Decommissioning the Helipad at North Harbor – Part 3

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More on our upcoming project at The Harbor Club where we are decommissioning and removing the existing helipads on both the East and West Towers, in order to facilitate the installation of a new BMU (Building Maintenance Unit or Swing Stage … used to clean glass). When we first met with the City, we were given a blanket no… decommissioning the helipads at the twin 42 story towers would require the “addition” of vestibules to address issues with exiting. A task that would require removing space from the Members Suites to create the vestibules as required to meet current codes. This was not going to happen, in fact, it was never going to happen.

We have built our reputation and are known for thinking “out of the box”.  Our projects are not your everyday brick and mortar projects that you find in most Construction Management and/or General Contractors office. We enjoy a good challenge and we enjoy creating solutions that sit “outside the box” but this time it was going to take a team of individuals who could collectively exceed the status quo.

If we were going to make this happen, it was going to happen on outer limits of construction based realities. We started making some phone calls and one name rose quickly to the top… “Sean Donahue” from Jensen Hughes. Jensen Hughes is an engineering and consulting firm that specializes in evaluating risks and designing fire protection and safety solutions that protect people and property. However, it was “not” just Jensen Hughes, it was specifically Sean Donahue of Jensen Hughes Colorado Springs office. He was the man we must bring on board. After several phone calls and some persuasive encouragement, Sean agreed to take the lead for Jensen Hughes and we initiated a plan of attack. That is when Timothy Lawyer arrived on the team (also from Jensen Hughes) and the real work began.

Several meetings later and thanks to the creative thinking of both Ali Fattah, Senior Research Engineering City of SD, Kelly Eisenstein, Senior Fire Protection Engineer City of SD and of course, Doug Perry, Deputy Chief SD Fire-Rescue, a mutually beneficial Alternate Approval designed, approved and granted on August 2, 2017.

A lot of work was still before all of us but for the first time in the history of the concept, Management, the Board of Directors and Members of the Harbor Club could look forward to the day when their windows would be clean. Seems like a crazy complex project just for clean windows but when there is no other way to see the spectacular San Diego skyline, this is how it’s done.

Since meeting Sean and Tim, we have all become good friends and are now working on several other projects in San Diego and we suspect that somewhere in the very near future we will be sitting back with Ali Fattah, Kelly Eisenstein and Doug Perry Kelly on yet another interesting challenge that will stretch our collective experiences and all we can say is “bring it on”…!!!

More about this amazing project to follow….

P.S. We currently have received preliminary approvals from both building and fire. On August 31, 2108, complete architectural, structural, MP&E drawings were submitted to the City of San Diego. All goes well, we will have final approval in 3 months.


BMU, Helipad, Harbor Club, San Diego Construction, CMP, Cornerstone, Tom Brooks