Baker & McKenzie Tenant Improvement & Relocation

Baker & McKenzie, the world's leading global law firm, relocated to the 10th and 11th floors of 2 Embarcadero Center in downtown San Francisco. The new office included a communication stair between floors, private offices around the perimeter, three conference rooms with advanced audio/visual capabilities, a law library, high-end lobby finishes, and a sophisticated lighting package. Having recently completed Baker & McKenzie's 35,000-sq.-ft. Palo Alto office renovation, DPR had a clear understanding of the customer's goals and project requirements; it was about going above and beyond.

Performing a 45,000-sq.-ft. tenant improvement within a four-milion-sq.-ft. business complex with a daily population of 14,000 people in five months can be a tall order, especially with site logistics and stringent building regulations. In addition to the limited site and building regulations of Embarcadero Center, the team was faced with several immediate project hurdles, including the availability of only one freight elevator for all trades (even for traveling between the 10th and 11th floors), a compact schedule - coupled with incomplete plans for the stairway, the procurement of lighting and furniture, and working around the ongoing operations of neighboring companies.

Having access to only one elevator, particularly with a condensed schedule, posed a major productivity challenge. DPR's team quickly resolved the issue by cutting the slab for the communication stairway between the floors early and erecting a temporary set of stairs for use until the permanent stair was built. DPR worked closely with the architect to identify potential constructability issues with the design of the stairway itself. Knowing the architect had a short window to produce construction drawings, DPR proactively submitted a few sketches to help find a workable stairway solution and keep the schedule on track.

To solve the long lead times on the lighting package, the team collaborated on the proposed lighting package to shorten the standard submittal process, resulting in approval to release numerous fixtures early.

As with any project, minimizing disruptions caused by construction is a top priority. At Embarcadero Center, noise abatement efforts go into effect at 8 a.m., requiring contractors to perform the bulk of their work during off hours. However, an added element was upstairs neighbors, one of the nation's largest full-serviced securities firms, with business starting as early as 4 a.m. DPR took an extra step to minimize construction noise even during the early morning hours, sending a team member upstairs to literally monitor noise levels and act as an immediate conduit to the construction team if it got too loud.

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