What’s up, reader!
My name’s Paul McIntyre, and I’m here to provide a glimpse into my first four weeks at BGA Builder’s FedEx OB4 Project. Choosing to spend the summer at Alberici Corp. (BGA is a joint venture between Alberici Constructors, Inc., and BE&K Building Group) was a decision that I can say with confidence has been validated. I’ve learnt so much and met so many interesting people, with an internship program exceeding expectations. But before we get into that, I should probably let you know a little bit more about me.
I’m from Naperville, IL, which is one of the major cities in Chicago’s suburbs, and am an incoming Junior at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I currently study civil and environmental engineering with my primary area of focus in construction management. This past summer, I interned at a Chicagoland-based contractor that worked primarily in the healthcare space. I enjoyed my experience there and wanted something bigger to tackle, which led me to Alberici, and consequently, the OB4 Project.
OB4, or Outbound Sorting Facility (4), is an expansion to the FedEx package sorting and shipping facility at the Indianapolis International Airport. To contextualize the scale of the project, this new building is just under 800,000 square feet between two floors- over 6 football fields per floor- and will add an additional sorting capability of 50 thousand packages per hour. In the midst of COVID-19, wherein online shopping has become the norm, I’d argue few construction projects are more relevant than OB4.
The interior of the OB4 Site as of May 14, 2020. More site pictures and information can be found at bgabuilders.com.
Speaking of the pandemic, the importance of safety has been one of the most recurrent themes throughout my time in Indy. Starting from site orientation to the all-intern orientation, I was briefed on Alberici’s policies and expectations for working safely; these of course have been complemented by company-wide COVID-19 procedures. From masks to remote meetings to an abundance of office hand sanitizer, make no mistake – the presence of current events is widely impacting the OB4 Project each and every day. On top of all this, I was able to receive my OSHA-30 certification in construction safety thanks to Alberici’s expansive educational resources.
Me on the roof of OB4 in Indianapolis. I’m rocking full COVID-era PPE: hard hat, reflective vest, shades, boots, mask, and badge acknowledging I passed daily health screening. Here at OB4 we like to stay safe and fashionable.
Other highlights from my first month on the project include learning about the intricacies each OB4 team member has – thus far I have had the opportunity to work with leaders in MEP, safety, exterior site, building design, and superintendent management operations– as well as participating in subcontractor meetings and organizing OB4’s monthly owner presentation.
Perhaps my most valuable experiences on the project have been learning about the more detailed processes at the project engineering level. My gained knowledge as a result of communicating between different stakeholders, generating RFIs and punch lists, and digesting submittals, drawings, and specifications has allowed me to take my professional repertoire to the next level.
On a final note, the intern program at the corporate level has proven to be compelling. After an onboarding orientation that taught all interns about the history and identity of Alberici, we began an eight-week long process dubbed ‘Intern Hackathon,’ where teams of interns have been tasked with creating a product to improve the construction industry in the COVID-era. So far, my team and I have met three times and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with them. It’s very transparent the time and energy Alberici is ready to invest into their employees, and I can’t wait to see what the intern program will hold for my peers and I down the line.
I want to thank the team in Indianapolis for being so welcoming to my arrival and presence in the office, and special shout outs to my supervisor and PM Paul King and Assistant PM Dan Niemeier, for taking me under their wings. Spending my time at Alberici this past month has been an enjoyable, educational experience and one that I will continue to take advantage of for weeks to come.