Two weeks ago I had the honor of receiving the award for best Hospitality / Residential Project from ENR Midwest on behalf of the Hyatt Place Chicago South University / Medical Center. It was a rare treat to get together with the project architect, April Maifield from Legat Architects, and our general contractor, Eric Handley from W A Randolph Construction. These two firms were instrumental to the success of this project. Using an integrated project delivery system that engaged the general contractor during the design phase allowed us to brainstorm practical, cost-effective solutions for many of the project challenges. This was particularly important as the hotel was being developed as part of the Harper Court Development, located on top of an underground parking garage that was being built by another developer. As an example, we were able to switch structural systems from poured in place concrete to light gauge metal stud during the schematic phase, saving over $1 million in project costs and 1 month in project schedule.

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