Van Brunt & Company was contracted and trusted to build the new Panda Express Home prototype. This new location was constructed in the beautiful, and booming, town of Dripping Springs Texas. A town about 20-30 minutes from Austin primarily built on rock foundations. Our team was selected as the Commercial General Contractor for this project due to our long-standing history and our commitment to collaborate with our clients and problem solve along the way. The goal for this project was to bring a new restaurant design vision to the brand’s already established portfolio. This required our team to address design concepts with construction realities and bridge the gap for any future changes that needed to be made prior to rolling out across the nation. These locations use a lot of new design elements including new style awnings and trellis elements on the corners of the building. Our team was honored to be awarded another concept project by our client and support their restaurant vision for brand expansion. Who built Panda Express Dripping Springs? Van Brunt & Company – Commercial General Contractor.
Challenge / Problems
- With any new prototype, changes can be expected. The challenge is not knowing when they will arise, how they will impact project schedules, and availability of labor and materials following the pandemic. This project required constant communication and collaboration with multiple members of the design team to ensure the restaurant design met the vision of the owners.
- The new design includes an incredible design element that will become known for years to come as the ‘Swoop’. This feature goes across the side of the building with unique blocking and trellis elements on the exterior walls.
- The Architects for this project brought the design elements from exterior to interior complimenting the exterior ‘Swoop’. Our job was to bring their design to light by utilizing a pre-manufactured wooden element. The problem to solve for our commercial construction team was to learn all of the variables and eliminate them as we learned. The weight of this design was unpredictable, how to secure it to the wall was largely unidentified, and presented time delays and additional challenges when it came to mount the element.
- The Texas Hill Country is known for its rolling hills, beautiful views, and mountainous rocks. The entire construction site was built on rock. The rock excavation was required for everything this new ground up restaurant would need. Electric and Gas had to break through solid rock to perform required work which broke multiple pieces of large size equipment.
- The Panda Express in Dripping Springs now features the first ever ‘Panda Home’ design. Architects, engineers, our team, the client, and our legacy subcontractors all came together to leverage our commercial construction expertise to this growing sunburn -Austin Texas town.
- The annual Panda Express Construction meeting was held close to this location allowing all preferred general contractors for this brand to walk the design and navigate future variables learned.
- Restaurant Designers and Restaurant Architects were of the many who were able to embrace this vision and stretch their imagination as they walked through the new designs and saw first hand, the elevated elements.