In today’s news, we will look into making sure that municipal construction projects are effective and require the participation of everyone. Since the beginning of time, communities have relied on their municipal facilities for their health, safety, and cultural needs. Meanwhile, Bechtel is going to construct semiconductor manufacturing facilities for intel in Ohio. On top of that, we will look at how native American architects, artists, and activists are restoring tribal sovereignty through design.
Successful municipal construction projects require teamwork
Municipal buildings have been essential to community health, safety, and culture for millennia. Managing the construction and refurbishment of fire and police stations, government buildings, and public works facilities demands the capacity to manage various moving pieces and form relationships with multiple stakeholders.
Making sure everyone’s input is heard and acknowledged in these projects needs a careful and polite attitude throughout. To guarantee a smooth construction process, here are three strategies to engage stakeholders.
Collaboration and composure are essential.
Due to supply chain challenges and rising raw material costs, early design collaboration is needed to create a plan that fulfills all stakeholders’ objectives and project goals.
To ensure ideas are feasible and within budget, include stakeholders and the construction team early on. Municipal clients usually submit definite budgets on Day 1. To complete the task within scope, the construction team must collaborate with architects and designers.
Taking inventory early and anticipating material supply chain concerns ensures timely delivery. The building industry faces weekly material cost variations due to today’s fluctuating market conditions. Thus, the project team and stakeholders must be informed about cost increases throughout design. Designers can also request alternative materials from teams.
Municipal structures’ land quality is also important. For instance, geotechnical and soil reports highlight possibly polluted soil. If faults are found, new structural material may cost more. The design and project teams use this approach to assess bearing capability while planning the building foundation.
Be ready for everything
Organization is crucial to keep each project component moving with different stakeholders involved at every level.
Municipal buildings are purposefully planned to survive decades. Construction teams use BIM and CAD to develop a solid foundation (CAD). These strong systems and tools can detect problems weeks or months before onsite construction, saving time, energy, and money.
Security is another important component of the design process, especially when construction workers are working on sensitive facilities like evidence rooms, holding spaces, and jail cells. Due to code and material restrictions, these projects usually involve the U.S. Department of Corrections. Vehicles must move rapidly in and out of structures, therefore traffic flow is very important.
Consistent communication is essential for municipal construction projects, which involve village board members, administrators, public works directors, and police and fire chiefs. Sharing information daily and weekly is crucial for municipal approval processes, which are more complicated. Thus, updates and decisions can be made more promptly and efficiently.
The most successful projects also have a single decision maker. This chosen stakeholder gets input from everyone engaged, allowing the project group to reach consensus repeatedly. In weekly or monthly meetings, the guiding decision maker clarifies next steps for design, budget, bidding, and requests for information (RFIs). Civic meetings with nearby homeowners and businesses to examine finances and discuss construction expectations are also essential to keep the community active and informed.
Ohio Semiconductor Manufacturing Facilities by Bechtel
Intel’s sophisticated semiconductor manufacturing will move there.
Intel picked Bechtel today to develop its new semiconductor manufacturing facilities in New Albany, Licking County, Ohio. The fabrication facilities will revive U.S. chipmaking and strengthen the global semiconductor supply chain. Ohio and America benefit from this capability.
Intel’s investment will transform the region into the “Silicon Heartland” by creating a supply chain of engineers, construction experts, and craft workers to deliver these facilities. Bechtel will engage with North America’s Building Trades Unions and suppliers to develop new construction jobs and train local education organizations.
“Bechtel is thrilled to partner with Intel and the people of Ohio to recover U.S. semiconductor production,” said Catherine Hunt Ryan, president of Bechtel Manufacturing and Technology. “A project of this complexity and magnitude—with an outsized impact on the community and economy—is the type of work Bechtel is ideally positioned to deliver. We are thrilled to be picked by Intel as its partner and we are ready to create their most advanced semiconductor facilities in the world.”
“Intel has chosen Bechtel to deliver our largest construction project to date, advancing our aim to establish a more sustainable, robust, and globally balanced supply of silicon,” said Jackie Sturm corporate vice president, Global Supply Chain Operations at Intel Corporation. “Bechtel has decades of world class expertise in major global construction projects, leveraging a profoundly skilled staff, key craft support and sophisticated analytics technologies. Their continuous commitment on safety, quality and innovation aligns with Intel fundamental values. We look forward to creating the future of U.S. semiconductor production together.”
Bechtel will design and build Intel Ohio Phase 1, a 2.5 million-square-foot complex including 600,000 square feet of cleanrooms. Construction will require as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and as much concrete as the highest buildings. Bechtel’s ability to design for rapid changes in technology and implement best-in-class construction innovation will help Intel accomplish its aspirations in the next generation of manufacturing.
The new facilities will build Intel’s leading-edge chips, boosting manufacturing to meet increased demand for innovative semiconductors. The recently approved CHIPS and Science Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act highlight the importance of public-private partnerships, as they provide federal funding to encourage skills training to help build the workforce of the future.
Bechtel’s work for Intel in Licking County will build on the company’s long tradition of delivering projects with purpose in Ohio. Most recently, Bechtel developed a low-carbon energy facility in Carroll County, where it supported a new construction trade curriculum with Southern Local Schools and engaged with the community to strengthen the resilience of the local people during the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Intel Invests in Ohio
- Intel’s Ohio Groundbreaking Ceremony
- Intel: Innovating and Investing in Ohio
Industry and government trust Bechtel for engineering, construction, and project management. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our tireless commitment to provide the most successful outcomes, we link our skills to our customers’ objectives to generate a lasting beneficial impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers execute over 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created employment, developed economies, enhanced infrastructure resiliency, increased access to energy, resources, and key services, and made the world safer and cleaner.
Indigenous Designers Restore Tribal Sovereignty
Non-natives are conditioned to believe Indigenous people and culture are extinct. Indigenous people, including 574 US tribes, have their homes, infrastructure, and education badly damaged by this collective oblivion. Our history books and government have not followed centuries-old land deals with tribes, therefore they take or overlook these things.
The Navajo Housing Authority reports that 39% of reservations’ housing is overcrowded and more than half of its structures are dilapidated or need repairs. Twenty percent of these dwellings lack public electricity, and 30% lack public water. Water quality is affected by tailings and toxins from land extraction for the few Indigenous households that have water, resulting in substantial public health inequities.
Thankfully, Indigenous architects and artists are already chipping away at the machinery of the United States’ colonial history and its impact on tribal sovereignty.
Chris Cornelius’ architecture educates others about Indigenous presence. Cornelius, who grew up in HUD houses, understands firsthand how Indigenous participation was left out of reservation living solutions. He says the HUD house model seems to have been copied across North America.
He believes this uniform planning lacks both a grasp of how tribal climates vary and how to harness community input—there has been no sense of how Indigenous families might use their space for ceremonial, government, or commerce. “Design is a cultural and environmental responsibility,” Cornelius says. This shaped his indigenous-focused architecture.
Cornelius says recognizing housing development deployment combats the previous neglect of HUD houses on reservations. This year, the architect created a prototype dubbed Not My HUD House to explore indigenous living amenities like a porch, fire pit, and sky view that his home lacked.
Cornelius also applied this to education. In fact, his first large project was the Indian Community School in Franklin, Wisconsin, which created a space for learning that tries to resist a history where “education was utilized as a vehicle of colonization and assimilation.” The school, which he founded with Antoine Predock over 20 years ago, stresses indigenous ideas, from space names to the US’s forced boarding schools, haircuts, name changes, and religion and language changes. “We erased all institutional names,” Cornelius says. “It’s not a cafeteria, it’s Feast; it’s not called a lobby, it’s called Community; instead of a theater, it’s Drum.”
Cornelius’ indigenous-centered design reclaims space. It shows that what the conquerors took—a highly functional political and economic system, ample land stewardship, and a culture that values relationship and community—is here to stay.
What is here to stay is also a people that are not a monolith: The United States’ aforementioned 574 tribes each have their own set of cultures, languages, and systems of administration. “The mistake many architects make when trying to work with tribes, typically coming to a tribe with their interpretation,” says Tammy Eagle Bull, the first Native American architect in the U.S.
For this reason, the students at Design Build Utah in Bluff are highly intentional about how they work with local clients. This year’s cohort, before committing to a 24-week program that focuses on conceptualizing and building an affordable home for a Navajo Nation resident, spent a year taking courses that focused on public interest design and how to reject a history of white savior-ism when it comes to housing solutions on reservations. After spending 12 weeks designing a prototype this summer with locals providing feedback in interviews, the eight students set out to build a home for their client without “any preconceived preconceptions or clichés about Native culture,” as student Tom McKean puts it.
Still Point aims to calm a client who has lived away from her family for 50 years in numerous homes. It has a greenhouse doorway, a patio roof, an outdoor kitchen, solar-heated concrete flooring, and a foundation made of economical materials that non-architects can learn to work with. They even helped the client enlarge her home if she wanted. After finishing the project in December, the cohort will publish a building journal with materials, construction drawings, and growth plans so local citizens, groups, and enterprises can use it for their own reservation solutions.
Making blueprints broadly accessible and building frameworks that can be iterated across reservations is not only required but urgent when it comes to presenting Indigenous populations with equitable opportunity. According to Preston Sanchez, a Senior Indigenous Justice Attorney with the ACLU of New Mexico, this involves legal frameworks. Sanchez is pushing The Tribal Remedy Framework to counteract the white racist mantra “murder the Indian, save the man” and the harmful effects of assimilation on Indigenous pupils. “It’s the community’s response to the state of New Mexico and the system’s failures to educate students adequately while addressing their needs in an equitable manner,” he says.
To bridge the apparent disparity in resources between students who live on reservations and their counterparts, the law calls for state investment in community hubs and tribal libraries with access to resources like tutoring, high speed internet, and quality technology. Without this, Indigenous students must travel vast distances for supplies or attend unsuitable schools. According to Tammy Eagle Bull, “Most indigenous villages may get a new school once every 60 years or so—they are long over their design life.”
Harvard MD Victor Lopez-Carmen, whose résumé includes the White House and UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, stresses the need for health care for native people. “The Indian Health Service is funded less than any other government-run health care program,” he explains. “For 15 out of the 16 primary causes of mortality in the United States, Natives had the highest rates out of any other race.” This stems back to Indigenous tribes being forced out of their own country and onto terrain that was supposed to have less rich soil so they couldn’t cultivate food as they had been, with colonizers’ mass murder of their main food supply, buffalo. So from Lopez-Carmen’s perspective, the remedy for disenfranchisement both lay in reinvigorating community gardens and getting more Indigenous individuals into the medical industry.
Lopez-Carmen says 11% of U.S. medical schools teach indigenous health. This lack of representation has perpetuated an ignorance that artist and self-proclaimed scientific storyteller Amelia Bearskin attempts to address through her work. “I often use the famous statement that the future is here, it’s just not fairly distributed,” she explains. “Water will be a crisis for all of us one day, but today the global Indigenous are shouldering most of the burden.”
Having undergone extraction and contamination of their ecosystem, one in 10 Native Americans lack access to safe tap water or basic sanitation. Through her campaign Talk to Me About Water, Bearskin is building climate lounges that will pop-up in public spaces—libraries, museums, art festivals, conferences—to concentrate pedestrians around the crucial role water plays in climate repair and, by implication, reservation restoration. Bearskin is alerting the community to the role water plays in tribal sovereignty by integrating water sound baths with embodied land activities.
Indigenous designers, artists, and activists are fighting colonial erasure in housing and education. Edgar Heap of Birds, whose latest work is on display at Hannah Traore Gallery in New York, says the U.S. spends more time comprehending other cultures than their own indigenous reality. Citizens, not subjects. At the heart of effective solutions is the commitment to preserve all parts of indigenous culture. “We’re just trying to assist the community appreciate the worth and beauty of their indigeneity,” says Bobbie Garza Hernandez of Indigenous Cultures Institute, whether through legislative frameworks or design school programs.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed the successful municipal construction projects, and as early as the Bronze Age, communities understood the importance of having a central location for their health care, law enforcement, and cultural activities housed in a municipal structure. Building and renovating public works facilities like fire stations, police stations, and government buildings requires excellent project management skills and the ability to work well with a wide range of people.
Meanwhile, Intel has announced that it has chosen Bechtel to construct its new semiconductor manufacturing facilities in New Albany, Licking County, Ohio. The new factories will revitalize the semiconductor industry in the United States and bolster the worldwide semiconductor supply chain. This ability is useful for the state of Ohio and the country as a whole.
Also, as reported by the Navajo Housing Authority, about 40% of Navajo reserve dwellings are overcrowded, and more than 50% of those dwellings are either in disrepair or in need of maintenance. The colonial past of the United States has had a profound effect on tribal sovereignty, but thankfully Indigenous architects and artists are beginning to chip away at the machinery of this effect.