School: CSU Chico
Major: Construction Management
Company: The Boldt Company
Internship from May 31, 2016 — August 12, 2016
My name is Dayton Allegra, I am 20 years old, going into my junior year at California State University, Chico. I am studying Construction Management and this summer I had the opportunity to intern with BOLDT Construction working on the new Sutter Health Hospital located in San Francisco, California.
My interest in construction started when I was a five-year old, building a tree fort in my backyard with my dad and brother. At the time, I never would have thought the construction of a tree house would lead me to pursuing a college degree in Construction Management. During elementary school I struggled with reading and writing. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and found that I excelled through visual learning. I involved myself in the arts, where I found a real passion for painting and building in clay. My art work was featured in the California State Fair, in which I won first place in the 3D art category, two years in a row. With the challenges that come with my learning disability I have always focused on working hard and pushing myself to be the best I can be. Last summer, I had the opportunity to get my feet wet in construction working as a laborer for a family friend who owns a mid-size construction company, Bullard Construction. The first day on the job, I had to clean and re-organize the entire company warehouse, as well as do some landscaping around the office. I worked in Long Beach and Santa Cruz doing tenant improvement jobs; putting in cabinets, new doors and working with the tenant to help maintain a healthy relationship throughout the construction process. I learned valuable lessons working out in the field, such as making sure the superintendent provides the necessary material to the foreman so work does not slow down or stop. I also learned leadership skills from the foreman on how to motivate his team to perform efficiently. This year I wanted to stretch myself and try to get a summer internship with a larger construction company. My goal was to work closely with a Project Manager so I could gain a broader knowledge of his role in the construction process. I feel I achieved my goal when I landed the internship of a life time working as a Project Engineer on a $1.2 billion Sutter Health Hospital project in the heart of San Francisco!
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
This summer I had the opportunity to intern for the Boldt Construction Company working on the Sutter Health Hospital in San Francisco. My 3D Art background helped me to get assigned as a Project Engineer on the Increment 3 construction team. Increment 3 is the team tasked with building the entire exterior of this 1 million square foot hospital. Our scope of work consisted of installing curtain wall, exterior metal panels, exterior stone, and included roofing. Before this internship I had only one year of prior construction experience and this experience was limited to field laboring tasks. As you can tell this was a HUGE jump from my previous summer job, so I was somewhat nervous about some of the tasks they would give me as a Project Engineer.
In my role as a Project Engineer, I learned many new computer programs like, NavisWorks and BIM Anywhere, as well as Vplanner, Project Inertia, Project Wise and Visio. During this internship I was tasked with many items but there are five in particular that I felt impacted the team the most. The first assignment that helped the project was continually updating the submittal log for our increment. The second contribution was a SGH log I created for our team. Simpson Gumpertz & Heger is a company that provided engineers specializing in waterproofing for our project. The engineers write reports describing best practices for installing waterproofing to the exterior of the project. I created an Excel database which allowed our team to easily access these reports. My third contribution was coordinating and leading the daily check in. Because this was an IPD project, members from all increments, along with trade partners, would report out on pre-construction tasks in a daily meeting. This meeting allowed me to improve my public speaking skills as well as help my team report out on our committed tasks for that week. I took meeting notes and created the agenda for our weekly cluster meetings, in which all trade partners involved in the exterior of the building would report out on any safety, quality or inspection concerns as well as any constraints they might run into over the course of that week. This was my fourth major contribution to my internship. My last significant contribution was performing field work, which consisted of measuring curb tolerances and doing quality control on the installation of Nelson studs. These were some examples of tasks I contributed my efforts to improve the Increment 3 team.
This hospital build is enormous and there are multiple departments and partner relationships that contribute to the overall success of the project. I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity to learn as much as I could. In addition to working with my increment, I also set up break out meetings with the head of Safety, Built in Quality, BIM (Building information modeling), and Budgeting to learn more about their department’s role on a build of this magnitude.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
The new San Francisco Sutter Health Hospital build is an IPD project style. IPD stands for Integrated Project Delivery. IPD represents the entire building team including the owner, architect, general contractor, building engineers, and subcontractors to work collaboratively throughout the construction process. This means we had a huge office and there was never any dull moments, whether it was subs complaining to our supers about safety issues, or our architect bringing up an issue about the way our metal panel and stone didn’t line up flush. There was always something going on and problems that had to be solved. I took this opportunity to sit back and listen to how our management handled these types of situations. I learned the best way to solve a problem is to take your emotions out of it. You must look at these problems objectively and listen to everyone’s input. You must work collaboratively together to find the best solution to the problem while also keeping people on track so the conversation doesn’t get off topic. The last but most important part is keeping people accountable. You need to keep people accountable for what they commit to, so that the solution you just worked so hard on completing is actually implemented. This brings me to my next point about leadership. During my internship my dad had sent me an article highlighting the characteristics of a great leader. The article said that there are two important traits that define a great leader. There are leaders who attract people with their poise and positive attitude, being friendly to everyone around them and with their great attitude they motivate the people around them to work hard. The second thing is holding people accountable, making sure the task gets done and the work is on schedule. The article concluded that while these traits are opposites, effective leaders find a balance. After reading this I started looking around the office and comparing the people around me with these traits. I found so many of my mentors and colleagues balanced these traits. I am very thankful for having this opportunity and learning from the best in the industry. I will take these lessons and strive to become a great leader like them.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Working on a project of this size, safety and quality are huge factors in completing this build on time and with the least amount of injuries. At the VNGC (Van ness and Geary Campus) office, safety was the single biggest concern on the project and Boldt had their own safety department. Quality was also a very important aspect with an IPD project, instead of having a separate Quality Control team they had a Built in Quality team. Built in Quality is a LEAN construction concept tracking the quality of the material from transportation to the job-site to installation of the material to the final inspection of the work. Quality was one of the aspects of this job that is completely different than any other quality control methods. At the beginning of my internship I worked with the head of the BiQ team to create an inspection log for curtain wall. This log kept track of all the inspections that where completed and passed by the inspector. I also helped create a BiQ process map for the installation of Tyvek waterproofing on the exterior of the building. I went out into the field and documented installation methods as well as talked to the workers performing the work to ask them about best practice methods. Safety is the number one concern on the site. There are many ways the Boldt Company is proactive in mitigating safety hazards. I learned that all trade partners are supposed to fill out Pre-Task planning sheets covering any safety concerns they might have noticed while performing the work, then create a plan to prevent these concerns from happening. We also have CSI cards, which stands for Continuous Safety Improvements, where all field workers can fill out and submit to their foreman and have their safety concerns addressed. Project engineers and project managers have a separate database called predictive solutions where they can enter in safety concerns or hazards like the CSI cards but also upload pictures. This program is a valuable tool when looking at the overall safety of the job. Through my experience at Boldt I learned many techniques in improving safety and quality on the job and will be taking this knowledge with me throughout my career.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
“I Build America” is a movement to recognize the hard working construction workers who build the world that we live in. I also see “I build America” as a way of showing some of the leading edge innovations the construction industry is implementing and creating for our country as well as bringing recognition and motivation to the dedicated workers making these innovations come to life.