Frost Constructors, Inc. recently completed construction of a new bank building that changed the face of Humble, Texas. The 4-story, 49,000-square-foot building is the first ground-up facility that Citizens Bank had ever commissioned and will help revitalize this community by paving the way for more commercial development in the area. Citizens Bank is a 58-year-old Texas institution with a reputation as "the only bank between Dallas and Shreveport with an Oil and Gas Department."
The primary challenge was the extremely compressed construction schedule. Because of the owner's anxiousness to move out of their temporary buildings across the street, Frost established and achieved an ambitious 10-month time-line. Normally, a project of this scale would take more than a year to complete. Logistics and scheduling were critical to ensuring a successful outcome.
A lack of available utility service was also a major challenge for 90 percent of the project duration. For the first seven months of building, five 8,000-watt Honda generators were all the power used to provide power to the construction site. The lack of commercial power and the compressed construction schedule left Frost with only three weeks at the end of the project to start up HVAC equipment, complete elevator installation and carry out all electrical testing, trouble-shooting and inspections.
The location of the construction site and its proximity to Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston (IAH) also posed its own unique obstacles. The building is located a mere 1.7 miles from the northernmost portion of the airport's east/west runway, placing it directly under a busy flight path. In addition to obtaining the required FAA permits, extra care had to be taken during all phases of construction for this multistory building.
FAA height requirements forced Frost to lower the overall building height, which now stands just one foot under the active flight path. All rooftop activity, including erection of the elevator mezzanine and HVAC equipment areas, required special FAA obstruction clearance permits. FAA regulations prohibited any equipment reaching higher than 84 feet above sea level, meaning special attention had to be paid when operating the 130-foot crane employed in the middle three months of construction. An on-site meeting with an FAA representative was required to approve the placement of the crane and its hours of operation. Coordination with the erector, crane operator and FAA was crucial during this phase of construction.
Native Texas limestone prominently adorns both the interior and exterior of the building. The material, however beautiful, did create some unexpected logistical obstacles. Unaccustomed to dealing with such a large order, the Cooper Stone quarry in Georgetown, Texas could only cut down and deliver one truckload of limestone per week. Frost was forced to work around the gaps in material delivery and install the limestone in stages as it arrived. The imposing 30-foot by 40-foot entryway was the last limestone element to be completed.
According to Citizens Bank CEO & President Sammy York, "This building is a statement to the Humble area that Citizens Bank is committed to that market. We intend for this location to be the flagship of our continued expansion in the Houston area. Citizens Bank is unique in that we are building a bank for future generations, not building a bank to be sold." Plans are in development for the next bank in The Woodlands.
|Jim Singleton, AIA||Architects|
|Frost Constructors||General contractor|
|Integral Construction Services||Drywall|
|MCM Paving & Contracting||Parking lot|
|Old Spring Glass||Glazing|
|Postel Industries||Structural steel contractor|
|Premium Roofing Systems||Roof|
|Simplex Grinnell||Fire system|
|Standard Mechanical Systems||MEP|