Located across the street from the Convention Center and close to the JW Marriott Austin, which was also constructed by DPR, the Austin Marriott Cesar Chavez includes three levels of below-grade parking, a restaurant, 60,000 sq. ft. of meeting and convention space and an amenity deck with bar and pool. Together, the complementary facilities provide more than 1,600 rooms and nearly 180,000 sq. ft. of meeting space within two blocks of the convention center.
Intent on removing roadblocks at every juncture and ensuring the project remained on its critical path, the DPR team proactively resolved a variety of issues during the 32-month-long project that broke ground in late 2017. Key solutions included employing a diaphragm wall system to address a major groundwater intrusion issue and devising a multi-trade “punch crew” process that saved time and improved the room turnover speed.
DPR self-performed all structural concrete, interior drywall and framing, waterproofing and firestopping on the 385-ft. tall structure. The project built on the prefabrication strategies and lessons learned from the nearby dual-branded Aloft Austin Downtown and Element Austin downtown hotels. The facility’s prefabricated exterior skin panels feature gaskets on the top and side edges of the panels, creating a first layer of waterproofing and offering a temporary weather seal that protected the building during installation.
The DPR team contended with an array of challenges on this complex project, including an aggressive schedule that they ultimately beat by more than a month through a host of proactive solutions.
Groundwater intrusion on-site presented substantial challenges early on. During project turnover, challenges relating to the punch list process required the team to devise a more streamlined approach.
To deliver this project within the schedule, DPR utilized our self-perform workforce for the following scopes: concrete, interior drywall & framing, Division 10 Specialties, and waterproofing/fire stopping.
Photo: To deliver this project within the schedule, DPR utilized our self-perform workforce for the following scopes: concrete, interior drywall & framing, Division 10 Specialties, and waterproofing/firestopping.
DPR self-perform crews played an integral role helping drive the schedule and quality. SPW concrete crews shaved a month off the original 14-month structure schedule, switching from a 6-day floor turnover cycle to a five-day cycle during the last 20 floors of work.
Facing substantial water intrusion, the team devised a 32-inch-thick diaphragm wall retention system that ran along the perimeter of the site along with three other types of retention systems used due to site constraints.
Photo: The team devised a 32-inch-thick diaphragm wall retention system that ran along the perimeter of the site.
Careful planning of the guestroom punch list activities included working closely with the owner to develop the site-specific punch process. Bringing together multi-trade teams, the process focused on correcting punch items as they were identified. This “fix it as you go” approach saved time and enabled rooms to be sold as they were completed rather than waiting until overall completion.