Does a project need a superintendent? Does an orchestra need a conductor?

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"The Conductor" by Christine Schmidt on Flickr

“The Conductor” by Christine Schmidt on Flickr

“Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble.” Wikipedia 

You just bought tickets to see a symphony. You and your Plus One are in black tie, expecting the night of your life – a night to remember.

The curtain opens. Puzzled, you don’t notice a conductor. It shouldn’t matter. You look at each other and smile. The orchestra begins. How will it sound?

Just like a symphony, tradespeople and their teams need to be coordinated. If there isn’t onsite supervision and project management, where do they look to?

Does the floor go in first or the doors? Does it matter? You have drawings so everyone’s on the same page. You think. Continue reading

Why Design-Build is Like Building the Millennium Falcon from the Lego Kit

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Lego Bricks by Benjamin Esham, on Flickr

Lego Bricks by Benjamin Esham, on Flickr

As an avid Star Wars fan you promised your nine-year-old son that your next project together would be building the Millennium Falcon. Great Father-Son time, right?

Then you go to the Lego store and the cost seems steeper than you had imagined. But it does come with 6 figures including Han Solo and Chewbacca, of course. And who can turn down a rotating laser cannon?

Plus, it has the directions. Now, you can go online and download them but pfft, it’s not original.

Still, your wife says it’s not in the budget so you get creative.

You decide to download the directions and use the lego bricks from the seven collections you already have. Good thinking – frugality is a plus.

The Falcon needs thousands of pieces! Who wants to start a project you can’t finish? Continue reading

Everybody Poops, Everybody Toots, But We Like to Do it In Style

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ADA Compliant Restroom - After Renovation

ADA Compliant Restroom – After Renovation

Imagine group of kids ranging in age from four to ten years old. A wave of giggles starts in the back corner while you’re teaching, oblivious to the apparent two-dimensional offense. Yep. Somebody passed gas, or as one of the kids will inevitably shout, “He farted!” causing the rest of the group to erupt in laughter almost as violently as Mt. Vesuvius reigned down terror on Pompeii.

Hopefully, most of us have grown out of the giggles, but we have to do what we have to do. The thing is, we like to do it in nice places where we feel safe and clean.

Selling a restroom addition or upgrade to a home owner usually isn’t an insurmountable obstacle. The fact of the matter is that upgrading or adding facilities increases a home’s value. That’s money in the bank.

“According to RealEstate.com, a new full bathroom adds around 20 percent to a home’s value.” ~ Tony Guerra, “How Much Does a New Bathroom Increase the Value of a House?

From pink marble bathrooms to full-spa accommodations, luxury bathrooms are not new. Not only can you buy a multi-function toilet from Toto for about $6,500, there’s even a water closet (that’s construction jargon for toilet) made out of gold that costs around $5 million. Now that’s a throne!

Homes, we get. That’s where we spend a lot of our time primping and prepping for the day or relaxing at night. But what about retail establishments and workplaces? Continue reading

Project Profile: Anne Street Fire Damage Repairs

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13163-ba

We are proud to announce the completion of the design-build restoration to a building recently damaged by a neighbor’s fire.

The client took the opportunity, since much of the roof structure was damaged, to replace the entire roof with four-ply built-up roof system. Six skylights were replaced and two were added, increasing the natural light throughout the warehouse. Additionally, a self-flashing galvanized steel roof access hatch was installed.

A 3-ton heat pump unit was replaced and it was relocated onto a factory curb to minimize leak potential.

During reroofing is the best time for a volunteer seismic retrofit of the building and that is precisely what our client opted for. We also replaced the tilt-up panel that had been compromised structurally (it bowed outward) with two new concrete tilt-up panels (learn more about that by watching the video here). Continue reading

The Anatomy of a Trash Enclosure


Design-Build Trash Enclosure

Design-Build Trash Enclsoure

So, you think fancy-pants design-build construction is just needed for warehouses and offices?

I’m here to dispel that myth.

In our project for Newport Medial Center LLC we were the owner’s yin contractor to the tenant’s yang. Many times in lease negotiations owners perform some improvements while the sandwich chain, in this case, had their own contractor.

Which brings us to the trash enclosure suite. Why do I use the term suite? Because it was much more than just a place to hide your bin, like something you would be ashamed of.

Did I stop you in your tracks? Continue reading

The Anatomy of a Stormwater Retention System


Stormwater RetentionThe purpose of a stormwater retention system is just that – to retain as much of the rainwater in the native soil as possible while facilitating proper filtration of any excess runoff during storm events.

The retention system allows any excess runoff from the site’s parking lots during rain events to be filtered then directed to the city’s storm drain. At the recently completed project for RBC Transport Dynamics, the city storm drain empties into the Pacific Ocean.

This project has a bio-swale and permeable concrete. Permeable concrete is often referred to as “magic concrete” in viral video stories, like this one.

In the video below, 1,500 gallons of water is dissipated in 5 minutes. It’s not magic – it’s engineering!

What is this system, you ask?

Let’s break it down.

You may want to click over to our Facebook Page to see all of the photos and detailed captions or just click through on this SlideShare.

Have you ever seen this type of parking lot?

There’s a lot more to a parking lot than meets the eye!

It’s No Mystery Why Design-Build is Your Best Bet


Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Growing up in  Central California, I was always fascinated by the stories I had heard and read about San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House. To this day, I haven’t been inside, but its fascination lingers.

Mrs. Winchester orchestrated construction on her house, interior and exterior, continually, until she died. To most of us that is the making of a nightmare. But it’s her methods that are most curious.

The website describes her building design:

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

“According to legend, Mrs. Winchester enacted a nightly séance to help with her building plans and for protection from ‘bad’ spirits. While she sometimes drew up simple sketches of the building ideas, there were never any blueprints….or building inspectors! In the morning, she would meet with John Hansen, her dutiful foreman, and go over new changes and additions.”

Her unorthodox methodology explains the random building anomalies – chimneys, roof lines, hidden passageways, doors that open to brick walls, and stairs that go nowhere. Was she really confusing the spirits, or just confused?

Traditional Design & Construction:

Mrs. Winchester’s building method is, by no means, traditional. Most building owners and tenants hire an architect or space planner, go through the (sometimes long) design process. After the drawings are submitted to the City, the client (or their construction manager) invites three (or more) general contractors to bid, collect and sometimes answer RFIs, and award the contract to the lowest bid, presuming that bid has everything covered.

As an owner, you can go that route. But we think there’s a better way.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

It’s no secret that Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. specializes in design-build tenant improvements and new building construction, especially since Tom Riggins has a construction engineering degree from Cal Poly. Our approach to construction from an engineering background allows us to streamline the entire process for you, our client. Continue reading

Project Profile: RBC Transport Dynamics


RBC Lubon

3131 W. Segerstrom Avenue, Santa Ana, CA

Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. is proud to announce the completion of the design-build RBC Transport Dynamics project right in the heart of Orange County, California.

The goal for this project was to create a cohesive facility on this two-building, two-shift manufacturing campus. The caveat is that the work had to be performed while maintaining their production levels at 100%.

The building unification combined the manufacturing and production area, test labs, and chemical storage with a new, engaging office space and high-end training facility. Two existing buildings were connected by a new building addition. A new steel-framed, metal building for chemical storage and bead-blasting was also added on site.

The second phase of this project was twofold: create fluid access and incorporate additional security features. Monument and site signage was added as well as the creation of a focal point from the street. The new metal-clad entry with its aluminum sun shade louvers does this beautifully. Continue reading

ADA Compliance Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare


Single Use RestroomsYou wake up in the dark hours of the night in a cold sweat reeling from the nightmare. You’ve been in a car accident and now you’re assigned to a wheelchair. Will you be able to keep your job?

For thousands of Americans this isn’t just a nightmare; it’s their reality. Whether permanent or temporary, disabilities can become a challenge in the workplace. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has instituted a number a code reforms that continuously evolve to meet a variety of needs.

You may not be aware that these codes affect your building from the required path-of-travel from the city street through the parking lot to the landing at your door, from the type of doorknobs to the type and placement of switches and so on.

No way they have 60" turnaround.

A photo posted by Tom Riggins (@rigginsconst) on

Restrooms, for example, happen to be a small room that are heavily affected by these codes.  Even if the tile countertops are beautiful and the floors are polished, their height might not be code-compliant or the mirror may be hung too high.  You see, it’s not the beauty that counts,  it’s how they measure up.

For instance, if your warehouse has a set of single-use restrooms that haven’t been upgraded since 1980, they may not be large enough to comply with ADA/HC accessibility. Generally, single-use restrooms must be a minimum of 6′-7″ x 6′-9″ if the door swings out or 6′-7″ x 7′-10″ if the door swings in.

Because we specialize in design-build, we are accustomed to presenting solutions that will both put you into compliance with code and meet your aesthetic and functional needs.

For further consultation on your individual project, please give Tom a call at (714)  953-6333.

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Project Profile: RBC Lubron Bearing Systems


RBC LubonRiggins Construction & Management, Inc. was contracted as the Design-Builder to repurpose this tired warehouse / office space into a functioning, specialty bearing manufacturing plant.

The City street was excavated (and repaved) to install a 6”ø pipe that tapped into the existing 12”ø water main on the north side of Lawson River Avenue. This was done to add fire sprinklers to the building. Furthermore, an extension to the 6” detector check assembly for fire protection was installed.

We removed landscaping in the front of the building to make room for an ADA-compliant ramp. We then re-landscaped, repaved, striped, and installed signage for the two new handicap stalls at the east elevation. We also added a handrail to the front stairs and met path-of-travel requirements from the parking area to the front door.

All cracks in the concrete tilt-up panels were structurally repaired via epoxy injection method. The entire warehouse was painted and accented with a royal blue wainscot. The concrete floors were also repaired. Continue reading