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Breckenridge Brewery Wins Four Awards

December 9, 2015

Last month, Breckenridge Brewery won a prestigious AGC ACE award for Best Building Project – General Contractor ($10 - $40 Million). That same night, Murphy won Silver in the category of Best Building Project – Specialty Contractor ($2 - $6 Million) for their mechanical work. Earlier this year, the project was awarded ACEC Colorado's Engineering Excellence Merit Award in the Industrial and Manufacturing Processes and Facilities and Gold at the ENR Mountain States Best Projects Award for Residential / Hospitality. What makes this project so unique? Continue on to read the award-winning ACE submittal. 

What Makes This Project Unique
Few construction projects this year garnered more excitement from the general public than the opening of Breckenridge Brewery’s Littleton campus. The project was truly designed as a “destination brewery” and is already attracting hordes of locals and out-of-towners alike. Restaurant wait times on a Saturday night can get up to two hours. With such a public focus on one project, what is truly incredible are the challenges the team successfully overcame to delivery such a dynamic project. The project team seamlessly integrated work on three different building types, overcame the West Coast labor strike, coordinated brewery equipment from Germany arriving in one shipment of 40 containers, safely installed this very expensive equipment, and mediated water during one of the wettest construction seasons on record on a 12-acre site adjacent to the Platte River. 

Project Description
The new $35 million Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton sits on a 12-acre campus on south Santa Fe, right along the Platte River. With its three buildings—a restaurant, brew house, and production building, totaling 80,000 square feet—and bucolic design, the expansive site is reminiscent of a farmstead. 

The Farm House Restaurant is a 9,200 square-foot, 300-seat, wood-frame restaurant that captures the farm theme of the site with its timber frame and array of reclaimed materials. Stepping outside the restaurant treats visitors to pleasant beer garden, complete with bocce ball courts and events stage for outdoor concerts. 

The brew house is a 21,000 square-foot structural steel building housing the brew vessels and operations offices. The brew house is meant to showcase the brewing process by placing the stainless steel brew vessels front and center in an open and inviting structure. Wood accents help create a warmer and welcoming environment for brewery visitors. 

The production building is a 50,000 square-foot metal building home to the fermentation tanks, packaging, bottling, canning, and dry and cold storage. 

Until this summer, Breckenridge Brewery’s brewing operations were based out of their 5th and Kalamath location. They were producing almost 60,000 barrels of beer annually, but over the last few years, demand was exceeding their supply. This new campus is currently on track to produce 90,000 barrels this year with intended production to reach 300,000 barrels a year within three to five years. 

Solutions of Special Projects
Top-of-the-line brewing equipment is still almost exclusively designed and manufactured in Germany, meaning different languages, time zones, and measurement systems. Early on Hyder facilitated a point of contact between us and Krones, the German equipment manufacturer, to overcome these communication challenges. All equipment was shipped at one time in 40 shipping containers, requiring vigilant coordination to cycle on-site deliveries. 

Last year’s West Coast labor strike delayed the delivery of some of the brewery equipment. The team worked together to re-sequence the work to avoid impacting the schedule. 

This project had to endure one of the wettest seasons on record. While many projects in the region battled the same conditions, most other sites weren’t on a huge 12-acre lot next to a river. The campus was a mud pit more often than not, with water frequently delaying work and adding additional remediation efforts such as mud removal. Even with the bizarre weather season, the team was able to plan accordingly, compartmentalize the work, and keep the schedule moving forward. They managed the budget closely to utilize contingency for water remediation and additional storm water management. Despite minor weather delays, the owner was still able to seamlessly transition between their facilities without any penalties. The project came in on budget as well, thanks to the team’s proactive management. 

The expensive brewery equipment was about a third of the construction budget and not easily replaceable. It had to be installed with extreme care. To impact the brew vessels as minimally as possible, they were installed after the structural steel and consequently dropped in through the open roof with a crane, much like threading a needle. The team worked together to schedule the deliveries of each vessel just-in-time, constantly monitor the installation crew to ensure the vessels were installed properly, and train crews working post-installation to keep the tanks in pristine condition. Thanks to their careful efforts, all the brewery equipment was installed correctly and undamaged.    

Excellence in Project Execution and Teamwork | Construction Innovations
This project included three buildings and three building types—metal building, stick-frame, and structural steel—a panoply of unique finishes, and averaged 60 workers on site daily. In addition, the owner’s timeline significantly complicated this project. Construction had to start before design was completed in order for the owner to be out of their original brewing facility and into this new one within their strict timeline. To keep the project flowing smoothly with so many workers and building types, we engaged brewery-experienced subcontractors early on, identified subcontractors that could handle multiple scopes of work to reduce complex coordination, coordinated sequencing of work to maintain good flow, and 3D modeled the highly complex production building to eliminate clashes. 

This project features a variety of unique elements to simulate the farm house feel for the project. The restaurant’s back bar lowers and rises on a pulley system. To help turn the designer’s vision into a reality, Hyder strategized this portion of the project as a design/build effort with the subcontractor. Reclaimed materials, from metal panels to millwork, play a key role in the project’s ambiance. To ensure these materials were installed properly, specialty contractors were brought on. In addition to reclaimed materials, the project utilized other green features such as an energy recovery system, solar lighting, native grasses, and water-reclamation process. 

Over 150,000 man hours were worked on this project, all without a single lost time accident or OSHA recordable incident. 

With a project that has been in the media a lot and had multiple opening dates—the restaurant opened a month before the brewery—pedestrians were often on site. Safety was extremely important on this job. Any work going on was scheduled in pedestrian-free zones. Managing safety and access was a constant for the project team. 

Our site-specific safety orientation was vital to the success project. The orientation was based on Hyder’s in-house program, developed on past similar projects. All trades on site had to attend and received a hard hat sticker so anyone on site without the safety orientation could be easily identified. 

Hyder instituted an interactive safety award program to recognize workers who went above and beyond to correct unsafe work and promote safety. Barbeque luncheons were held several times to encourage safety. Workers who had been recognized received safety prize tickets and were included in prize drawings to commend their achievements. 

In addition, Hyder held weekly safety meetings, daily tool-box talks, and employed an on-site safety manager to walk the job-site daily. We also held daily huddles with the field foreman to go over logistics and construction and address any safety concerns. Each piece of unique equipment had its own specific safety orientation. Safety audits included monthly internal audits by the general contractor and major trades, as well as random third party audits. 

The team also had to be very diligent about stormwater management on this expansive 12-acre site during one of the rainiest seasons on record. The team was often audited and always passed with an A. This process was managed by a third-party stormwater management plan. We utilized bobcats for clearing mud, a full-time employee to maintain the entrances and silt fence, street sweepers, off-site parking for construction to minimize site mud, extra gravel for traffic pads, and boards for construction site walkways. 

Excellence in Client Service & Contribution to Community
The location of this project does so much for the City of Littleton and truly revitalizes the area. The restaurant houses 300 guests at a time and the site will employ 150 people. The destination will bring in tax revenue, is right on the South Platte River bike path, and within walking distance of the light rail. The new street light on Santa Fe improves traffic flow on the major artery. 

At the end of the project, the Founder and President of Breckenridge Brewery, Ed Cerkovnik, commented, “The Hyder team has been outstanding and in my view, they have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty. We greatly appreciate their dedication and hard work.” 


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