Riley Takes No Prisoners on St. Charles PD Project

Chicagoland’s men and women in blue were all smiles during the St. Charles Police Station’s “Law Enforcement Day,” an open house celebrating the completion of SCPD’s brand new headquarters. The September 6 event welcomed police and local officials from municipalities across the Chicago metro area to tour this exceptional example of cutting-edge police department construction.

The brand new 56,000 square-foot facility accommodates 82 staff members, including 54 sworn officers. The station incorporates modern aesthetics with maximum workflow efficiency, and contains the space and equipment needed for SCPD to serve the community safely, effectively, and with room for future growth.

Riley Construction proudly served as construction manager on this impressive facility and delivered the job both ahead of schedule and below budget.

Riley would like to thank the St. Charles Police Department and City officials, as well as architect FGM, for all their support in keeping this project moving smoothly.

Thinking of building or remodeling your municipal facility? Click here to connect with a Riley Construction representative and Let Us Make Your Job Easier™!


InSinkErator Corporate HQ wins ENR Midwest’s Best Projects Award of Merit

Riley Construction is excited to announce that the InSinkErator Corporate Headquarters project in Mount Pleasant, WI won the Award of Merit in the Office/Retail/Mixed-Use Category for Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s Top Projects in the Midwest!

You can see the full list of winning projects here.

Congratulations to all who worked on this award-winning project!


Riley wins Safety and Risk Excellence Award!

Riley received the Safety and Risk Excellence Award from Summit Insurance Ltd. for the third year in a row! To even be a part of this elite group, a company must have safety and risk protocols that are consistently rated above the national average, and to win an award on top of that is a HUGE honor!

This achievement is based on our company’s Safety Culture and making sure that our number one priority is getting all workers home safely each day. Congratulations to all Riley employees!

Ribbon cutting for Broadview Municipal Center

Riley joined the Village of Broadview for two events celebrating the Village’s new Municipal Center. On Friday 5/24, the Village hosted a VIP event for local officials. Saturday, June 1 was the official ribbon cutting and public Open House. Both events showcased Broadview’s amazing new 911 dispatch center and beautifully renovated police headquarters and village hall.

A huge CONGRATULATIONS and thanks to everyone at Broadview and FGM Architects for allowing Riley to be part of this special project!

Broadview Municipal Facility completed a month early!

Riley’s excited to announce that we reached substantial completion on the Broadview Municipal Facility a full month ahead of schedule!

A huge thanks for FGM Architects and everyone involved for this true team effort, and CONGRATS to the Village of Broadview on such a beautiful building!

How Efficiently Can a Project be Built?

By John Delavan, Vice President of Preconstruction

And how can it be made even more efficient? That is what Constructability Analysis is all about. It’s a project management technique to review construction processes from start to finish to identify obstacles before a project is actually built. The process maximizes efficiency, minimizes waste, and assures that construction projects are completed on time or ahead of schedule.

Constructability Analysis entails a complete review of all construction documents to identify, reduce or eliminate areas that could result in errors or delays during construction — BEFORE they occur. Constructability Analysis also gives the preconstruction team a chance to find potential areas for collaborative value engineering.

Design Stage

  • Review of the design with the Construction Manager, client, consultants and architects/designers to make sure the design is realistic
  • Review whether the design can be executed within budget—If not, what can be done to get it to budget?
  • Review whether the design will take longer to execute than time afforded to the project—How can processes be sped up without sacrificing quality?

Planning Stage

  • Review which materials will be necessary to complete the design, and which are the most cost effective while still achieving the vision
  • Review which equipment is necessary to achieve construction, and which can be done without
  • Perform a cost/benefit analysis on equipment quantity demands

How Riley Can Help

Projects that go through a Constructability Analysis during the preconstruction phase are more likely to finish on time and under budget. Our knowledge of local construction markets and previous experience with similar projects combine to create the most accurate Constructability Analysis possible. Our preconstruction team collaborates with the team to analyze the various building systems and components from several perspectives including: labor and material availability; procurement and installation time requirements; installation means and methods; and system and material selections. Our goal is to give the design team all the information they need to select and coordinate materials and systems in the context of the entire procurement and construction process.

Project: Communication

Communication is key to keeping construction projects running smoothly. There are a lot of people involved in a project including the client, the construction team, subcontractors, vendors, architects, etc. It’s important to be able to communicate with everyone, not just about the project information, but also on a personal level to create trust and build a long-term professional relationship.

Here are some tips that everyone involved in a project can use to communicate well, make sure needs are met, and build relationships.

  • Always be honest and genuine – Trust is earned.
  • Every interaction is an opportunity to build relationships – You can learn more about someone even during a short conversation.
  • Be attentive and responsive – Pay attention to what is needed and respond accordingly.
  • Go above and beyond – If you don’t exceed expectations, someone else will.
  • Building a good relationship takes time – Have patience and continue to communicate throughout the project, and remember to follow up after.

For more information about how Riley can “Make Your Job Easier”, please contact us.

Managing Change Orders

A change order in construction is a document used to record an amendment to the original construction contract. They create a record of services either added or removed, along with the cost of those services. Few construction projects go from start to finish without a change. The ability to manage changes in a formal, organized fashion is imperative to successfully control costs within budget, avoid disputes, and keep the project on schedule.

A Construction Manager’s role should first start in the preconstruction phase to reduce the need for change orders during construction. They should:

  • Be involved during the Design Phase – A good Construction Manager will study the design drawings as they are progressing and provide recommendations for better construction means and methods, as well as identify areas of conflict and overlap. All of these, if not addressed, can cause change orders to arise during the construction phase.
  • Create a Scope of Work for each bid package – A defined scope of work summary should be made for each trade contractor bidding the project. By clearly defining each trade’s scope of work, and including that narrative in the specification, the opportunity for unnecessary change orders is reduced or eliminated.

When a change order is needed, the item will first be assigned as a “Potential Change Order (PCO)”. After thorough review and adjusting for any discrepancies, it will then be submitted to the Owner and Architect for review. No work should begin until the Owner provides written authorization for the change order to be implemented.

Having this change order process in place helps manage expectations of everyone involved in the project, making sure everyone is on the same page with how change orders are to be initiated and processed.

Riley has extensive experience drafting and implementing successful change management and change order procedure plans. Working with the design team, we develop and implement a formal change management process for each project that incorporates a thorough tracking system for change orders. Contact us for more information.

Women in Construction

By Heather Vyvyan, Marketing Coordinator

Women are currently underrepresented in the construction industry, even though they make up about half of the total working population. The percentage of women employed in construction has stayed constant since 2002 at only 9%. But there are many jobs for women to claim in the construction industry. Breaking down the stereotype of construction as a male-dominated field, exposing girls to construction careers, and ensuring an inclusive environment are all essential to continued industry growth.

Huge Job Opportunities in Construction

Construction is one of the fastest growing job categories — employment in this sector rose by 13,000 in June and is up 282,000 over June 2017, according to Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. Construction industry trade jobs pay relatively well and do not require a college degree. With the cost of a college education continually increasing, trade jobs are a great alternative. The tight labor market for construction workers will create more opportunities for all workers, including women.

With the unemployment rate at record lows and not enough skilled laborers to fill open positions, the construction industry is trying hard to recruit the next generation of tradesmen and women. The goal is to expose children to potential construction careers early in life. Many companies and organizations are not only attending career fairs at high schools but are also hosting events at elementary schools. The future of the construction industry is dependent on increasing the number of qualified workers, especially women entering the industry, both in management and trades roles.

Recent advances in construction technology have also led to more STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs for women in construction, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering and surveying. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that jobs in STEM industries will increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024. This increase will create thousands of new job opportunities for women in construction. Women who enter STEM careers earn an average of 33% more than women in other jobs.

Women continue to break boundaries and challenge misconceptions in the construction workforce. Historically, women primarily worked in office roles in the industry. According to NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction), in 1985, 68% of women in construction served in clerical or other support roles. By 2016, only 45% of women in construction were serving in sales or office positions. Women are gaining representation in a variety of other construction roles, with 21% of women working in the construction trades. Between 2010 and 2016, the percentage of females in construction management and other professional roles nearly doubled, rising from 16% to 31%.

Construction is a busy and ever-changing industry. Every project is different and never boring. It’s also a chance to have an impact on the future of your community. A career in construction brings personal pride in what you are building – whether hospital, school, warehouse or municipal building. Young women should research and consider the opportunities of this busy industry. An exciting career awaits! Check out the current opportunities at Riley here.

The ladies of Riley at a recent outing.

Staying Safe

Riley Construction just reached 1,000 days without a lost time injury, equal to 1,191,479 man hours! This is a very important milestone that has only been reached because everyone is involved in the safety process.

We believe that every accident is preventable, and that philosophy is embedded into every project through a combination of field procedures and ongoing safety training. Riley’s goal is for all employees, subcontractors and clients to return home to their families safely every evening. We attribute our safety success in part to having a formal, complete safety and health program in place.

Safety and Health Programs

The first item needed to be safe in construction is a formal Safety and Health Program describing the organization’s commitment to safety and health, and pledging to establish and maintain a safety and health program for all workers. Expectations are spelled out, safety and health concerns are considered in all business decisions, and resources are available to implement the safety and health program. The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers.

Safety and health programs foster a proactive approach to “finding and fixing” job site hazards before they can cause injury or illness. Rather than reacting to an incident, management and workers collaborate to identify and solve issues before they occur. This collaboration builds trust, enhances communication, and often leads to other business improvements.

To be effective, any safety and health program needs the meaningful participation of workers and their representatives. Workers have much to gain from a successful program, and the most to lose if the program fails. They also often know the most about potential hazards associated with their jobs. Successful programs tap into this knowledge base. Worker participation means participation in establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving the safety and health program.

All workers:

  • Are encouraged to participate in the program and feel comfortable providing input and reporting safety or health concerns.
  • Have access to information they need to participate effectively in the program.
  • Have opportunities to participate in all phases of program design and implementation.
  • Are encouraged to raise safety and health concerns; report injuries, illnesses, and hazards; participate in the program; and exercise safety and health rights.

Workers are often best positioned to identify safety and health concerns, such as emerging job site hazards, unsafe conditions, close calls/near misses, and actual incidents. By encouraging reporting and following up promptly on all reports, employers can address issues before someone gets hurt or becomes ill.

Including worker input at every step of program design and implementation improves the ability to identify the presence and causes of job site hazards, creates a sense of program ownership among workers, enhances their understanding of how the program works, and helps sustain the program over time.

*Adapted from OSHA. More information can be found here.