How McHugh Construction Shaved 4 Months Off of New McDonald’s HQ Schedule

McDonald’s Global Headquarters, photo courtesy of McDonald’s

McDonald’s Global Headquarters, photo courtesy of McDonald’s

I’m always fascinated by the innovative ways that construction companies can shave months off of a complicated schedule.  McHugh Construction was able to shave 4 months off of the 22 month schedule of by employing a construction method that’s pretty tricky to employ, but incredibly efficient.

In November of 2016, construction of McDonald’s new Global Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois officially began.  Challenged to complete the project in the shortest time possible, McHugh Construction turned to a process called top down construction.

You may remember reading about the top down construction method last year when I wrote an article about Sydney, Australia’s future tallest building which used the process. In short, top down allows for the excavation of the site and vertical construction of the building at the same time.

Using the top down method on the McDonald’s HQ, McHugh shortened their 22-month schedule to 18-months. In total, the building housed 567,000 square feet (sf) of space across nine stories.  McDonald’s occupies 492,000sf of the building.

According to Build Design + Construction (BD+C), time and cost savings on the interior finish work was achieved through a heavy collaboration in BIM between the core and shell team, the project’s developer, and interior GC Executive Construction. Over 4,500 man hours were spent over the 14 week BIM process.

In a press release, McDonald’s stated that the building is LEED certified, but did not mention which level it achieved.  A green roof was incorporated into the design and all waste produced in the test kitchens is composted.   

Below is a partial timelapse video of the McDonald’s HQ construction posted to YouTube by the developer of the project, Sterling Bay.  It includes footage of the demolition of Oprah Winfrey’s former Harpo Studios, which stood on the same lot.