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T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T R Y

CONSTRUCTION LEADERS TODAY

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Penntex Construction 14 Sustainable Construction

Founder, John Pregmon believes in efficiency and is a critic of waste, which has led the company to focus on sustainable construction. Penntex is on a mission to get the construction industry serious about going green.

Apex Steel

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iron workers of the northwest

Founder, Kevin Koester has built the firm of Apex Steel into one of the largest steel contractors in the Pacific Northwest through not only good business relationships but quality work as well.

Touching people’s lives

Habitat for Humanity

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As one of the oldest and most productive branches, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County has produced 1,300 homes since its founding in 1978.

DART Designs

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Aesthetic, functional, affordable

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Owner and President Stephen May brings a personal touch to every DART Design project, providing creative and economical architectural solutions to clients across the state of Illinois.


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We’re the only major house plan provider to offer full working drawings for client-inspired, architect-designed, built homes.

architecturalhouseplans.com 888-388-5735

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THE

M AG A Z I N E

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INDUSTRY

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Executive Profile:

Daniel Hathaway

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CEO and Founder of Hathaway Construction, Daniel Hathaway is taking the South by storm.


in this issue

THE MAGAZINE FOR CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY

CONSTRUCTION LEADERS TODAY

Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Assistant Editor Joseph Orange Creative Director Emily Detoro Art Director Stephanie Hess Director of Advertising Julian Vu Production Coordinator Jason Rone Assistant Production Coordinator Elizabeth Macks Photography Editor Ian Palmer Video Director Susan Maybach Editorial Director Kate Darling Editorial Production Rachel Goldberg Copy Editor William Finch Assistant Copy Editor Amy Roberts Content Director Brandon McBride (National), Aaron McGaskey (SW), Juan Orellana (NE), Mike Rodgers (W), Cyndel Ponce (Intl) Vendor Relations Director Diana Stephens Vendor Relations Eric Miller, Steve Peters Advertising Sales Director Peter Jostens Advertising Sales Coordinator Patricia O’Brien Advertising Sales Moe Kazemi, David Levi, Tom Nichols Publisher Steve Reed oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1100 H Street NW, Suite M Washington D.C. 20005 www.constructionleaderstoday.com Construction Leaders Today is an international quarterly B2B trade journal that services the construction industry in custom build, geothermal, green building, heavy, residential, commercial, civil engineering and specialty trade sectors. CLT has a readership of 200,000 C-Level executives within the construction industry. We do not accept subscription requests from the general public, however an abbreviated version is available on our website.

06 Editor’s Note Todd Weaver dishes on what makes this quarter exciting, not only for Construction Leaders Today, but also for the nation as a whole. From White House politics to what’s hot in the marketplace, October is going to be one great month.

09 Letters to the Editor 10 Hot Ten List We scoured the marketplace and selected our favorite new products line your projects inside and out. There’s sure to be one for you!

news spotlights

44 Green Stadium Technology Imtech is a Germany-based company that specializes in green stadium technology. Their objective: to help realize big sporting events in a comfortable and sustainable manner as possible.

74 EPA Lead Regulations Contractors prepare for the EPA rules on lead in homes. When adhered to by demolition and renovation communities and enforced by the EPA, these regulations should help reduce construction-related child lead poisoning in the U.S.

98 First Austin Green Certified Plumber Not Your Common Plumbing, a Texas-based plumbing company, just got even less common. Owner Mike Marugo is the first and only certified green plumber in Austin, Texas.

126 Construction Trailers on the Rise Construction trailer leasing, a small but integral part of the construction industry, has been steadily increasing in Houston, Texas, an indicator that the construction industry is bouncing back.

northeast Green Building

14 Penntex Construction Company Penntex Construction focuses on sustainable construction. Its staff is laden with Green Advantage Certified Practioners and LEED Accredited Professionals. It is on a mission to get the construction industry serious about going green.

4 Construction Leaders Today


Mechanical contracting

82 Lippert Brothers

30 John C. Kohler Co.

Started almost a century ago in the small town of Boone, Iowa, Lippert Brothers remains a family business that follows the motto “Work hard, work smart and do it right the first time.”

During its 80 years of doing business, John C. Kohler Co. still believes that their focus should be in the field, not in the office.

residential

residential

32 Watts Homes

88 Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders

Started in the 1950s and headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich., Watts Construction shows that business can be done more efficiently when it is kept in the family.

west

This family-owned building company was founded in the early 1950s and is now a lucrative, well-regarded business that has an eye for quality and tradition.

South

Mechanical contracting

Residential

48 R.J. Lanthier Co.

100 Clayton Levy Little Architects

R.J. Lanthier Co., a California-based mechanical contractor focuses on the design, building and installation of mechanical systems. They have worked on a wide range of projects from schools and colleges to military facilities and government buildings.

GEOTHERMAL

56 Brower Mechanical Brower Mechanical is an HVAC specialist company established in 1979. Besides offering traditional power sources they also specialize in untraditional sources like geothermal heat pumps and radiant heating.

This Fort Worth-based architecture firm tackles a variety of specialty architecture projects and has an amazing flair for bringing out the best in each and every project.

108 Habitat For Humanity of Collier County A personal confrontation with poverty made Habitat for Humanity of Collier County VP, Nick Kouloheras, recognize that building houses for the poor is more than a 9-5 job.

Heavy Engineering

116 Hathaway Construction

60 Apex Steel

Hathaway Construction Company builds single-family homes and multi-family housing projects. For the founders of the business, it makes sense that construction is a family affair.

Apex Steel was created in 1996 as a full-service structural steel contractor. They got involved in a project that led to the development of Apex Tower Crane, a tower crane, hoist and man-lift business, that services the Pacific Northwest.

midWest

Heavy Engineering

127 Builders Post-Tension

General Contracting

Started by two partners who gained experience in the concrete cable business during the 1980s, Builders Post-Tension shows that customer service has not gone out of style.

76 DART Designs

132 American Pan Enterprises Co.

Owner and President Stephen May brings a personal touch to every DART Design project, providing creative and economical architectural solutions to clients across the state of Illinois.

From its creation in a small town near Atlanta in 1996, APEC has grown to provide concrete forming services throughout most of the southern region of the U.S.

Fall 2010 5


editor’s note

TODD WEAVER

jane caffrey

Currently in her Master’s of News and the Documentary at New York University, Jane’s work has been published in both the U.S. and throughout Europe.

With over 30 years of business writing experience for titles such as Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business Magazine, Rob brings an insightful perspective to issues in the construction, energy and education industries.

Joan’s experiences as a writer have taken her places that wouldn’t have been possible in other careers. Her success is evident in the awards and recognitions her writing has received.

joel cornell

editor@ozworldmedia.com

needs or spark some inspiration, regardless of what sector you’re in. And last, but not least, we’ve added a very special person to the staff… my first newborn son. Born on July 7th with a pudgy, cherubic face, weighing in at 9.5 pounds, it’s easy to underestimate the authority this three-monthold holds at the offices of Construction Leaders Today. As a matter of fact, I’d classify his role as somewhat of an executive; or perhaps an advocate for employee satisfaction. You see, ‘Little Man,’ as we call him, reminds us all to stop for nourishment or hydration every 2 hours, he encourages physical activity by way of frequent walks around the block, and when we’re stressed and on deadline, he provides us with plenty of laughter and entertainment. And let’s not forget he’s the perfect excuse to finally throw that office-wide Halloween costume contest everyone’s been asking for. Of course, when introducing new roles into any type of company, it’s not unusual for some inconvenient “restructuring” to occur. Take the coffee table in my office, for example. It’s now a changing table. Or the standard 12-1 lunch break? It’s now a power-“strolling” session. But as long as Little Man continues to contribute, we’re open to the change. We hope you enjoy this issue. As always, we encourage your comments and letters.

rob janis

s I write this, the nation’s capital is abuzz with breaking news: Rahm Emmanuel has just stepped down as White House Chief of Staff to pursue the office of mayor in Chicago; the Commerce Department released August statistics—construction spending is up .4 percent; and the DC chapter of the AIA is taking a breather from the whirlwind of Architecture Week- which actually lasted almost one month due to its events’ increasing popularity. Since our main office is only a 5-minute walk from the aforementioned entities, it’s no surprise that there are equally exciting things going on over here. First, there’s a new kid in town—our new sister magazine, Architecture Leaders Today. We launched this mag in order to ensure that Construction Leaders Today can focus all of its energy on the heavy construction sectors such as mechanical and engineering contracting, steel erection and post tensioning. For more design oriented features, you may now turn to www.architectureleaderstoday.com. Second, we’ve added a new feature to our editorial planning— the “Hot Ten.” This list will spotlight some of each quarter’s hottest products from eco-friendly insulation to solar-powered stepping stones. My staff is sure there’s something that will fit your

contributors

joan tupponce

A

Change is in the AIr

rebecca rodriguez

With a background in technical writing, Joel excels at translating complex jargon into vivid narratives. Past works include projects with the government, World Bank, and a variety of retail giants.

Rebecca enjoys a career of writing about critical issues and prominent business leaders of our time. Her work has been recognized both locally and nationally.

6 Construction Leaders Today


8 Architecture Leaders Today


Letters to the Editor

Industry Leaders Today and oZ World Media are continuously working to improve the editorial experience through insightful content and impeccable customer service. Here’s what other industry leaders are saying...

Thank you so much for the wonderful article in Construction Leaders Today! What a pleasant surprise to see a full page reference to our article on the first page on the e-magazine on your website. We feel honored to have such a beautiful multi-page spread in your magazine. We also appreciate the photo credit reference to Leper Studios. The photo looked splendid and where laid out exquisitely. It was a pleasure working with your company that not only has high integrity but also created an impressive end result. We look forward to future collaborations with your company! Thank you again!

corporate profile | electric

Margie Grace Grace Design Associates Summer 2010

electric | corporate profile

spotlight | post-tensioning

post-tensioning | spotlight

international

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architecture

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Stepping Out by Jane Caffrey

Although it was invented years ago, post-tensioning remains somewhat of novel concept within the construction industry. With this method, a network of steel cables are laid out to provide high tensile strength to a structure, and are then covered with concrete to ensure compressive strength. Once the concrete hardens, the cables are pulled by a hydraulic jack and held in place by anchors, creating a reinforcing system commonly used on parking garages, sky rises, tanks, bridges, and residential fountains. “Post-tensioning is a real niche service, and not a lot of people know what PT is,” Dawn Kori, President of Post Tensioning Cables, Inc., said. “There are some new construction companies that have never done post-tensioning, so they don’t know the scope of our work. We want them to know we’re there for them, with a focus on service and quality.” Beyond assisting with advanced technology and a unique method, Kori breaks new ground in the construction industry by serving as the only female president of a post-tensioning company in the nation. “Right now, PTC is the only womanrun post-tensioning company in the

Fayetteville Public Utility’s (FPU) breadth of services has made them a high-tech, one-stop-shop for customers. In addition to electric and natural gas, this public utility in South-Central Tennessee offers water, waste water, cable and Internet. Last July, voice over IP was offered for the first time. The popularity of the utility’s telecommunications services is taking off. The department was added in 1999 and is now serving about 3,000 customers. “We see our company as being one of the leaders in new technology,” said Britt Dye, CEO and general manager. There are not many municipal utilities in the nation offering telecommunication services, he added. The telecommunications department is growing its customer base by about 2 percent per year. Dye is pleased with the growth rate but would like to see it increase even further. He is also looking to soon expand into rural areas, explaining that he is pursuing more grant and federal stimulus money. “We are looking into all avenues to get funds to build that infrastructure,” he said. Growing the telecommunications department into such a strong

You did a great job with the Fayetteville Public Utilities story. We are very proud of the article and would like all our employees and board members to have a copy to keep.

Britt Dye Fayetteville Public Utilities Spring 2010

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Dawn Kori breaks new ground with an innovative construction method, and by heading the only woman-run posttensioning company in the nation

by Rebecca Rodriguez

Energy Leaders Today Spring 2010 31

1. Old World “Heaven Sent” Estate, Pebble Beach, Calif. 2. John E. Matthams, left and Jun A. Sillano, A.I.A., right.

A Full Menu at FPU

30 Energy Leaders Today Spring 2010

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ALL PHOTOS COUTESY OF INTERNATIONAL DESIGN GROUP.

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Spring 2010 Construction Leaders Today 27

Your staff did a wonderful job delineating our company goals and products. Thank you very much to all involved.

Dawn Kori PTC Inc Spring 2010

Legacy homes are created by International Design Group, where exemplary design defines success in the architectural field. by Jane Caffrey

110 Construction Leaders Today

Jun A. Sillano, A.I.A., President of International Design Group, holds projects completed by the company to the highest standards in modern architecture and design. “I call them modern American castles,” he said. “In America, there are no castles. But I call them legacy homes; testaments to American individual success.” While specializing in high-end, luxury homes IDG has also been a pioneer in the commercial, hospitality, and sports fitness industries, designing structures across the nation and the globe. With each project, sound architecture meets detailed interior design, resulting in

buildings that live up to royal standards. International Design Group became a recognized name on the West Coast in the mid 1980s, when founder John E. Matthams started to remodel Victorian homes in Pacific Grove, Calif. Matthams has been working in the fields of architecture and design for more than 45 years, including the 25 years that he has served the Pacific Grove area. Sillano joined forces with Matthams soon after the company’s foundation, bringing diversified expertise in Urban Planning, Resort Design, and Sustainable Design. As the company grew under the two business partners, IDG began to Summer 2010 111

The magazine looks great! And our two boxes of brochures look great! We can’t wait to update our website with this wonderful new material!

Evelyn Lambdin International Design Group Summer 2010

Fall 2010 9


hot ten list

we scoured the market and selected our favorite new products to line your projects - inside and out.

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Big Ass Fans

These low energy fans have a lot more going for them than just their interesting name. With ten blades ranging from six to 24 feet long, these babies can move up to 337,000 cubic feet of air per minute over 20,000 sq. ft. That’s some serious wind power.

green fiber Cellulose Insulation Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newsprint and other paper sources which would normally end up in landfills. If all the paper currently being put into landfills were converted to cellulose insulation, it would save approximately eight million tons of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of taking every car off the road in New Mexico and Nevada. So pump that recycled installation in your walls and warm your house while cooling your planet.

staff pick! $66/pair

SMART Solar Stepping Stones Illuminate garden paths and walkways with our solar-powered stepping stones made from natural slate stabilized with a resin base. These garden path lights are powered by an integral solar panel, that auto-charges to provide up to eight hours of LED light. No wiring; simple installation; rechargeable battery pack included.

10 Construction Leaders Today

Cyber rain Weather Detecting Sprinklers No more over-grown lawns or dry, crunchy grasses for you. Cyber Rain, probably the most technologically advanced sprinkler system out there, uses your internet to get real-time weather updates and seasonal conditions to decide when to water your lawn, so you can save double the green in cash and grass.


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hot ten list

ikea Sunnan solar lamps These solar powered work lamps come in a variety of colors that are bound to brighten your day. Each lamp includes three solar rechargeable batteries. While the lamp is for indoor use, you simply remove the solar panel package and charge it outside in maximum sunlight.

Benjamin Moore Natura Paint This zero VOC, virtually odorless formula doesn’t compromise on performance. It dries fast, has excellent adhesion and provides a durable finish with an unlimited color selection. Natura features their Green Promise designation, so you can breathe easy knowing that you’ve used the very best for your environmentally sensitive projects.

modern eco homes Earth Friendly Furniture

This vertical grain bamboo table is “eco chic” and lets your guests know that you are both hip and environmentally savvy. Stronger than oak, bamboo is considered the most durable hardwood and when laminated, it’s nearly as strong as soft steel. Farmed bamboo stabilizes the earth with its roots, preventing erosion and produces 35 percent more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees.

Mitticool clay fridge

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This fridge might not be the most techy or shiny, but it does its job with no electricity required – which makes it one of the most savvy fridges out there. Developed in 1997 in Gujarat, India, this clay fridge, with it’s terracotta exterior, would be perfect energy-saver for your deck or patio. Plus, the glass door ensures you’ll never run out of beer on a hot day.

sun mar Composting toilettes At first thought, the idea of composting your own waste is kind of... gross. But this self-contained toilet is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, who found this ecopotty to be clean and odorless. It produces safe composting material, so you can line your garden with the most ecofriendly, affordable manure out there.

Moby Rain Barrel This huge 65 gallon capacity rain barrel is a fantastic and easy to use method for cutting the cost of your water bill. The green and black Moby barrels featured here are made from 100 percent recycled plastic and produced in North Carolina. The top of the barrel has a large catchment area so it’s easy to divert water from your downspout into it. It has a brass spigot at the base.

Fall 2010 11


northeast INSIDE: penntex construction, co., watts construction


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Penntex Construction Company by Johanna Gretschel

1 14 Construction Leaders Today


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hile most trends come and go, there are two construction trends that are now standards: sustainability and compressed project delivery timelines. Sustainability, commonly referred to as green building, fits well with Penntex Construction, a medium-sized company based

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replaces an 88-year-old, six-story building which was located in the Hunting Park area of Philadelphia. Not only is it the largest LEED certified bakery in the world, but it also boasts state-of-the-art design efficiency for incorporating technology that benefits both TastyKake and the building’s owner, Liberty Property Trust. The bakery is a customized warehouse that includes freezer space and seven linear baking lines. Each line consists of mixing equipment, ovens, cooling conveyors and packaging equipment.

in Pennsylvania. John Pregmon, founder of Penntex, has always been a proponent of efficiency and a critic of waste. His philosophy is consistent with the movement toward ecologically responsible construction as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council and the increased conservation requirements of modern building codes. As such, Penntex employs project managers who are Green Advantage Certified Practitioners and LEED features included under LEED standards: Accredited Professionals. A white, reflective roof, which minimizes heat-absorbing surfaces that The company takes a leading role in sustainable, responsible construction practices, specializing in office, warehouse, contribute to global warming. manufacturing and medical facilities. A significant example No-mow, drought-resistant grass that uses less water. is their recent completion of the TastyKake baking facility, constructed in the former Philadelphia Naval Yard. This All of the wood doors and half of the wood used in the building come from single-story, 36-foot clear height, 345,000 sq. ft. facility certified sustainable sources that work to conserve trees.

TastyKake Project info

Paints and carpeting with low chemical content that reduce ear, nose and throat irritation. Refrigeration equipment using environmentally friendly refrigerants to minimize emissions that contribute to global warming. Covered parking lot lights that reduce light pollution; bike racks and access to public transportation that reduce vehicle usage and pollution. Solar panels on the roof that provide power to several of the building’s systems. www.tastykake.com

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Senior project managers Ric Zappan and Dwight Lewis oversaw the project which included installation of significant infrastructure components such as stormwater, sanitary and electric services. The two have over sixty years of combined construction experience. A significant challenge was to coordinate the efforts of multiple engineers into the working bakery. This work included thousands of feet of ingredient piping, equipment service piping and electrical and control wiring. All along the construction process, LEED points were evaluated for their upfront costs, payback savings, and intrinsic value as responsible practice. “We wanted to be ahead of the curve and be more helpful to our clients who want to investigate and build in a green fashion,” said Brian Belcher, long time partner to Pregmon. 1-4. TastyKake Baking Company, Philadelphia, Pa. The world’s largest green bakery. Photo courtesy of Penntex Construction Company. 5-11. TastyKake Baking Company, Philadelphia, Pa. Inside the factory. Assembly processes.

18 Construction Leaders Today

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12 Converting the construction industry to building green is picking up momentum and many conservation features are being integrated into new building codes. Penntex stands as a committed industry leader in increasing sustainability through conservation practices by integrating the latest monitoring, technologies and products. The company prides itself on being able to offer their clients thorough past experience in the unending search for balance between sustainability, upfront costs and payback savings when working with budgets. The good news is that green construction is becoming more economically viable. It helps to lower overall energy and water bills, and reduces maintenance and equipment replacement costs. In addition, a LEED certified building provides improved air quality, and often more natural lighting and superior user comfort. These are all factors that boost employee productivity and health, thus reducing absenteeism. The decision to apply for LEED certification is entirely at the discretion of the owner; however, Penntex always stands ready to provide valuable engineering ideas with an eye toward green practice. Penntex has completed a number of LEED certified buildings in recent years, ranging from standard LEED Certified to LEED Silver. Two examples include a four-story, 105,000 sq. ft. office building in Mount Laurel, N.J. and a 920,000 sq. ft. warehouse facility in Breinigsville, Pa. While LEED requirements have recently been updated and the standards are more challenging, Lewis says the added difficulty has only caused Penntex to work even harder to meet LEED requirements and follow the documentation process required for every LEED project. 12. Hildacy. 1031 Palmers Mill Road, Media, Pa. One of the original LEED green buildings built in the Philadelphia regions. It serves as the administrative headquarters of Natural Land Trust. 13. Highview Corporate Center. 200 & 400 Campus Drive, Collegeville, Pa. Two buildings that total 184,000 sq. ft. and were originally built for and occupied by Wyeth Labs, now Pfizer Corporation.

20 Construction Leaders Today

THE WITMER COMPANY The Witmer Company, in operation since 1941, is a full service plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor servicing both commercial and residential clients. From their base of operation in New Holland, Pa., Witmer offers complete, in-house design/build capabilities, providing professional, startto-finish solutions for commercial, new construction, expansion, and renovation projects. Be it ownership, office staff, or field personnel, The Witmer Company understands, and strives to exceed their customers’ expectations, which has helped them build strong relationships with quality general contractors such as Penntex Construction. The Witmer Company is proud to have partnered with Penntex on several projects including The Home Depot, Smuckers, and FedEx distribution centers in Breinigsville, Pa. For more information, call 717-354-4281.


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SMITH MILLER ASSOCIATES – consulting engineers Fundamental to every building project are engineered building systems. By custom designing these comprehensive systems for a variety of facilities, Smith Miller Associates has achieved an excellent reputation as a design leader. All projects undertaken by SMA are managed and designed by principals and senior engineers which assures that every project will receive the benefits of senior-level experience. SMA is a size-controlled firm that purposely limits the number of active projects undertaken in order to guarantee clients the complete and personal service they expect and deserve. Through comprehensive dialogues between each client and SMA senior engineers, project requirements can be completely defined and solutions created, which meet all the requirements of use, budget, schedule and environment. For more information, visit www.smithmiller.net.

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14 “As a company, we have one goal: establish and understand the needs of our clients and focus all our available resources toward meeting those needs, whether the building will be LEED Certified or not,” said Belcher. “Not every project is going to be LEED Certified, but every building has a function to serve and it is our responsibility to understand that function and get it right the first time.” Another permanent trend in the construction industry is compressed time schedules. According to Lewis, one of the most significant challenges that Penntex faces in its daily operations is expectations of quick turnover and unforgiving construction schedules from tenants and landlords. The old model had a sequence: design, estimate, construct. Then, construction incorporated fast-track methods to reduce the construction schedule. But in today’s world, decisions to build are often made at the last minute and the demand date for the finished product remains fixed. Frequently, the overall time is compressed due to site development and approvals. Penntex was recently commissioned to build a warehouse for Home Depot within a six-month time frame. The site required extensive work as the building was a concrete tilt wall of nearly 500,000 sq. ft., and the office area had not yet been designed. “We moved from a rectangle on a sheet of paper to a finished warehouse without missing a beat,” said Lewis. The design, budgeting and construction activities overlapped significantly. Penntex was challenged to think quickly and 14. Home Depot Warehouse Building, Breinigsville, Pa.

22 Construction Leaders Today

LEVAN ASSOCIATES, INC. Levan Associates, Inc., located in Emmaus, Pa. has been a fabricator and erector of structural steel since 1985. Within their 32,000 sq. ft. fully-automated fabrication facility, teams utilize the CNC Drill Beam line, CNC Angle Master and cambering welding and cutting machinery. Levan currently handles fabrication and welding for projects estimated at 1203,600 tons. Levan’s services also include the fabrication and installation of stairs, hand rails and a variety of specialty projects. Their history of high-quality services and extensive experience consists of new construction and additions for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities including schools, hospitals, medical buildings and a recent addition into bridges. Levan Associates’ quality control policy is to provide exceptional products and services on-time that consistently meet or exceed the needs and expectations of their customers in compliance with all American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and American Welding Society (AWS) standards. For more information call 610-967-6843.


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efficiently, communicating clearly with all parties involved in order to control tight budgets and to avoid mistakes. “You have to be adept at being able to figure out how to push construction while you are still finishing up design,” said Lewis. Construction of the building commenced in mid-January 2009 and Home Depot moved into their new facility on July 7, 2009 as promised- just shy of six months from start of construction. A recent tenant improvement for Amazon required accomplishing $12.4 million of work in a five-month period, where the design, budget and construction phases overlapped. The process was then complicated by the lead time required for certain made-to-order manufactured products including electrical switchgear, fire alarm panels and devices and elevators. In today’s world, inventories are kept low and the manufacturing of certain products involves quick component shipments from disparate facilities to a central assembly plant and then shipment to the project site. Despite all of the challenges encountered, Amazon was in operation on the promised delivery date. “You have to have a strong working knowledge of the demands and constraints of your project in order to meet project turnover dates generated by tenants and landlords,” said Lewis. 15-16. Exterior and Interior views of a LEED Silver office building, 330 Fellowship Rd, Mount Laurel, NJ. Photos courtesy of Penntex Construction Company.

FABCON Fabcon manufactures high-quality concrete wall panels, highway traffic barriers, columns and sound walls. From schools to manufacturing facilities, Fabcon precast wall panels provide the speed, versatility and thermal performance that impress building owners, architects and general contractors alike. To learn more call (800) 727-4444 or visit www.Fabcon-USA.com.

RJ SKELDING Co., Inc. Established in 1959, RJ Skelding Co., Inc. has been in business for over 50 years. They are an electrical contractor that specializes in construction and maintenance for industrial, commercial, institutional, municipal, residential high rise, tele-data, high voltage, cell tower installations and upgrades, and utility installations. RJ Skelding is equipped to handle both installation and maintenance of exterior and site lighting. Their capabilities range from simple service calls to complicated design/build projects over $4 million. RJ Skelding services Pennsylvania , New Jersey, and Delaware, and has worked extensively with Penntex Construction on various projects. For more information, call 610-437-4036.

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“The more overlap of design, budget formation, and construction, the greater the potential for mistakes. Mistakes cost time and money – two things today’s customers do not have.” Penntex’s approach to project management focuses high accountability among a few seasoned and adapatable project managers with a focused support staff. They’ve increased their use of conference calls, FTP and e-mail for communications and sending blueprints. These coordination efforts help increase documentation and faster turn-around times. “The key is how you use the tools,” Zappan said. “The challenge is to remain the manager of the project, not be managed by the project. That’s why people employ us.” CLT 17. Iron Mountain, 1000 Campus Drive, Collegeville, PA. originally built as the headquarters building for Pierce Leahy Corporation prior to them being bought by Iron Mountain. Photos courtesy of Penntex Construction Company.

OMNI ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS Omni Electrical Systems is an established electrical construction company. They have provided electrical construction/maintenance to the industrial, commercial, and institutional markets for the past twenty years. At Omni our mission is to achieve customer satisfaction through dedicated project management, highly skilled and well-equipped workforce and a strong commitment to safety. For more information, visit www.oes.bz

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mechanical contractors

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John C. Kohler Co By Joel Cornell

For over 80 years, four generations at John C. Kohler Co. have served the mechanical construction industry with quality and distinction. The first generation of John C Kohler Co. installed some of the piping at the original TastyKake baking plant on Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia, Pa. The third and fourth generation at John C. Kohler Co., working as a subcontractor to Penntex, recently completed the process piping and plumbing systems in the new, state-of-the-art plant. John C. Kohler Co. holds their relationship with Penntex Construction in the highest regard. “Penntex has a unique approach of generating a team atmosphere with a focus on achieving the owner’s vision,” said Kevin Kohler. “Despite the challenges the construction industry presents, Penntex efficiently manages projects in an aggressive, yet pleasant and ethical manner.”

“Penntex realized the complexity of the TastyKake project early on and dedicated themselves to leading the difficult coordination. We couldn’t imagine a project as complex as Tastykake without their unique approach,” said Kohler. The process piping for the plant included extensive coordination between manufacturers from Australia, Italy and Germany. In addition to the steam, compressed air and chilled water systems that Kohler installed at the new plant, they installed some of the more unique systems like the chocolate, pie and icing shortening, and thermal oil, among others. In addition to baking, dairy, and rendering plants, John C. Kohler Co. has also done extensive work with the commercial office, retail, school, and government segments of the HVAC and Plumbing industries. They have done extensive work at the King of Prussia mall. Dating back to the ‘70s, Kohler has been involved the construction and nearly every major addition and renovation at King of Prussia Malls. In 1979 they installed DX rooftop units on the Court, later converting the Court to a 3,000 ton central plant chilled water system. This modern and efficient approach offered the client significant savings in operations that paid for the system upgrades in only a few years. A similar 3750-ton chiller water system was installed by Kohler in the Plaza at King of Prussia, and achieved the same results. The Kohler family has always realized that reputation, relationships and success are built in the field, not in the office. “In our company,” Kohler said, “the office works for the field. This is the reverse of how many companies operate. It is for that reason that a family member is always closely involved on every project in the field.” John C. Kohler Co. has performed a wide variety of projects: from chiller plants and school renovations to hospitals and baking plants. No matter how complex the task, John C. Kohler Co. remains dedicated to meeting their clients’ needs in a timely, cost effective and professional manner. CLT

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atts homes Your Life, Your Home, Your Style

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By Joel Cornell

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“When you’re running a contracting business where five of your six employees are family, normal working hours don’t apply,” said Don Watts, CEO of the third generation, family owned construction and development company Watts Homes. Located in Kalamazoo, Mich., Watts Homes specializes in building and developing high quality housing communities, in addition to remodeling, commercial and industrial projects. Beginning in the early 1950s, Watts Homes started as a residential builder. Over time, the size of their staff has remained steady, focusing on the quality of their work. “As a family, we do a lot more interacting with clients and each other,” said President Joy Watts. “We never need a committee to make decisions,” she said. “We can act far more quickly on problems big and small than most larger corporate firms.” Being located in Kalamazoo is ideal for Watts Homes. They are about two and a half hours between Detroit and Chicago, plus there are three colleges, two large hospitals and multiple Fortune 500 companies in proximity. In 2008, the company split into two divisions: Watts Homes, which handles the construction of new homes and home remodeling and Watts Construction Company, which builds and renovates commercial and industrial projects. “We do specialize in residential construction, but we’re not just providing standard or stock homes to our clients,” said Don. Having had his degree in architecture since the early 1970s, Don has a history and reputation in the area that has given Watts Homes their consistent business. “We know full well the quality of the houses we build,” he said. “Our family has been living in our own neighborhoods for years. With new home construction costs that seem to ever increase, people look for a contractor that can encompass all of their needs.” 1. Hunter’s Creek Condominiums Neighborhood, Kalamazoo, Mich. Rear elevation of one of three ponds with fountain. 2. Hunter’s Creek Condominiums Neighborhood, Kalamazoo, Mich. A comfortable three seasons porch. 3. Hunter’s Run Neighborhood, Kalamazoo, Mich. Custom home. Kitchen and dinette area with Kenmore appliances.

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Rather than going from a real estate agent to a contractor to an architect to a builder, clients can simply go to Watts. “We have the wide range of experience and ability that has allowed us to create everything from starter homes to million dollar custom projects,” said Don. The reputation for quality and value that has allowed Watts Homes to stand the test of time has been honored over and over again. Watts Homes and their staff have won multiple awards from the Parade of Homes annually since 2001, as well as honors from The Michigan Association of School Boards, VP Buildings Hall of Fame and International Links of Friendship, to name a few. “I’ve been around a while,” Don said, “so if we really satisfy a young couple in their early housing years, they come back to us for renovations or second and even third homes.” Watts Homes is currently building in three different Greater Kalamazoo area neighborhoods, in addition to an industrial park development and several remodeling projects. CLT

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4. SouthPointe Trails & Riverview Hills Neighborhoods, Otsego, Mich. Crystal Design in SouthPointe Trails. 5. SouthPointe Trails & Riverview Hills Neighborhoods, Otsego, Mich. MBR of Manchester Design in SouthPointe Trails. 6. Eagle Lake, Mich. Walkout level extra kitchen of Greg Watts home. 7. Contemporary home in the Hunters Run Neighborhood, Kalamazoo, Mich. Formal living room with gas fireplace, foyer & stairs to second floor. 8. Watts Homes & Keystone Community Bank’s current office on Gull Road. 9. Hunter’s Creek Condominiums Neighborhood, Kalamazoo, Mich. Office or sun room of walnut design. Thanks to the following partners of Watts Homes for helping underwrite this feature.

http://probuild.com/ This article was underwritten by ProBuild, who streamlines the process for national and local builders by providing a one-stop shop for manufacturing, supply, and installation of building materials. ProBuild worked with Watts Homes on the Hunters Creek Waterfront condos, Trestlewood Pediatrics remodel, homes in South Pointe Trails, and homes in Riverview Hills projects. For more information, visit www.probuild.com.

Lyman Lighting Whether decorating, remodeling or even building a new home, you are sure to find what you are looking for from lamp shades, rugs, decorative mirrors and pictures to chandeliers, fans, fixtures, fine accessories and much more at Lyman Lighting. Lyman is proud to offer the most unique selection found anywhere. For more information, visit www.lymanlighting.com.

34 Construction Leaders Today

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路 Landscape Contractors 路 Hydroseeding 路 KWIK KERB Concrete Edging

2500 Ravine Road Kalamazoo, MI 40004

Douglas Vlietstra Phone: 269-344-6727

The J.D. Vlietstra Company would like to congratulate Watts Construction for their continued success. Fall 2010 35


regional marketplace

36 Construction Leaders Today


regional marketplace

www.walterpmoore.com • 800.364.7300

Walter P Moore is an international engineering and consulting firm that specializes in structural engineering, including secure design, structural diagnostics, seismic evaluations and retrofits. The firm also provides parking design, and civil, traffic and transportation engineering. Walter P Moore has worked with Bunton Clifford on many projects including Southwestern Community College, Lincoln Elementary School (Anaheim), and two Burlingame elementary schools, all located throughout California.

www.sundt.com San Diego: (619) 321-4800

Thanks to Sundt Construction, a partner of Bunton Clifford and Associates, who helped underwrite this feature. Sundt Construction provides general contracting, construction management and design/build services for private and public sector clients and is currently working with Bunton Clifford on Sweetwater High School Building 100 for Sweetwater Union High School District. Fall 2010 37


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555 Fifth Avenue, 16th Floor New York, New York 10017 Phone: 646-432-7222 info@essentialdesignbuild.com http://essentialdesignbuild.com

38 Construction Leaders Today

Interior Construction and Design We are General Contractors with expertise at performing all aspects of interior design and construction services for residential, commercial and retail interiors. We don’t have to do it all, but we can.


regional marketplace

NOBLE CONTRACTING CORPORATION We believe that the most important aspect of the contractual obligation is creating a working partnership with the client and architect. Our clients include dental/medical, banks, retail, and corporate accounts. When in partnership, everyone including the client has a responsibility to everyone else. In this way, there is better understanding and communication, which is at the core of Noble Contracting’s practices. For more information, contact us at: 516-887-0808.

Noble Contracting Corporation 337 Merrick Road, Suite 5, Lynbrook, NY 11563

(516) 887-0808

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BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE • BOSTON CONSERVATORY • CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE THEATRE • CARNEGIE HALL • ZANKEL HALL CELEBRITY CRUISE LINES • DENVER ART MUSEUM HAMILTON BUILDING • US CAPITOL VISITOR CENTER • EMERSON COLLEGE, PARAMOUNT THEATRE • HAYDEN PLANETARIUM • UC SAN DIEGO PREBYS MUSIC CENTER • FOX CALIFORNIA THEATRE • MGM MIRAGE CIRQUE DU SOLEIL LOVE • SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY GREEN MUSIC CENTER • MESA ARTS CENTER GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY PLANETARIUM UC DAVIS MONDAVI CENTER FOR THE ARTS • NAPA VALLEY COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART MGM CITYCENTER, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL VIVA ELVIS SAN FRANCISCO WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE • SANTA FE OPERA • CSU NORTHRIDGE VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • SIGNATURE THEATRE CENTER • CYPRUS CULTURAL CENTRE SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC PHILADELPHIA ACADEMY OF MUSIC VERIZON WIRELESS AMPITHEATRE AT ENCORE PARK AUERBACH • POLLOCK • FRIEDLANDER Performing Arts/Media Facilities Planning and Design

SAN FRANCISCO

NEW YORK

www.auerbachconsultants.com

MINNEAPOLIS

info@auerbachconsultants.com

Jose Velazquez PE

Commercial and Residential Design and Engineering in the New York Area. Contact us for more information: 718-323-0754 Jose Velazquez PE is proud to be a partner of Art of Form. We congratulate them on their success. Fall 2010 43


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S&P CONTRACTORS, LLC NEW YORK AREA COMMERCIAL CONTRACTING SERVICES SINCE 2005. | A proud partner of Art of Form Architecture. For more information:

Phone:212-239-1014 | sandpcontractorsllc@verizon.net

44 Construction Leaders Today


regional marketplace

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spotlight

| news

Grass on the soccer pitch is becoming even‘greener’ Imtech introduces a competence center for ‘green’ stadium technology

Imtech is the only technical services provider in Europe that is currently working as the technology partner both for the Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Games and all of the three stadiums for the UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland. By now, Imtech has considerable experience with stadiums and has thus set up a special competence center – the Competence Center Stadiums in Munich, Germany. Here, all of Imtech’s expertise in terms of ‘green’ stadiums and arenas will be brought together with a distinctive a ‘Green Stadium’ philosophy. The objective is to help realize big sporting events in a comfortable and sustainable manner as possible. Strong reputation in stadium technology Imtech has a strong reputation in the field of stadium technology. In this regard, Imtech is currently acting as the technology partner for the Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Games in London, all the stadiums for the UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland (the National Stadium in Warsaw, the Baltic Arena in Gdansk and Arena Wroclaw), the Swedbank Arena in Stockholm and various other regional stadiums in Europe. These orders were also obtained because of earlier projects such as the Arena Gelsenkirchen of Schalke 04 in Germany, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London, the Dutch Grolsch Veste of FC Twente, the Dutch Euroborg Stadium of FC Groningen and the technological renovation of the former Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The technological impact on the total performance of the stadiums is growing, and thus stadiums and arenas are strategically important for Imtech. Hamburger HSV stadium is named the Imtech Arena, 35% in energy savings Imtech wants to strengthen its name and reputation even more in the area of stadium technology. Accordingly, the home stadium of the top European club HSV in Hamburg recently took on the name Imtech Arena. Nevertheless, Imtech would not be Imtech if it did not add something extra to the stadium. An energy savings plan was developed in order to decrease the energy use in the Hamburg stadium by 3,500 MWh (approximately 35%) and reduce the carbon footprint by 1,200 tons. Football can thus become even ‘greener’. Competence Center Stadiums At the moment, Imtech has so much experience with stadiums that it has set up a special competence centre – the Competence Center Stadiums in Munich, Germany, where all of Imtech’s expertise in terms of ‘green’ stadiums and arenas will be brought together. Olympic Games, Football World Cups, UEFA Euro Football Championships and numerous other large sporting and athletics events are organized periodically all around the world. There is an increasing need for a total solution that makes ‘green’ stadiums possible. Additionally, the trend is that stadiums are becoming multipurpose. A stadium is now not only used for sport but often also for business meetings, concerts or events. This means that stadiums are becoming multifunctional buildings. Through new multipurpose use, the demand for energy increases. This happens at a time when energy demand should actually be decreased. ‘Green Stadium’ philosophy: integration of ‘green’ technology To bridge this divide, there is only one alternative: stadiums have to become more energy efficient. Imtech has therefore put together a ‘Green Stadium’ philosophy. The objective is to employ integrated technology and bring together high-tech solar and wind energy solutions. This involves the combination of cogeneration (a mix of producing both heat and electricity – power – with a high yield, this technology is completely CO2 and Nox neutral), energy storage, solar energy, biomass and fermentation. Technology, sustainability and economic viability go hand in hand in creating ‘green’ solutions for stadiums.. 46 Construction Leaders Today


west inside: rj lanthier co., brower mechanical, apex steel


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48 Construction Leaders Today

the California-based, full-service mechanical contracting firm of R.J. Lanthier Co, Inc. takes the lead with everything from schools and hospitals to major military and government projects. byJoanTupponce

Their work may not be as obvious to the public as the work of a general contractor, but R.J. Lanthier Co., Inc. is a leader in the field of mechanical contracting. The California-based company’s impressive portfolio includes projects ranging from schools and colleges to military institutions and government buildings. Robert “Butch” Lanthier founded R. J. Lanthier Co. Inc. (RJL) in 1974. The company’s current President and CEO, Brent Boyd, met Lanthier before Lanthier decided to leave his job and start a company of his own. “I’m sure that must have been one of the most difficult decisions that Butch and his wife, Shirley, made in their young lives as they had two small boys, a mortgage and little income to sustain them until and if the new company started generating a positive cash flow,” Boyd says. “It was a big risk, but worth it in the end.” RJL specializes in the design, build and installation of mechanical systems, incorporating HVAC, including complete hydronics and steam-piping as well as plumbing systems for commercial, industrial and military clients. The company started as an HVAC dryside mechanical contractor but branched out into general contracting in the 1980s, working with schools and government projects. In 1999, Lanthier made the decision to phase out the general contracting portion of the business and concentrate on HVAC subcontracting. The company later added both an HVAC piping division and a plumbing division. 1-2. This certified LEED Silver facility has over 46,000 sq. ft.withspaceforadministrative,instructional,meeting andbriefingareas,aswellastrainingandfieldequipment storage.ExplosiveOrdinanceDisposal,MarineCorpsBase Camp Pendleton,Calif.


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“That created a new profit center for the company and allowed R.J. Lanthier Co. to bid larger projects,” Boyd says. “Most importantly, by having the three divisions, R.J. Lanthier has been able to provide more consistent employment over the years for the employees.” In the last several years, RJL has also brought on valuable employees such as Vice President Richard Racette who is responsible for the HVAC estimating department and is a principal of the company, Glen Bechthold who is in charge of the company’s piping and plumbing divisions and Sam Scott who is the operations manager of Field Operations and Safety. R.J. Lanthier Co., Inc. works as a subcontractor for general contractors on government agency projects – county, city, state and federal – on approximately 90 percent of its jobs. “We perform very little private work,” Boyd says. “A lot of the work that we do is located on military installations. RJL also does a substantial amount of prison work within the State of California.” Most of the company’s projects are design/build; a concept RJL has been using for several years. One of the company’s current design/ build projects is a 406,477 sq. ft. project for the U. S. Marine Corps on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near Oceanside, Calif. This project includes four, four-story residence buildings with a total of 800 double occupancy rooms and four single-story recreation and sports facilities buildings. The project was designed to qualify for LEED Gold status. The company also provided design/build services for the mechanical systems at the staff NCO Academy at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif. The Department of the Navy project focused on the construction of a 28,169 sq. ft. teaching academy, a 3,843 sq. ft. Armory and a 1,249 sq. ft. warehouse. R.J. Lanthier Co., Inc. works mainly in the southwestern quadrant of the U.S. – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah -- but has handled projects on offshore islands, as well. 3. Also certified LEED Silver, this two-bay maintenance hangar has over 96,000 sq. ft. and is designed to accomodate two C-17 Globemaster Transport Aircrafts side-by-side. The C-17 is one of the U.S. Air Force’s largest Transport Aircrafts. Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, Calif.

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“We have had work going on at the same time from New Mexico to Guam,” Racette says. “We are able to travel anywhere that our general contractors want us to go.” In the past five years, the company has constructed over $165 million in mechanical and plumbing systems. “We are a premium HVAC company and we work with an outstanding group of partners on our team such as general contractors, mechanical engineering firms, vendors, subcontractors, sureties and insurance, legal and financial enterprises. Without those outstanding partners we would not have been as successful as we have over the last 36 years,” Boyd says. “We have a very strong bond capacity. As well as excellent financial resources, which gives us the freedom to take on any project we choose.” The company works with a variety of government and college projects, providing mechanical systems for structures such as barracks, commissaries, administration facilities, hospitals and 4-5. The six-story hospital facility features patient-care rooms, surgical operating rooms and nurses stations on each floor. R.J. Lantheir Co., provided the medical gas systems, deionized water and plumbing systems, as well as the HVAC system which consists of six air-handling units, a 500-ton chiller, chilled water piping system, temperature controls and air distribution systems. Grossmont Hospital/Sharp Healthcare Facility addition, La Mesa, Calif.

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laboratories. RJL provided the expertise for the Science Academic Center at California State University in Monterey, Calif. The 68,000 sq. ft., three-story building includes a science laboratory, 46 classrooms, 93 faculty and staff offices, a seminar room and a 100seat lecture hall. As part of that project, as in most projects, the company provided a direct digital control system that governs the energy management of the mechanical systems in the building. Energy efficiency plays a major role in building today. Based on that growing interest in “green” building, RJL is doing more projects that are LEED certified such as the LEED Silver two bay maintenance hangar at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif. It is one of the largest hangars built by the Air Force in the western United States. “The building will house two C-17 aircraft,” Bechthold says. “It includes high efficiency chillers. Also, the duct work is double walled internally insulated with special diffusers.” The company expects to see more requests for projects that promote high levels of energy efficiency. “We do a lot of work for the U. S. Navy and they are requiring that all of our projects on new construction be LEED Silver or better,” he says. R. J. Lanthier Co., Inc. is always quick to respond to the need of its clients. “Our goal on every project is to exceed the client’s expectations,” Scott says. “One way we accomplish this is by incorporating the latest technologies in the design of our mechanical systems. Our team stays on top of industry trends through on-going technical and safety training for our employees. We put our trade apprentices through a four-year college accredited apprenticeship program.” Everyone at the company has a stake in the firm’s reputation. When he retired in 2000, Lanthier formed an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that allowed the employees to purchase 30 percent of the company. Today the company is 42 percent employee owned. “ESOP gave the employees the opportunity to experience pride in ownership of the company they work for,” says Boyd who started with the company 36 years ago as a journeyman. “We are like a family. Many people have been with the company for more than 20 years.” As owners, the company’s employees are fully aware of the importance of customer satisfaction. “They strive to ensure that our clients’ needs are fulfilled on every project,” Boyd says. CLT 6. The U.S. Marine Corps wanted the historical Quonset huts to be modified to provide Marine recruits a healthier living environment while maintaining the historical appearance of the huts. This style of military living dates back to before WWII. R.J. Lantheir Co., provided the ventilation and plumbing for the project. 7. NAS North Island is part of the largest aerospaceindustrial complex in the U.S. Navy. It hosts 23 aviation squadrons and eighty additional tenant commands and activities. The Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, Calif.

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L&H Airco L&H Airco is a temperature control and energy management system contractor serving California since 1968. L&H offers a comprehensive array of cost-effective products and services for comfort control, energy conservation and integrated facility management applications in single- and multi-building facilities. They represent the leaders in the energy management system field such as Alerton, Reliable, Lynxspring, Trend, and Encelium Lighting controls. L&H Airco has successfully completed over 1,000 projects with an installed value of over $150 million, many of which have been with R.J. Lanthier Co., who L&H is proud to partner with. Several of these projects include Franklin High School, Fresno Yosemite International Airport, and the DMV office in San Ysidro.


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join the geothermal

heat wave by Johanna Gretschel

Founded in 1979 as an HVAC specialist company, Brower Mechanical Inc. has since expanded its repertoire to delve into alternative energy sources. In addition to steadfastly abdicating the use of solar power as a main energy source, the Northern California company offers their services in the installation and maintenance of untraditional products like Geo-Thermal heat pumps and radiant heating. Brower Mechanical has created a brand for itself as a company that provides durable, high-quality goods and excellent service. The company emphasizes that investments into their products often pay for themselves over time. Customers who purchase a Geo-

Thermal heating and cooling system, for example, will save between 40 and 60 percent on their electric heating and cooling bills, according to an estimate by the Black Hills Power company. Geo-Thermal heat pumps create heat by transferring heat to and from the soil under customers’ houses. The pump unit itself is a compact object that fits into a cabinet inside the house. While in heat mode, the unit can produce heat at 110 degrees, and the cool setting makes the air a brisk 55 degrees. Besides the obvious advantage of a decrease in heating bills, the installation of a Geo-Thermal pump eliminates the need

for outdoor equipment. The device also operates completely silently. Radiant heating is another atypical method of heating. Brower Mechanical specializes in hydronic heating, a type of radiant heating, in which warm water circulates through tubes installed underneath the floor. Of all their services, Brower Mechanical is the most enthusiastic about the use of solar power as an energy source. Their enthusiasm comes with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval this past May of a $350 million rebate system for residents who install solar heating. California is incentivizing the use of solar

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energy because it is the most economically and environmentally savvy energy source to use. The state’s goal is to install 300,000 solar heating systems over the next 8 years, which would save Californians six million cubic feet of natural gas and three million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, according to Brower Mechanical Inc. Brower Mechanical uses a photovoltaic (PV) system to process solar energy. The PV process converts light to electricity through solar panels, usually located on the roof of a house. The home uses what it needs and excess electricity is sent back to a power grid. The extra electricity results in credits with the utility company that are given back to consumers during winter months when the system creates less electricity than what is needed. Brower Mechanical has even organized a “Summer Symposium” of two weekends in August to address how homeowners and small businesses can capitalize on the solar energy rebates. According to the company, commercial PV systems can convert 7 to 17 percent of sunlight into electricity. Using solar energy eliminates waste, emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. The amount of solar energy used to run one million homes reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 4.3 million tons per year. The economic pros to utilizing solar energy are obvious as well. The installation of solar heating units increases a house’s value by 20 times the annual savings, according to Brower Mechanical. Houses with solar heating units are also exempt from property tax increases and qualify for federal tax credit. Of course, Brower Mechanical still provides the standard services that it began with as an HVAC provider. The company installs and maintains the basic HVAC utilities as well as fireplaces and insulation. More information about Brower Mechanical Inc. can be found online at http://www. browermechanical.com. CLT

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1. Brower mechanical crew at well installation site. 2. Drilling a well in a custom home in Atherton, Calif., 2008. 3-4. Goldman Guest, Palo Alto, Calif. Radiant Floor tubing and the flowcenters, 2007. 5. Drilling in Dansville, Calif., 2009. 6. Spanish Springs Middle School site. Geothermal wells awaiting horizontal manifolding, Nev., 2003. All photos by Jeff Brower.

MELINE Meline Engineering Corporation has provided energy efficient mechanical system designs for commercial and residential buildings for the past 15 years. Located in Sacramento, Calif. Meline is considered the West Coast industry leader in designing geoexchange and related applications. Fall 2010 59


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APEX STEEL iron workers of the northwest and beyond by Joan Tupponce

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evin Koester knows not only the importance of establishing good business relationships but also delivering quality work. “It’s all about going out and doing a good job,” he said. “Work breeds work.” As Founder and President of Apex Steel, Inc., Koester has built his Washington State-based company into one of the largest steel contractors in the Pacific Northwest. Koester found the company in 1996, after working in the industry for 10 years. Most of the company’s jobs were hard bid projects. “We had very few relationships in the industry,” Koester said. “I was a superintendent in the field prior to that. I hadn’t built a lot of relationships.” One of Koester’s goals was to grow his company through repeat customers. “Once we were hired, they knew we would get the job done,” he said. “Our goal was always to do more work for them.” In 1999 Apex dedicated resources to enter the structural steel erection market and has since performed $50 million dollars worth of structural steel erection projects. Apex served as a full-service structural steel contractor on Lincoln Square in Bellevue, Wash. “This project presented unique challenges because the new structure, a 29-story high rise, was constructed on top of an existing five-story building located in downtown Bellevue,” Koester said. Apex built a tri-pod tower crane base between floors four and five that tied into the existing building in order to accommodate the tower crane for the project. The subsequent erection of the 29-story building required special protection for pedestrians and existing buildings. That project eventually led to the 2008 opening of Apex Tower Crane, a company that performs tower crane, hoist and manlift work in the Pacific Northwest market. 1. Port of Seattle Pedestrian Bridge. The new pedestrian bridge ties the light rail station to the Sea-Tac parking garage and is part of ongoing construction at the SeaTac airport project. This 213’ x 30’ x 12’ bridge weighing 232,000 lbs. was pre-fabricated and moved to site by tractor and steer cars. The bridge was erected in one piece with one crane.

2. Escala. Apex worked on several different scopes on this downtown condo tower. They provided labor to install reinforcing steel, PT cables, precast concrete, and roof steel. They also provided the tie backs for the crane and a bellman on the project. In total, Apex installed 7,000-tons of reinforcing steel on this 30-story tower with nine stories below grade.

NESS & CAMPBELL CRANE, INC. Ness & Campbell Crane is the Northwest’s leading crane rental company. Their large fleet includes crane sizes and types capable of meeting almost any need or situation. Sales representatives from their Seattle, Tacoma, Longview or Portland offices are available to review customer hoisting plans, provide crane and rigging selection and assist customers during every phase of their project. For further information call 888 784-1054 or 800 932-6766. 62 Construction Leaders Today


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“We had been doing that type of work for Koester sees the tower crane portion of the about seven years prior to starting that busi- business growing. ness,” Koester said. “We go out and erect tower “There are 166 new wind turbines comcranes and then dismantle them when the ing on one project,” he said. “The hoists/ project is finished.” elevators will need to be erected, mainKoester decided to incorporate the business tained and have yearly inspections. It could to address potential risk management issues. become full-time work for the whole crew.” “To date, we have not had one recordable injury,” He refers to the years 2003 and 2004 as turnhe said, adding, “The problem with tower crane ing points for Apex. construction is that it can catastrophic if there “I got more involved in the business,” he said. is an accident.” “I realized it could be just as much fun building The current movement toward energy effi- a business as it was building a big structure.” ciency is providing new opportunities for Apex He started to focus on marketing and sales. Tower Crane. “I made sure we got out in front of the construc“We provide erection service on tower hoist/ tion leaders. I got a new logo and new branding.” elevators for construction workers.” Apex His efforts paid off. In 2008, the company is a licensed elevator contractor, which is completed over $25 million in work and a plus in the State of Washington. State logged in the highest volume of hours of guidelines require that elevator contractors all steel subcontractors as reported by the have a license. local union.

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One of the company’s most extensive steel projects was the Experience Music Project in downtown Seattle, Washington. Designed by Frank O. Gehry and Associates architects, the innovative building stands as symbol for the movement of music. “As a project it evolved,” Koester said. “The whole structure is unique. There wasn’t a right angle on the job. We did all the welds and put on the interior skin. When we finished, it was a $2 million-plus project. That job helped us get into the structural steel market.” 3. ShoWare Center. The new area in Kent was erected by Apex Steel. An Apex engineered shoring system allowed the crane to move out of the structure as the bowl steel, stadia seating and roof steel were completed in sections. This allowed other trades to fall into line behind them with the completed structure. Apex provided a full package on this project supplying labor to erect the structure as well as to install finished products like stainless steel handrails and sign supports.

As a project, it evolved. The whole structure is unique. There wasn’t a right angle on the job. We did all the welds and put on the interior skin. When we finished, it was a $2 million-plus project. That job helped us get into the structural steel market.

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Even though the company has a diversified portfolio of expertise, Koester still enjoys working on large steel bridge expanses. “I love the engineering side of it,” he said. “We don’t have as much competition in that area because it’s a risky business.” As the business has grown, Koester has created relationships with companies that provide everything from insurance and bonding to legal advice. “We wanted to make sure we had the right team in place for our company,” Koester said. “We trust their advice.” The company has used the economic downturn to build business. “We continue to grow,” Koester said. “For example, we grew our safety department by developing new plans and procedures. We did the same in marketing. It’s a good way to keep a positive energy.” Since opening, the company has diversified into every market where there are jobs performed by ironworkers. “We capitalize on that,” Koester said. “All of our divisions lend to one another. They all work together as a team.” The company has also embraced new eco-friendly technology by expanding into those new markets. “We have moved into the wind energy business,” Koester said. The company employs union ironworkers who have completed a four-year apprenticeship program. Company employees must also attend shop training once a year. 4. UW Site 31, Tower Crane. Apex employee Jim Greene and founder and president, Kevin Koester, erect a tower crane at the UW site 31 project.

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UNITED IRON WORKS United Iron Works Inc. has enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership with Apex Steel on several construction projects over the past decade, and wishes to congratulate Apex Steel on being an industry leader. For more information on United Iron Works, please call 206-767-3630.


Employees, Customers & Community! From bid to completion, Brooks Steel Fabrication, Inc. goes the extra mile to earn your confidence and exceed your expectations. Whether you are building a school, a store or a commercial office complex, Brooks has the experience, technical capabilities, production equipment, and management systems to handle projects throughout the entire northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Services include: Structural steel including Columns, Beams, Trusses, and Embedments. Miscellaneous steel including Stair Systems, Railing Systems, Canopies, Awnings, Ladders and Gates. For more information email info@brookssteel.com

www.brookssteel.com | 360-403-9400 | 360-403-9889 f. | 19320 63rd Ave. NE, Arlington, WA 98223


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“We also do internal training here once a quarter,” Koester said. He credits part of the company’s growth to his employees. “Our people are what makes the difference,” he said. “Most of our employees have been here since I started the company. I have always enjoyed watching people grow and meet their goals. That’s one reason I started the company. We give them that room to grow.” CLT 5. Museum of Flight Bridge, Seattle, Wash. This 340’ pedestrian bridge connects the Museum of Flight buildings and spans East Marginal Way in Seattle. The bridge was erected in two sections with minimum clearance between buildings and beneath live high voltage power lines. Erection and AESS compliant welds were completed in one 20-hour shift in order to accommodate the City of Seattle’s road closure and lighting constraints. 6. Virginia Mason, Tower Crane. Apex employees dismantle the tower crane at the Virginia mason project.

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BROOKS STEEL FABRICATORS When general contractors look for a structural and miscellaneous steel fabricator that has proven experience in delivering high quality and competitively priced products, delivered on time, they turn to Brooks Steel Fabrication. Brooks’ success and staying power in the industry is based on an unyielding commitment to their employees, customers, and the community at large. Founded in 1975, Brooks has built strong relationships and partnerships with a large, growing base of commercial contractors in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Brooks’ high standards of craftsmanship, reputation for on-time performance and agility keep their customers coming back time and time again. They have the industry’s best team of project managers, estimators, detailers, and production fabricators that thrive in a culture of individual excellence, leadership, autonomy, customer delight and family. Brooks Steel Fabrication never looks at a job in the context of a single project. Their business philosophy stresses the importance of approaching each project as a relationship building opportunity. Brooks’ take their work and responsibility to customers very seriously; and they measure success by their ability to exceed expectations. From bid to project completion, Brooks’ Steel Fabrication go the extra mile to earn your confidence and exceed your expectations. For more information visit www.brookssteel.com.

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Building Owners & Property Managers Prepare for Strict New Lead Regulations The environmental professionals at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) provide testing solutions for commercial and multi-housing residential properties in preparation of the EPA’s RRP lead testing requirements. CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both the public and private sectors address environmental issues and is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Childhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem in the U.S.” One of the most common sources of lead are the lead based paints that still exist on painted surfaces decades after their use was banned. Property managers and building contractors across the United States are busy preparing for the regulations from the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule that went into effect April 22, 2010. According to the EPA, “…federal law will require that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978

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must be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.” According to the RRP Rule, housing or components declared lead-free by a certified inspector or risk assessor will not require additional testing. Contractors will be required to store all certification and testing documentation for a 3-year minimum. The EPA has the authority to seek civil fines of $32,500 per offense for violating the RRP requirements and will begin enforcement action for violations of the RRP Rule’s firm certification requirement after October 1, 2010. A leading provider of lead testing services to ensure compliance with the new RRP regulations is Clark Seif Clark, a professional environmental consulting firm. “CSC’s certified lead inspectors and assessors are busy inspecting regulated structures to determine the presence or absence of lead based paint. If the inspectors declare a property lead-free through testing, there can be a significant cost savings to the owner. Lead free sites can opt out of many of the RRP requirements,” reported Derrick Denis, V.P. Indoor Environmental Quality at CSC. “If embraced by the demolition and renovation communities and if enforced by the EPA, this RRP Rule should help in reducing the incidence of constructionrelated child lead poisoning in the U.S.”


midwest INSIDE: DART DESIGNS, lippert brothers, van’s lumber & Custom Homes


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DART DESIGNS Providing a personal touch in finding aesthetic, functional, and budgetary solutions for public use in the state of Illinois. by Rachel Goldberg

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DART Design provides creative and economical architectural solutions to clients across the state of Illinois. Owner and President Stephen May brings a personal touch and his extensive experience to every step of their projects. He enjoys working closely with clients to develop new solutions for building and improving their facilities. “I like doing large projects, and at the same time I like small projects that you can get a lot more personal with clients, working with them directly,” he said. “And I work directly with clients in all the projects that come through our office, so there’s consistency for them.” Their projects are intended to support their community for years to come, and bring clients back to DART when they need further work. DART specializes in finding alternative solutions to meet the aesthetic, functional and budgetary needs of their clients. “In meeting with clients and discussing their projects with them, you come up with ideas they haven’t thought about, and light bulbs start popping. It’s fun to see,” May said. One project that DART is especially proud of is the Lake Egypt fire station, which has received enthusiastic reviews from locals. The rapidly growing fire district needed a larger facility to accommodate their increased needs and projected future growth. The new facility is comprised of 7,200 sq. ft. of administration and living quarters, and 6,800 sq. ft. of garage area. It features tilt-up concrete panel construction on the exterior walls, making the structure safer and more durable. “Being a fire station, it has to be very stable facility, so when there’s a disaster that causes interruption in the community, the fire station will still be operational,” said May. The new fire station also has backup generators in case of power outages. The new facility enables faster emergency response, because there is now twice the amount of living space for more full-time firefighters. The expanded garage and concrete parking lot allow emergency vehicles to maneuver more easily and quickly. There is also more office, storage and recreation space, making the fire station a more comfortable place to work and live. Its benefits extend to the entire community; property insurance costs for the district have dropped because of the fire station’s improved services. DART stands for Distinctive Architecture Reflecting the Times, a fitting name for May’s philosophy of balancing budget and aesthetics to adapt to any project. 1-4. Marion, Ill. The Black Diamond Warehouse from construction to completion.

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“One of the hardest things to do in architecture is providing a functional, aesthetically pleasing facility at a low cost,” May said. “It’s a matter of utilizing the right construction for the time period and for the location.” DART has also built a reputation in the area for the high quality of their services for schools. With May’s previous experience with constructing and renovating schools, he can come up with designs to help accommodate schools’ growth. They also provide safety inspection services. Most of DART’s current school projects involve renovations and repairs to existing facilities because the economy makes new construction more difficult. But May said that school construction is a growing market. “I see a good future in that direction. Whether it’s new facilities construction, renovation and repairs, or inspection, there are lots of things that have to be done for schools,” he said. They also complete renovation projects for healthcare facilities in the area. DART provided interior renovations for the Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Illinois. Their services included renovations to doctors’ offices, laboratory renovations, and expansion and relocation of existing facilities for physical therapy and cardiology. They modified existing spaces to work with new medical equipment and expanded healthcare services. May’s experience working on public sector projects and healthcare gives him insight in to the complex process of financing and approval for those projects. He is personally involved in each phase of his projects. 5. Peoples National Bank. Marion, Ill. Photo courtesy of DART Design, Inc. 6. Foley Sweitzer Motors, Marion, Ill. Photo courtesy of DART Design, Inc. 7. Lake Egypt Fire Station, Marion Ill. Photo courtesy of DART Design, Inc.

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“We do everything from helping a client pick out a piece of property all the way to turning the key on the door, and everything in between,” he said. Several recent projects have been design build construction, and they look forward to doing more. The architecture industry has come full circle in recent years to return to the older design build method, said May. “It’s a great avenue because you’ve got a team between the contractor, the architect and the owner,” he said. “Everybody has an idea of what the end product needs to be and how everybody needs to put it together.” May has been able to establish connections with clients and developers in the area, and plans to continue to enlarge the firm in the coming years. Clients return because they appreciate the hands-on and complete service from the small company. “We strive to keep our clients and move forward with them,” said May. “You develop a good relationship with them and things flow well.” CLT 8-9. DuQuoin, Ill Best Western Inn. Photo courtesy of DART Design, Inc.

Win Properties Win Properties, Inc. has enjoyed a terrific relationship with DART Design. Win Properties are currently wrapping up a complete redevelopment of their building in Marion with the assistance of DART. Win Properties has been very pleased with the results and look forward to leasing the 8,400 SF building this fall.

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The Garland COMPANY, INC. The Garland Company, Inc. is an employee-owned organization that has been manufacturing and distributing high-performance materials and providing expert services to extend the working life of commercial buildings since 1895. The technologies developed and manufactured, the materials procured, the processes used, the delivery methods offered, and the services provided - are driven by a simple philosophy: listen to what today’s customers need, anticipate what tomorrow’s customers will want. Garland has been among the first roofing companies in North America to embrace green technologies, and remain at the forefront of sustainable solutions through a combination of product research and development, and strategic alliances. Garland is able to meet the performance and budgetary requirements of a complete range of commercial, industrial, and public building applications by offering a wide breadth of product and service solutions for new construction, retrofit, renovation and maintenance projects.

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LIPPERT bros., inc. by Joel Cornell

For almost 100 years, this family-run construction company has stood by the principle: work hard, work smart and do it right the first time.

For nearly a century, Oklahoma’s Lippert Bros., Inc. has been meeting the construction needs of its clients in numerous industrial undertakings since their humble beginnings in the small town of Boone, Iowa. Using their full range of developed capabilities to exceed customer expectations in commercial, municipal and light industrial sectors, they have remained true to the values of founding brothers Erick W. and Walter H. Lippert. Current president and family member Rick Lippert has defined these simple and pure values as: “Work hard, work smart and do it right the first time.” Lippert Bros., Inc. maintains a record of excellence in contracting for various customers in light industrial and commercial construction projects including aviation, government, healthcare, water and wastewater treatment, educational, religious structures and many more. In addition to general contracting, LBI provides both design-build and construction management delivery systems. Through their attention to detail, LBI is able to provide their clients with construction services that ensure that the finished project meets or exceeds their expectations. Senior Vice President and Project Manager Tom Lippert reaffirmed the importance of being involved in a project every step of the way. 82 Construction Leaders Today

“Our strong relationship with local design firms and trade contractors provide us with the ability to create a team with the specific talents and prior experience needed to meet the needs of a wide variety of projects,” he said. As the company grows, so does the family in continuing to uphold this legacy of excellence. Rick grew to learn and love the industry from his youth, working in several capacities over the course of his career. Working as a laborer, truck driver, timekeeper and estimator, Rick learned to love the industry at a young age. “My cousins and I would climb all over the cranes, dozers, backhoes whatever equipment was in the storage yard. In junior high I got my first job in the family business pulling nails out of form lumber for $1.00/hour.” Since becoming president, most of Rick’s time has been devoted to upholding sound corporate values and managing the operations of the firm. “There are many benefits of being part of a third generation family business,” Tom said. “The most important is the respect and reputation 1. Chaparral Energy, Oklahoma City, Okla. Project completed August 2004. 2. Lipperts from Left to Right: Tom, Joel, Don and Rick.


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as a company that provides quality construction services.” With the third generation at the helm, LBI continues to be recognized as a leader in the Oklahoma construction market. They seek to satisfy their clients and perpetuate their business by developing and nurturing positive relationships with all parties in the process, including project owners, design professionals, subcontracts and suppliers. One such relationship started over seventeen years ago with a single warehouse for the Hobby Lobby Companies. Since then LBI has provided construction services virtually nonstop to complete over 4.5 million sq. ft. of corporate office, warehouse, tele-data and truck maintenance facilities for Hobby Lobby. Over the years, LBI has won countless honors and awards because of its consistency and commitment to excellence. These honors include being recognized as Oklahoma’s 21st fastest growing company; four Lippert family members have been named Builder of the Year by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (received by

Project Spotlight: Multimodal Transportation System, Oklahoma State University

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3-5. The scope of work on this project included a five-story precast concrete parking garage that holds 1,100 vehicles and a separate 14,000 sq. ft. terminal building housing the university’s transportation service department. The terminal building also contains retail space and a commuter lobby area. The third portion of the facility is a bus oval for bus passenger pickup and drop off that accommodates twelve buses. The project required 9,000 cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete incorporating 350 tons of reinforcing steel and 2,000 sheets of wire mesh. The foundation for the 848 pieces of precast concrete consisted of 140 drilled piers ranging in size from 32” to 72” in diameter with an average depth of 35 feet. Completed December, 2008.

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Bentley Flooring Over the years, Bentley Flooring has valued their working relationship with Lippert Brothers, Inc. Bentley Flooring congratulates Lippert Brothers’ 90 Years of Construction Excellence and appreciate their professionalism in working with their project managers, superintendents and staff. Projects with Lippert Brothers include Concordia, OUHSC-BSEB, UCO CTL and the Eye Care of Oklahoma just to name a few.

Don Lippert in 1973 and his sons Rick Lippert in 1999, John Lippert in 2003 and Tom Lippert in 2006); and receiving the “Build Oklahoma Award” for projects such as the United Way of Central Oklahoma Headquarters and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. They have received the latter award annually since 2002. Since 1920, Lippert Bros., Inc. has maintained itself as a driving force in the construction industry. Though based in Oklahoma City, their work dots the maps of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas. They strive to always take on new challenges both large and small, whether they are simple or complex as long as they can provide the best solutions for the structures at hand. Currently, LBI is managing and performing projects ranging from the new Asia Exhibit for the Oklahoma City Zoo to the Oklahoma County Courthouse Renovation and a new Center for Transformative Learning for the University of Central Oklahoma. “We continue to train and develop the skills of our employees to keep us at the forefront of the industry and to assist the next generation in a manner that will help them to be successful in an industry that offers great rewards for hard work,” Tom said. With customer satisfaction, family values and an investment in personnel as part of their business philosophy, the company has successfully completed 90 years with a variety of iconic and landmark projects that further help to raise the bar and set the standard for contractors in Oklahoma. 6. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help expansion project, Oklahoma City, Okla. In February, 1993 Lippert Bros., Inc. participated in a selection process to determine the contractor to be part of the Parish’s renovation and expansion project. The project consisted of renovation and/or expansion to four buildings and construction of two new buildings. Lippert was awarded the contract in April and began a three year relationship that resulted in a complete interior renovation and electrical upgrade to the Cathedral, new construction of a baptistery, gymnasium and garage/electrical distribution center for the entire campus and renovation/expansion to Bishop John Carroll School. Completed December, 1995.

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Project Spotlight: Oklahoma City National Memorial 7. An outdoor symbolic memorial tribute to the victims, survivors and rescue workers involved with the tragedy of April 19, 1995. Features include the bronze Gates of Time, a block long granite reflecting pool, a field of 168 bronze and glass chairs memorializing the 168 men, women and children who lost their lives by this act of terrorism, a children’s area, the Rescuer’s Orchard and the Survivor Tree Plaza. The Oklahoma City National Memorial covers a square block area where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood. The memorial has a garden type atmosphere and is visited by half a million visitors each year. Project completed April, 2000. Fall 2010 87


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LUMBER

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Family-grown business prides itself on excellent service and down home charm. by Joan Tupponce

Customers of Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders in Dyckesville, Wis. know they are getting the “whole package,” everything from expert crews and design service to custom building expertise and experience, when they hire the family-owned builder. Now operated by two generations of the VandenHouten family, Van’s was founded in the early 1950s by Ray VandenHouten Sr. and his brother-in-law Mel Petinoit. VandenHouten, who had been operating a chicken hatchery, and Petinoit, a carpenter, teamed up after VandenHouten’s chickens were wiped out by disease and he was left with empty buildings. The two decided to use the buildings for a small lumberyard. That small venture has become a lucrative, well-regarded business with an eye toward quality and tradition. Today, Van’s specializes in custom residential and light, commercial construction in northeast Wisconsin. The company still operates from the original location where Craig, Chris, Eric and Kurt VandenHouten’s grandfather started the business. The one-and 88 Construction Leaders Today

a-half acre site has now grown to approximately 15 acres. “This property has a lot of character,” explains Craig VandenHouten. “My office is in my grandfather’s old house.” The tradition of excellence that Ray VandenHouten began in the 1950s still serves as the foundation of the company. Van’s is known for building some of the most exceptional new homes in Wisconsin’s Door, Kewaunee and Brown Counties. “In Door County, many of the homes we build are vacation or retirement homes,” VandenHouten said. Out-of-town customers who hire Van’s expertise benefit from the company’s onestop-shop approach to building. Van’s has a lumber yard, window and door warehouse and mill shop. 1-5. As a custom builder Van’s is honored to build some of the most stunning homes in Wisconsin’s Door, Kewaunee and Brown Counties. Here Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders built an impressive waterfront getaway overlooking Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. Unique stone, hardwoods and exceptional fixtures are Van’s trademarks. Photos by Insight Creative, Inc.

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2 “We have a nice niche for making our own special moldings,” VandenHouten said. “We have the ability to do unique cuts.” The company also has an on-site building center, which serves as a convenient single source for windows, doors, roofing, siding and floor covering. The 4,000 sq. ft. space gives customers the opportunity to not only see but also touch the options that are available during the building process. “They can operate a window they are considering or look at the siding,” VandenHouten said. “They can feel the hardware and the quality of the items.” Van’s employs its own expert crews for framing, finishing, siding, roofing, laying carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile and marble and installing glass block. In addition, the company uses quality lumber from its own lumberyard. The company also uses the same subcontractors – painters, plumbers and electricians – on each project. “We’ve developed strong relationships with the subcontractors we use and we stand behind their work as well as our own,” said Vanden-

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Houten. “We use our subcontractors on a daily basis. We feel like they are part of our family.” The VandenHouten’s hold their vendors and subcontractors to the same quality standards they expect from their own crew. “Our customers can rest assured that we stand behind our work, the work of our subcontractors and the products supplied by our outside suppliers,” VandenHouten said. That level of customer service and reliability has given Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders the reputation of providing a superior home construction experience. It doesn’t matter whether Van’s is building a Showcase, Parade or custom home, the building process is always the same: First-rate. Most of the company’s custom homes range from 1,500 sq. ft. to 8,000 sq. ft.. “We have two full-time designers/draftsmen on staff,” VandenHouten said. “A lot of people will bring in their dream home on a rough sheet of paper or they will take ideas from the Internet and bring them in. Our designers pull it all together to make it the ideal dream home.” Van’s sales team guides customers through the entire project and its on-staff interior designer assists with the final touches. Custom homes represent only one of Van’s specialties. The company also focuses on

remodeling and light commercial projects. Recent commercial projects include the Peninsula State Park Golf Course in Door County, Cooper’s Corner Wine Shop and The Cookery, a restaurant and wine bar, in the lakeside town of Fish Creek, Wisconsin. “The Cookery burned down last year. When it was rebuilt, we added an observation deck and new siding made out of fiberglass which is environmentally friendly,” VandenHouten said. “We are proud that they selected us to be their builder.” Additionally, Van’s recently completed Harbor Terrace, an eight unit condominium project in Door County. The secured building includes indoor garages and picturesque views of Lake Michigan. The expert home remodeling arm of Van’s has seen an increase in projects since the federal government instituted tax incentives for energy efficient windows and doors. Many customers who have asked Van’s to build their custom vacation homes are now contacting the company to add a garage or extra space to their home, making the home more functional and better suited to their current needs. One of the company’s most interesting remodeling projects included turning a round silo into a home.

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“It was a challenge,” VandenHouten said. “We had to cut windows into the silo which was 16 inches thick. We also had to make the most use of space in the structure. We have now added onto the silo since the original project.” The quality craftsmanship on every job Van’s completes helps to build a loyal customer base. The company also offers its customers a five-year warranty. “We go beyond by adding a lot of custom touches, things that other builders don’t do,” VandenHouten said. For example, Van’s finishes the inside of a closet, an area that many builders leave unfinished. Part of the company’s success stems from its dedicated employees. 90 Construction Leaders Today

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Congratulations Van's Lumber for being showcased as a construction case study. Your patronage for 38 years is greatly appreciated and your industry recognition is deserved.

Ritchie Metal Works Corp.

structural steel • building frames • lintels staircases • platforms • rails • joists and decking 1940 Hwy. PP - DePere, WI 54115 920-336-7823 • Fax: 920-336-8534

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Hybrid Heat, GeoThermal, Infloor Radiant & Solar

Fireplaces & Stoves

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For Your Daily Dose of Relaxation

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Custom Designed Security Systems Security, CCTV , Central Vacuum, Home Theater & Distributed Audio

Visit our showroom at www. wulfbrothers.com Or one of our 3 locations

 155 E Walnut  Sturgeon Bay  920.743.5587  2613 S Bay Shore Drive  Sister Bay  920.854.5587  131 Commerce Drive  Luxemburg  920.845.2525


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“This is the true sense of a family business,” VandenHouten said. “People enjoy being here and that carries over to the work.” Van’s is not an ordinary company but rather a one-stop-shop. Its longevity stems from its selection, detailed craftsmanship and top-notch quality. “A lot of lumberyards have gone by the wayside but we have been able to survive,” observes VandenHouten. “You don’t see many builders who have been around as long we have.” CLT 6-7. The Cookery Restaurant, Wine Bar and Lodging, Fish Creek, Wis. The restaurant was devastated by fire in 2008; however, through the expertise and hard work of the design and building staff at Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders, the business reopened in 2009 looking better than ever. Photos by Insight Creative, Inc.

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Plumber is First to Go Green in Austin Not Your Common Plumbing (NYC Plumbing), owned by Mike Marugo, a master plumber who moved from New York to Austin several years ago, has become the first and currently, only Austin plumbing company to be certified as a Green Plumber by GreenPlumbers USA. “It sure would have been a whole lot easier just to put the word “green” in everything, but I felt it important to be certified and licensed by the recognized organization in the industry” says Mike Marugo. A green plumber is one who is certified as participating in sustainable practices related to the plumbing field. Mike Marugo received this certification by performing his job in such a way that it saves his clients water and energy, and by successfully completing the required certification courses. It’s not always easy to get this certification requiring hours of training. These classes are on the following topics: climate care, water care, solar hot water, efficient technology, and inspections.

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“I did wonder going through this if it was worth it, but given the general mindset in a city like Austin who loves going green as much as possible and the City of Austin’s goal of reducing how much water is used per person, I was convinced that being certified as a green plumber in Austin would give my clients peace of mind that I could help them save money over time” said Mike Marugo. With the recent droughts in the past few years, its been even more pressing to reduce Austin’s water useage. According to the City’s estimates, Austin water usage is 170 gallon per day per person. They want to reduce usage to 140 gallons per day per person. And with the average monthly water bill in Austin being approx $67 and water rates set to increase in the near future, saving water is becoming a smart money saver too. Initiatives to replace water-wasting toilets with reduced water toilets are still available. CLT


south INSIDE: clayton levy little architects, Habitat for Humanity, hathaway construction, builders post-tension, american Pan Enterprise Co.


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BIG IDEAS The Austin-based firm of Clayton Levy Little Architects has the versatility and creativity to deliver unique and breathtaking projects again and again. By Rebecca Rodriguez

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he architects at Clayton Levy Little are masters at balancing. They can balance commercial and residential jobs that vary widely in scope and size. And they can balance creating delicate historical restorations with building modern, cutting-edge homes. A good example of their versatility is the firm’s own building, a carefully restored Victorian set beside the Pushard residence, one of the firm’s dramatic and modern creations. The company’s main areas of focus are design/build, historic preservation, and commercial architecture. It creates about 40 percent residential and 60 percent commercial. “We work on projects of all sizes and types. This project mix keeps creativity fresh and allows our firm to present a unique perspective,” said Paul Clayton, one of two partners. The commercial work ranges from small remodels to several million dollars in construction cost. Residential work ranges from $200,000 to $1 million. Annual architecture billings average $900,000. Annual construction billings average $990,000.

1-2. Monroe Street House, Austin, Texas. A modest remodel and addition for a couple, a writer and his wife, a professor, this project was phased in two parts to allow for the birth of the couple’s first child. Phase 1 is a standing seam-clad addition to the existing house that juts out into the rear yard, taking cues from certain trees and landscape features. The remainder of the addition is wrapped in stained cedar siding that flows seamlessly onto the attached deck and surrounds the precast concrete dipping pool. Paint colors create a lively palette that, even from the street, provides clues of what the backyard holds. Phase two takes continues this bold color palette into the existing house. The kitchen was completely made over, with concrete countertops and floor to ceiling windows looking out to the addition. The existing bedrooms and bathroom were reconfigured to make the spaces more useful.

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3 3-4. Garlic Creek Clubhouse, Buda, Texas. Housing a meeting room exercise facility, snack bar, restrooms, swimming pools, and an outdoor pavilion with fireplace, the building provides amenities for residents of a new housing development south of Austin. The modern design juxtaposes durable materials including weathering steel for fences and doors, metal roofing, with sand stone exterior and traditional shed forms to evoke traditional rural Texas vernacular. Deep overhangs provide shaded porches around the lap pool and adjacent kiddie pool and shield interiors from direct sun. Generous windows and use of glass allow for easy indoor-outdoor connections, reinforcing the sense of community. Landscaping using native, drought resistant plants reduces water usage for the surrounding park area.

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The company, based in bustling Austin, Texas, mostly completes work that is in-state. Its design-build construction projects are mainly located in central Austin. “The character of old Austin evolving to embrace new generations and viewpoints without losing its authenticity; historic buildings reborn and happily coexisting with modern forward-looking structures,” the firm’s website stated. Little started her firm in 1983. She worked almost exclusively on residential remodels. Clayton began working for Emily Little Architects in 2001. While studying for his architecture exams, Clayton became reacquainted with Texas Tech classmate Stephen Levy. Clayton and Levy opened Clayton Levy Architects in 2003 and began taking commercial and residential projects. In 2006, Clayton and Levy purchased Little’s company to form a new firm with broader historic, commercial, and design/build capabilities. Since its inception, Clayton Levy Little Architects has had opportunities to work on several exciting projects such as: Mack Dick Group Pavilion in Palo Duro Canyon, Rockport Community Center in Rockport, and IBEW Headquarters in Galveston.

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The pavilion in Palo Duro state park is slated to be level three LEED certified. Building eco-friendly is important to the firm and the pavilion will be built of recycled materials, including stone that will be gathered locally. The building is clean-lined and modern looking. It is also oriented to take advantage of seasonal breezes. Rockport Community Center will be a community recreation center featuring a weight room and racquetball court. “It’s a fun project to work on and has its own budget and design challenges,” Clayton said. “It involves finding materials that can be put together in an interesting and affordable way.” IBEW Headquarters is a union building for electrical workers. The headquarters had been damaged during Hurricane Ike. The building is being rebuilt by the firm on the existing site. Clayton said the building is being done in a modern style with ceramic glazed brick, glass, and steel on the exterior. The materials were chosen because they’re low-maintenance, not easily damaged, and remain clean. Due to future hurricane threats, the mechanical equipment is situated in the attic. The firm’s customers are state and local municipalities, private developers, and homeowners. Fall 2010 103


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“We pride ourselves in our ability to listen carefully to our clients and react to their specific needs,” Clayton said. The full-service firm does whatever it takes to act in the project’s best interest. “We provide timely and precise reactions to the challenges of design and construction in a way that our clients can easily understand. The design/build approach allows us to control the quality, price, and schedule of our projects without the additional dynamic of a general contractor,” he said. The firm does not advertise in print publications. Levy spends the majority of his time promoting and networking with other industry professionals. The company aspires to have their work on local home tours and relies heavily on word-of-mouth advertising. The firm has seen steady growth. It is the result of the division of tasks among the partners and a talented staff, Clayton said. The partners give enough responsibility to their employees to allow them the opportunity to be involved in high-level decisions. This fosters growth and buy-in at the same time, Clayton said. Frequently, “lunch and learns” are held at the office. Employees take part in ou -of -office learning opportunities as well. Levy is responsible for the majority of the marketing for the firm. Little is responsible for marketing and design, and Clayton is respon5-6. St. Cecilia, Austin, Texas. ClaytonLevyLittle transformed this site with its centerpiece 1888-vintage Victorian mansion (recognized by Austin’s Historic Landmark Commission as the Miller-Crockett House) and six magnificent Live Oaks into an oasis for this boutique hotel. The plan preserves the park-like space in the middle of the site, a deliberate nod to the original rhythms of the neighborhood. The Live Oaks provided the framework for siting four new buildings to complement the renovated mansion, which was converted into five suites. Three sleek new structures were placed on the site’s downhill end to frame the swimming pool and part of the garage was used in the new central building that houses three suites, the lounge, and office. Muted neutral tones help the new buildings blend into the background and define the perimeter of the grounds.

M-D Custom Wood Floors M-D Custom Wood Floors, Inc has enjoyed a long standing relationship with Clayton, Levy, and Little Architects. Paying close attention to details and being environmentally sensitive keeps them at the top of their game. Meetings are held often to keep everyone well informed. M-D Custom Wood Floors considers it a pleasure to work with Clayton, Levy and Little Architects.

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“We provide timely and precise reactions to the challenges of design and construction in a way that our clients can easily understand. The design/build approach allows us to control the quality, price, and schedule of our projects without the additional dynamic of a general contractor.” sible for the majority of design. He also heads up the construction arm of the company. Clayton and Levy both hold master’s degrees from Texas Tech University. Little holds a master’s degree from the University of Texas. All three architects are registered and Little is a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. Clayton is a LEED accredited professional (LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is regulated by the US Green Building Council). Levy is an active member of the Real Estate Council of Austin. Clayton said the firm is optimistic that the economic recovery will soon spur new growth and subsequent real estate development. “We will have to wait until money starts flowing again and the supply of empty space is filled before activity returns to pre-recession levels,” Clayton said. Looking into the future, Clayton said he would like to see the development of their own projects, specifically small commercial buildings. “We’d like to be our own client. Develop a building and hold it for lease. That’s been a goal of ours,” Clayton said, referring to his partner, Levy. Clayton Levy Little can build with both a delicate touch and forceful fashion. Its projects range from elegant historic renovations to gritty and rough union buildings. It is this broad range of talent and capabilities that make this firm unique and strong in its city hub tucked in the heart of Texas. CLT 7. Aspen Project. 8. Newning House. All photos courtesy of ClaytonLevy Little Architects.

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Habitat for Humanity of Collier County:

Touching hearts one house at a time by Johanna Gretschel

When Nick Kouloheras began working with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) of Collier County eight years ago, he said he did not fully understand the impact that the project had until he made a personal connection with a beneficiary. Arriving to a build site bright and early at 7:30 every morning one summer, Kouloheras was shocked when a teenage girl beat him there with not even a yawn every single day. The girl would go on to live in the house that they were currently building and she explained that sacrificing her summer was worth helping her family meet the required 500 hours of labor needed to build the house. She was the oldest of three sisters, with a mother struggling to make ends meet with two jobs. But the impact a Habitat house would make on this family’s life did not strike Kouloheras until he gave her a ride home one day and witnessed her current living conditions. The only running water in the $600 per month rented house was a cold stream that flowed out of the shower head. A fire ant infestation sent one of the teenager’s younger sisters to the hospital because the ant bites gave her an unbearable rash. But the efforts of the teenager, as well as Kouloheras and the rest of the Habitat volunteers, granted the family a brand-new, affordable house of their own. “It was an eye opener for me,” Kouloheras recounted before adding, “That’s one story of 900 similar stories.” Now the executive vice president of Land Development for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County in South Florida, Kouloheras joined the HFH team as a construction superintendant. The Collier County branch of HFH is one of HFH’s oldest and most productive affiliates. The branch’s first ground-breaking was in 1978, only two years after HFH’s birth. The branch has produced 1,300 homes since its inception and Kouloheras said they have been the top producing affiliate in the country for the past six years. Kouloheras said the Collier County affiliate produces homes at a consistent rate of about 100 homes per year, though they managed to churn out 150 during the 08 and 09 fiscal years. Kouloheras attributed his HFH branch’s success to the working environment they have encountered in Naples. A common misconception of Naples and south Florida as a whole is that of a well-to-do beach town populated by wealthy tourists and retirees. Kouloheras said that retirees skew the city’s income numbers and there are actually a significant number of low-income families. “There’s not really any industry down here with the exception of tourism and formerly construction,” Kouloheras said. “You don’t really have

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1. Naples, Fla. The Matos family gathers for a photo outside of their home after their selection visit. All photos courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Collier County.

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a huge professional middle class here. You have the high of the high and the low of the low.” Collier County’s economic diversity synchs perfectly with a HFH affiliate’s needs. “This chapter works so well because you have the perfect melting pot of what Habitat for Humanity needs to run properly,” said Kouloheras. “You have a huge base of applicants that need homes and then you have a ton of volunteers to help build homes. And then you have the wealth, which helps the fundraising aspect.” Kouloheras also cites Naples’ temperate climate as ideal for building homes. Unlike HFH affiliates in the North, HFH of Collier County never has to delay building due to winter weather conditions. But the most significant contributor to HFH of Collier County’s success is the affiliate’s dedication to maintaining relationships with homeowners, according to Kouloheras. HFH of Collier County operates on a much more personal level with homeowners than a standard home builder would. “We consider our partner families as family members,” said Kouloheras. HFH of Collier County requires homeowners to deliver their mortgage payment in person each month, creating a permanent connection between the organization and the beneficiaries. “A lot of affiliates lose the contact with the family because they allow homeowners to mail payments in or sell the mortgage to a bank,” said Kouloheras. 2. Naples, Fla. Homeowners work to lay sod in the subdivision of Regal Acres.

SHORELINE FLOORING SUPPLIES Shoreline Flooring Supplies is the premier source for the floor covering industry. Shoreline is proud to be a supplier to the Habitat for Humanity projects in Collier County. Shoreline values their partnership with Habitat for Humanity and look forward to continually assisting with their quest to provide affordable housing for those in need. For more information about Shoreline Flooring Supplies, please visit www.shoreline-flooring.com.

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“Homeowners’ children do better in school, parents become more active in the community. Having a safe, solid environment to live in everyday, it’s amazing what that does to a family’s life.” Fall 2010 111


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“A lot of affiliates lose the contact with the family because they allow homeowners to mail payments in or sell the mortgage to a bank.” Keeping mortgage payments an entirely in-house process allows The organization has strict criteria for who can qualify for a HFH HFH of Collier County to make selective arrangements with house. Prospective homeowners must be current residents of Colhomeowners if special circumstances arise. In one instance, the lier County. Applicants must demonstrate financial need to qualify affiliate excused a homeowner’s mortgage payments for three them for a HFH house, but they also must make enough money to months because their child had cancer and they were struggling be able to pay the mortgage off in 25 years. Annual income cannot to pay for the hospital bills. The payments were simply tacked on be lower than $15,000 or higher than $48,000, according to Kouloto the end of the mortgage and the homeowner was able to focus heras, and is based on a sliding scale determined by the number of on the sick child. family members living together. Preliminary screening by HFH employees weeds out those who As a result of the branch’s close-knit relationship with homeowners, delinquency rates are low and foreclosure rare. Kouloheras said that do not fit the aforementioned criteria. A volunteer panel called the their delinquency rate was below three percent. “selection committee” takes over the next round of screening, which The affiliate also offers English as a Second Language courses and includes a personal interview with the entire prospective family and home maintenance courses for any interested homeowner. During verification of information provided on their application. the home maintenance classes, Kouloheras has taught homeownAt the end of the month, the selection committee convenes and ers simple lessons like how to clean the filter of an air conditioner. votes on each family. The board of directors then has the final word “I have to remember that the majority of our residents haven’t had and the power to veto, though Kouloheras said that only rarely an air conditioner their entire life,” Kouloheras said. “They’ve never does the board reject a family that the selection committee has even seen one.” passed through. Out of 1,200 to 1,500 applicants every year, only about 100 lucky 3. Immokalee, Fla. Hermelinda Ruiz is paying her monthly mortgage payment in the families will work with HFH of Collier County to own a new home. Immokalee Office to Anna Vidaurri, Family Service Coordinator.

COLLIER IRRIGATION, INC. Collier Irrigation, Inc. specializes in complete irrigation systems from installation to service and maintenance. The company has maintenance contracts for both commercial and residential jobs, and there is no job too small or too big. Collier’s projects include maintaining irrigation for common grounds and roadways. Collier designs irrigation systems, and is also capable of designing variable frequency drive (VFDs) pumpstations for large communities. Collier provided irrigation services for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, and wishes to congratulate Nick on being a great and professional superintendant who runs projects very smoothly. Collier Irrigation looks forward to collaborating with Habitat for Humanity in future projects. For more information on Collier Irrigation, visit www. collierirrigationservice.com or call 239-455-5098. 112 Construction Leaders Today


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Naples, Fla. Recently as zoning lines were re-drawn, the student body of two Collier County schools became populated with a majority of Habitat Children. Pictured here is Emily Castellanos.

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Kouloheras said that prospective families must meet three main criteria. Families must demonstrate need, the ability to repay and the ability to become a partner with HFH. HFH homeowners must be able to pay off the mortgage because 96 cents of every dollar repaid goes back into building homes. “We rely heavily on our homeowners to be up to date on their payments,” Kouloheras said. “If you’re not making a mortgage payment, you’re not just hurting yourself; you’re hurting a family who was in your shoes.” Being a good partner means investing the required 500 “sweat equity” hours in helping to build one’s new home. The teenage girl that was so dead set on arriving at the work site bright and early every summer morning was contributing to her family’s 500 hours. Kouloheras said that a good partnership is also defined by membership and participation in their neighborhood homeowner’s association. HFH of Collier County is currently tackling three major projects. An Immokalee subdivision of 150 houses is 70 percent complete and is scheduled for completion within the next year-and-a-half. A 184-unit subdivision called Regal Acres began construction this past January and should take four more years to finish. The Collier County HFH affiliate is also buying and rehabbing foreclosed homes on the open market before reselling them to HFH owners. They expect to turnover 100 previously foreclosed homes in the next two-and-a-half years. Kouloheras’ favorite part of the HFH process is seeing the transformation HFH families go through. “It’s neat at the end of the project to see a whole socially and economically diverse population all in the same boat and here they’re living out their dream and owning their own homes,” Kouloheras said. Kouloheras has found that the children of HFH homeowners often perform better in school after living in their new house. HFH neighborhoods have transformed previously underperforming schools. Kouloheras said two schools, Manatee Elementary School and Lake Trafford Elementary School, were C-rated schools for 10 years. But once HFH neighborhoods were built up around the school districts, the schools became A-rated schools based on their students’ performances. “Homeowners’ children do better in school, parents become more active in the community,” said Kouloheras. “Having a safe, solid environment to live in everyday, it’s amazing what that does to a family’s life.” CLT 5. Naples, Fla. Families gather for orientation, where they learn about working their sweat equitity hours and what is means to be a Habitat partner.

Thanks to the following partners of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County for helping underwrite this feature.

This article was underwritten by Precision Builders, installing drywall and plastering homes for Habitat for Humanity in Collier County over the past 10 years. Daniel B. Gonzalez, and the staff at Precision Builders are proud to be partnered with Habitat for Humanity, and congratulate them for their continued success. For more information, call Precision Builders at 239-290-0399.

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A Fa m i l y A ffair

Committed to success and passionate about their service, the familyrun business of Hathaway Construction has been taking the South by storm for over two decades and currently ranks as one of the top twenty multi-family builders in the nation. by Johanna Gretschel

For the Hathaways, the construction business is a family affair. In 1990, David Hathaway founded Hathaway Development Company (HDC) Inc. in Macon, Georgia. The firm specialized in building single family homes and constructed over 500 such homes. The firm also developed single family lots for sale to other home builders. In 1997, the company evolved to include Hathaway Properties, Inc. to facilitate the tasks of HDC. 1997 also marked HDC’s expansion into multi-housing projects as the firm developed Northridge subdivision in Macon, Georgia. Hathaway’s son, Daniel, and Mike Muggridge joined the HDC team in 1998 to later become the President and Chief Operating Officer, respectively. With the addition of the younger Hathaway and Muggridge, HDC began pursuing general contracting work, relocating HCS to Atlanta in 2000 to have a central jumping off spot for the southeast. The company’s specialty remains multi-family apartments, and senior living facilities are their next area of expertise. HDC changed its name to Hathaway Construction Services (HCS) in 2009 to reflect its burgeoning status as a top construction company in the southeast region. Its area of operation

expanded from Georgia in the early 2000’s to include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, truly marking HCS as a company on the rise. Daniel Hathaway attributed the continued success of HCS through its lengthy evolution to the dedication and passion of its employees. “We’ve had very little turnover; it’s been really stable,” said Hathaway. “We have people who want to make each project successful for the owner. We really put the emphasis on them and their project as opposed to worrying about our bottom line.” A result of the company’s success was being ranked in Builder Magazine as one of the top 20 multifamily builders in the nation. Besides employing a loyal, hard-working staff, HCS delivers to clients through its emphasis of four major factors: budget, quality, schedule and safety. Hathaway demonstrated how HCS’s business practices in relation to each of these factors are entirely customer-focused. Hathaway said that HCS not only focuses on staying within the boundaries of clients’ budget expectations, but places great emphasis on completing projects below projected budgets. HCS also prides itself in its high-quality production values. Fall 2010 117


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We’ll always be in the housing business because that’s what we’re good at. We’re trying to keep it simple and do the best for our clients. “My dad, David Hathaway, came from the home building world where every little thing is scrutinized,” said Hathaway. “We won’t turn a building over to an owner until it’s ready and has the quality to be sold or be rented that day.” HCS places high importance on meeting project deadlines, regardless of extenuating circumstances. “If we give an owner a date, there’s no excuse not to make it,” Hathaway said. “If it’s something we can’t control like a power issue, it becomes our problem. We want to make it on time no matter what.” The company makes sure to take an active, hands-on approach to such problem solving. “We never stand back and say, ‘you need to fix this problem,’” Hathaway said. “We say, ‘what can we do to help?’” The company also strives to complete the most challenging portions of a project first in order to make sure the toughest demands are met right away.

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Green buildings are really unique in rural Georgia, in areas where affordable housing is needed. There aren’t a lot of energy efficient houses in that area. “A lot of people say the last five percent of a project is the hardest Despite job titles, “if someone’s been trained in safety they’re going part and we focus on that last five percent first,” Hathaway said to be better at what they do.” in regard to HCS’s work ethic. HCS has received numerous safety awards for its efforts to enforce Of the company’s four primary objectives, safety is of utmost the most effective safety practices. This year, the firm received the importance. Hathaway said that the first topic up for discussion 2010 Platinum Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) Award every Monday at HCS’s weekly meetings is safety. from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Inc. The firm has “We feel like we’ve been ahead of the safety curve for a long time also earned the Georgia 2010 Safety Award of Excellence from the in the industry,” Hathaway said. Georgia chapter of ABC. Their stringent safety system ensures that owners are protected HCS is also making strides for the future: the design of eco-friendly, from negligent law suits as a result of workers getting hurt. The “green buildings.” The firm currently has several ongoing EarthCraftprogram also lowers projects’ insurance costs. certified, energy-efficient residential projects and is a member of the “Each year we try to implement one thing that will help everybody U.S. Green Building Council. “Green buildings are really unique in rural Georgia, in areas where be safe on the project,” said Hathaway. “At the end of the day, no one wants to get hurt on the job site.” affordable housing is needed,” Hathaway explained. “There aren’t a Hathaway’s goal is to have every HCS employee, subcontractor lot of energy-efficient houses in those areas.” and laborer in the field complete 10 hours of Occupational Safety However HCS has made it a priority to make green housing available and Health Administration (OSHA) training by the end of the year. to those living on a low-income budget. Hathaway said the company HCS offers classes at all locations, in both English and Spanish. is becoming more active in attaining LEED certifications for buildings Additional safety training is also offered to all employees from HB and encouraging employees to pursue certification as well. Training & Consulting. In Hathaway’s 20 years, the firm has completed more than 50 projects and built over 12,000 multifamily units. Though figures fluctuate from year to year, Hathaway estimates that the firm completes around six to nine projects each year. He said that’s a perfect number of projects because it allows them to focus on each project. The company is currently working on five projects. They include multi-family apartment projects in Charlotte, NC, Knoxville, TN and Columbus, GA as well as two single-family senior living projects

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located in Dublin and Cordele. Upcoming $12,000. Hathaway said each consecutive year projects include two 100-unit assisted liv- has yielded a more impressive turnout, with ing facilities in Atlanta and an apartment the past few tournaments each raising about project in Asheville, NC. $45,000. In total, HCS has helped Ocmulgee HCS is actively involved with the community CASA raise over $200,000 since 2003. far beyond simply creating the buildings that “Our subcontractors and vendors have populate the southeastern United States. really gotten behind it and play every year. HCS has been involved with Court Appointed It’s really fun and a great way to network,” Special Advocates (CASA) since 2003, orga- said Hathaway. HCS’s donation of time and sweat to the nizing their golf tournament fundraiser for “Swing a Club” for CASA Charity Golf Tournathe past eight years. Founded in 1977, CASA is a national non- ment is indicative of the giving spirit that profit organization that assigns volunteers to seems to permeate the firm. One of HCS’s represent children through the court system more unique projects was the construcas the courts try to determine the care given tion of an outdoor classroom project at in the home. COO Mike Muggridge’s wife is Peachtree Presbyterian Pre-School where the Executive Director for Ocmulgee CASA, Daniel’s son attends, which emphasizes a and Hathaway accompanied them to the hands-on curriculum. Ocmulgee CASA golf fundraiser near Lake The preschool received a $10,000 grant from Oconee in 2002. At that time, the tournament the Dimensions Foundation and solicited was a low-key affair, with only four teams present which raised between $500 to 1,000 annually, according to Hathaway. Mike, to his credit, said, “hey we can do better than this, let’s work on it.” “We both For over a decade, HB Training & Consulting took a very active role at Ocmulgee CASA, has been providing companies such as Hathaway me directing the tournament and Daniel Construction comprehensive training and serving on the Ocmulgee CASA Board.” consulting services. From site inspections to safety In 2003, HCS decided to take over the meetings, professional development to workforce coordination of the tournament and hosted development, HBTC offers a full suite of services the first annual Hathaway “Swing a Club” for to meet the growing needs of the construction CASA Charity Golf Tournament. The inauguindustry. At HBTC, their success is your success. ral year boasted a solid turnout, raising over

HB Training & Consulting

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donations to help build what turned out to be an 8,000 sq. ft. outdoor classroom. “I said I’d rather actually help do the work than give money,” said Hathaway. “What they wanted to do was build an outdoor classroom with all natural materials,” Hathaway said. “They had different stations like dirt digging and climbing.” Hathaway, along with some of his staff and a slew of eager volunteers, helped organize the creation of walls, a potting shed and a performance stage. Hathaway recalled one of the HCS project managers, Trip Booker, hacking into 500-pound logs with a chainsaw and maneuvering them into the ground to ensure they would not roll onto a child. Even Hathaway’s four-year-old helped out. “He helped us with the benches one day; he’s got a lot of ownership in that,” Hathaway said. “Now, of course, he wants to go build buildings.” The Peachtree Presbyterian project concluded construction in May. The pre-school children, including Hathaway’s son, will experience the outdoor classroom for the first time this fall. The outdoor classroom project was a nice shift from HCS’s standard projects, but as for purely business projects, Hathaway said that HCS will be sticking to multi-family for the foreseeable future. “We’ll always be in the multi-family business because that’s what we’re good at,” Hathaway said. “We’re trying to keep it simple and do the best for our clients.” CLT 1. Daniel Hathaway, Hathaway Construction President. Photo by Laura Hathaway Photography. 2. Ansley at Princeton Lakes, Atlanta, Ga. 306 Multi-Family units completed in October 2009. Hathaway was the developer and general contractor on this project. Architect was Pucciano & English, Inc. Photo by Rolan Images. 3. Walden at Oakwood, Oakwood, Ga. 300 Multi-family units completed February 2010 for Walden Capital Group, LLC. Architect was Pucciano & English, Inc. Photo courtesy of Hathaway Construction. 4. David Hathaway, Chief Executive Officer, Owner of Hathaway Construction. Photo courtesy of Hathaway Construction. 5. Ansley at Town Center, Evans, Ga. 242 Multi-family units completed in June 2009. Hathaway was the developer and general contractor on this project. The architect was Pucciano & English, Inc. Photo courtesy of Hathaway Construction.

Taylor Commercial, Inc. Taylor Commercial Inc. is a professional construction firm that has been serving the multi-family industry since 1969. They specialize in medium to large resident occupied renovations and are one of the largest siding sub-contractors in the Southeast. Their relationship with Hathaway Construction is a perfect example of Taylor’s commitment to building successful, long lasting business relationships and exceeding expectations, delivering quality work products, and maximizing value for their customers. For more information, visit www.taylorcommercial.com 124 Construction Leaders Today

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Houston Construction Trailers On The Rise Houston construction trailers are a strong indicator of Houston construction industry rebounding The construction trailers leasing industry is a small but important part of the construction industry that can provide a forecast on how the construction industry as a whole is faring. It is said that how the construction trailers industry goes, so goes construction. The reason for this is simple: more trailers rented to construction sites means more construction sites being developed. “This is especially true of Houston” said Chris McDonald, a leading construction trailers industry expert. “In Houston, construction is king. The whole health of the city, and the surrounding region, is dependent on construction.” Sun Belt International is a Houston construction trailers leasing company that has served Houston and the surrounding areas for over 32 years. As such it is uniquely positioned to be the proverbially “canary in the coalmine” and all indications are that the industry will bounce back in the first and second quarters of 2011. Sun Belt Houston construction trailers rentals have been steadily rising over the last quarter and sees no return to the gloomy outlook of the last two years. CLT 126 Construction Leaders Today


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Concrete Customer Service builders post-tension By Rebecca Rodriguez

When Greg Tomlinson and his partner Brian Conley started family atmosphere at BPT. He believes that treating his workers their company, Builders Post-Tension (BPT), in 2001, they had well is essential. “If we have a good year, I give a bonus,” he said.  been working in the concrete cable business since the late 1980’s.  “Our staff knows what they’re doing, and they want to take care of With their combined knowledge, experience and a staff that shared the customers so they can reap some of the rewards.” their enthusiasm and confidence, they entered the competitive Many at BPT are cross-trained for different jobs.  Tomlinson arena.  In the concrete cable business, all suppliers have to meet encourages employees to seek higher level training and pays for the same specifications.  Tomlinson and Conley knew that the only their education.  Much of the staff has level two certification from way to beat out the competition was to excel at customer service.  the Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI), a nonprofit organization for “That’s how we differentiate ourselves,” Tomlinson said.  “Customer the advancement of post-tensioned, pre-stressed concrete design service has made our company grow.”  and construction.  PTI represents businesses and professionals      Tomlinson stressed that customer service is key when it comes dedicated to expanding quality post-tensioning applications. to growing a strong company. When the customer base grows, so      Builders Post Tension specializes in selling concrete reinforcedoes the profit, and that trickles down to the workers.  Tomlinson ment cables and mostly works with home builders and general knows the value of depending on a good staff and has created a 1. The Millennium Project, The Woodlands, Texas. Fall 2010 127


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contractors building single or multi-family structures. While housing and apartment complexes are their bread and butter, the company also supplies parking garages and post-tension elevated decks. One particularly impressive project of note is the Millennium located in the Woodlands, Texas.  “It was a unique multi-family retail project within a town-center, community environment.  The post-tension application worked really well, and the developer was happy,” Tomlinson said. Based in Houston, BPT also has a parallel business in Louisiana, BPT Gulf Coast, where they provide the same consideration for customer service and satisfaction.  In Houston the company acts more as a material supplier and supplies to home builders and 128 Construction Leaders Today

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concrete contractors. The post-tension slabs are installed, the concrete is placed, and in seven to 10 days the company returns to tension the cables and reinforce the foundation.  In Louisiana, the company handles more aspects of the job and acts as a turnkey operation: supplying the materials, installing, placing the concrete, and stressing. Builders Post-Tension employs thirty people in Houston and about twelve in the Louisiana office.  The company services the entire state of Louisiana, portions of Mississippi, and all of the greater Houston area.  Additionally, the company ships materials all over the country, from the east coast to Colorado.  Fabricated post-tension cables are sent out to East Coast, Gulf Coast and Midwest regions regularly.


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    At the company’s peak year in 2006, the annual revenue was $24 million, but the recession had a significant effect on business, and in 2009 the company’s revenue dropped to 10 million.  “It was rough last year, and we knew that we had to be fiscally conservative,” said Tomlinson.  “We put money back into the 2. The American Shooting Center, site preparation, West Houston, Texas. 3. An encapsulated post-tensioning job in Louisiana. 4. A Meadowlark Homes slab to be poured, Houston, Texas. 5. An apartment jobsite in Louisiana. 6. An elevated parking garage in Louisiana.

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Westco Systems Builders Post-Tension has been one of Westco’s best and most valued customers since 2003. Westco has been serving Builders Post-Tension with their martial needs from PC strand to anchor bolts and tie wire. Westco enjoys working with Builders Post-Tension and Greg Tomlinson. They have found Greg and Brian to be very easy to work with and cooperate with. Builders Post-Tension is a strong, reliable and quality oriented company. After working together for more than eight years, Westco Systems and Builders Post-Tension have a lot in common, and Westco looks forward to working with Builders Post-Tension for many years to come.

7. House packages ready for shipping, Houston, Texas.

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company. We don’t owe anybody anything.  We have no debts, and we own everything, so we were able to survive the downturn.” “Unfortunately,” Tomlinson said, “in a recession business is all about pricing.”  But coming out of a recession, he noted that his company is preferred due to its reputation for excellent customer service. “We’re optimistic about the long term.  We’ve been dragging along the bottom, but we’re poised to do well when the market comes back,” he said.  “I think by 2012 we’ll be more back to normal.”  The company is looking to expand geographically by possibly opening up another branch. But Tomlinson would not say where the new branch would be located. He added that BPT has three major competitors in Houston and two major competitors in Louisiana. Tomlinson said the company is very “hands-on” and “mom and pop” in its approach. This improves the customer service the company can provide. “It’s not uncommon for me or my partner to throw supplies in a truck and bring it right out to the job,” Tomlinson said. Markets fluctuate and its good to keep a handle on the latest trends as well as what is more stable. Recently multi-family units were “dead,” but they are starting to pick up, and more apartment jobs are surfacing this year.  One steady area of business that reaches across the country is supplying tennis courts. 

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“Tennis courts are a good application for post tension. We’ve shipped all over the country, and in 2009 we shipped more tennis courts than we’ve ever shipped before,” he said. Tomlinson explained that this was probably due to federal stimulus packages that gave states grant money, allowing school districts to order new tennis courts. Tomlinson knows his selling region well, having been born in Louisiana and raised in Houston.  He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a business degree and knows the importance of keeping BPT’s name visible in both Houston and Louisiana. He spends about $15,000 on marketing and keeps it local and direct through the local builders association.  “It’s a good bang for your buck because it’s targeted directly at builders and contractors,” he said. BPT receives non-local advertising throughout the country by being a member of the Post-Tensioning Institute.  Ultimately, the best advertising is promoted by a satisfied customer.  BPT is a company that never loses that focus and never compromises its dedication to providing only the best the industry has to offer. CLT    8. Boardwalk on the Waterway, The Woodlands, Texas.


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APEC

Dedication to Safety, Quality and a Skilled Work Force Museum Tower, the new centerpiece of the Dallas Arts District, will serve as a contemporary high-rise of architectural significance. Hosting 123 luxury residences in a sleek 42-story structure, Museum Tower will offer unparalleled privileges to those who call it home.

by Rob Janis

American Pan Enterprises Co., known as APEC, may not have turned heads when it started business in Atlanta, but its focus on quality and safety has made it into a multi-million dollar business with a footprint that covers most of the south from Atlanta to Texas. The company was created in Atlanta, GA in July 1996. It concentrates on providing one service – commercial concrete forming. During the next 14 years it opened offices in Orlando, Fl., which now covers the southeast; and Houston, Texas, which covers the southwest. The company has also made a major impact due to its many projects from healthcare to multi-family construction. For example, APEC is currently involved in the construction of the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., and formerly involved in the CONRAC parking structure at Hartsville-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. In addition, it will soon start work on the Museum Towers, a 42-story, 123-unit luxury condominium structure in downtown Dallas. NaderJarun, director of business development for the company, pointed out that the CONRAC parking facility is more than two million sq. ft. with more than 10,000 parking spaces. He said that it is the largest budgeted project the company has developed. And, he pointed to the Museum Towers project as a structure that will make a major impact on the culture of Dallas. Construction on the condominium starts in mid October. According to Jarun, APEC’s focus on safety through their “Safety for Life” program, along with an emphasis on quality control, led to APEC’s success. “We find that clients are looking for a company that is efficient and will work with them and who has an understanding of how to build buildings. It is about living up to our principles which includes our program, Safety for Life, and the knowledge of our personnel,” he said. With over 500 employees, APEC makes a major effort to ensure that both seasoned personnel and new hires are dedicated to continuing their education in the business of concrete forming. “We are looking for employees that are motivated to learn and be apart of the team,” said Jarun. 132 Construction Leaders Today

“We employ professionals who want to make a career in the company. We want people who don’t just look upon their work with us as just another job, but as a lifestyle.” In addition to the Safety for Life program, APEC offers other instructional programs for management and quality control. “Any employee has the option to take advantage of these programs,” said Jarun.

Jarun says APEC is concentrating on a geographic expansion. He noted that the company extended into the Texas market about one year ago. “We are honored to serve the Texas market. The economic downturn has not really hit Texas cities as hard as the rest of the country,” he said. CLT


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Aluma Systems Atlanta 5240 East Great S.W. Parkway Atlanta, Georgia 30336 USA

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T 404.699.0979 F 404.699.2570 www.aluma.com

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Volvo Rents Construction Equipment

www.volvorentswny.com

Construction Equipment | Service | Building Products American Rentals 299 Jefferson Road PO Box 92280 Rochester, NY 14623 585.292.9870 tel

Seneca Supply 7 Hall Road Ithaca, NY 14850 607.347.4455 tel

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Construction Leaders Today Fall 2010  

Check out the fall issue of Construction leaders Today!

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