Building up downtown

The Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center is starting to take shape downtown. But there’s a lot happening on this 36-month, million-square-foot, $465 million construction project that you won’t see carried in on a crane. Several executives from Turner Construction Co., Cleveland, gave Smart Business an exclusive video interview to discuss what’s happening behind the scenes to keep this skyline-altering project on track.

WATCH the overview video of the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center

“We often say that 95 percent of a job is won or lost before you even start breaking ground,” says Turner Vice President and General Manager Mark Dent.

From coordinating traffic with the city department to engineering around Lakeside Avenue, which bisects the construction site like a bridge, the site’s downtown location presents a number of logistical and technical challenges. Turner was able to foresee potential obstacles long before breaking ground through planning technologies like Building Information Modeling, coupled with good, old-fashioned collaborative innovation with construction partners MMPI.

This foresight has added layers of sustainability, safety and quality control to the construction project as the team uncovered opportunities to recycle and reuse demolished materials on the way to becoming LEED-certified.

In fact, by the time the project is complete, as much as 98 percent of what was demolished will be recycled — which is no small feat for a project this big.

WATCH the video, “How Pre-Planning Saves at the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center Jobsite”

A jobsite of this size and scope presents a number of opportunities, as well. The Turner team has sought several ways to support community and economic development throughout the construction process — long before the convention center even opens. From interns and apprentices to SBE contractors, Turner is helping revitalize Northeast Ohio’s economy by building jobs as it builds a beacon of future economic growth. In total, more than 20,000 jobs will be created during the three-year span.

“These kids get to come in here and see, hands-on, what the work environment’s like,” says Project Executive Marty Burgwinkle. “Maybe they’re going to get interested in construction, but even if they don’t, they’re going to see how a business works. If they are interested and we find out they’re a good fit, we hire a number of them full time.”

WATCH the video, “The Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center: Economic and Community Development”

Stay tuned as Smart Business adds more to this series to update you on Cleveland’s biggest construction project.

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Turner Construction Co., Cleveland: