Case Studies

OHL-Arellano Construction Company

A Miami construction firm with plans for innovation

At Miami’s OHL-Arellano Construction Company (OHL-Arellano), things are feeling a little different these days. Landing more than $500 million in contracts over the past year and expanding its operations into international markets has the company of over 125 employees and many subcontractors feeling robust and excited. And while it’s no secret that the construction industry continues to undergo vast changes born out of the confluence of a number of forces, trends and events, OHL-Arellano has managed to stay headstrong and profitable over its 40-year existence – during the 2007 economic activity slowdown.

Specializing in the construction and renovation of health care and institutional facilities, OHL-Arellano is a comprehensive construction management firm headquartered in Miami, Fla. Founded in 1974, OHL-Arellano built a reputation for outstanding client service, quality and integrity. The firm’s client-driven approach, coupled with its ability to deliver cost-efficient, quality construction services, proves evident by its 95 percent level of repeat client business.

In September 2008, OHL USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of OHL, S.A., acquired an interest in OHL-Arellano. As one of the largest builders in the world, the strategic alliance allowed OHL-Arellano to further grow its presence in the U.S. market. Now part of the OHL Group, OHL-Arellano is responsible for all vertical construction in the U.S. and Caribbean and boasts over $3.5 billion in delivered projects to-date. OHL-Arellano now taps into the broadened experience and resources of the OHL Group to secure larger projects and capture substantial segments of new markets.

The ease of project delivery to its clients sets OHL-Arellano apart from the competition. Rather than owners staffing projects to oversee construction, draining resources and funds, OHL-Arellano offers unique cost-savings and construction solutions to projects through streamlined processes, in-house resources and experienced staff.

As a company that prides itself in the longevity of its employees’ tenure, the firm’s retention rate is well over 10 years average. Robert Herold, assistant vice president estimator, has been with the firm for 35 years alone. Additional key players have been long standing employees, as well, including Frank Vilar, president; Arthur Hoynack, vice president of preconstruction; Agustin Arellano Jr., CFO; Bernie Perez, vice president of health care construction; and Carlos Mena, vice president institutional construction. In 2014, Agustin Arellano Sr. moved from his role as president and founding principal and now serves as the company’s chairman. Together, this executive team has a combined 167 years working at the firm.

Specializing in niche markets

OHL-Arellano has built a reputation for excellence in health care construction. The company has worked on the most renowned health care campuses across the world, including Baptist Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Mount Sinai. “The complexities of health care facilities construction demand proven experience and expertise,” explains Vilar. “Health care facilities are one of the most difficult building types to construct and renovate, they require an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complex operations and systems they entail. Working in an active facility without disruption to services, staff and patients can only be developed through years of experience.”

A long standing client since 1986, OHL-Arellano recently completed the South Miami Hospital Clinical Expansion project, an 80,000-square-foot expansion that houses a new emergency department (ED) and a new 15-room operating suite. The new ED reduced patient wait time and provided the community with innovative health care equipment, including the da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic platform designed to expand the surgeon’s capabilities and offer a state-of-the-art minimally invasive option for major surgery.

The project achieved LEED Gold certification and received the 2012 Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award. Furthermore, the project provided new jobs for the health care industry. OHL-Arellano successfully completed the project within the 30-month schedule and $40 million budget.

Another unique contract for the team is Baptist Health South Florida’s Cardiac & Vascular Institute expansion project, which is scheduled to open in 2016. Remaining at the forefront of health care advances, the project features four advanced endovascular suites – specialized rooms that combine endovascular, cardiac surgical, laparoscopic and radiological capabilities – and a new intraoperative MRI machine that will move between two dedicated operating rooms for specialists to use in intricate brain and spine surgeries.

May 28, 2014, OHL-Arellano broke ground on its first international project, a $98.7 million contract for the expansion and renovation of Aruba’s Doctor Horacio E. Oduber Hospital (HOH). With approximately 166,270 square feet of new building construction, 210 beds on six floors of general hospital facilities and a new bed tower with an ED on the ground floor, the project is the largest health care contract in the Caribbean to-date and will provide the people of Aruba and its visitors with a first-class medical hospital. In keeping with the tradition of hiring local workforce, OHL-Arellano is contracting several experienced, local companies and has worked with the project owners to create a custom local workforce Web portal to inform the community of upcoming employment opportunities pertaining to the project.

On the institutional side, OHL-Arellano continues to grow rapidly. The firm was recently awarded a $30 million Miami Dade College extensive renovation project on the InterAmerican campus, as well as the Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine Office Building project on the Boca Raton campus – it first project for the University. Additionally, OHL-Arellano recently completed Valencia College’s Interior Renovations project for the Student Services Building on the West Campus.

In addition to its growth in the institutional market, OHL-Arellano continues to build on campuses where long-standing, successful relationships have been set in place. For more than three decades, the firm has worked with University of Miami, supporting the University’s development and growth, and will soon complete Florida International University’s (FIU) MANGO mixed-use facility; a new construction project the owner says now sets the construction standard for the campus.

Advanced technologies for market trends

OHL-Arellano is leading the forefront of emerging technologies to deliver state-of-the-art projects to its clients through use of Web-based programs, such as building information modeling (B.I.M.), 3-D laser scanning and construction operations building information exchange (COBie), a platform for gathering and assembling product information needed during maintenance of facilities.

The utilization of these advanced technologies provides seamless project information handover to clients once the project is completed and is essential for the operations, maintenance and management of the facilities assets by the owner and/or property manager, which is a major value add by the firm. In conjunction with FIU and its MANGO project, OHL-Arellano will be the first construction firm in Florida to have created a standard of information delivery as it relates to asset tracking and future building maintenance via COBie.

In 2016, the firm will complete its Florida Turnpike design-build Service Plazas located approximately 45 miles apart along the Florida Turnpike; five out of the seven plazas are already completed. Winning the 2014 Award of Merit in the Built Category by the American Institute of Architects, the scope of work includes major improvements to the plazas, such as site/utility improvements, phased renovations to existing restaurant buildings, new lobby areas and expanded restroom facilities; all work has been successfully delivered while maintaining operations throughout construction.

With a strong focus on sustainability and green building, the plazas have met LEED Silver and Gold certification. Visitor response to the completed renovated service plazas has been overwhelmingly positive and the improved experience and services offered has increased the average duration of their visit by 300 percent. The project has provided major revenue and over 1,600 jobs for suppliers and subcontractors over a large geographic segment of the state of Florida.

OHL-Arellano expresses confidence that the general construction industry market is in growth mode and will continue to accelerate throughout 2014. New health care construction is increasing in off-campus hospital expansion projects as high space demands are needed for urgent care centers, free-standing emergency departments, diagnostic facilities, rehabilitation centers, medical office buildings, surgical centers and cancer treatment centers.

To meet the current demand for these types of facilities in the market, OHL-Arellano created a community-based health care (CBH) construction division focused on budget-driven design, speed of delivery, expedited regulatory process experience and community-based design and construction. The CBH division is designed to expand and further align OHL-Arellano’s recognized health care expertise to this more specific, complex and rapidly changing health care market. The firm has completed more than 35 CBH facilities in the last three years, including the Baptist Medical Plaza at Country Walk, a 16,000-square-foot urgent care and children’s diagnostic imaging center; the Holy Cross Hospital Urgent Care Center in Fort Lauderdale; and the Baptist Medical Plaza at Brickell, a two-story urgent care and diagnostic center.

Another growing trend the construction firm foresees is within the assisted-living industry, including assisted living facilities (ALFs) and continuing care retirement communities. Spurred by the 77 million Baby Boomers planning to retire over the next two decades, the firm has been awarded with more contracts to build this industry’s infrastructure as demand rises, including the East Ridge Retirement Village, a $37 million infill project at an existing retirement community; the Green Cove Springs Council on Aging project; and the $42 million Institute for Health Living Life Science and Research project at Abacoa, which is slated for 2016 completion.

Added value and looking ahead

OHL-Arellano’s preconstruction and construction division uses its market condition experience and its own prequalified subcontractor and vendor’s database to achieve the best pricing and cost efficiencies for its clients. OHL-Arellano purchases from local suppliers and contractors whenever possible to boost the development of the business network and job creation of the communities in which it operates. Almost 98 percent of the firm’s purchases are local.

“Our understanding and experience with local contractors and suppliers allows us to deliver quality workmanship effectively and on time,” says Hoynack. “Forecasting cost during preconstruction, understanding the market and vendor relationships creates predictability. As a construction manager purchasing billions of dollars of material and labor each year, we reduce client risk through our experience and worldwide network of suppliers.”

Additionally, OHL-Arellano offers an owner-direct purchasing program for taxes to provide its clients with significant savings. The firm has a dedicated in-house tax savings administrator to maximize tax savings on projects and sets a goal of up to 2.5 percent savings on construction cost. All coordination of delivery, compliance with contract documents and invoice approval is administrated by OHL-Arellano to reduce impact on owners’ resources.

OHL-Arellano has built a strong reputation in the industry for quality. Health care and institutional customers trust the team to deliver high-quality, efficient and safe projects. With more work coming down the pipeline, especially within the CBH and senior living markets, the team has a wide range of projects in planning. Upcoming work includes outpatient care, hospitals and ALFs. The company has a strong portfolio of specialized experience and a reputation for quality; two factors that will help OHL-Arellano Construction Company continue to grow into new markets and beyond.

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Spring 2018



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