One of our strengths is executing industrial projects under the Design/Build scheme. On November 17th, 2022, we delivered on time the construction of a distribution center in General Escobedo, Nuevo León. The project began on May 3rd of the same year and was completed successfully. Although we faced challenges along the way, we overcame them thanks to teamwork, coordination, and communication with the client.
The complete project included a distribution center, offices, and support rooms, with an area of 154,677 sqft ( 13,370 m²) of warehouse and 301,390 sqft (28,000 m²) of site. The building´s shell consisted of 12” (30.5 cm) thick insulated tilt-up walls, a composite roofing system with TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) membrane, and rigid thermal insulation. The slab on grade had a thickness of 7″ (18 cm) with concrete of low contraction, complying with a strict flatness and levelness specification. We also added a lithium-based hardener to protect and increase the floor’s durability inside the distribution center.
It was a fast-track, build-to-suit project, with the executive design carried out 100% by Hermosillo’s team while the client provided the conceptual architectural project. It was requested to be designed and built under FM (Factory Mutual) guidelines, internationally recognized, and required for building insurance.
The client requested a first delivery of the fully enclosed and water-tight building four months after the warehouse construction project’s start date. Later on, the second delivery was five months after the start date consisting of the complete warehouse, including MEP utilities. Lastly, the substantial completion of the office area took place in the sixth month.
The main challenges we faced during the execution of this project were the following:
- Market demand. After the pandemic and due to nearshoring, Mexico’s construction industry market was expanding, and the increasing demand for construction services became a problem. It was no exception for our contractors. It was extensive work to search and select those who were available to support us correctly and simultaneously execute the project on time.
- Shortening of supplies. The same happened with materials and equipment; we faced excess demand in the market and had to reach the manufacturers or main suppliers directly to ensure the items’ delivery on time. For example, some materials, such as the TPO membrane for the roof, major electrical equipment, dock levelers and curtains, and the fire protection system, had lead times of more than 16 weeks, falling out of the standard project schedule.
- Adverse weather conditions. The worse drought seen in 30 years was faced in the State of Nuevo Leon from May to August, creating a huge challenge to provide water for earthworks execution and potable water to our staff on site. Later on, from August to November, we witnessed heavy daily rains, generating conflicts in various activities. Consequently, we had to execute the most challenging part of the project adapting to the weather restrictions.
Following our LEAN Construction culture and working collaboratively with our contractors, we solved the challenges presented in the following ways:
- Market saturation: “Conquer and Win” Our execution strategy consisted of dividing the major contracts among different specialized contractors simultaneously executing several trades, reducing the setbacks of lack of labor and materials. Our collaborators used LEAN Construction’s “Last Planner” methodology in order to monitor the progress daily, ensuring all subcontractors were aligned and focused on meeting our project’s delivery commitments on time.
- Lack of supplies: “Think outside the Box” We looked for different options to ensure lead times in materials and equipment meeting the quality and specifications of the project. We submitted options to the client, focusing on products that could be delivered in less than 12 weeks. We also worked directly with manufacturers, looking for suppliers in Mexico and the United States.
- Adverse weather conditions: “Adapt or Die” To execute the project without setbacks during the rainy season, we had to implement mitigations for rainwater and carry out thorough daily planning. In this way, we could ensure correct job execution when the weather allowed us to work and simultaneously not interfere with the client’s activities. For example, we built temporary roads using crushed stones to enable access and, at the same time, enhance stormwater ground filtration.
We communicated clearly and openly with the client during the project, solving potential setbacks and providing necessary support. Once the supplies of equipment and materials were secured, and our detailed schedule generated a great strategy between the various subcontractors, we focused on ensuring the project’s success towards the delivery date, for which we worked for three months in different shifts, 24 hours a day.
Thanks to the LEAN Construction approach and the collaborative work among all who were part of this project, from the design, during the procurement, and on the construction site, we managed to have more than 700,000 hours without any accidents. Upon completing 500,000 hours without casualties, we held a safety event to thank and congratulate all the construction crew for collaborating safely.
We like challenges and hard work. We are specialists in solving and executing complex projects. We also seek to provide design solutions and enhance value during construction to exceed our customer´s requirements by delivering on-time first-class projects. Hermosillo is your local partner in executing challenging projects throughout Mexico.