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oN the shelf// Image courtesy of purdue university press Pankow: Design-Build’s Pioneer By Greg caramenico cAlIforNIA hIstorIAN MIchAel r. ADAMsoN chronicles how Charles Pankow changed construction forever in his new book, A Better Way to Build: A History of the Pankow Companies from Purdue University Press (460 pages, $45.00). Fittingly, Adamson came to the project at the impetus of the Charles Pankow Foundation, a nonprofit organization that fosters research in construction and design innovation. Adamson’s book will interest readers of DBIA’s IQ because it documents Pankow’s evangelism of design-build. Pankow’s groundbreaking concept embodied “thinking beyond the building,” Adamson says. Responding to the project delays and inefficiencies he found rampant in many large building projects in which architects performed design without consulting with contractors, Pankow developed his own, integrated approach. He resolved problems by getting architects, engineers and contractors together to work on a building—years before design-build was a common practice. In time, he assembled a wellrounded, comprehensive team that was willing to take on virtually any construction challenge. Pankow founded his eponymous construction firm, Charles Pankow, Inc., in 1963. The forerunner to today’s Charles Pankow Builders, the firm quickly became one of the most innovative and efficient builders in America. Pankow projects ranged from the headquarters of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority to condominium complexes in Hawaii. He brought many of these projects to fruition with design-build early in his career—an unusual approach among builders at the time. As an early proponent of design-build, Pankow demonstrated the superiority of the integrated method as the best way to meet clients’ needs for speed and technical innovation. Pankow’s companies incorporated technical innovations into their projects which reduced construction schedules and improved building safety. The Pankow companies were ahead of the curve in structural engineering, according to Adamson. They pioneered moment-resisting frame technology to better absorb seismic shocks by combining elastic and inelastic shock absorption. Pankow also revolutionized quality improvements in the use of concrete and developed onsite precasting of some building components to slash transportation time and expenses. Leading by example, the Pankow companies brought design-build to the attention of major builders throughout the country by taking on large-scale projects, including major municipal and state facilities, and finishing the most “impossible” ones ahead of schedule. “In the early decades, they were pretty much the only design-builder,” Adamson says. A Better Way to Build: A History of the Pankow Companies by Michael R. Adamson will be released Jan. 17, 2013, by Purdue University Press. To order, visit the DBIA Bookstore at GrEG car aMEnIco IS a JournaLISt anD anaLYSt WhoSE profESSIonaL IntErEStS IncLuDE EnErGY anD ScIEncE poLIcY, poLItIcaL rISK, ItaLY, Ir an anD nEuroScIEncE. hE haS WrIt tEn for WorLD poLItIcS rEVIEW anD VISIon: thE ItaLIan thInK tanK anD IS WrItInG a MonoGraph, WhIch WILL BE puBLIShED BY thE unIVErSItY of chIcaGo prESS. hE haS a MaStEr’S DEGrEE In hIStorY froM VanDErBILt unIVErSItY. winter//2012 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IQ Winter 2012

IQ Winter 2012

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