PROCON was honored for its work on the Joyce Cummings Center at Tufts University. PROCON designed and built the 150,000-square-foot seven-story academic building, which houses classrooms, seminar rooms, meeting space, research labs, offices, and a 160-seat auditorium.
“The Excellence in Construction Awards are the cornerstone competition in our industry, honoring projects like Tufts University Joyce Cummings Center because the work by the design-build team at PROCON exemplifies the best of the best in construction,” said 2023 National Chair of the ABC Board of Directors Milton Graugnard, Executive Vice President, Cajun Industries LLC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “This world-class construction project shows the diversity of what the merit shop construction industry builds and how we build projects safely, on time, and on budget."
Elements of the Cummings Center building that contributed to PROCON's recognition as the best construction project include PROCON's unique and sustainable design and pre-construction planning strategies, including significant coordination with Tufts University and various utilities and public transportation entities. Successful pre-planning included weekly 3D coordination and architectural detail review meetings, which allowed for more efficient sequencing and adjustability for construction tolerances.
Construction challenges included identifying a materials laydown area in an urban environment and devising an erosion control plan for the area. Construction of the Cummings Center was happening simultaneously with an expansion of the abutting MBTA Green Line and the laying of conduits under the Cummings Center by the Green Line Extension project. The urban environment and close proximity of the MBTA, rail lines, and pedestrian traffic called for significant logistic and signage planning. Additionally, when the project was near completion, PROCON made some design changes to better suit the university's needs.
“This was not an easy project. From contract negotiations through to commissioning and COVID in between, this project threw everything and the kitchen sink at us. This award is a testament to the vision of the Cummings Family, the partnership of Tufts University, and the talent, perseverance, and hard work of the PROCON team and our incredible subcontractors,” said Jen Stebbins Thomas, PROCON Managing Director. “This is a first-class, cutting-edge facility for one of the top academic institutions in the world — something we will be proud of for years to come.”
After 50 years of working with the traditional design-bid-build delivery system for construction projects, PROCON developed its own fully integrated design-build process, which includes architects, designers, and engineers working together from estimating/pre-construction through construction completion under one roof. PROCON's unique process contributed to the success of the Cummings Center and its other projects over the last 35-plus years.