the trust they place in our partnership. This gesture speaks volumes about their recognition of our partnership and the positive influence we have had on their operations. 

 The buildout for Burns & McDonnell was a resounding success characterized by meticulous planning, expert execution, diligent follow-up, and unwavering commitment to client satisfaction.  Key aspects of this project include:

  • Exceptional Collaboration:  From inception to completion, we maintained open lines of communication through scheduled weekly progress meetings.
  • Adherence to Budget and Timelines:  Despite the project’s complexity, we managed to stay within the budget and meet strict timelines, exceeding expectations in both areas.
  • Innovative Solutions:  We implemented innovative solutions, such as utilizing in-house skilled labor, which ensured greater cost control and flexibility, resulting in significant cost savings for our client.
  • Comprehensive Planning:  Our comprehensive planning approach facilitated seamless coordination taking into account permitting processes, trade subcontractors, and inspections, thereby minimizing disruptions and ensuring smooth project progress.
  • Quality Assurance:  The final product showcased impeccable quality and attention to detail, meeting or surpassing industry standards and client expectations. Given this client operates within the engineering, architecture, and construction industries, this aspect is particularly heightened, underscoring their acute awareness and appreciation for excellence in construction standards.
  • Enduring Client Relationship:  The positive feedback received from Burns & McDonnell evidences the strength of our partnership and the positive impact our services have had on their operations.

“When we looked at expanding in the Chesapeake area, we wanted to ensure that we could partner with a landlord and building team that would construct our vision on time and within budget. Mid-Atlantic did this exceptionally well and gave a wonderful quality space that we are proud to work in and show our clients. I highly recommend that if you want a project delivered on time, within budget, and with excellence that you consider partnering with Mid-Atlantic.”

— Jeffrey W. Ganthner, DSL, AIA, Vice President & General Manager for Mid-Atlantic Region

(Notably, Mr. Ganthner personally drafted the plans utilized for this construction project.)

We invite you to partner with Mid-Atlantic Building Services for your own construction endeavors.  As you can see, no tenant improvement project is too large for our team of seasoned professionals.  Our dedication to quality and client satisfaction, as demonstrated in the Burns & McDonnell project, ensures that your project will be completed to the highest standards.  Contact us today to discuss how we can bring your vision into reality with excellence and expertise.