Case Study

Kirk in the Hills

Staircase
Exterior

An Award-Winning Effort

Safety Enforcement

Kirk in the Hills, a Presbyterian church, is one of the most unique structures and grounds in the metropolitan Detroit area. Its Gothic stone architecture and rolling 40-acre grounds located on Island Lake create an idyllic setting for the congregation that cares deeply about this unique place of worship and fellowship.

Harley Ellis Devereaux was hired to design the new spaces and elevator addition, and Sachse Construction was hired as the construction manager to perform the demolition and renovation. The project included the renovation and repurposing of spaces within the Kirk in the Hills facility to meet the need for a more engaging space for the youth of the congregation. After a series of collaborative design workshops, a key decision was made to relocate and expand the Youth Ministry Program into a highly visible location previously containing an underutilized library.

The project also consisted of the addition of an elevator that is central to the overall facility. This location would become the new main entry for visitors coming for educational and office activities. As part of this addition, the main stair at this location was reconfigured and relocated to allow visitors to visually engage with the beauty of the site and lake to the north.

A combination of proper planning, constant communication of expectations, and vigilant enforcement of safety rules resulted in no lost-time accidents and a zero OSHA recordable incident rate on this 15,171-worker-hour project. Before work began, every worker was required to attend an onsite safety orientation focused on job specifics and overall safety requirements. Afterward, workers were required to sign an agreement indicating their understanding and acceptance of the guidelines. The general contractor’s safety director conducted monthly onsite safety audits, which were in turn sent to the offices of all trade partners, the owner’s management staff and the general contractor’s top management team.

On-site trade partners were required to submit and review the project’s pretask plans with their superintendents to identify potential hazards and offer solutions to minimize the risks.

Sachse Construction’s goal is to always carefully manage a project in a way where the work is performing without any incident. Due to the team’s proven process of safety protocol and strict adherence to these rules, the Kirk in the Hills project was awarded The Best in the Midwest 2016: Projects Recognized for Safety Excellence by ENRMidwest.