Uniland COO Honored as Keynote Speaker for Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship Program

LANSING — The Comcast Foundation is awarding 100 Michigan high school seniors scholarships through its annual Leaders & Achievers Scholarship Program.

The program, one of the Comcast Foundation’s signature community investment programs, recognizes students’ leadership skills, academic achievement and commitment to community service.

Scholarship recipients were recognized at the Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship Recognition Celebration at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing Tuesday.

“Each year, we are excited to provide scholarships for these talented students,” said Charisse R. Lillie, president of the Comcast Foundation and vice president for community investment of Comcast Corp. “Comcast seeks students who demonstrate leadership abilities in school activities and who reflect a strong commitment to community service. These students are our future leaders, and we hope these scholarships will help to power their dreams for success.”

“Comcast has a vested interest in providing our youth with opportunities to excel and succeed in a highly competitive higher education landscape and job market,” said Tim Collins, senior vice president for Comcast’s Heartland Region, which includes Michigan. “We commend these students for their outstanding achievements, and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Comcast welcomed Aaron L. Rosenhaus, COO of Uniland Corp., as its keynote speaker during the Leaders & Achievers event. As COO, he oversees all construction and property management operations. Uniland has been a family owned and operated community builder since 1926. Its focus is construction services, property management, energy conservation and consultation on commercial, residential and healthcare construction.

A Michigan native, Rosenhaus is a 2002 graduate of Cranbrook-Kingswood Academy and a 2007 Graduate of the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University. In just five years after college, he has worked in the construction industry in Michigan, California and Texas, before returning back to Michigan last summer to join Uniland. His past projects have included a multi-sports outdoor arena and two hospitals in Southern California, as well as a new housing community in Austin, Texas.

Rosenhaus founded the Young Construction Professional, a 2000-member group, representing the full spectrum of the real estate, construction and design industry from every continent except Antarctica.

The Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship Program provides one-time $1,000 scholarships to students who strive to achieve their potential, who are catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools, and who serve as models for their fellow students. The philosophy behind the program is to give young people every opportunity to be prepared for the future, to engage youth in their communities, and to demonstrate the importance of civic involvement, and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community.

To date, Comcast has awarded more than $17 million to more than 17,000 Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners nationwide.

Connect with the scholarship winners at www.facebook.com/ComcastLeadersandAchievers. Explore and “like” Comcast in the community at www.facebook.com/WePowerDreams.

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corp. in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The foundation has three community investment priorities — promoting community service, expanding digital literacy and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $90 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves.

Quick Home Tips: Have a Green Summer!

Now that it is officially summer, keeping energy costs low might be tough as the temperatures outside continue to rise. Uniland Corporation does not let warm weather stop them from doing what they do best — energy consumption consulting. With a motto of “save green while being green,” Uniland Corporation works with leaders in the sustainable energy and green building industry to provide the best energy-related solutions for their clients. One of their solutions is implementing low-energy lighting in order to decrease energy costs. Uniland Corporation also analyzes existing building operations and provides solutions to increase operating efficiency while lowering operating costs. Their goal: To benefit the environment and lower energy consumption along with its associated costs. So, take the extra step to lower energy costs this summer to save the environment AND your checkbook.

Const. Superintendent: From Hammer to Keyboard

Winter 2011/2012

The technological evolution of the construction worker

In an industry generally known for its reluctance to change, BIM, or Building Information Modeling technology, has revolutionized the construction, design and project delivery processes. The most immediate changes to individuals’ skill sets through the introduction of BIM technology and other related construction technologies has been in the offices or trailers. As this technology evolves, it has become apparent that the final users, the field personnel, must be present (and involved) throughout the BIM process. All aspects of the construction industry continue to adopt new practices and procedures as new technology and delivery methods dictate the need. These new technologies are making their way from the boardroom to the jobsite, and a growing number of field personnel are now armed with CAD design skills, clash-detection management and resolution, and/or the ability to run clash-detection software. As the design and construction industries continue to cultivate new technologies such as BIM, the role and skill set of field personnel have also begun to evolve to complement developing construction technologies. Such individuals from the field have proven to bring added value to the project when considering the constructability, sequencing and successful completion of a project.

Field representation

Brian Mortimer, an MEP coordinator for Bergelectric Corporation, was a full-time field foreman only a few years ago. At that time, he was assisting his company’s CAD detailer during the design/ build phase of the project. It was Mortimer’s responsibility to resolve conflict issues and other constructability issues for his CAD detailer. He hand drew his resolutions and gave them to the CAD detailer to detail on the computer and upload into the model. Due to Mortimer’s proactive personality and an effort to expedite the process, he slowly started to learn simple functions in AutoCAD so that he could make the corrections in CAD instead of drawing them out for his detailer. “As I began to play around with the model, I saw repetitious issues of constructability and coordination that I had ran into on my last job,” Mortimer said. “I was able to bring my lessons learned and apply them to our design and overall coordination logic. “He proved to be a pivotal member in the design process with his work on the model and then execute his scope in the field. On his next project, he and the in -wall and overhead rough-in superintendents worked as detailers on the front-end of a project prior to the start of construction. Instead of assisting a CAD detailer, he was the field representative and CAD detailer•. “Having both rough-in superintendents as detailing assistants during the design/coordination phase of the project minimized field issues and decreased time spent on conflict resolution due to their knowledge of the coordination logic, and the methods of understanding created during coordination meetings,” he added. “If the coordination drawings did not work during field installation, the two superintendents were able to make small adjustments without the need to re-coordinate and/ or re-design the area.” There are many field factors that cannot be represented in the virtual platform within a BIM model and this is when field representation is most important. For example, as subcontractors compete for overhead space within a ceiling, sometimes resolved routing of those overhead systems may work in the virtual model, but during installation it is not feasible due to the lack of workspace. Individuals like Mortimer are able to bring real-world constructability into a virtual environment. BIM technology and the management of the BIM process provide projects with a real-time model, its accuracy based upon the updates by the BIM team. The model, much like a construction site, changes on a day-to-day basis due to many different factors. According to Walt Disney Imagineering Project VDC Installation
Planner Mike B. Smith, the BIM model has become an integrated tool for his superintendent during field coordination and quality control. On Smith’s last major project, his superintendent joined the BIM coordination team about halfway through the coordination process. The superintendents assisted in the management of the model, would run clash detection and facilitated clash-resolution meetings with the subcontractor, detailers and design team.

“Due to our superintendent’s participation during the BIM process, specifically clash detection, he was able to provide needed insight in constructability review as it related to coordinated sequence of work.”

“Due to our superintendent’s participation during the BIM process, specifically clash detection, he was able to provide needed insight in constructability review as it related to coordinated sequence of work,” Smith said. Once the work begins on his project, the superintendent was sent to manage daily activities in the field. As the subcontractors and design team resolved field conflicts, updates were made to the project model. “Through our superintendent’s knowledge and experience during the BIM process, he was able to use a computer tablet, upload the latest model and view it to verify correct installation in the field. His ability to view and work with the model allowed our superintendent to easily obtain the latest project information without converting the model into a sketch or blueprint:’ added Smith. In this specific case the model was used to supplement the contract drawings, which are typical.ly not updated as quickly and as often as a project’s BIM model.

Adoption of the virtual planroom

Similar to Smith’s use of the BIM model in the field, other contractors have adopted virtual planrooms to expedite the transmission of changed information to the field. No more RFI, or requests for information, posting or slip-sheeting change orders to hardcopy documents. The virtual planroom has the contract documents updated through a computer-generated format. RFIs are hyperlinked to the related area that the RFI addresses and change order documents are virtually slip-sheeted. The process allows the contract documents to be as up-to-date as the transmission of new information. McCarthy Building Company Senior

Project Engineer Adam Hartwell is currently using a virtual plan room for the first time.

“In order for the virtual plan room to work, we had to make sure the field personnel had the appropriate knowledge of PDF applications and proper FTP site practices,” Hartwell said. “Our field personnel have found the virtual planroom to be very beneficial. Each morning, field representatives upload any changes to the documents and are able to work off the most up-to-date drawings possible. In addition, this has prevented any potential setbacks due to individuals working from different versions of the same contract documents.” He added that the virtual planroom and the accepted use by the field personnel have decreased time spent on the processing of paperwork. This has increased field production and minimized any time delay due to conflict resolution and the related administration time.

As construction schedules become leaner, it is important that the industry develops new practices and skills to decrease the time when conducting typical project activities. Developing computer and technology skills of field personnel are a necessary function to decrease time spent on the transmission of information. Technology grows exponentially, project schedules are becoming more aggressive and the economic environment has forced many companies to work in a more flexible format. Field personnel have stepped up to such a task as new office technologies begin to become vital tools in the field. This is only the foreground of BIM technology and working within the virtual world. As technology and processes evolve so, too will the role of field personnel.

 

Detroit News: Southfield family builds on generations

November 10, 2011

Aaron Rosenhaus says the best thing he did for his family’s business was to get a job at another company.

The experience provides a different perspective the 27-year-old Rosenhaus plans to tap since he earlier this year became chief operating officer at Uniland Corp., a Southfield family-owned-and-operated building management, development and consulting company. It gave the Michigan State University graduate insights into areas deserving further expansion for the company his great-grandfather founded 85 years ago.

Call it the Un-Brain Drain. The Rosenhaus family hopes the addition of the first member of the fourth generation at Uniland marks the beginning of a trend with young professionals moving back to their home state to help rejuvenate the economy.

“We’re excited about moving forward,” said Uniland CEO Rex Rosenhaus, Aaron’s father. “My grandfather founded this company on the eve of the Great Depression, and now it’s my turn to continue his and my father’s legacy with Aaron’s help.”

In its residential construction work, Uniland is tracking new home starts this year to increase 75 percent in southeastern Michigan. Overall, through its construction, property management, consulting, energy consumption solutions, Uniland is on track to increase revenue 12 percent this year.

Having a work force with multiple generations, whether it is through a family or otherwise, can be beneficial if handled correctly, said Kim Huggins, a generational expert and president of K HR Solutions in Harleysville, Pa.

“Celebrating the differences of the generations in the workplace is the first step to understanding how to build a diverse and strong team. Each generation has a unique communication style and preference, as well as strengths that they bring to the table,” Huggins said. “Part of building a productive team is understanding the communication preferences of each generation as well as what motivates them.”

Rosenhaus previously worked for one of the top 10 commercial contractors in the country. He served on the health care construction team, where he supervised subcontractors building multiple projects. He also managed budgets topping $300 million in his nearly five years there.

That job helped Rosenhaus grow as a businessman, construction professional and a young person, he said. As he worked on sites in California and in Texas with Armadillo Homes, a statewide production homebuilder, he said he had to prove himself and his skills on every project.

Plus, Rosenhaus gained experience in the health care field, an area where Uniland Corp. is growing. He hopes to extend the company’s reach into medical offices, urgent-care centers, senior-citizen housing and more.

“The opportunity to return to the state in which I grew up and bring youth and energy to an already successful family company is just truly amazing for me,” Rosenhaus said. “I could see (the local economy) was improving. It was a good time to come back.”

Rosenhaus said he chose to work at McCarthy Building Companies in part because it was in Southern California, where work was still going strong, and it specialized in health care.

“It was the most challenging type or sector within the construction industry I could get into. I wanted to be busy; I wanted to be challenged,” Rosenhaus said.

And the projects he worked on had an impact on his professional outlook; that is something he hopes will differentiate Uniland from its competition.

“At one point, I worked on a children’s hospital, and there’s a higher level of aesthetics to the spaces there,” Rosenhaus said. “We understood and used the aesthetic environment as another tool in patient care. If we can use such features as a painted ceiling to look like the sky to calm a patient or have fun graphics on the walls in the patient areas to keep a fun light mood, this in turn can positively affect a patients or their loved ones moods during a usually stressful time.”

The Oakland Press: Uniland Sticks With Tradition

Sept. 20, 2011

Southfield-based Uniland Corporation, a family-owned and operated building management, development and consulting company continues its 85-year success story with family leadership. The company recently appointed Rex Rosenhaus as CEO and Aaron Rosenhaus, a fourth generation family member, as COO.

“These are both exciting and difficult times for our family,” Rex said. “This year we lost my father Mel Rosenhaus, the previous CEO of Uniland, who was my inspiration and mentor for over 30 years, but we have a great team in place to move us forward, led by my son Aaron. My grandfather founded this company over 85 years ago on the eve of the Great Depression and now it’s my turn to continue his and my father’s legacy with Aaron’s help.”

Previous to Aaron’s recent appointment as COO, he worked for McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. in California, one of the largest construction companies in the U.S.

After he graduated from Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction, he was hired at McCarthy as a mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer. He was quickly appointed to a senior engineer position, where he oversaw subcontractors building multiple projects and managed budgets upwards of $300 million.

“His return to Michigan is the beginning of a trend with young professionals moving back to their home state to help rejuvenate the economy. We’re excited about moving forward,” Rex said.

“The opportunity to return to the state in which I grew up and bring youth and energy to an already successful family company is just truly amazing for me, Aaron said.

After 85 years in business, Uniland Corporation is no stranger to enduring rough economies. Sol Rosenhaus founded before the Great Depression and quickly learned that no company is immune to economic setbacks. But Sol instituted a set of values for his business that have carried on through generations of the Rosenhaus family.

“The business philosophy at Uniland is simple: Our success is based upon the success of our partners and clients,” Rex said.

“That’s what this company was founded on, and that’s how we continue to operate. My grandfather understood that and made that the backbone on which we operate today.”