Westfield Century City Mall

Client: Schuff Steel Company
Capex: $1 billion USD
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Completion Date: 2017

Westfield Century City Mall is a three-level retail development alongside Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars in Los Angeles. Opened in 2017, Century City is the tail destination for the west side of Los Angeles, servicing a population of 14.5 million residents within the extended four-county trade area. Century City is located near Beverly Hills, one of the highest income neighborhoods on LA’s west side.

Westfield Century City Mall Project Overview:

Schuff Steel completed the fabrication and installation with DBM Vircon project managing and detailing over 9,200 tons of structural steel. This was a true global project with DBM Vircon teams operating in 3 countries working in multiple time zones, offering Schuff Steel around the clock project support and live access to the structural steel BIM model.

DBM Vircon's Scope of Work:

DBM Vircon’s scope of work included the 3D BIM modeling and shop detailing of the structural steel on the following areas:
  • Structural steel columns, beams, trusses, boxed columns and horizontal braces to seismic codes
  • Modeling and connection provisions for core brace seismic vertical bracing systems
  • Structural steel posts, hangers, kickers
  • Temporary bracing and erection aids
  • Anchor bolts and embeds for the main steel connecting to concrete walls;
  • Retrofit steelwork to strengthen the existing construction platform and underground carpark
  • Floor openings
  • Modeling of curved bent plate for concrete pour stops with rebar’s and bent plates around the elevator slab openings
  • Safety cable holes at perimeter and grid beams

Westfield Century City Mall Project Challenges & Highlights:

  • Due to the retrofit nature of the project and constant design updates for retailer preferences, the project design was subject to substantial variations throughout the duration of detailing. Through superior model management DBM Vircon were able to track and perform changes with little to no detailing errors. The result was a steel structure with over 12,000 assemblies connecting together as planned and to the erection schedule.
  • DBM Vircon was released on a fast track schedule of only 6 months. At the time of commencement much of the connection design, dimensions and steel sizes were not available, which incurred a large number of connection and dimensional queries. DBM Vircon raised a total of 1,244 requests for information, all of which were tagged in the BIM model for full traceability and to ensure the correct information was followed while awaiting design drawing updates.
  • Survey data was required for all column baseplates as the new structure sat on an existing platform of concrete waffle slabs and piers dating back to the 1960’s. As the site was subject to years of seismic activity and non-documented upgrades, this meant that the original 1960’s as-built drawings were of no use. Over 1,500 pieces of reinforcing embeds and steel beams were required to strengthen the existing concrete structure supporting the new steelwork above, countless survey data correspondence was received for each piece of this steel with full tractability needed for any questions from the field.
  • At times the demolition of existing structures and the removal of the existing superficial slab meant that survey data was not available at the time of DBM Vircon’s 3D modeling process, steel members all needed to be managed for holds and then fieldworks due to the anomalies in elevation discovered during demolition.
  • Though superior model management, DBM Vircon issued countless detail drawing status reports for all steel affected by changes or late information, these reports communicated COR’s, RFI’s and survey data affecting each member, once the information was received and complete these reports would also show the planned issue date of each individual assembly to the shop.
  • As highlighted above, the extensive design changes coupled with survey data resulted in a scope increase of nearly 4 times the initial estimate. Full tractability of the 582 design variations were required with DBM Vircon tagging all members affected. Although the workload increased by 4-fold and design changes were still being made right up to the end of the project, DBM Vircon were able to mitigate delays by adding additional resources and performing overtime which resulted in only a 6-month schedule extension.
  • DBM Vircon was able to execute the project though the use of advanced model tracing systems, job management systems and the use of best practice PMBOK project management techniques to control costs, time and quality. There were 16 revisions to the schedule with over 40 resources at the peak, and DBM Vircon controlled 4 separate models via detailing teams in 3 geographic locations of Perth and Darwin Australia and in Manila, Philippines.
  • DBM Vircon’s project management team was in Manila with local coordinator support in Vancouver Canada and further technical support from Australia.
  • The project management and detailing teams worked tirelessly with the 5 project staff that Schuff Steel maintained on site to co-ordinate the high frequency and volume of information required to build the project. It was a great team effort with a high level of respect between fabricator and detailer.