March 6, 2023 | The University of Michigan W.K. Kellogg Institute and Dental Building Expansion and Renovation was among four projects selected to receive a prestigious 2023 Associated General Contractors (AGC) Build Michigan Award. Granger team members were honored to join owners, design partners and other industry peers in celebrating during last week’s Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The project was completed on behalf of the University of Michigan, with design partners from SmithGroup. Other notable contributing partners included John E. Green, Tri-County Electric, Acoustic Ceiling and Partition and National Specialty Contractors.

Build Michigan Awards

According to the AGC, “the Build Michigan Award was established in 1995 by the Professional Service Provider Member Council of the AGC of Michigan as a way to recognize the excellence of an entire project team.” Winning projects are selected by a panel of judges, and work can span categories including Building Construction $10 Million and Over, Building Construction $10 Million or Less, Federal and Heavy Construction, Construction Management, Design-Build and Environmental.

U-M Dental School Project Overview

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry Expansion and Renovation project exemplifies thoughtful pre-construction preparation, a strong and consistent focus on safety, adaptation to change and extraordinary teamwork. The project involved a deep infrastructure renewal, renovations and additions throughout the University of Michigan School of Dentistry complex, all of which took place while the building remained occupied by patients, students, faculty and staff. Despite the enormous complexity and numerous obstacles, U-M and its clients consider this intricate renovation and expansion a huge success – one that contributed to maintaining its ranking as the top Dental School in the U.S. and jumping to fifth-best in the world.


The W. K. Kellogg Institute and Dental Building is comprised of four connected structures that surround an interior courtyard. The project included replacement of utilities and the renovation of the existing five-level dental clinic section, conversion of the former library into a faculty office suite, clinic renovations in the oldest portion of the complex and two additions – a four-level entrance addition connected to the adjacent parking structure and a four-level infill of the existing courtyard for laboratory and office space.

The pre-construction team worked tirelessly for 16 months with U-M stakeholders and the A/E to develop a phasing plan that minimized the impact of the construction activities to on-going clinic and research operations. This plan was adapted during construction due to a host of changes, existing conditions, owner needs, AHJ requirements and a shutdown due to the global pandemic. It evolved into 27 phases and the team managed concurrent work in 25-30 locations, maintained two shifts and weekend work and started at 4 A.M. with many trades throughout the duration of the project to maintain the original schedule.

Over half of the project involved replacing aging infrastructure while the complex remained occupied, including converting the existing HVAC system from dual duct distribution to a supply and return system. The team coordinated over 900 service interruptions during off-hours to minimize impact on building operations. and construction sequencing was developed to maintain existing utilities in occupied areas throughout the renovation.

The renovation also involved replacing 250 dental operatory spaces, keeping 190 or more active throughout construction. Over thirty different mechanical, electrical and dental utility systems were coordinated with the existing structure, with new infrastructure installed in parallel with existing systems to maintain service for occupants. The team achieved its original substantial completion after nearly four years of construction, during which time over 500,000 patients were seen in the building. One team member described this process as “a four-year open-heart surgery while the patient is awake and trying to tell the doctors how to do their job.”

The project team is proud of its accomplishments and is thankful for the opportunity to have been involved in such an important project – one that not only allows U-M students, faculty and staff to lead the nation and the world in advancing dental education and research through state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, but also provide world-class services for the thousands of clients served daily.

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