LANSING, Mich. - In October, Wieland, a general contracting and construction management firm, announced it has been awarded the contract for the new Graphic Packaging mill project in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has become a go-to company for the pulp and paper industry.
Ed Lorenz, a Principal and Project Executive for Wieland, said the company has had two successful paper mill projects in the last four years, along with other notable projects outside the pulp and paper industry.
"Wieland excels in all aspects of commercial construction. Upon completion of each project, Wieland issues a client satisfaction survey. Over the past 20 years, over 96% of Wieland's clients have said they would use Wieland again and refer Wieland to other companies. Regardless of project size, a successful project is when Wieland receives a client survey indicating the client would use Wieland again," Lorenz told Paperitalo Publications. "In the past four years Wieland has successfully constructed two paper recycling mills for Pratt Paper in Valparaiso, Indiana and Wapakoneta, Ohio and two automotive stamping plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Gestamp. Additionally, Wieland has completed several other notable projects, including a 19-story luxury condominium tower on Singer Island in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Lorenz said that Wieland staff are the eyes and ears for the owner/client at the project site.
"Wieland's staff keeps the owner's best interest in mind at all times recognizing that Wieland's fiduciary responsibility is to the owner. As a Construction Manager, Wieland's staff is typically comprised of preconstruction and project management," Lorenz said. "During construction, Wieland will staff the project with an Executive in Charge (Wieland partner) so the client has direct contact with the executives of the company. A Senior Project Manager will oversee the project to assure the team is meeting the project objectives to the satisfaction of the client. Depending on the size of the project there will be a minimum of one Project Manager who is responsible for direct contact on a daily basis with the client, overseeing the budget, managing the team and providing the conduit for communication to all stakeholders. Wieland will include an Assistant Project Manager to work alongside the Project Manager when preparing submittals and RFIs during the project. Wieland's Site Superintendent(s) are responsible for safety, quality and schedule. They are on the jobsite at all times to monitor daily activity. Again, depending on the project size, Wieland will staff the project with the appropriate number of Site Superintendents.
Lorenz said that when Wieland hires permanent staff, the company looks for a combination of seasoned staff members as well as younger staff that can be trained in the "Wieland way."
"Because Wieland works nationally throughout the United States, Wieland looks for team members that are willing to travel for an extended duration," Lorenz said. "Wieland's goal is to pair seasoned professionals with younger personnel to provide the opportunity for career advancement through ongoing training with the objective of developing the next generation experienced construction personnel. Wieland looks for staff that want to be part of a team and that fits in with the company's culture.
Lorenz said that the fact that Wieland is a problem solving, technologically advanced construction company sets it apart from its competition.
"Our staff is trained to solve problems before they become the client's problem. Working in a spirit of collaboration with the design team, Wieland is proactive in identifying potential issues, bringing it to the attention of the design team and collectively identifying possible solutions to present to the client," Lorenz said. "This type of communication along with all project communication is enhanced through the advanced technology that Wieland employs on every project. The cutting edge technology Wieland uses allows Wieland the ability to streamline a variety of processes, such as real-time RFIs and Submittals."
Lorenz has been employed with Wieland for six years and was originally hired as a Senior Project Manager to oversee Pratt's PM 16 project in Valparaiso, Indiana.
"I continue to work heavily in the paper industry including with Pratt, as well," Lorenz said. "After being with Wieland for four years I became a partner, which has been one of my proudest accomplishments. Working on the Wieland leadership team with the other eight partners, we are focused on maintaining and enhancing Wieland's growth in the Pulp and Paper Industry. Prior to joining Wieland, my career involved several types of projects, primarily in the heavy industrial and educational construction sector. I started as a carpenter, working my way up to where I am at today."
Regarding Wieland's newest paper mill project in Kalamazoo, Lorenz, who will oversee the project, said Wieland began mobilizing in August and broke ground in late September.
"The new GPI mill will total approximately 350,000 square feet over four buildings, including the mill, the cardboard area, the boiler house, and the finished goods warehouse," said Lorenz. "By September of 2020, we will be at full capacity with approximately 32 Wieland employees on site. We anticipate project completion to be October of 2021."
The entire Graphic Packaging mill project cost, including construction and equipment, is estimated at $600 million.