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Solitair Brickell Apartments in Miami, FL is a project that required a standard of planning precision many industry professionals might go their whole careers without experiencing. But through lean planning practices and an unwavering will to succeed, our team was able to overcome an incredibly compressed schedule and other complexities like a zero lot line site in a dense, urban area. By planning the project with the input of trade partners and pulling backwards from their milestones—a marked shift from conventional left-to-right or push planning—the team developed a reliable schedule. Pull planning also supported Zero Harm efforts on a number of critical path activities. Through a highly collaborative and Lean approach to executing this remarkable project, the Solitair team cemented their status not only as a great team but as a prototype of planning excellence.
The Proof is in the Pulling
It’s typical for a 40+ story building to turn over five months after buck hoists are removed. The Solitair team did it in two.
“What gets measured gets done.” For our team at Solitair Brickell Apartments in Miami, Florida, measuring (and managing) a 48-story apartment tower demanded a standard of planning precision and an unwavering will to succeed.
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Choosing between a safe jobsite and Lean planning is a false choice. Take for instance how Solitair approached setting the building’s cooling towers. Originally, the team had planned this activity to occur three days after topping out—facilitating the start of a critical 45-day period. But after determining this sequence would actually hinder the progression of other critical work that due to the towers’ sheer size and limited roof space, a new plan was formulated to set the towers at the end of the 45-day period as opposed to the beginning.
Safety First. Lean Always.
“Thinking from right to left is a big shift I had to make,” concedes Jeremiah Sizer, general superintendent for the project. “I never liked dictating schedules and always thought there had to be a better way. [Pull planning] is that better way—it’s practical, safer and gives us more realistic information.”
So instead of conventional push planning—working from the start date forward—Solitair adopted pull planning—working from a target completion date backward—so they could be proactive instead of reactive in their approach. Which meant that every morning decision-makers from the trades would gauge their progress against established target milestones on planning boards.
They’re the lifeblood of the construction industry and proof positive that what comes after the decimal points is what separates good teams from great ones. That’s because from cubic yards of concrete to inches of decorative tile, builders have little room for approximation. And it’s why successful project execution hinges upon achieving precision, day in and day out, until the owner is presented with a set of keys.
Dedicated to Details
This decision that rendered the process much safer through utilization of man lifts as opposed to ladders and showed the value in thinking through both work chronology as well as pre-task planning.
Through their collaborative and Lean approach the Solitair team is cementing their status not only as a great team but as a blueprint of planning excellence.