March 21, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Commercial Building
First Finish Wins Top Commercial Award for On-Time, On-Budget Aspen Resort Renovation
First Finish renovated all the guest suites, bathrooms and corridors at The Little Nell ski resort in Aspen, Colo., earning the company top honors in the Commercial Builders Council's Awards of Excellence.

The renovation of a five-star Aspen, Colo., ski resort has won national recognition for Columbia, Md.-based First Finish, a construction management company specializing in commercial, senior living and hotel work.

The $20 million project included the complete renovation of all 92 guest suites, bathrooms and corridors at The Little Nell — and was completed on time and on budget — garnering First Finish the Grand Award of Excellence from the NAHB National Commercial Builders Council.

All the millwork and stone was custom fabricated to fit the 36 different guest room floor plans, and much of the work, including the construction of the cabinetry and bathroom pocket doors, was done offsite and in advance to ensure that the project would be completed in the 12 weeks allotted.

The design represents a shift away from the rustic, “Rocky Mountain”-style prevalent in Aspen to a sleeker, more contemporary look. 

Furniture and fixtures not reused in the renovation were donated to the Aspen-area Habitat for Humanity affiliate, while the 23,000 pounds of old carpeting was recycled and unusable doors were turned into garden mulch.

Most of the materials used in the project were locally sourced, and other improvements were made to increase the building’s energy and water efficiency — including WaterSense-rated showerheads and plumbing fixtures. Bedside lighting fixtures that used 60 watts to 90 watts each were replaced with headboard lights that use only 2 watts.

During construction, the hotel garage was partitioned into workspaces for each subcontractor and into kitchen and eating spaces for a catering company that fed the workers during the project so they could stay onsite and finish faster.

All team members participated in twice-daily meetings to review progress and incorporate any change orders.

“These site meetings were not simply First Finish’s superintendent delivering the day’s milestone,” the company said in its award application. “They were inclusive discussions that addressed foreseeable challenges and promoted the development of contingencies from the perspectives of all tradesmen and team members.”

The annual Awards of Excellence for light commercial projects recognize achievements in design, market appeal, overall aesthetics, challenges faced during building and overall success of commercial projects that are either built or renovated and range in size from less than 5,000 to more than 100,000 square feet.

For more information, e-mail Carmel Nayman at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8410.

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