Author Archives: Ben

Volunteers finish off Renton Habitat townhouses


Last week, volunteers from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and Regence BlueShield showed up in force at Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County’s Renton townhome project called La Fortuna.

Volunteers pitched in to finish off parts of the 3-Star Built Green project. They unmasked floors, installed appliances, painted and cleaned.

On July 16, the keys to the homes will be turned over to eight low-income families. The future homeowners worked together as friends and neighbors to help build and create the community. They include U.S. military veterans, Americans who were once refugees from war-torn countries, and others who came to our region in search of a better life.

The local Habitat chapter has built, renovated or repaired more than 450 homes.

Now that’s a strong finish!

MBA members fix 92-year-old widow’s home


About two dozen volunteers recently converged on Nita Aemmer’s home in the Bitter Lake area of Seattle to spruce up the rundown abode.

The group from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and partner group Green Canopy Homes was taking part in Rebuilding Together Seattle — a program that repairs homes for those in need.



Nita is a 92-year-old widow of a World War II veteran who lives with her granddaughter, Danielle, and two great-grandchildren. Before he passed away, Nita’s husband maintained the home well — even added an extension and did all the landscaping and gardening.

After he died, Nita could not maintain the home, so Danielle moved in to help. But Danielle suffers from chronic Lyme disease, often leaving her unable to make repairs, and the condition of the house drastically declined over the years.

The volunteers patched walls, painted, improved exterior drainage, replaced bathroom flooring, repaired siding, deep-cleaned, and made other accessibility and safety improvements.

Way to go guys!


PCL gives $20K to food banks


PCL Construction last month donated $10,000 to Food Lifeline and another $10,000 to Northwest Harvest.
If that wasn’t enough, a crew of 20 PCL staffers helped repackage 880 pounds of produce and 850 pounds of ground coffee at Food Lifeline’s Shoreline facility. The repackaged food was distributed to community food banks.
A donation of $10,000 results in 45,000 meals, according to Northwest Harvest.
PCL’s Seattle operation has donated $90,000 over the last seven years to area food banks. Combined with the efforts of 13 other offices across the country, PCL has donated more than $1 million to food banks.
Great job PCL!

Tower crane at 10,000 feet? You’re going to need a helicopter

Putting up a tower crane can be challenging, but have you ever tried to build one at 10,000 feet on the side of a mountain? Or one that can withstand 174 mph winds and temperatures down to -13F?

That’s just what Liebherr did over the summer on Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain bordering Austria. The crane is an integral part to building the new Eibsee cable car, which by the end of 2017 will whisk visitors 14,600 feet to the summit from a station near Lake Eibsee, a vertical gain of 6,400 feet.

Tower crane pieces were flown in by Heliswiss using a Russian-made Kamov Ka-32 helicopter. The 150 EC-B 6 Litronic flattop crane is now the highest point in Germany.

Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG operates the aerial tramway that was built in 1963. It has two cabins (one going up and one down) that each hold 40 passengers. The new cabin has space for 120 passengers. The new cable system will have a 2-mile span between support pillars.

Check out the video:

MBA staff cleans up Bellevue park


Last Friday, staff from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties spent a good part of the day clearing trails, spreading ground cover and performing light yard work at the Mercer Slough Nature Park in Bellevue.

It’s not the first time the MBA has improved the park. In 2009 the builders’ association completed Wet Lab 2 at the park’s Environmental Education Center as part of its centennial year celebration. The 5-Star Built Green lab is used by the Pacific Science Center to teach kids about the environment.

Last week’s work is part of the MBA’s ongoing volunteer work to better the community.

Way to go guys!

Hey Clyde, what’s up with the ASU crane flag?

ASU Flag smallerOne DJC reader became disgruntled after spotting an Arizona State University flag flying high atop a crane in South Lake Union at what appears to be a Holland Partner Group jobsite.

CEO Clyde Holland isn’t an ASU grad, as far I as know. So, what’s up with the Sun Devil flag? Did you lose a bet Clyde?

Maybe someone at Morrow, the crane operator, snuck it up there.

Don’t they know that this is purple and gold territory? Arizona isn’t even a Pacific coast state.

The reader described the flag as “utterly appalling.”

I had to talk him out of ascending the crane with his GoPro strapped on to remove the offending matter — didn’t want him to get hurt.

Millennial madness arrives in Seattle

Alley111Image courtesy of Blanton Turner


Catering to millennials seems to be an emerging theme for many developers in the Seattle area.
Kilroy Realty’s 333 Dexter office project in Seattle was designed for millennials, Skanska USA Commercial Development’s Alley 111 apartment in Bellevue has millennials in mind, and even Daniels Real Estate’s The Mark office/hotel tower in Seattle has elements that will attract the younger crowd.
Want to find out how these developers are designing their projects for those 20- and 30-somethings? Click here to check out the DJC’s latest special section covering urban development.

See what local firms can do with concrete



The DJC’s annual special section on concrete is now available. Its focus is on award-winning projects by members of the Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association.

There’s also a great article by Melanie Cochrun of GLY Construction on how her firm used 600 workers to make two record-setting concrete pours earlier this year in Bellevue.

Check it out!