Cutting Cost at Bryan

3 months ago Triangle 0

Written by: Nathan Ecarma, Editor-in-Chief

Bryan chose a cost-effective elevator for the Stophel Center.

The change of elevator and the rain slowed down construction slightly. Larry Ballard, who is in charge of on-site construction, for the Center said, “The first thing we wanted to do was try to get the elevator in because it takes so much room trying to work that thing around it, a bunch of concrete trucks around it.”

The crew is working on the foundation while waiting for the drawings for the new elevator. Ballard said, “It was quite a bit cheaper than what the other one was. Bryan was wanting to save the money. So, we submitted what they wanted, and they haven’t approved everything yet.”

The crew is working around where the elevator will be, leaving it open for its construction. For this new elevator, they have to dig a hole five-six feet deep, seven-four wide and five-six long. Then they will pour concrete walls in the hole.

The old elevator would have required a hole that’s a foot and a half in diameter and 22 feet deep, placing a big round steel pipe in the hole, and then the elevator would have something of a plunger on the bottom of it, a hydraulic based system that would push it to the next floor.

The new one has a hydraulic pump that sits in the bottom of the pit and pushes it up and down. “They’re a whole lot easier to put in than the regular thing and quite a bit cheaper,” Ballard said.

The new elevator is the same as in Robinson residence hall, built around 2010, according to Ballard.

The elevatory will sit somewhere in front of this truck.

Vice President of Operations, Tim Hostetler, said, “We’ve done what’s called value engineering.” Value engineering is the process of establishing value based on a ratio of function to cost. “What can give us the same performance but won’t be as expensive,” Hostetler said.

“It’s like buying a car. You could get a Taurus or a Jaguar, but if all you’re trying to do is drive back and forth between Chattanooga, what do you need? A Taurus will do. So, if they spec a Jaguar, and then we said, ‘Yeah, we don’t really need a Jaguar. We just need the Taurus.’”

He said that the firm that designed the building is from Indiana, so the determined prices would differ from here. “If you spec that car, is there an equivalent replacement that’s half that price? We might have one that’s made in Chattanooga that looks and feels the same but the one in Ohio is much more expensive.”

The elevator will save $30,000. “Obviously, the elevator is still going to go up and down,” Hostetler said.

Hostetler said that they have opted for a different roof, saving $80,000, and a different A/C brand, saving $20,000. “It adds up to real money after a while,” he said. “Buildings are outrageously expensive.”

The typical cost for a commercial building is around $3.6-4.5 million. The Stophel Center will be “closer to the $4 million range.”


Nathan Ecarma studies Bible, culture, and language. He is a senior.