Project Lighthouse
Two-building, biotech tenant improvement construction project.
South San Francisco, CA
Project Size:
450,000 sq. ft.
Project Attributes:
As an electrical contractor, we manage more parts and pieces than any other contractor on site. By kitting items on rolling carts, we’re able to quickly mobilize and de-mobilize for a particular task in a designated area.
- Josh Kaneko, CEI Senior Superintendent

Project Summary

In South San Francisco, this pharmaceutical client's two new oncology buildings under construction by Cupertino Electric stand in the “birthplace of biotechnology” where some of the world’s most cutting-edge therapies are developed. The 450,000 square-foot, Design/Assist tenant improvement project will be complete in Summer 2021 and consists of a 13-story North Tower and 5-story South Tower that house biology labs, chemistry labs, a vivarium and offices.

Working for general contractor DPR at the site, Cupertino Electric has embraced Takt scheduling, a Lean Construction principle described as “a pull schedule on steroids” by AbbVie CEI Site Superintendent Nick Nelson. This is the first project where CEI has been involved with Takt scheduling. Takt brings a “level of professionalism to set the project up for success,” says Nelson.

Based on a German process pioneered by automaker BMW, Takt is the German word for the baton an orchestra conductor uses to regulate music tempo and requires intense up-front planning to keep pace throughout the project. By promoting schedule flow, Takt scheduling creates an environment for optimal productivity, drives accountability and ensures predecessor activities are completed and in proper sequence.

Takt scheduling also allows only one trade to work in a designated area at a time, utilizes just-in-time delivery and promotes the use of kitted tools and materials. Only the exact quantity of material needed for the task on a particular floor is delivered on schedule to boost productivity and predictability. All of these benefits align with CEI’s best practices and are ideal in an age of COVID-19 restrictions.

Another way the CEI team on this project is innovating to improve safety, productivity, quality and cost is by implementing CEI’s Installation Standards and a comprehensive pre-fabrication strategy. This strategy includes using non-conductive, adjustable aircraft cabling to get temporary power cords off of the floor, using stickers to mark Trimble points, and utilizing pre-fabricated panel cans and a multitude of overhead and wall rough-in assemblies. The team also laser-cut custom conduit openings in enclosures to eliminate potential injuries during hole-forming, and met seismic requirements with overhead conduit that easily snaps into place without bracing.

To support the increased planning and coordination that Takt requires, the project features extensive building information modeling (BIM). CEI’s BIM team modeled the typical overhead content and equipment. However, the team also included in-wall device locations and corresponding conduit.