JE Dunn Construction – Barton Skyway
General Contractor: JE Dunn
Location: Austin, TX
by Juliette B. Bradley
Founded in 1924, JE Dunn Construction is the 16th largest domestic general building contractor in the United States with 23 office locations. The firm’s vision is to be an indispensable business partner for its clients by understanding its purpose, goals, and delivering transformational solutions with a certainty of results. JE Dunn maintains a commitment to its clients and building goals while staying true to its guiding principles — the philosophy of its business operation which is family and employee-owned.
In 2014, Gordon Lansford was named the first non-Dunn family member to lead the company as President and CEO. Under Gordon’s leadership, the company continues to experience growth and success. Corporate and personal involvement and investment in the communities in which JE Dunn works is a key part of its values, with more than 10 percent of the company’s pre-tax earnings going to charities throughout the country.
Barton Skyway is a 25.57 acre, four building, Class A office park in Southwest Austin. JE Dunn selected one of the four buildings to renovate to house its growing Austin team. JE Dunn’s Senior Project Engineer, Sam Owens, contacted American Direct and AccessNsite to put a plan together for access control and began work immediately.
Owens had a vision for the doors using aluminum frames and he consulted with American Direct’s Vice President Sales, Todd Neely, regarding the best choice for hardware. All doors were custom size so that the doors would extend to the ceiling lines. The doors were either 8 ft.-6 in. or 8 ft.-10.5 inches tall.
Neely says, “We did full design work on division 8 and 28. We installed the readers and we utilized AccessNsite software to drive the access locks that control the main entrance, secondary entrance points and a few doors inside the office space.”
American Direct’s Project Manager, Melissa Jenkins, says, “This schedule was so tight and this tenant office space had a few unique situations. The office suite entry door’s keying had to be tied into the office building entry keying.” Jenkin’s team had to obtain the keying information from the rest of the building so that she could key those openings into the locksets to match the building owners’ key functions. This would allow its manual key override (in case of electrical failure) to operate correctly. The interior keying was on a different system — one that the client managed. Two different key systems in one space is a complex situation that takes significant coordination and organization to set up.
JE Dunn is utilizing AccessNsite software in their building in Austin, Texas, but the software is being housed on JE Dunn’s server in Kansas City, Missouri, at its building headquarters. American Direct and AccessNsite have the ability in the future to quickly and efficiently implement and transition access control at any other JE Dunn buildings around the country and tie those buildings into the same software as was provided in Austin.
AccessNsite’s Vice President Enterprise Systems, Brian Ashley, says, “We gave JE Dunn a seamless single point of deployment and design. This is a true partnership between architect, engineer, general contractor, and CHD/Access Control OEM. This was about getting JE Dunn exactly what they needed and it worked out beautifully.”
Renovation construction can come with unique challenges. Owens says, “Construction really is all about how you handle issues when they come up. American Direct’s and AccessNsite’s responses to me and the team were very quick and efficient. There was an issue with some exit devices that came in from the factory incorrectly installed, but by the time I even learned of the issue, the American Direct team was not only aware, but had already taken care of it and submitted a ticket with the manufacturer to get the exit devices replaced.”
Owens sums up the project by saying, “Just the idea of the turnkey solution is impressive. American Direct and AccessNsite were always on top of internal issues and made things seamless throughout the project.”