LF Driscoll Services: Large Project Expertise on a Smaller Scale
Anyone in the greater Philadelphia region who follows building construction knows that LF Driscoll is a leading builder of large-scale projects, from Citizens Bank Park to Penn Medicine’s new Pavilion.
But what they might not know is LF Driscoll has a small projects division as well. Launched in 2020, LF Driscoll Services leverages their strong market relationships to uniquely deliver smaller projects through a very efficient and value-added method. Target projects include code upgrades, equipment replacements, façade improvements, fenestration, infrastructure, interior renovations, sustainability and wellness, and system upgrades.
“The Services Division is a separate group within LF Driscoll focused solely on developing projects of a smaller scale in our core sectors. It’s a way for us to continue to service our existing clients more efficiently with their smaller projects and to develop new clients in other geographies and markets at an entry level,” says George Schaefer, LF Driscoll vice president. “The goal is to leverage all of the resources of LF Driscoll, such as our Safety and Quality 360º culture, with a very competitive and more efficient approach that is scaled to the size and needs of the project.”
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, LF Driscoll Services was especially timely. As colleges and universities went virtual and hospital campuses redirected administrative roles to a work-from-home model, their facilities were suddenly empty—a prime opportunity to upgrade buildings on campus, modify existing patient care and surgical facilities, or recapture spaces for more urgent uses.
“For our clients with smaller projects, it’s all about price and speed to market,” says Schaefer. “We’re able to pivot more quickly for them, and they know they are in good hands based on our experience.”
When the team returns to a building they originally constructed, the client benefits from intimate knowledge gained during core/shell work, such as when it’s time to update HVAC systems. The team’s portfolio with Swarthmore College is a perfect example.
Swarthmore’s Whittier Hall is 19,000sf of sustainable classroom space and sun-drenched studios. Designed for use by several Swarthmore College departments, its infrastructure, insulation, acoustics, and other elements are made to be versatile. Designed to push the “green envelope,” the building was one of the first on campus designed to Swarthmore’s own green development guidelines, which follow LEED Platinum-level criteria, with the hopes of going beyond even those high standards.
Following the success of that project, the college brought in LF Driscoll Services to work on Lang Hall, where they upgraded the HVAC systems and finishes, with much of the focus on completely renovating Presser Hall, a rehearsal and learning space. Due to the sensitivity of the instruments that remained in the building throughout the renovation, LF Driscoll Services installed temporary HVAC units to maintain the correct temperature and humidity range. At the completion of the project, musicians complimented the team on that attention to detail in maintaining this temperature, as they didn’t have to retune their instruments.
“It’s the little things like that that make a big difference,” says Schaefer. “Delivering these types of improvement projects allows us to work more intimately with long-time clients yet on a very competitive basis.”