THE MAGAZINE FOR
C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY
CONSTRUCTION LEADERS TODAY
Sioux Falls Soars Through the Times Sioux Falls takes pride in their 100 year old company, which boasts state-of-the-art, eco-friendly building technologies.
The Warmington Group
A California company serving A-listers from Martha Stewart to Henry Fonda.
Winter 2009 $64.00 USD $68.81 CAN
How they dealt with threats from anti-progress environmentalists.
International: Hamon Custodis
Kevin Gibbons discusses a deep history of iconic chimney construction.
table of contents Editorial
06 Editor’s Note Todd Weaver talks about the company’s growth, as global expansion takes Construction Leaders Today all the way to Sydney, Aus. Plus: a look at this quarter’s economic status and the industry-wide push towards green building and business practices.
10 Dome Tech
DomeTech makes modern improvements on one classic architectural design: the dome, a form that has been utilized in every culture and on every continent throughout history.
16 Hamon Custodis This Worldwide Chimney builder has been making strides in developing more efficent and attractive chimneys for all applications.
22 Dunamis A fire and security business in California revamped the way they did business following 9-11-01 – approaching every project with the utmost dedication to protect their country.
26 Byrom-Davey From high school soccer fields all the way up to Division I teams, Byrom-Davey has laid the turf everywhere. Their next move? Stepping up to bat with the Major Leagues.
31 Warmington Group From Hollywood to suburban luxury, smart business sense has kept the Warmington Group going strong for over 80 years.
38 Welty The “go-to” construction company for complex projects, Welty Building Co. welcomes difficult tasks, priding themselves on their craftmanship and creativity.
46 Paradigm A leader in multi-family, residential properties in the mid-Atlantic region with a hard-to-beat resume of more than 8,000 urban, high-rise apartments and condos under its belt.
60 Tri-State Since 1955, Tri-State has been the premier source for superiority in on-time, reliable completion of drilled foundations.
on the cover
52 Sioux Falls Construction For over 100 years, this company’s ability to deliver quality, on-budget projects and adapt to changing business climates has allowed President David Fleck to expand across the entire Midwest. Recently, his use of greenbuilding technology and innovative marketing has helped his company soar.
64 Pacific Central Steel
From landfills to coal mines to industrial design, CEO Ron Piccolo promises that his tough-as-nails fabrication company is able to compete the big guys from coast to coast.
72 ScotBilt Homes
The ScotBilt’s product, affordable housing for families across the country, gains increased importance with a focus on customer service.
77 McCleskey Mausoleums One of the longest running mausoleum companies around, McCleskey bases their business on respect for clients, budgets and schedule.
northwest | corporate profile
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 5
Construction Down Under
ast quarter, I was pleased to announce Construction Leaders Today’s introduction to the international market. This quarter, we continued to maintain an editorial presence beyond US borders. I am no less than thrilled to announce the grand opening of our first international office in Sydney, Australia. This quarter we’ve seen some positive growth within the industry, partly due to loosening credit markets. CEOs seem to be making the best of the slowly changing, sometimes stagnant market and they have generally positive outlooks on the next couple of years to come. We’ve found that a lot of the green building emphasis stems from government-issued credits for green projects coupled with consumer demand and new found affordability of materials. For example, the US government allows for a 30% tax credit with an unlimited cap for geothermal units. This should lead to lots of new business for renewable energy equipment manufacturers and builders in this sector. We’ll be paying close attention to the outcome of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to see how that impacts renewable energy construction projects over the next two quarters. We also found a major interest in not only building green this quarter but also protecting the environment where new construction is taking place. Environmental protection groups have taken their protection efforts to another level in some areas. One company we interviewed faced violent environmental protesters who were attempting to stop a large public works project by placing poisonous bottle bombs along the projects perimeter. Hopefully this incident will remain an isolated one and we can move on with the business of focusing on rehiring and growth in our industry. Until next time…
Construction Leaders Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Assistant Editor Joseph Orange Creative Director Art Director Photography Director Video Director
Emily Detoro Stephanie Hess Ian Palmer Susan Maybach
Editorial Director Kate Darling Editorial Production Michael DeMatteo Correspondents Aaron McGaskey (SW) Tiffany Calderone (SE) Juan Orellana (NE) Gerald Adams (W) Steve Peters (Nation) Marian Estess (Nation) Vendor Relations Director Diana Stephens Vendor Relations Todd Rogers Eric Banner Patrick Storm Advertising Sales Director Moe Kazemi Advertising Sales Peter Jostens Steve Stone David Levi Publisher Steve Reed
TODD WEAVER email@example.com
oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1330 New Hampshire Avenue Suite B1 Washington D.C. 20036 www.constructionleaderstoday.com
joan tupponce Joan’s experiences as a writer have taken her on journeys that wouldn’t have been possible in other careers. Her success is evident in the many awards and recognitions her writing has received nationally, regionally and locally.
rebecca rodriguez Rebecca enjoys a career of writing about critical issues and prominent business leaders of our time. Her work has been recognized both locally and on a national level.
jane caffrey Jane Caffrey earned a B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she writes for a variety of print and online publications both in Europe and the United States.
T.B. Penick Awarded Contract for
the Coney Island Boardwalk
8 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
T.B. Penick & Sons, Inc., through its affiliate Triton Structural Concrete, has been awarded a $13.7 million contract to demolish and reconstruct portions of the historic Coney Island Boardwalk in New York City. The project was awarded by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department. Work will begin immediately to demolish portions of the existing damaged wooden boardwalk; precast concrete slab units will be installed as the foundation of the 2.7mile (~4.0 km) boardwalk to strengthen and stabilize it. The boardwalkâ€™s existing hardwood timbers will be replaced by a combination of colored and textured pre-cast concrete slabs, custom exposed aggregate and sustainably harvested hardwood wood decking. The project duration is two years, however, Triton anticipates completing early in approximately fall 2010, dependent upon the weather and summer tourism. The Coney Island Boardwalk fronts a broad sandy beach that stretches from West 37th Street at Seagate through Coney Island and Brighton Beach to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach, a distance of just over 2Â˝ miles. The Boardwalk links the excitement of Coney's colorful amusements and the sweeping calm of beach and ocean. Officially known as Riegelmann Boardwalk, the structure has been repaired and/or reconstructed numerous times since it was originally built in 1923 and is an iconic symbol of New York City and its famous playground, Coney Island.
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 9
features | international
d i s t u O g n i k n i h T
10 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
international | features
de of th e B O
Dome Technology USA, Inc. makes modern improvements on one classic designâ€”the dome. by Jane Caffrey
X Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 11
features | international The dome is an ancient architectural form that has been utilized in every culture and on every continent throughout history. From the simple igloo homes of Artic hunters to the aweinspiring Pantheon in central Rome, the dome is known as one of man’s most versatile structures. Today, the dome remains a construction solution when efficiency and strength are required. One company, Dome Technology USA, continues to explore the effectiveness of these buildings. Using modern construction techniques and materials to build insulated concrete domes, the company reinforces the dome’s status as the most versatile of all structures—spacious, energy-efficient, and inherently strong. Reflecting the historical competence of domes in modern construction, structures built by Dome Technology USA appear on five continents around the world. “People don’t usually think outside the box,” Barry South, President and CEO of Dome Technology USA, said. “But there is a marketplace for domes throughout the whole world. It’s just a manner of educating people about them.” More than thirty years ago, South and his two brothers developed and patented the technology of building shell monolithic domes by spraying insulating polyurethane foam and later concrete onto the interior of a pressurized, dome-shaped fabric airform. The brothers originally experimented with this process in Idaho, where they were spraying polyurethane into farm buildings that stored the state’s famous potatoes. In 1976, they created their first monolithic dome using the continuous spray-inplace process. They founded Dome Technology USA, Inc. in Idaho Falls in 1978, and one year later received their first United States patent for the monolithic construction process, with subsequent patents awarded in 1979 and 1982. Although the company initially catered to the Idaho potato market, the cement industry turned to Dome Technology USA about fifteen years after its inception to construct buildings for storage, and business took off. “A dome holds a tremendous amount of material. It’s a very practical storage space for bulk materials, and that has become our biggest market,” South said. In 1989, the company built 28 domes for grain storage in the Middle East, and by the late 1990s it 12 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
had also placed domes in Europe, Asia, and South America. Between 1992 and 2002, Dome Technology USA built an average of more than 20 structures per year. Yet after setbacks following 9/11, the corporation diversified its products and services and expanded into the architectural facilities market. Seeing phenomenal growth in this sector, it started to construct churches, schools, gymnasiums, and large recreational facilities. The industrial market rebounded between 2005 and 2006, but the architectural market has remained strong for Dome Technology USA. Today, the $20,000,000 annual budget corporation has a total of 100 employees, and has placed some 500
monolithic domes in all 50 of states and in 12 countries around the globe. “As we have developed a process and built these buildings, three things stand out in my mind that are really great attributes of a dome,” South said. “Energy efficiency, strength, and longevity.” As energy efficient structures, the temperature inside domes constructed by the company is easily regulated. This is due to the seamless layer of polyurethane insulation, which is sandwiched between the vinyl roof membrane and the interior concrete shell. Such efficiency is increasingly important with an ever-growing demand for architectural buildings.
international | features
With these domes, clients typically experience 50 percent in energy savings, compared to a conventional building. In one successful project, Dome Technology USA built a complex of five domes that were connected together to form Grand Meadows School in Minnesota. “About six months ago we visited that school, and the superintendent there is a great dome fan, he just loves his buildings,” South said. “That building is the most energy efficient school building in the state of Minnesota, and the efficient heating system gives them $50,000 in savings a month.” Domes are also inherently strong. “The natural shape of the dome is very strong, and the ones we build are even more so with a single, monolithic concrete shell reinforced with steel,” South said. The company has built the solidest and biggest domes in the world. In 2007, it constructed the two current largest domes in the world—structures for coal storage that boast 298and 300-feet diameters. Dome Technology USA also utilizes a high strength concrete in construction of its dome. This Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 13
features | international
shell is protected from the elements by the polyurethane insulation and waterproof roof crust, and thus does not go through rapid expansion and contradiction or a weathering process. Additionally, buildings constructed by Domes Technology USA have withstood all types of natural disasters, including earth quakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires. One storage dorm build by the company in Manzanillo, Mexico survived earthquakes of 6.2 and 7.8 magnitudes on the Richter scale. Other domes built by the company in the southeastern United States have outlived Hurricanes Charley, Francis, Ivan, and Jeanne in 2004, and Dennis and Katrina in 2005. Such exceptional disaster resistance significantly increases the longevity of the domes, whose life spans will be measured in centuries. “I expect these buildings to be around for hundreds and hundreds of years,” South said. Since domes offer wide design flexibility and excellent benefits for both industrial and architectural 14 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
applications, South has several innovative plans for the company in future. “Long term goals; they are so limitless!” he said. In 2007, Dome Technology USA made an important entry into large recreational applications with the completion of the first indoor water park under an elliptical dome. South would like to employ this recreational use further, making domes larger in both height and diameter. He believes that the openness of a dome would make an ideal setting for a horse arena, while a larger dome with a diameter of 400 to 500 feet would function excellently as a year-round football stadium. “In Idaho Falls we have a football stadium for the high school, but we have severe winters here and they don’t use it at all in the wintertime,” he said. “It has cost them a lot of money, and if they invested in a dome they would have a year round facility.” South is also interested in developing different styles of domes, such as a conventional rectangular building with a dome roof on top. In
upcoming years, he hopes to penetrate different markets around the world as well, particularly China, where interest in domes for coal storage has been expressed. Although Dome Technology USA has been impacted by the current global financial upheaval due to its negative impact on the cement industry, the company forecasts a busy agenda ahead, with several projects scheduled into 2010. “My goal is to provide good and steady jobs for a great bunch of people and build something that contributes to society,” South said. As a pioneer in technique in modern dome construction, and with hundreds of completed domes placed around the world, Dome Technology USA leads the industry with its innovative and multi-use buildings. The corporation proves that domes are just as robust and efficient today as they have been throughout their rich role in global history. “The more I work around domes, the more I believe that they are just absolutely fascinating buildings,” South said. CLT
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features | international
A Century of Leadership
By Jane Caffrey
Years after forging new territory in the chimney industry, Hamon Custodis remains an innovative leader in today’s construction market
Over one hundred years of experience; 10,000 completed projects. This claim cannot be made by many businesses, yet it defines excellence achieved daily at Hamon Custodis. The New Jersey-based company has set the standard for chimneys since its inception at the turn of the 20th century. Today, they are the largest chimney constructor in the world, second to none. “Our experience is extensive with a proven track record of safe and quality chimney erection projects,” Kevin Gibbons, Eastern Regional Manager, said. “Hamon Custodis has always been at the forefront of the chimney business, and to this day continues to be an industry leader.” Alfons Custodis was a German immigrant who initially founded the chimney company. During an era when low-set buildings in industrial cities generated a thick blanket of smog and infiltrated streets with air pollution, Custodis carried the chimney industry to a new level with the invention of the radial brick. “It was a design innovation, which allowed chimneys to be built taller,” Gibbons said. “Back in the early 1900s, it was quite the engineering feat to build such a tall structure. As you increase the height of a chimney, the localized air quality is better, because the flue gas is less concentrated.” Nearly a century later, in 1998, Custodis was acquired by Hamon, an international engineering and contracting company that services heavy industries. This led to the birth of the current Hamon Custodis, which serves all fifty states and Canada’s ten provinces. Hamon Custodis is headquartered in Somerville, New Jersey, where its in-house engineering division and OEM project and construction management teams are based. Because the Hamon Custodis business model strives for widespread achievement by being close to their customers, the company’s 100 non-manual resources are strategically located in four regional offices in the contiguous U.S. and one office in Canada. 16 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
international | features
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 17
features | international “Having the regional offices enhances our projects and overall service, because we are able to focus in on one specific state or territory. Each regional office is acutely aware of the needs of its customer base,” Gibbons said. This wide distribution also allows Hamon Custodis to execute superior aftermarket services once a project is completed. Such services are part of the corporation’s strong commitment to a full-service approach. “When its Hamon Custodis, it’s really one stop shopping. We like to stress to our customers that it’s a true turnkey operation,” Gibbons said. Hamon Custodis remains committed to each project through engineering design, procurement, budgeting, final construction, and maintenance after completion. Once a new chimney is completed, Hamon Custodis offers aftermarket services that include full-service inspection, structural and functional evaluation, repair, upgrade, maintenance, renovation, and demolition services for chimneys, stacks, and silos. Using their turnkey approach, the corporation is able to deliver maximum on-site efficiency, while also minimizing costs for clients. “We have five different aftermarket offices throughout the USA and Canada, and after building a chimney, a commitment to a proper maintenance program is crucial to ensure longevity of the structure,” Gibbons said. Hamon Custodis remains the premier chimney company in the world, even a century after it first set the standard in the industry. Today, they serve both industrial and electric power clients as well. With the world’s largest staff of in-house engineers, the company pioneered reinforced concrete chimneys. Hamon Custodis specializes in both jumpform and slipform concrete chimneys, and offers a variety of lining systems that include FRP, C-276 clad and solid plate, stainless steel, carbon steel, coated steel, glass block, refractory, and acid resistant brick. Such flexibility in design allows Hamon Custodis to address varying weather conditions and construct energy efficient structures. Additionally, the fullservice staff utilizes state-of-the-art computerized design software that reflects the latest in industry standards, codes, and technology. The technical team of Hamon Custodis is always looking for innovative cost saving solutions. “You would think that after 100 years a chimney would be a commoditized product” Gibbons mused. “The reality is that our engineers are always looking for the better mousetrap. On a recent project one of our engineers developed a solution for a major utility that resulted in a much smaller chimney diameter than originally anticipated. This resulted in more than several million dollars savings in capital cost”. The corporation’s direct involvement and active participation with chimney committees like ACI, ASCE, STS, and CICIND keeps Hamon Custodis up to date on the latest standards and practices governing chimney design and construction. And often, the company sets regulations that are then adhered to around the globe. The results of engineering know-how and proven construction expertise are durable, top-quality chimneys. One such example is a large-scale retrofit project that the company completed in May 2009, 18 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
international | features in St. Marys, Kan.. A two-year project for Westar Energy, Hamon Custodis embarked on a “dry to wet” conversion of three 600’-0” existing brick lined chimneys to facilitate the change in flue gasconditions due to the addition of new air pollution control technology. Although a world leader in chimney design, construction, and maintenance, Hamon Custodis also produces storage silos and steel stacks. Since the 1970s, the corporation has been actively involved in silo design and construction for coal, fly ash, and lime storage, as well as storage for other bulk materials. Hamon Custodis is also a world leader in steel stack design, with a full-service steel stack contractor and more than 1,000 installations worldwide. Well versed in all aspects of steel stack design, engineering and erection, the company can meet the demands of any project no matter how small or large. Strong commitment to projects pairs with commitment to customer service, which is the core of business philosophy at Hamon Custodis. “Our company vision is to strive for excellence throughout the organization to better serve our customers,” Gibbons said. “We endeavor to be creative and innovative with the technology and design
services we provide to our customers.” The company sees repeat clients, and often creates formidable relationships with large corporate conglomerates. Despite the difficult economic market now, Hamon Custodis has a number of projects in line for 2010 and anticipates further bookings next year and into the future. A groundbreaking company more than a century ago, Hamon Custodis remains a leader in the industry today, with a fullservice approach to projects, expertise in engineering, aftermarket services, and of course, new chimney construction. This is a trait that has defined the company throughout the years. With an ongoing commitment to innovation that translates to state-of-the art chimneys, Hamon Custodis will confidently meet client needs today and tomorrow. “The chimney industry is always changing,” Gibbons said. “We are constantly evolving to remain experts on new technologies, and the power industry. Adapting to market conditions to provide innovative and cost effective solutions is vital given the current economic climate. Hamon Custodis is well positioned to meet these challenging market conditions, while continuing to consistently provide safe and quality workmanship to our customers.” CLT
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features | high tech
Nexxus Lighting and QD Vision Light Up President Obamaâ€™s MIT Laboratory Tour with new Quantum Light Technology
20 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
high tech | features
Vision's green-tech Quantum Light™ technology platform lit up President Obama’s recent tour of laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where low-power, long-life Array™ Lighting LED lamps from Nexxus Lighting, Inc. (NASDAQ Capital Market: NEXS) are utilizing breakthroughs in quantum dot technology from QD Vision, Inc. to emit high-quality warm LED light. The President visited MIT Oct. 23 to promote his administration’s commitment to energy research enabling the U.S. to lead the world in the development of new, efficient and clean energy technologies. Prior to his speech to students and faculty, President Obama toured three MIT Laboratories, where cutting edge clean energy technologies are being developed with Government research funding. In one, QD Vision Scientific Advisor and Co-Founder Vladimir Bulovic, the KDD Associate Professor of Communications and Technology, demonstrated the Array™ Lighting
LED lamp with Quantum Light™ optic technology to the President. QD Vision's breakthroughs in very low power solid-state lighting are based on work that got its start in Prof. Bulovic’s MIT laboratory. They exploit the unique light emitting properties of quantum dots to deliver huge reductions in power consumption and dramatic color quality improvements. Unlike the harsh, cold white light typical of today's low-power LED and fluorescent lights, quantum dots can warm up white light and dramatically improve emitted colors, while preserving the high efficiency of LEDs. “By putting the spotlight on our Quantum Light™ product platform during President Obama’s tour, MIT made a strong statement about the importance of clean, efficient lighting solutions that will provide the quality of light consumers need while reducing rather than enlarging their carbon footprints,” said Dr. Dan Button, President and CEO of QD Vision.
The product demonstration by QD Vision and its commercial lighting partner Nexxus Lighting, shows the quality and efficiency improvements in lumen output and color rendering index (CRI) enabled by the Quantum Light™ optic when applied to the exit face of a Nexxus Array™ LED PAR 30 lamp. The companies have been working closely together for several months and expect to start delivering these breakthrough commercial products to market in early 2010. "Array™ Lighting LED lamps by Nexxus allow for savings in energy of up to 80% and can last over 50,000 hours. Adding this new high color rendering, true incandescent warm white color choice to our Array™ product line meets the need for improved color rendering performance in LED lighting, without sacrificing the efficacy gains you can achieve through solid state solutions. These are industry-leading products" said Mike Bauer, President and CEO of Nexxus Ligh. CLT Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 21
corporate profile | west
DUNAMIS 22 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
west | corporate profile
by Rebecca Rodriguez
im Briggs and her husband Rob watched fire engulf the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. From the standpoint of fire and security experts, they watched with knowing eyes. Kim remembers her husband predicting what would happen as fires burned. “My husband kept telling what was going to happen next,” she says. “How the building was going to fall.” It was a sobering experience for the couple, who own Dunamis Systems, a fire and security business in California. An experience that made her want to change the way all buildings are secured. After 9-11, safety became an even bigger concern for the husband and wife team. “I wanted more of a voice,” says Briggs. “I wanted to work with the government to better protect my country,” Since the tragedy of 9-11, the Briggs have been doing just that. From secure Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 23
corporate profile | west
card reading systems to access control cameras and time locks, they find ways to improve security for government facilities. They describe themselves as low-voltage contractors focusing on public works and military installations. Because a large part of the Briggs’ business revolves around the military, confidentiality prevents them from speaking about many of their projects. But Briggs is very vocal about her approach; every project is met with the utmost dedication. Every project is seen through the lens of that dreadful day in September 2001. The fall of the Twin Towers is never far from the Briggs’ thoughts. “There could have been so many things put into place [to prevent 9-11],” she says. It is this passion that attracts many clients to Dunamis Systems. What keeps the clients interested is the company’s flexibility. The Briggs understand that not all clients have deep pockets, so they offer their clients 24 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
as many options as possible. If a facility is looking for access control systems and security cameras but cannot afford them, Briggs offers install one first, and the other at a later date. Dunamis can then integrate the systems when the client is comfortable doing so. “We keep options open for them and allow them to grow into new opportunities,” she said. “When we design and engineer a project, we like to go that extra mile, so the end result leaves room for the future,” and their clients can grow at their own pace. This philosophy allows them to grow with their clients, and gives them a broader understanding of the client’s needs and resources. Another key ingredient to their success is the attention to detail that goes into every project. Every aspect of a project is considered and presented to the client. And when the project is executed, they make certain that everything is done right. “When we walk away from a project,
we don’t want it to be haphazard. We want to be able to sleep at night,” knowing that their clients will be safe. Even though Dunamis is a small company it has some impressive clients featuring projects for contractors, the Veteran’s Administration, military installations, schools, colleges, universities, the U.S. Postal Service, and private clients such as San Diego National Bank, and The Breakers of Long Beach. Past government clients include March Air Reserve Base, Fort Irwin, and Naval Sub Base S.D. Dunamis recently completed a project for a facility that caters to dementia patients. Security is obviously a great concern to these types of institutions, so they turned to the Briggs, knowing their reputation for quality. The dementia patients were allowed to go outside at certain times during the day. For the rest of the time, alarms were set up to prevent the patients from walking out of the building. The problem with this was that the patients
west | corporate profile
would constantly set off the alarms, and the nurses and workers spent much of their time responding to incidents. So the Briggs set up a fully programmable time-lock system that would keep the patients from tripping the alarms. It was an out of the box solution that worked perfectly. “It really saved our clients a lot work and eliminated the constant setting off of the alarms in the building.”
As a small, family-run business, Kim Briggs said she can still keep up with the big operators, often having only three or four employees working on a project that a larger company would put ten employees on. “We’re a small company, but we sure can compete with the big ones,” The slow economy has had an effect on Dunamis, as it has for all businesses. But Briggs says they are working their
way through the slump. “We’re constantly working to get new clients,” she said. They are also finding new ways to attract clients, like getting more involved in Internet bids for jobs. And Dunamis is doing better than many other companies, even some of their suppliers. “We tried to reach a vendor yesterday and learned that he is no longer in existence,” she said. Dunamis doesn’t have that problem. She has already landed several six-figure contracts, including a $200,000 security contract with a government facility. Next year, she’s hoping to double her volume. Not bad for a woman who just wants to prevent another 9-11. As a small company seeking a competitive edge, and a womenowned and run business, Kim Briggs sometimes sees obstacles in a field dominated by men. “They have a way of joking with each other that a woman might find offensive,” she said. “Men trash talk a lot more.” But Briggs takes it in stride. She just keeps working hard and finding new clients. The men will understand after a while. After all, Dunamis is Greek for power and strength. CLT
4645 Hartley St | Lincoln, NE 68504-1692 Phone: 402.467.3651| Fax: 402.467.1908 email@example.com | www.spectronics.com Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 25
corporate profile | west
The Turf Grows Greener for San Diego Company by Rebecca Rodriguez
Green synthetic turf fields are pulling in lots of opportunities for Byrom-Davey Inc. The San Diego, Calif., based general contractor specializes in football and soccer track and field stadium construction, along with synthetic turf installations, stadiums, and all peripheral systems such as bleachers and lighting. Company leaders, Steve Byrom and Paul Pankow have built
26 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
tracks for high schools all the way up to Division 1 teams and now have their sights set on the major league market. The synthetic turf is the largest part of the company and interest in this type of field has been growing â€œexponentiallyâ€? during the past two years, said Eric Jennings, vice president of business development for the company. The University of
west | corporate profile
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 27
corporate profile | west
Does all artificial turf look the same to you? Confused about why certain turf systems perform better than others?
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1-800-724-2969 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.fieldturf.com 28 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009 CLT_Top10_7.27x4.67.indd 1
06/11/09 2:22 PM
west | corporate profile
• Industry leader specializing in the installation of polyurethane synthetic track systems. • Licensed by Advanced Polymer Technology to install the globally known Rekortan® track systems • In the last 10 years California Track & Engineering, Inc. has installed more tracks in California than any other company.
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Southern California’s division one football team stadium was a Byrom-Davey project, as well as East Los Angeles Community College’s soccer field. Jennings said business for Division 1 fields is growing strong, as well as high school markets, which in the past have not ear-marked money for quality, state-of-theart stadiums. “Quality stadiums attract a pedigree of staff and students schools want,” Jennings said. It also cuts down on attrition, where kids in soccer, band, lacrosse and other sports head to schools that provide better fields. In the past, budgets have been focused on classroom upgrading, Jennings said, but more and more, school officials are looking to improve their track and fields. Benefits, Jennings said, is keeping quality students and seeing an increase in booster programs raising money to support teams. A decision to go with synthetic turf provides a maintenance-free field that
allows for programs to run year round. The company’s website, www. byrom-davey.com, features bright, perfectly manicured pictures of fields and tracks. It also explains that the synthetic fields are an “exciting, new product and the wave of the future.” Coaches, Jennings said, are pleased with the consistent surface, adding that games are never cancelled due to weather and the fields can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Byrom-Davey is aspiring to enter the National Football League (NFL) within the next year or two, hoping to provide synthetic turf to stadiums as well as training facilities. There is some misinformation about synthetic turf, Jennings said, that has lead to a national debate on turf versus natural grass. One criticism is that the turf surface gets too hot. But this is misleading, Jennings said, because a perimeter cooling system lowers the turf surface temperature by 20 to
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 29
corporate profile | west
30 degrees. Jennings points out that one of the major benefits to synthetic turf is less injuries during games. Natural grass crowns in the middle of the field to drain water into irrigation boxes. This increased slope leads to non-leveled areas and divots in the grass. Synthetic turf is relatively flat with built-in drains that lead to perimeter drains and then storm drains. For professional teams the decision to go with turf is about “safety, performance and maintenance,” Jennings said. Interest in turf fields will increase at the professional level when they [team owners] are able to look at studies and see the turf is safer for their hundred million dollar player. The company has been building track and fields since 2001, totaling 95 synthetic turf fields and more than 60 tracks, including complete stadium projects. Ninety percent of the company’s work is by word-of-mouth. Jennings said the company has built a reputation for strong customer service. Company president Steve Davey, vice president of field operations, Paul Pankow, and Jennings are on site at projects. “People think, ‘wow, we’re getting the owners of the company.’ Things are getting done and we can make decisions on the spot,” Jennings said. On one project, a light pole was being built too close to a long jump area. “We caught that and fixed it. Then we were able to get another [customer] 30 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
down the street,” Jennings said, reiterating the importance of word-ofmouth marketing. The company has been growing strong since its beginnings in 2001 when two men, Joe Byrom and Steve Davey joined forces. Byrom passed away last year, but the company regrouped with the addition of Jennings and Pankow, a former contractor and construction veteran of 30 years. One of the reasons the company has thrived, Jennings said, is its dedication to its staff. Wages are high and when work is slow, no one loses their job. The company has 50 employees and annual revenue of about 40 million. The company invests in its staff and will pay for any worker who wants to get their license. “Our employees are highly encouraged to get their license and go to seminars,” Jennings said, adding that the company pays for this.
“We partner with programs that will give our people additional information and the edge they need,” he said. For those employees who wish to learn project engineering and management, the company owners are ready to teach them the ropes. When employees explore different areas of the job a better understanding of the overall project grows amongst the staff. “That’s our formula. If we do that we’re a much better team and everyone understands their individual job better in the big picture,” Jennings said. “We’re part of a team. We take pride in our work. And when we’re done with a project each worker can walk away and say, ‘that’s mine,’ and take pride in their work.” Expecting growth to continue, Jennings, his partners, and the staff, are looking hopefully into a future where the grass is greener and the fields are brighter. CLT
north | corporate profile Smart business sense has kept the Warmington Group going strong for over 80 years.
from great depression to great recession by Joan Tupponce
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 31
corporate profile | west
When Jim Warmington, Jr. joined the family business after graduating from Stanford University in the 1990s, he wasn’t just the “son of the owner.” In fact, he’d grown up in the business and already had been an on again, off again employee for years, having worked summers and school breaks as often as he was able. This experience taught him much and sparked a real enthusiasm for his family’s business of building new homes; a business that had been cultivated for three generations. His great-grandfather, William C. Warmington, started building custom homes in 1926 in and around Los Angeles in areas like Beverly Hills, Hancock Park and Westwood, mostly for Hollywood stars and movie company executives. During this time, the Warmington name became synonymous with craftsmanship
and elegance, and Warmington built many custom homes for such high profile stars as Shirley Temple, Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. William Warmington also worked with some of that era’s most respected architects including Gerald Colcord, Wallace Neff and Paul Williams, cementing Warmington’s reputation as a builder of exceptional luxury homes. In 1933, Jim Warmington Jr.’s grandfather, Edward Warmington, joined the family business and spent the better part of that decade learning the trade. By the 1940s Warmington had begun crafting smaller homes for moderate-income families who were part of a California’s exploding population as well as GIs who were returning from World War II. While these homes were more modest than
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the elaborate custom estates for which Warmington was well known, they were built with the same comprehension of excellence and respect for quality. It was during this time that Warmington first exhibited a keen talent for reading market trends and translating them into business action and the company began to place more emphasis on tract development and its conservative business philosophies began to take root. “My grandfather lived through the depression,” Jim Warmington Jr., explains. “He didn’t like having debt. He would build one tract of homes, close it out and then buy the next one. This allowed the company to remain ahead of the market and not be hurt by excessive risk.” From 1945 to 1965, Warmington enjoyed a period of growth that mirrored that of Southern California and welcomed a new generation: In 1965, Jim Warmington Jr.’s father, James P. Warmington, joined the family business. At this time, the company was building in many locations and had begun to successfully build and sell “Townhouse” projects, rounding out its product line and paving the way for much of its future building. “When my father started with the company, he had a good understanding of the business from a technical and construction standpoint; his experience working in the field and remodeling his own home by himself gave him the upper hand. He also believed that the company needed to be more aggressive in its rate of building and
west | corporate profile ushered in a new period of growth that was the company’s greatest expansion,” said Warmington. Broadening its presence throughout California and into the Las Vegas area of Nevada, production and sales reached a new high. At the time, the company was building between 600 and 900 homes a year. Yet, even during these growth years under Jim Sr.’s leadership, Warmington continued its more conservative approach to doing business. This meant no land banking, forming joint venture partnerships, maintaining excellent relationships with its lenders and diversifying, which including the establishment of a commercial property management and mortgage companies, and a design center as well as other affiliate companies. This allowed the company to prosper in good times and survive the tough times as the inevitable down markets that surfaced in more than one cycle. It was during this period that Jim Warmington, Jr. began his professional association with the Warmington group of companies. It was in 1989 while he was still MIL1609A_8813.qxd:Layout 1 10/7/09 a college student that he began working summers as an assistant superintendent/ assistant project manager at the group’s residential housing tracts. But, it wasn’t until a year after graduating from Stanford University with degrees in economics and classical studies in 1993, that he began full-time employment starting out as a
superintendent. He spent the interim in Idaho where he taught 7th grade algebra and raced snowboards competitively. When he eventually moved to San Francisco in order to windsurf, he realized he had a unique opportunity to go to work full time for the family business as assistant superintendent in Warmington’s Bay Area division and still pursue his passion of windsurfing. “I could work from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then windsurf from 3 to 6 p.m. “At the time, it was a dream come true!” What he didn’t anticipate was how much he would enjoy building houses, working for the family business, becoming a part of an important legacy, and legitimizing his heritage. “It ignited my interest in homebuilding and really stirred something in me,” he says. “I knew then that I want to make my own contribution to the Warmington legacy, and be a part of the fourth generation to lead my family’s business.” In the years preceding his appointment to executive vice president and then president and CEO in 2008, Jim 3:10 PM Page 1 Warmington Jr. relocated to the company’s corporate headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and immersed himself in many of the company’s operations serving as financial analyst, project manager and land acquisition manager before his promotion to senior vice president of land acquisition where he spent four
years prior to becoming an executive vice president. With his father serving as a mentor and trusted adviser, Jim Warmington Jr., took over the day-to-day operations in the midst of the perhaps the company’s most challenging period. The height of the company’s growth had been in 2005 with 1,224 closings representing nearly 700 million in sales revenue. By the end of 2008, Warmington was reporting half as many closings and sales revenue too had fallen by half. Projections for 2009 are less than half of that. The downturn we experienced during this time is widely considered to be the worst since the great depression and housing was at its core. Sales prices and volume sank precipitously. As the downturn progressed, Warmington’s homebuilding companies in California and Las Vegas lowered prices at its more than 30 active communities in order to sell and reduce inventory. Warmington stopped buying land and was able to walk away from some option deals. The group has had to eliminate offices and positions. “Fortunately, we didn’t have any massive bond debt or lines of credit, and we realized quickly one of the ways to get through this was to continue to pay off our banks and help them so they would want to lend to us in the future,” Warmington explained. Another boon was that the group had resisted building in outlying areas that
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corporate profile | west
were considered marginal in the early 2000s when housing prices were on an astronomical climb. “Our market research told us that ultimately the demographics in these areas could not support the level of housing permits and pricing we were seeing. Yet, as other builders rushed in, we did consider the viability of these locations before determining that the risk was too great,” he noted. Instead, focus was placed on improving processes, working through existing inventory, and planning for the next phase of business. Today, with 90 percent of those 30 communities sold and closed, Warmington is working through the last of its problem assets and has again expanded its services to include an impressive level of fee management work, in addition to some existing and future partnership deals. Currently, the Warmington group of companies is managing, building and selling more than 600 homes within five locations for Irvine-based TriPacific Capital Advisors. Further, the company is analyzing REO portfolios for three institutional lenders and providing asset management services. This is in addition to 34 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
three existing partnership deals, and at least two that are slated to open for sales in the first quarter of 2010. In the Las Vegas area, Warmington also has recently acquired land upon which it will build and lease four separate apartment communities, accounting for nearly 1,000 for-rent residential units. While new land deals that make financial sense are harder to come by these days, Warmington has had some early success and has gone back to the drawing board on at least one property in its portfolio. In the thick of the downturn, prices for the homes in this particular community had fallen by so much, it made more sense to close it down and sell the models, and ultimately the remaining lots. Now however, with signs of life reemerging, Warmington has “reloaded” this project by designing a smaller and more cost efficient product and plans to bring it to market in the coming months. Other properties that will come on-line in 2010 have been in the pipeline for some time as Warmington has worked through financing and entitlement issues. The group also is aggressively pursuing new joint venture partnership deals, but is analyzing the margins carefully and is obviously more risk
west | corporate profile
adverse. The group is attempting to avoid future losses as it seeks to regain its financial strength, looks forward to the end of this down cycle and the return of more stability in the market. Today the bulk of new homes that the company will build and sell in the coming year represent fee management deals, and this is an area that Warmington believes is vital to its business plan. “We are well positioned to help banks work through their troubled assets,” Warmington said. “In past downturns, we have very successfully worked with banks and savings and loan organizations managing, building and selling foreclosed properties as well as providing due diligence analysis and asset management services.” Warmington emphasized that currently, with so many troubled assets comprising banks portfolios and a strong desire to restore the housing market, it is in the best interest of all parties to work through these properties quickly, and because of its available resources, expertise, and experience, Warmington has secured an impressive amount of fee management work and is seeking more of these opportunities.
“We view this as a classic ‘win-win’ situation,” he said. “The banks can move these properties and clear their portfolios, and we get to build houses, cover our overhead and keep our employees working.” This kind of practical thinking, industrious work ethic and ability to be flexible has positioned the Warmington group of companies as one of California’s longest continuously operating and most trusted homebuilding companies. Conservative, yet smart, and financially savvy, the group has been able to weather the real estate industry’s cycle storms for more than 80 years. From great depression to great recession, the Warmington group of companies seemingly has come full circle. Through four generations, the group has stood as testament to the benefits of adhering to its principles of honesty, integrity and high quality. For his part, Jim Warmington, Jr. relishes the dayto-day business of his family’s company – the rewards and challenges alike. And occasionally, he still find the time to do some windsurfing and snowboarding, although no longer competitively. CLT Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 35
features | green building
Landmark Study Finds Increased Productivity, Lower Vacancy and Higher Rents in Green Buildings
A landmark study conducted by the University of San Diego and CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) has found that tenants in green buildings experience increased productivity and fewer sick days, and that green buildings have lower vacancy and higher rental rates. The report, Do Green Buildings Make Dollars and Sense?, is the product of a year-long research effort and is the largest study of its kind to date. 36 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
The research was overseen by Dr. Norm Miller, academic director and professor at the University of San Diego’s BurnhamMoores Center for Real Estate and was conducted in collaboration with CBRE’s national director of sustainability, Dave Pogue, and Ray Wong, CBRE’s director of Americas research. The report’s preliminary findings will be made public on Friday (November 13) at the annual Greenbuild Conference in Phoenix and
the full study is expected to be published later this year. Additionally, the research found that tenants in green buildings are more productive, based on two measures: the average number of tenant sick days and the self-reported productivity change. Respondents reported an average of 2.88 fewer sick days in their current green office versus their previous non-green office, and about 55% of respondents
green building | features
indicated that employee productivity had improved. Based on the average tenant salary, an office space of 250 square feet per worker and 250 workdays a year, the decrease in sick days translated into a net impact of nearly $5.00 per square foot occupied, and the increase in productivity translated into a net impact of about $20 per square foot occupied. The study additionally showed that green buildings have 3.5% lower vacancy rates and 13% higher rental rates than the market. “The results of this project are beginning to demonstrate the very real and positive impact of sustainable buildings for both our owners and tenant occupants. We have been seeking ways to make an empirical case for the economic benefits of sustainable practices and the results of this study exceeded our expectations,” said Mr. Pogue. The research effort surveyed 154 buildings under CBRE’s management, totaling more than 51.6 million square feet and housing 3,000 tenants in ten markets across the U.S. The study defined a green building as those with LEED certification at any level or those that bear the EPA
ENERGY STAR® label. All of the ENERGY STAR® buildings in the survey group had been awarded that label since 2008. Most of the buildings included in the research had also adopted other sustainable practices like recycling, green cleaning and water conservation. “This is an exciting time for the commercial real estate industry where great values and great investment upgrade opportunities coexist. This window won’t last forever,” said Dr. Miller. “We have now confirmed in this and other studies that green features and energy savings pays off. Tenants care about healthy energy efficient buildings. We also know that green leases and managing to a new and higher standard will soon become the norm. Commercial real estate players have no choice but to learn how to be better in a sustainable way. We know the economics of green will drive the market, not altruism or concern about global warming.” The survey also indicated that 18% of tenants are willing to pay more for green space, and that tenants believe healthy indoor environments positively impact staff retention (61%) and client image
(70%). Additionally, 71% of respondents felt that green lease provisions are increasingly important. According to the study, each additional point of ENERGY STAR® rating saved 0.8-1.0% in electricity and separate metering yielded a 21% energy savings, more than any other factor. These findings are generally consistent with other research on this topic, which has determined buildings with the ENERGY STAR® label, LEED certification or other identified sustainable programs generally perform better. CBRE was recently ranked among Newsweek’s top 50 greenest large companies in America. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named CBRE an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for the past two years, the only commercial real estate services firm so recognized with that award. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded CB Richard Ellis its Leadership Award for Organizational Excellence and the industry group, CoreNet, recognized CBRE with a special commendation for Sustainable Leadership and Design – Development. CLT Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 37
corporate profile | east
Welty Building Corporation bridging the gap between residential and commercial by Joan Tupponce
Don Taylor never questioned his calling once he entered the construction industry. From day one, he focused on moving into a position of leadership. “I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Akron, Ohio,” he explains. “I didn’t know that I was poor growing up but I would look at things I couldn’t have. That motivated me to work harder and smarter and to be successful.” Today, Taylor heads Ohio-based Welty Building Corporation, known as the “go to” contractor for complex projects that stretch the boundaries of design and creativity.
38 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
east | corporate profile
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 39
The University of Akron - New InfoCision Stadium Summa Field Project; photo by Jim Maguire of Maguire Photographics
corporate profile | east
Brouse McDowell Law Office Build Out Café; photo by Jim Maguire of Maguire Photographics
Taylor joined Welty in 1991 after getting a phone call from the company’s owner, Jerry Welty. Jerry’s father, Henry Welty, founded the business in 1945 as The Henry D. Welty Company. A former Industrial Arts teacher, Henry started building homes during the summers and in the evenings while he was teaching. In 1945, he left the field of education to begin a new career. Henry’s custom homes were marketed as Henry Welty-built homes, most were in Cayuga Falls, Ohio. “They had unique features. For example, a space that wasn’t being used would be made into a closet,” Taylor says. “Henry’s work took craftsmanship and imagination. The homes were well built.” Jerry Welty joined the business in 1968, two years before his father retired. As a child growing up, Jerry saw that custom home building was a time consuming venture. “His dad would work all day on the jobs and would be on
the phone at night until 9 p.m. communicating with his subcontractors,” Taylor says. “Jerry felt that type of time commitment wasn’t conducive to family life.” When he took the helm, Jerry decided to move the company from custom home building to commercial construction. He began to ramp up Welty’s commercial business as his father was winding down his residential projects. As business grew, Jerry looked toward the future. He asked Taylor if he would join the company in a leadership role. At the time, Taylor was living in Akron and working at a company in Cleveland. Most days Taylor used his hour-long commute to collect his thoughts or wind down after a long day at work. The day that Jerry called him, Taylor had run into a traffic jam at every turn. “I was so frustrated,” he recalls. “If he had called the day before, I would not have been interested because his
40 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
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east | corporate profile
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corporate profile | east firm was so small. But, it was closer to where I live so I thought I should talk to him. I believe it was divine intervention.” After talking with Jerry, Taylor realized that the 67-year-old head of the company where he was working had not started planning for retirement. “Jerry was 52 and he was planning for his succession,” he says. It was that potential opportunity to own the business that lured Taylor into the Welty fold. He went on to become President in 1996. He bought the company in 1999. Taylor made it his goal to learn the business from top to bottom. “Jerry will tell you I was consistent in tugging at the reigns,” he says. The two had different approaches to marketing and leadership. “I was more aggressive. We made a good team.” Under Taylor’s leadership, Welty has experienced unprecedented growth. The company specializes in healthcare, secondary education, public buildings and government contract projects. Areas of expertise also include construction management, financing/leaseback, building maintenance and LEED® certification. Welty’s largest area of expertise is the complex world of healthcare. Many construction companies shy away from taking on a healthcare project but not Taylor, who had worked as an orderly in the emergency room when he was in college. “I was constantly around nurses and doctors and I learned all of the lingo,” he says. “I volunteered for healthcare projects because I was comfortable with the atmosphere. That expertise parlayed into other opportunities. People realized if you could build a hospital, you were qualified for other projects.” Taylor is attracted to unique undertakings. “We like difficult projects that are structurally challenging,” he explains. “If a project is easy to build, we end up watching it get built. We don’t get involved.” Welty’s most high-profile project to date is Inventure Place – the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron. The 77,000-squarefoot museum has five levels of tiers that sit beneath a 70-foot stainless steel sail. “It was like building in a fishbowl,” observes Taylor. “President Bill Clinton visited the job and several members of his cabinet visited.” The design was just what Welty likes – distinctive. “We had challenges at every possible level,” recalls Taylor. “It felt good to finish it on budget and on schedule.” Welty recently finished The University of Akron Infocision Stadium and Summa 42 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
east | corporate profile
First Energy Corp. - West Akron Campus Lobby; photo by Jim Maguire of Maguire Photographics Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 43
corporate profile | east
Crystal, Roof Cloud and Gallery Box at dusk, Akron Art Museum Expansion Project; photo by Roland Halbe Fotografie
Field in Akron. The $65 million project was the company’s largest in dollar value and size, 400,000 square feet. The school held its first game on the field on Sept. 12 . “When we signed into the contract, the first game was Sept. 19. Two-thirds of the way through the schedule we found out the game was a week earlier so we had to get the construction done,” Taylor says. “It 44 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
took us 19 months, from start to finish.” Welty’s first LEED® accredited project was the Akron Zoological park’s Komodo Kingdom. “It all fit with the theme of conservation for animals and endangered species,” Taylor says. The project was the first LEED certified project in the state and only the second LEED certified zoo in the country.
“LEED has become more important,” observes Taylor. “We are starting to get into government contracts and LEED is almost a daily conversation. I think we’re going to see more and more of these projects.” In addition to Ohio, Welty now does business in Indiana, Tennessee and North Carolina. The company has 78
east | corporate profile
Akron Area YMCA - New Lake Anna YMCA Community Center; photo by Jim Maguire of Maguire Photographics
employees and $130 million equivalent construction dollars in place per year. Taylor attributes Welty’s success in the industry to his employees. “I could give my business plan to somebody else and they couldn’t pull it off,” he says. “They wouldn’t have the same people or the same culture.” Welty’s culture is one of accountability. “We don’t let people fail but we give them opportunities that will challenge them,” Taylor says. “You have to be willing to forgive when there are mistakes made for the right reasons.” The company has recently opened an office in Raleigh, N.C. Taylor chose that area after an extensive study that looked at a variety of factors. “We started filtering out markets that we didn’t feel we could compete in,” he says. Tier One markets such as Chicago and Atlanta
already had strong competition. “They were so entrenched that we couldn’t make a difference.” Taylor wanted Welty to get into a Tier Three market that had the potential to grow into a Tier Two market. “We looked at healthcare and education production and Raleigh turned up to be number one,” he said. “It’s the place we wanted to go.” When he was looking for a president for that stand-alone operation, Taylor found someone who had grown a business in that market. “We are blessed to have him on our team,” he says. Looking to the future, Welty is concentrating on growing its North Carolina operation and working on some upcoming $100 million and $200 million projects. “We’re making a quantum leap,” Taylor says. “We will be able to
apply the processes and philosophies that have made us successful to much larger, more complicated projects.” The company’s biggest challenge, he believes, is managing growth. Welty has doubled its size twice since Taylor bought the firm in 1999. “Most of what we have done is oriented toward growth. We have positioned ourselves to see significant growth in the next two to three years. We will probably double the size of the firm again.” While there are no immediate plans to open more offices outside of Ohio, Taylor is hopeful the company’s geographic boundaries will expand over time. “If I can figure out how to manage a separate division located away from headquarters, I could see four or five of those in the future. First, however, I’m going to focus on making one successful and then look at things after that.” CLT Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 45
corporate profile | east
Paradigm Builds Itself Up to Penthouse Status
Since 1991, Paradigm Construction Co. has been a leader in multifamily, residential properties in the Washington, D.C., and mid-Atlantic regions. It has a hard-to-beat resume with more than 8,000 urban, high-rise residential apartments and condominiums under its tool belt. by Rebecca Rodriguez
46 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
east | corporate profile
n May 2008, Paradigm completed the Highland Park Apartments in Washington, D.C., featuring seven stories, 229 condominiums, 16,000 sq. ft. of retail space and three levels of underground parking. The Kenyon Square Condominiums, also in Washington D.C., were completed in February 2008. It is seven stories high, and features 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and three levels of underground parking. “We specialize in multi-family construction,” said Michael Foster, president of Paradigm Construction Co. “We are noted in the Washington metro area for being at the top.” Paradigm is comprised of separate development, construction, and property management companies. It offers a full-range of real estate services to residents, customers, and clients. Many projects have been done with ventures from pension funds, landowners, and local governments. Paradigm Construction Co. acts as a general contractor in the construction of apartment and condominium projects for both Paradigm Development Company and third party owners. Paradigm undertakes $100 million per year in general contracting and construction management work of which approximately 30% is Paradigm Development affiliated. Founder and CEO of all three companies, Stanley Sloter,
has said Paradigm’s reputation is built on its ability to design complex residential properties and complete projects within budget. The company’s focus on producing quality housing has shifted to entail green building practices. “We’re one of the leaders of green building. We only do certified, multi-family green building here in Arlington,” said Foster. “Everything is lead silver certified.” “We’re in a position of leadership in the industry regarding efficient design, green building technology, and the integration of affordable housing into market-rate residential locations,” the company’s website states. Paradigm Management Company oversees the operation of over 7,500, luxury garden and high density apartments, including 1,500 affordable units. The majority of these are located in mixed-income developments. Managing primarily Paradigm-developed projects, Paradigm’s management division is an industry leader in residents’ services. It develops systems for quality reporting to institutional investors, and in preserving and maximizing asset value through day to day operations for owners. Sloter graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry-Management and received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to initiating a career in development, Sloter’s background was in construction lending with Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 47
corporate profile | east
RSON CO E D N
48 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
One of the reasons for the company’s ability to handle large-scale projects and for its success in the field, is its staff. They all have degrees in engineering or construction management and are in line with company beliefs. “We look for people with integrity and who are honest, hardworking people,” Foster said. Paradigm is a member of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc., (ABC) and conduct seminars for ongoing employee training. They have also hired people to come in and conduct presentations on certain topics, Foster said. For Paradigm, quality is something that starts from the tiniest detail and runs through all avenues of the company. Each aspect is dependent on the other and that’s how Paradigm strives to deliver the highest-quality projects. CLT
Pittsburgh National Bank. The company has 80 employees and annual revenue of $170 million. It was formed when Foster and other partners purchased the national development Washington, D.C. branch and also formed Paradigm Construction in 1992. Foster said the long-term prospects of the company are problematic due to the trouble with finding financing. “Our near prospects are not good,” Foster said. “We have been working hard and diligently to pursue projects and we can’t get third parties to agree.” Foster explained that 75 percent of their work comes from other developers and those developers are finding it hard to get financing from the banks. “The banks have got to start lending money,” he said. Some developers working with Paradigm are using U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) financing, some are putting in other equity, and others are thinking of waiting 18 months before breaking ground. “I don’t see us starting new projects until 2010,” he said. “We have about 65 million in backlog and most of these projects take 18-24 months.” It’s a tough situation unless developers can get projects financed. And outbidding has been an obstacle for Paradigm. “We are outbidding,” Foster said. “But when you get 40 bidders that are in a lot less shape, they are taking projects and taking no money. We are not going to do business that way.” When it comes to supply-chain management, Paradigm has a “whole laundry list” of suppliers, Foster said, explaining that the company sticks to subcontractors they’ve done business with before. The company’s largest project was a $65 million high rise in Carlisle, Pa. It was completed in 2005.
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east | corporate profile Springfield
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corporate profile | south
2009 Holiday Safety Campaign Encourages
Th e Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has announced the launch of its annual holiday safety awareness campaign. This year’s campaign, Make Safety a Tradition, encourages people to make safety awareness a regular part of their holiday plans each year. The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but the decorative displays and home cooked meals that add to the ambiance also increase the risk of residential fires. An increase in indoor activities during the holidays combined with the craziness of shopping, entertaining and cooking for family and friends causes many to forget basic safety. “For millions of people, the holiday season is a time to reflect on family traditions that have shaped our holiday memories and 50 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
celebrations s i n c e childhood,” said ESFI president Brett Brenner. “This year, ESFI and The Home Depot invite families everywhere to introduce a new tradition – a tradition of safety – that will help protect homes and families while creating an opportunity to spend extra time with loved ones and reinforce safety-minded behaviors year after year.” ESFI's annual holiday safety campaign provides information and resources to help increase awareness of holiday electrical safety and keep communities safe this season. Resources created for this campaign include news releases, safety tips, fact sheets, broadcast public service announcements, and b-roll footage. For more information about how you can Make Safety a
south | corporate profile
Consumers to Make Safety a Tradition
Tradition, visit www. holidaysafety.org, the Electrical Safety Foundation Internationalâ€™s holiday safety campaign Web site. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. ESFI is a 501(c) (3) organization funded by electrical manufacturers, distributors, trade and labor associations, independent testing laboratories, utilities, and safety and consumer organizations. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities. To learn more about ESFI, visit www. electrical-safety.org. CLT
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 51
corporate profile | midwest
Sioux Falls Co. Soars
by Rebecca Rodriguez
Dave Fleck, president of Sioux Falls Construction Co., Inc., is proud that his company has been around for 100 years. And as much as the company stretches back in time, Fleck is stretching it forward with projects that are state-of-the-art and use the latest green-building technology. The company has an impressive website that features a web cam allowing visitors to view a job site at any time – a jolting reminder of how the company and technology has transformed through the decades. Fleck explained that customers can now view projects in real time, panning in different directions and zooming in or out. It is a quick and convenient way to keep customers abreast of progress. Customer satisfaction - getting a project done on time and within budget – is the primary goal of his company. Smaller components of customer satisfaction are tools like the interactive website. Fleck’s company completes a wide range of projects, including facilities, sports stadiums, and highway work. It has constructed many of the medical facilities and churches in Sioux Falls, S.D., and areas in surrounding states. During the past 15 years an increase in volume of projects has kept Fleck’s company within a 150 mile radius of Sioux Falls. But now the company is venturing farther out to places like North Dakota, eastern 52 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
midwest | corporate profile
Through the Times
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 53
corporate profile | midwest
GEOTEK ENGINEERING & TESTING SERVICES, INC. Resources for Design & Construction
909 East 50 Street North Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 P: 605-335-5512 F: 605-335-0773 1-800-354-5512 www.geotekeng.com
Serving You For Over 24 Years
Automatic Building Controls, Inc PROFESSIONAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Authorized Professional Fire Alarm Systems
• • • •
Maintain, Service & Monitor All Fire Alarm Brands Professional Fire Alarm Testing and Inspections Clock Systems • Nurse Call • Access Control Security • Cameras/CCTV • Intercom • Batteries
• Maintain, Service & Monitor All Distributor Fire Alarm Brands • Professional Fire 24 Hour Emergency Service 25764 465 Ave Alarm Testing and Inspections •Hartford, ClockSD www.abcsd.com Automatic Building Controls, Inc 605-528-6483 Systems • Nurse Call PROFESSIONAL ALARM SYSTEMS Authorized • AccessFIRE Control • Security • Maintain, Service & Monitor All Fire Alarm Brands • Cameras/CCTV • Intercom • Professional Fire Alarm Testing and Inspections • Clock Systems • Nurse•Call • Access Control Distributor Batteries • Security • Cameras/CCTV • Intercom • Batteries 24 HourSIEMENS Emergency Service
25764 465 Ave Hartford, SD www.abcsd.com
605-528-6483 Certified Advanced Partner Building Technologies Fire Safety
24 Hour Emergency Service Geotechnical Engineering · Construction Materials/NDT Environmental · Indoor Air Quality/Industrial Hygiene
605-528-6438 4300 W 61st St N • Sioux Falls, SD • www.abcsd.com
54 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
midwest | corporate profile Minnesota, and northwest Iowa. Before Sioux Falls boomed, Fleck’s company was completing projects 300 to 400 miles out. Now the company is growing strong enough to venture out again, he said. The company’s current major project is the Avera McKennan Cancer Institute, the largest private project built in Sioux Falls history. The building facilities will offer the latest technology in cancer treatment with an eight operating room, state-of-the-art outpatient surgical center. The building shell will be more than 260,000 sq. ft. and is slated for completion in the fall of 2010. The building is being constructed with 1,900 tons of structural steel, 1,100 tons of reinforcing steel, and 14,000 cubic yards of concrete. “The healthcare market is expected to move foreword,” Fleck said, explaining that the aging baby boomers are causing hospitals, clinics, and medical office buildings to expand. The owners of the Avera facility are repeat customers for Fleck. “We get a lot of repeat work,” Fleck said. “We are focused on customer satisfaction. We deliver on time and on the budget the owner has set up.” Fleck said the past five to seven years have been medical and church work. The company has had three church jobs every year for the past seven years. But they are not the only projects Sioux Falls Construction
has tackled. The Augustana Kirkeby-Over football stadium with a recessed all-weather playing field can be viewed on the company’s website, www.sfconst.com, as a slideshow presentation. Also on the company’s website is an interactive timeline of the history of Sioux Falls, including a interesting tidbit that President Theodore Roosevelt visited Sioux Falls the same year the company got started. “We use the website as a marketing tool,” Fleck said. We refer people to our website.” Web site tools are not the only things that Fleck is doing to keep the company forward-thinking. Nearly every project Fleck begins now is “green.” There is a three-tiered rating system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for building projects. Fleck said his company is aiming for the highest rating with the Avera cancer center. It can be difficult to make the commitment to build green, Fleck said. “The up front costs are higher for green, although over time you save money,” Fleck said. “But sometimes the owner isn’t able to get the financing up front.” Typically, to make a project green, up front costs can range from 1 to 5 percent higher, Fleck said. “I think we all need to be better stewards for our environment.” Fleck believes building green is important despite the pressure put on customers and builders.
Business is strong for Fleck’s company, but not as strong as it could have been if last year’s economic downturn hadn’t hit. “We had been heading toward 100 million,” Fleck said. On average during the past five years, the company’s annual revenue has been between 60 to 75 million. Ten years ago those number were 30 to 50 million. The company’s projected revenue for next year was the upper part of 50 to 75 million, but now it is coming out to be toward the lower range. “It all depends on opportunity. We’d like to grow,” Fleck said. “But if the work isn’t there, we won’t grow. We need the economy to take off.” Going back to 1910, three businessmen started the company, one of which had an affiliation with a company in Chicago. Fleck said he has been researching the beginnings over the company he now presides over. A Frank Boyce from Chicago joined the group in 1915 and worked there for 35 years. Then his son, Leonard Boyce worked from 1949 to 1999. But this family-owned business was cut short when Leonard’s two sons were not interested in running the company. The company was then sold to Fleck and his four other management partners. The company has 12 stock holders. For a company with so much history, Fleck is forging ahead setting his own tone. One of success and quality. CLT
SPLITROCK LANDSCAPING & NURSERY, INC SINCE 1970
47975 259th ST. Brandon, SD 57005
Builder’s Hardware – Hollow Metal Doors & Frames Wood Doors – Washroom Equipment Folding Partitions and Grilles
Choose a professional. It costs lest.
Specialists in commercial and industrial roofing. A tradition since 1912. 1008 W. Delaware St. – Sioux Falls, SD 57104 Ph: 605.332.0886 – Fax: 605.332.3162 – www.mjdalsinroofing.com
www.buildersupply.biz 3501 N. Lewis Avenue – Sioux Falls, SD 57104 Telephone: 605-336-2790 – Fax: (605) 336-0151 Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 55
corporate profile | midwest
Serving the Sioux Empire area since 1971
Walt Freiberg, Owner Joe Hickman, Estimator/Project Manager 605-368-2148 â€œCustomer focused - Quality assuredâ€? 56 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
midwest | corporate profile
Get a “HANDER” on it!
Hander Inc. Plumbing & Heating
Sales – Installation – Renovation – Service – Repair South Dakota’s source for specialty building products Our Products Seating and Auditorium Equipment Gymnasium Equipment Lockers and Storage Solutions Doors and Movable Walls Classroom Fixtures Washroom Fixtures and Accessories Cafeteria Equipment Safety Equipment Display Solutions
The best since 1973. 2407 W. 5th St | Sioux Falls, SD, 57104 Phone: 605.339.9633 | Fax: 605.339.9018 www.hander.com | email@example.com
516 N. Garfield Circle | Sioux Falls, SD 57104 Phone: (605) 331-6904 | Fax: (605) 331-6913 www.combinedbuilding.com | firstname.lastname@example.org Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 57
corporate profile | midwest ARCHITECTURAL ROOFING & SHEETMETAL, INC. ROOFING AND SHEET METAL CONTRACTOR
Daryl & Dianne Drew 1010 S. Commerce Ave. PO Box 39 Sioux Falls, SD 57101 Bus.: (605) 332 332--1698 Fax.: (605) 336 336--7696
Sheet Metal Roof Systems General Sheet Metal Roof Inspections Roof Repairs Single Ply Roofing Historical Restoration
Minneapolis, MN 15924 Lincoln Street NE Ham Lake, MN 55304 763.434.4637 www.cecoconcrete.com
Complete Concrete Forming Services
L L Insulation, Inc.
SIOUX FALLS, SD • 605-331-6910 WWW.DARENCONSTRUCTION.COM
Steve Venteicher Specializing in Mechanical Insulation Asbestos/Lead/Mold Abatement P.O. Box 1258, Rapid City, South Dakota 57709 Phone 605-348-4012 • FAX 605-343-0936
1404 “C” Avenue - Sioux Falls, SD 57104 Our Great Faces Work In Great Places www.dakotastaffing.com • email@example.com
Commercial Glazing - Skylights Windows – Doors – Mirrors Custom Tub & Shower Enclosures
Ph: (605) 335-5853 | Fx: (605) 357-8863 58 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
Overhead Door Co of Sioux Falls, Inc. 605-336-6030 | www.overheaddoorsd.com.
midwest | corporate profile
The up front costs are higher for green, although over time you save money. But sometimes the owner isnâ€™t able to get the financing up front. I think we all need to be better stewards for our environment. Dave Fleck, president of Sioux Falls Construction Co., Inc.,
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 59
corporate profile | midwest
rilling eep: the
Tri-State Way As a Navy man, Bob Melcher landed in Guam on VJ Day. It was good timing. And timing is something Melcher, CEO of Tri-State Drilling, knows all about. Melcher and three partners began the company in 1955, just as the drilling business was ready for the type of innovations his company would soon develop. Beginning in the 1960s, the company shifted to water removal drilling, then developed ways to maintain wet holes and install foundations in wet soil. The company has always specialized in meeting construction schedules by rapid mobilization and committed productivity. “The secret of our success is we have the ability to move all of our tools and machinery from one place to another, rapidly,” Melcher said. The drill rigs are purchased with mobility in mind. The company uses either truckmounted or track-mounted drill rigs that assemble in one hour: a great benefit when working on projects that run tens if not hundreds of miles. Their mobility is something that makes the company sought after throughout the entire U.S. In fact, the only contiguous state the company has not worked in is New Mexico; although company president Jim Melcher isn’t preoccupied with courting it. “I’ve got the license, so we’re ready. Just give us a call, New Mexico,” he said with a chuckle. Jim Melcher, like his father Bob, is proud that the family business is in its secondgeneration. One son from each of the original three founders currently heads the company, with Jim in charge. Bob remains 60 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
By Rebecca Rodriguez
Tri-State crews are specialists in large-diameter foundations in fluid soil conditions
midwest | corporate profile
CEO while providing wisdom and wit. “We were in the well-drilling business and then we got mad at the boss and started Tri-State,” Bob said with a hearty laugh. The company’s main offerings are power line and cell phone foundations, bridges, and buildings primarily for power line contractors throughout the country. It specializes in handling hard-rock and low-overhead drilling, as well as swamp access. The company’s long reach is one of the main elements that have made it the leading contractor across the nation for drilling electrical transmission line foundations. Melcher is proud to say the company works anywhere from Alaska
to Key West. Tri-State’s largest project in its 53-year history was recently completed after three years and 160,000 man hours. The 220-mile long, 345kV line runs from the Weston Power Plant near Wausau, Wis., to the Arrowhead substation in Duluth, Minn. The company’s biggest challenge for this American Transmission Company (ATC) project was the environmental obstacles it needed to maneuver. Tri-State used 30,000 mats to comply with a mandate that protects swampland. Portions of the project faced radical opposition due to environmental sensitivities. Near the end of the project, seventeen “bottle bombs” were
corporate profile | midwest found at seven foundation locations. If exploded, the bombs would have given off ammonia gas and caused severe burns. No arrests were ever made. Tri-State worked hard to adhere to the environmental guidelines and deliver what they signed on for. “When real tough environmental requirements are brought in, then that requires adjustment. You can’t pull one over on the customer,” Jim said. “It requires maturity and intelligence and that’s built into our company.” Yet another daunting obstacle to the project was the granite bedrock that needed to be blasted. But even when the granite was broken into boulders, it was still difficult to excavate. “At first it looked almost impossible,” Jim said. “But breaking down the worst case scenario led us down a path to some solutions.” Those solutions involved everything from changing the size and alignment of drilling teeth on the rock tools they build for themselves, to finding vendors whose tools give certain advantages in hard rock of specific qualities. “Not every tool works everywhere. The trick in rock drilling sometimes is adapting the tool to the geology,” Jim says. The company’s other recently-completed project faced some extremely difficult hard-rock drilling, perhaps even more than the Wisconsin Arrowhead job.
A project for Northeast Utilities in Connecticut comprised of 37 miles of 230 and 345kV. “The rock we drilled out there was some of the hardest we’ve ever drilled,” Jim said of the Middletown-Norwalk project. “We thought Arrowhead [Wisconsin] was hard, but we found some harder rock in Connecticut,” Jim said. “But it’s the tough jobs that are most attractive.” “When you’re in a business that has plentiful competition, you may wind up getting only tough jobs,” Jim said. “We don’t always even bid the ‘easy’ jobs. The higher margins on the tougher projects are justified by the risks involved in developing solutions to the tougher drilling problems. When a given solution becomes a market commodity, we tend to move on to the challenges that require the level of innovation that has become habitual to our people. We just don’t know any other way to work.” Margins are even more of a factor because of the economy and Jim sees 2010 being a rough year as well. But he projects that 2011 and beyond will be strong. Looking five years down the road, Jim said he foresees the company either staying at its current size or growing. Bob Melcher stressed that growth would never mean a compromise on quality. “We don’t intend to grow any faster than being able to do the best job possible,” Bob said. “If we can’t staff a project and do an
A-plus job then we’re not going to grow to do a B-minus job. Growth isn’t more important to us than doing a first class job for the people we work for.” His son calls this “the Tri-State Way.” The company has annual revenue of $40 million and currently staffs 95 employees, some of whom have worked with Tri-state for as long as 40 years. This family business treats all of its employees like their own, flying them home on weekends so that they have a family life as well as a working life, Bob said. While guaranteeing a family life, Tri-State is also working toward guaranteeing an injury-free work environment. “We have a director of safety that circulates amongst our crew wherever they’re at,” said Bob. “We work safely from the top down, assuring that everyone is able to go home at the end of the day or week.” While the company used to host yearly safety meetings, it now additionally conducts daily “tool box talks.” Keeping equipment safe is a big part of the equation as well. “We’re always working to make them [machinery] operable, efficient, and as much like new as possible.” Tri-state works to make employees safe and happy, just as it works hard to provide the best quality services to customers. And with all this going for it, there’s no need to drill for more. CLT
Tri-State’s transmission line foundation crews assure precise placement of anchor bolts on a project in Modesto, CA. 62 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
midwest | corporate profile
MDRM Industries, Inc. specializes in caisson fabrication for transmission line foundations, along with all other rebar applications, including substations and windmill foundations. MDRM works throughout the United States, either on site, or we can prefabricate smaller caissons and truck them to any location. Our custom crush cage design makes our caissons virtually indestructible and safe to handle. MDRM takes pride in paying particular attention to safety and customer service, and has had the pleasure of working with Tri-State Drilling, as well as other contractors, on numerous projects.
Michael Rivette, President PO Box 624 • Long Lake, New York 12847 Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today (O) 518.624.2286 • (C) 518.421.7914 • (F) 518.624.2296 • firstname.lastname@example.org
corporate profile | midwest
Strong Work, Strong Punch by Rebecca Rodriguez
Pacific Central Steel has a lot of muscle for a small company. “We’re not as big, but we’re just as good as any of them,” Ron Piccolo, president of Pacific Steel, said about the competition Piccolo has bid successfully against large companies like The Industrial Company (TIC) in Steamboat Springs, Colo. It is not intimidated by the competition and is known countrywide for its reliability and quality work. This resonates with customers. His business is strong and he’s keeping up with the big guys. The company focuses on welding repair, structural steel erection, and fabricated structural metal manufacturing. It has a diverse offering which makes its stature in the business even stronger. Piccolo completes projects for some top companies, including Energy Solutions and Headwaters Inc. in Utah, as well as Peabody Energy, the world’s 64 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
midwest | corporate profile
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 65
corporate profile | midwest largest private-sector coal company. His customers return after they’ve been pleased with completed jobs. New business is gained by word of mouth. “We’ve built up a reputation,” Piccolo said. “We do what we say we’re going to do and we’re a fair-priced contractor.” Since Pacific Central Steel is located in Price, Utah, it has a strategic location for mining that carries it through a line-up of states, including Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Impressively, it also has the reach to work anywhere in the country. After the company developed its first landfill in Carbon County, Utah, in 1996, it started acquiring more construction licenses and currently has forty-seven nationwide. Piccolo stressed that it is unusual for a company his size to be able to stretch across the country. Pacific Central Steel had 14 projects throughout the country last year, including West Virginia and Kentucky. The financial state of the nation has taken its toll on business. Projects for 2009 have been slow to appear with the rough economy. The big companies Pacific Central Steel deals with have put some projects on the back burner and Piccolo is hoping they will come to fruition in 2010. He had 130 employees at this time last year and now has fifty. Lay-offs were unfortunately necessary, he said. The company pulled in about $15 million in revenues last year and is currently looking at about $7 to $8 million. “We’re down about fifty percent,” Piccolo said “ We’re making it through this tough economy as well as can be expected.” Without any debt, Pacific Central Steel is still in the black and its profit margins are in tact. Piccolo is optimistic about the future status of the economy and expects a recovery beginning in early 2010. He is hoping his company will bounce back up into the $15 million bracket. In the next five years he hopes to reach $25 million and would like to stay about that size. Piccolo has been in the business since he was 18 years old and began the company in 1982 when he was twenty-eight. He began modestly, building trailers and hitches in a small welding shop. Then in 1988 he began working independently as a steel fabricator and in mine repair. Today, Piccolo has built his company into a successful business that boasts American Welding Society (AWS) certification and American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) membership. Recently, Pacific Central Steel has been working with Intrepid Potash in New Mexico to do rehabilitation work. 66 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
In line with Pacific Steel’s strength by word-of-mouth, an engineer working for Intrepid invited Piccolo to New Mexico. “They needed a contractor and called me,” he said. The rehabilitated mine is 42’ high and sits on structural steel. It involved 3,500’ of piping that connected pumps and instrumentation with 2” to 18” pipes. A project for Peabody took Piccolo to Arizona where he constructed a 36”diameter ball used as a hitch for a trailer. Each trailer could hold 300 tons of coal, the equivalent of what would take three railroad cars to do. Looking into the future, Piccolo said he expects to be completing projects in the West to Midwest in the range of $2.5 to $9 million. Piccolo said he has built a solid reputation for being an expert and dependable contractor.
He visits projects regularly and praises his staff for being some of the most skilled workers in the industry. Customers know they’re in good, strong hands. “They (clients) have a comfortable feeling that they’re getting their money’s worth,” Piccolo said. The company has no marketing program but still has a strong, far reach within the business. A website for the company, www.pacificcentralsteel.com. highlights projects with extensive pictures and descriptions of work. Piccolos strong reach throughout the country has placed his company in a position of power similar to that of bigger companies. It’s a foundation of strength that carries Pacific Central Steel to projects large in scale and far from home. CLT
AFFILIATED STEEL DEALERS, INC. COMPUTER DRAFTING
Detailing structural, misc, plate and take (ASME and API) Software: Asteel (CDS) 3D Modeling, AutoCad 2007
Celebrating 28 years of service.
PH. 801-562-5944 ~ FAX 801-562-5945 E-MAIL ~ ASD@INTEGRA.NET
midwest | corporate profile
P.O. Box 1266, Carlsbad, NM 88221•(575) 234-9905•(575) 234-9907•email@example.com Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 67
corporate profile | midwest
68 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
midwest | corporate profile
Congratulations to Pacific Central Steel from your partners over at Longwall West.
The clients have a comfortable feeling that theyâ€™re getting their moneyâ€™s worth.
Ron Piccolo president of Pacific Central Steel
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 69
news | business
U.S. Home Remodeling Recovery Began in Second Quarter 2009 RemodelorMove.com's U.S. Remodeling Activity Reportâ„˘, a sampling of remodeling permits in the U.S., was issued for the second quarter 2009 today, revealing an increase in remodeling activity in certain regions of the U.S. for the first time in more than a year. According to RemodelorMove. com's Remodeling Activity Report, the value of remodeling projects in the U.S. increased in the second quarter over the first quarter of 2009. The size
of these projects is the most notable change-the average expenditure by homeowners in the sampled regions for permitted remodeling projects was more than 20 percent greater than spent in the same quarter of both 2007 and 2008. The report's authors said, "This increased activity was not surprising, however, as predicted by the Spring 2009 Remodeling Sentiment Report, which reported a 5 percent increase in the number of homeowners who reported they were likely to remodel in the next 12 months." According to research, recent government s t i m u l u s packages, rebates for e n e r g y efficient
70 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
remodels and steep reductions in overall remodeling costs have encouraged many homeowners to begin remodeling projects in the second quarter of 2009 that were previously on hold. According to the report, the Northeast and Southwest regions of the U.S. show the most signs of improvement in remodeling expenditures during the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008. The rest of the country has yet to see much of a recovery, while remodeling in the Southeast remains in decline. The release of R e m o d e l o r M o v e . c o m's forward-looking Remodeling Sentiment Report next month will provide additional insight on the strength and duration of the economic recovery as it relates to the U.S. home remodeling market through the end of 2009 and 2010.
business | news
RemodelOrMove RemodelorMove (www. remodelormove.com) is the online resource for homeowners deciding whether it is best to remodel current homes or to move. In partnership with www. remodelestimates.com, RemodelorMove.com provides information and uniquely accurate cost-comparison calculators, forums, seminars, and advice for homeowners. Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 71
corporate profile | southeast
From One Family to Another
ScotBilt Homes, a family-owned home construction company, meets American housing needs
by Jane Caffrey
ScotBilt homes are backed by the Scott family. This company, developed from the ground up by a husband, wife and son team, now designs and manufactures first and next homes for families across the United States. With a management team that boasts hundreds of years of combined experience and a line of award-winning series homes, ScotBilt Homes, Inc. ensures buyer approval. At the root of customer satisfaction, as well as the company’s philosophy, is extraordinary customer service. This value survives in times of nationwide economic hardship, when the ScotBilt’s product, affordable housing for families across the country, gains increased importance. “Our goal is to build a quality product, and to take care of our dealers and customers. Overall, to make it a family type work environment,” Tom Holland, Vice President of the company, said. The brainchild of one family, Sam and Sherry Scott and their son Greg Scott founded the company in 2004. The first Scott-built home was constructed on July 6 of that year. Sam Scott had been in the housing business for more than forty years, before selling his first company in 1995 and later founding ScotBilt Homes with his family and a highly qualified management team. “We came in and tried to get a niche in the industry,” Greg Scott, President of 72 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
the company, said. “With our management team, we have about 600 years of experience combined. My superintendent has 36 years. My dad started me in the summers when I was twelve, and it was my summer job during high school and college. In turn, I have both of my boys working out here now.” Today, the successful company sees an annual sales revenue of $28,000,000. ScotBilt Homes operates in a number of markets, primarily in the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alabama. The Scotts also recently built a brand new State-of-theArt manufacturing facility in southern Georgia, central to all of the markets that the company serves. With 150,000 square feet of production capacity, the new facility is three times larger than any plant previously built by the company. “It’s the best plant that Mr. Scot has ever built in his lifetime in the manufacturing industry,” Holland said. The factory is one of the largest in the industry, allowing ScotBilt Homes to move ahead as a leader in quality home production. At this new Georgia facility, ScotBilt Homes, Inc. now produces the high quality and low maintenance homes that serve families around the nation. Combining years of
southeast | corporate profile
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 73
corporate profile | southeast experience with youthful creativity, the company offers six award-winning series home designs, with many diverse floor plans to satisfy all homebuyers. The robustly built structures include 2x4 interior walls and 2x6 exterior walls, as well as 8 to 9 foot ceilings, archways, wood supply floors, drywalling, and upgraded insulation. Fresh décor for 2009 features bumped out and cherry-glazed cabinets, floor tiles, formica tops, ceramic edging, and five new wall color choices. The company also has a strong repertoire of vendors, working with the highest quality dealers in the southeastern states. In the future, ScotBilt Homes plans to increasingly implement Green Building characteristics into its housing designs. Yet beyond high quality homes, another characteristic that sets ScotBilt Homes apart is, according to Holland, “The count of our employees. They are more craftsmen than laborers.” The company employees a total of 130 people, who assist in all aspects of home design and manufacture. ScotBilt engineers have designed innovative construction techniques to ensure that homes are built square and straight. Like the experienced management team, the company’s carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and roofers have been working in the industry since the early 1980s. “They have to be there every day, demonstrate quality workmanship, and be a team player,” Scott said of the employees at the company. “I’ve got people who have been working in the industry for 30 years. It’s hard to soar like an eagle if you run with the turkeys.” Having such a talented and devoted staff directly translates into excellent customer service. The company is fully confident in the workmanship of its homes, and stands behind this confidence to ensure the contentment of homebuyers. To prove strong attention and commitment to service, the company offers an exclusive twelve-year limited warranty on the homes, one
74 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
example of its extreme dedication to customer satisfaction. “The warranty service shows that we’re taking care of the product that we build. All of our dealers and customers really appreciate that,” Holland said. The high level of quality presented by ScotBilt Homes—both in service and in product—has not gone unnoticed. The company was recently awarded an important notification from the Department of Homeland Security: ScotBilt Homes will be one of three companies in the United States contracted to construct emergency housing in response to the economic recession and housing crisis. Under contract for a particularly significant project, the company proves that its excellence in production and service persists in times of necessity. Providing people with quality homes during times of need and otherwise, ScotBilt Home exemplifies superior service, from one American family to another.
NAILERS * STAPLERS * FASTENERS
Fastening Solutions, Inc. www.fsiusa.com Customer Service 888-340-6472
southeast | corporate profile
FAB TEC, INC. Manufacturer of Mobile Home Frames Residential and Commercial Frame Component Parts and Accessories Mobile Home Tires and Axles Both New and Used
We utilize state-of-the-art extruders, combined with the newest ultra resins, to consistently produce the most sophisticated and highest quality films. Manufactured / Modular close up film bags stretch film industrial tape lumber cover plytex building wrap
2150 Industrial Blvd.| Douglas, GA 31533 Office: 912-384-3238 | Fax:912-384-8237 | firstname.lastname@example.org
www.qrsfilm.com 13420 Reese Blvd. | Huntersville, NC 28078 PO Box 881 |Davidson, NC 28036 Phone: 704-875-1334 or 800-588-7040 | FAX: 704-875-3936
LaSalle Air Systems A Division of LaSalle Bristol LP
5030 Great Oak Dr, Lakeland, FL 33815 1-800-826-9387 A national industry leader for over 20 years offering efficient solutions to heating and cooling comfort in Factory Built and RV markets utilizing quality components combined with custom engineering and designs.
Exclusive supplier of Knauf ECOSE technology formaldehyde free fiberglass duct board
Value added custom engineering services (AutoCAD & code compliant)
Proprietary grilles, registers, diffusers, duct mastic, and tape products
Energy Star Compliant
Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 75
From the moment your jobs start coming together.
Make Lowe’s your one-stop for affordable tools and materials to support your construction projects. From building materials such as roofing and lumber to stylish finishes such as bath vanities and kitchen countertops, Lowe’s has what you need to bring it all together. For more information, e-mail NationalProgram@Lowes.com.
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southeast | corporate profile
Loyalty and customer service go a long way at McCleskey Mausoleum Construction by Andy Hess
With over 60 years of experience, it’s probable that the beautiful mausoleum at your local cemetery was designed, built and followed through by the McCleskey Mausoleum Construction. Based out of Norcross, Ga. and with branches across the country, McCleskey has seemingly cornered the mausoleum construction market across the country raking in roughly $40 million in annual revenue. McCleskey stresses the importance of meeting the needs of the cemetery industry and building relationships between the company and clients Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 77
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southeast | corporate profile
“based on a respect for them, their budget and their schedule constraints.” Founded in 1961 by Sam McCleskey, the design-build company has been creating mausoleums that their clients want by delivering “quality workmanship and consistently meeting client expectations.” It’s that kind of work ethic that brought project manager Mark Simon to the company 13 years ago. “Our quality is second to none,” Simon said. “We have them calling us. “Most of our customers are repeat customers. We’ve been building continuously on this one property in Englewood since 1991. The longevity of the company has helped us out when it comes to attracting clients. We’ve been around the longest.” During his 13 years, Simon has enjoyed his job as project manager. He finds the work very rewarding at the end of the
day and knows that McCleskey is about creating a work environment with people who know the business. “All of our employees have been around a long time and know the business,” Simon said. “Most of our upper management has been with the company for over 25 years.” “People stay with the company. They treat us very well.” While the work is enjoyable, Simon realizes that it’s still about what the clients want. When it comes to mausoleum building or any other type of memorial, the client looks to McCleskey for their help in designing the best building for their needs said Simon. “It depends on the criteria. What they want to spend, how much money they have budgeted. How many crypts do they want. It comes down to how much they want to spend.”
The clients generally know what they want from McCleskey. “We usually get a conceptual design. And then we take a look at the zoning requirements and what the local governments need from us.” But it’s not all paperwork. The location of the mausoleum will drastically effect the price tag and what the client needs according to Simon. “Location matters as well,” said Simon. “If the building is on the beach instead of Englewood [California] then that’s a totally different demand. The clientele’s demands change.” When he’s not working at McCleskey’s west coast branch, Simon travels around the country managing multiple projects across the United States and has a good number of substitutes in each region if he cannot handle the workload. If McCleskey has to hire outside work, they train and Winter 2009 Construction Leaders Today 79
corporate profile | southeast
80 Construction Leaders Today Winter 2009
southeast | corporate profile he Marble Shop
James a. scarrow President
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“make sure they don’t get complacent.” With the quick turn over rate in technology and building process, one would assume that the art of digging crypts and building mausoleums has change. According to Simon, not much has changed. “The technology for crypt building hasn’t changed,” said Simon. “It’s something that can be taught, but you need a particular set of skills to do it well.” With the recent economic troubles in the United States, McCleskey hasn’t been receiving as many calls largely due to recent trends with cremation burials and the recent economic troubles. “We’ve been slow. There’s been a recent trend of cremation instead of ground burials because it’s expensive to put someone in the ground,” said Simon. “It’s cheaper so that’s not really a surprise given the economic times.”
But Simon is not worried that he will have more projects to manage as we approach the new year. In fact, he’s sure that business will pick up. “I think we’ll be getting more calls during the next year and a half,” said Simon. “Normally, when the economy is down, we’re still doing well, but it’s been slow recently.” Simon is confident because there are few companies that build strictly mausoleums and other memorials in the United States. “We don’t have much competition in the states,” said Simon. “There’s a company in Canada we occasionally compete with, but for the most part it’s just us in the United States. “We’ve been around so long, I don’t think there’s any chance of us losing business. When you have good, quality work and solid communication between you and the client you’ll keep getting phone calls.” CLT
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