Stanford demands more from its suppliers and contractors. Edward discusses the scope of the project and how WL Hickey met or exceeded them.
The following is a transcript of the video "The Use of Modern Materials When Paired with Historical Architectural Design: A PCBC Conversation" :
Kenneth: So, Stanford itself is known for its aesthetic, if you will, its own brand and they're known for longevity. They've been there since 1883 and a lot of the buildings have been there since the 1800s and then the '20s and then they have landmarks from the mid-century, so when they're building a new project like this, do they really impress on you how long it has to last? Is that something that is just a given or are they actually telling you we expect this building to last this many decades?
Edward: Well, you can just look at their design criteria and you can tell that they are not doing it in the most competitive way. They're doing it for lasting, just the way that they...just the rough plumbing, or the copper pipe, and being braised and there's different criteria that shows that they are looking for the long-term.
Lee: You know, and one of the other amazing facts to me is the design, the architectural team, this building looks like it's been there. I mean, it's so well...what would be the term?
Lee: Sighted and it just flows really well with the total concept of Stanford's campus.
Edward: Stanford's whole campus is all around that Spanish look. The walls and the roofs and so...
Kenneth: And the courtyards.
Edward: And the courtyards. When they build something, it looks like it's been there for many, many years.
Kenneth: So, with the life cycle, I'm just curious. I want to drill down a little on the details of how Stanford approaches life cycle costing. Do they have their own program for determining a life cycle? And do they come and say, "We've analyzed it and this isn't meeting our criteria" Or how does...do you know how that works?
Edward: Well, I'll let Lee address that.
Lee: Well, you know, we do quite a bit of student housing all across the country, MIT, UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford. The universities, when they build their own student housing, they have a formula that the building has to last a life cycle, and whether that be 7 years before they renovate or it's 15 years before they renovate, they can put a number to that, and typically, an independently owned university such as Stanford will go further because their design criteria is to fit within the floor of the campus in their image and it's built quite a bit more to last.
Edward: Right. To give you an idea, we just finished Highland Hall. We are now moving next door to an existing building and doing a retrofit, and what we're doing is we're going through removing the water closets, the sinks, and all that, but we are not touching those tubs because to take them out would be so costly that they have to have those units last for a long time, because water closets, lavatories, all that, they're easy to change, but changing an intact shower unit is way too difficult, which is true in hospitality and everything. So, they need these things to last and maybe they'll change the trim out, the cover plates you see, but to pull that whole shower out is just too expensive.
Kenneth: Got it.
Edward: So, they've got to last.
Lee: And one other neat thing. When you work with an independently owned university, they are not mandated to go with the lowest bid.
Lee: Is that correct?
Edward: That is correct.
Lee: And that is for product and also for contractors, and that's where you get the quality and that's what we all stand behind and that's why we've had a relationship with Hickey for so long.
Edward: Well, also to give you an idea. When we went back to Stanford, we had not really worked there for 40 years. We did a student housing in 1979 and then had not really been back there in any major way. But when we came back to do Highland Hall, we were brought in...we had to get through a series of interviews and we finally got to the head of facilities person that said, "How long have you been around?" And I said, "Okay. A hundred and..." It was 111 years then he goes, "Okay. That's fine."
And anyway, so he says, "Why haven't you worked here?" And I said, "Well, we just haven't had the opportunity." He says, "Okay. You can come in. You're gonna do this project, but I'll tell you right now, if you're gonna be back in this room, it's not going to be a good thing. So you better perform." So, I was given my marching orders, or we were given our marching orders that day, and good news is we've never had to be back, so.
Kenneth: Sometimes a meeting's not a good thing.
Edward: Yes, yes, it's true.