Granger Construction celebrates 65 years of collaborative project delivery with the Ottawa County Family Justice Center project in West Olive, MI.

By engaging multiple contractors in early partnerships and fostering a culture of shared accountability, Granger Construction raised the bar for collaborative project delivery at the Ottawa County Family Justice Center project. The project team achieved unparalleled success for the project and its stakeholders, including budget reliability and enhanced efficiencies.

One Judge, One Family

This $32 million project, located at the County’s Fillmore Street campus in West Olive, MI, supports the “one judge, one family” concept, which aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of the family court system in Michigan by fostering greater continuity, efficiency and understanding in the resolution of legal disputes within families.

  • Ottawa County’s new, two-story Family Justice Center brings together the judges, attorney referees and court staff who handle domestic relations, juvenile and child welfare cases.
  • Services and hearings will begin in late July in the 56,000-square-foot building, which offers three new courtrooms and three hearing rooms along with offices to support Juvenile Court Services, Friend of the Court, the Legal Self-Help Center and the County Clerk Circuit Court Records. Previously, these divisions were spread across the county in various locations.
  • Visitors will be greeted by a 36-foot-tall mural by local artist Joel Schoon-Tanis showcasing some of the wildlife and unique features of the Ottawa County landscape.

Integrated Project Delivery

Ottawa County selected the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method for this project to save money and be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. This delivery method requires the firms designing and building the new facility to put their profits at risk should the construction project exceed agreed-upon pricing, rather than putting the County at risk for unplanned expenses. Should the project finish under the established budget, the IPD partners share the savings as an incentive to be fiscally responsible, which was the case at Ottawa County. This type of risk/reward process requires a higher level of collaboration between the owner, architect and construction manager at all stages of the design and construction process compared to traditional delivery methods.

Granger Construction was selected to lead Ottawa County’s project based on proven IPD expertise. As a pioneer in IPD, Granger demonstrated exceptional collaboration among past project partners, including public entities, leading to outstanding project outcomes. Granger delivered the first IPD healthcare project in Michigan in 2012 at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, the first DTMB/state-funded IPD project in 2014 at Lansing Community College and the first municipal IPD project in 2019 with Kent County’s Juvenile Detention Center Expansion. These award-winning projects showcase Granger’s expertise in driving success through transformative partnerships.

Additional project partners for Ottawa County’s IPD initiative included DLZ Architects, Steel Supply and Engineering, Accurate Controls Inc., Buist Electric and Allied Mechanical Services.

Measures of Success

Granger’s collaborative partnership approach at Ottawa County resulted in the following key benefits:

Measure 1: Increased Budget Reliability

Granger’s proactive approach involves bringing multiple contractors into partnerships at the project’s inception, laying the foundation for shared accountability and productivity. This early collaboration ensures alignment with project goals and enables the team to address challenges collectively, resulting in more innovative ideas and solutions. At Ottawa County, this early engagement and increased accountability resulted in no change orders issued to IPD partners for the coordination of the building systems. With traditional project delivery models, changes typically account for 2% of the overall construction costs which, for this project would represent approximately $600,000.

Measure 2: Value Beyond Project Outcomes

Granger Construction’s commitment to partnership extends beyond project outcomes, creating value through increased credibility, innovation, access to new resources and enhanced skills and abilities. This approach fosters a shifted mindset towards collaboration and wider influence across organizational goals. For example, at the Ottawa County project, several of the IPD contractors were new to the IPD process and somewhat hesitant about the concept of shared risks and reward. However, as the project progressed, they experienced how the highly collaborative process helped minimize waste and increase productivity, thanks to improved understanding. They had greater buy-in to the overall success of the project rather than just their portion of it.

Measure 3: Improved Design Coordination

Early onboarding of the primary trade contractors allows time for improved coordination during the design process. With traditional project delivery, trade coordination through the Building Information Management (BIM) process takes place late, usually after the design is complete. With IPD, these trade partners can create the coordinated model much earlier so it can be used for the design model as well, saving considerable drafting costs and allowing for early procurement. At Ottawa County, the IPD partners produced impeccable early BIM coordination models that resulted in negligible MEP rough-in clashes during installation. The end result was project savings through unspent contingency funds, allowing the County to put that money back into the project for additional scope.

Collaborative Construction

Granger Construction’s pioneering approach to partnership and project delivery sets a new standard for collaborative construction practices within the public sector. Additionally, the team’s commitment to local participation ensured that 25% of all contractors who worked on this project had main or satellite offices in Ottawa County, fostering community engagement and economic development.

By prioritizing shared goals, accountability and innovation, Granger continues to drive transformative outcomes and create lasting value for the clients and communities they serve.

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