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september/october 2010

Sustainable Revolution

The Urban Land Institute discusses the future of community planning

Hope for Public Housing

Boston and Milwaukee are reimagining mixed-income development


HIGH­‑END DESIGN Deluxe custom homes, stores, and offices—and the creative minds behind them

Light fixtures with a sustainable twist

American Spaces

St. Louis’ Citygarden and the MIT Media Lab

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contents FEATURES 58

Sustainable Revolution The Urban Land Institute discusses current trends in land use and development, how the recession will barely slow the sustainability revolution, and how mixed-use developments and retrofitting will change the face of suburbs and cities.


Hope for Public Housing Through a national program known as HOPE VI, which provides funding to redevelop and revitalize public-housing projects for low-income families, Boston and Milwakee have taken an innovative stance on providing public housing for thousands of residents. Both housing authorities have developed eco-friendly projects while also helping tenants interact in their communities.

p. 58 Serving as a guide for land use, the Urban Land Institute offers numerous ways in which to retrofit buildings using sustainable methods. Photo: Environmental Protection Agency.

Niche Resources 16 burns, white & hickton, llc provides first-rate legal representation for a broad range of industries, including construction and architecture, as it mitigates potential legal risks.

18 am shield waterproofing corp. provides interior and exterior waterproofing services with a diverse and award-winning approach that solves various mold and water problems.

20 new jersey door works, inc. is

while maintaining one of the highest safety standards in the industry.

38 lonergan & son inc., an excavation and site-preparation company, does work for many types of development projects, including subdivisions and neighborhoods.

p. 32 ATS Drilling installed 149 shafts over Cedar Creek in Henderson County,Texas, to build its Lake Bridge project for the Texas Department of Transportation.

41 western allied corporation designs, constructs, retrofits, and maintains HVAC systems for a diverse range of industries, from Hollywood studios to office buildings.

one of the most prominent overhead-door and dock companies on the East Coast, and is looking to further build upon its recent growth.

22 sprocket studios specializes in ADA-compliant signs as it focuses on detail-oriented craftsmanship and customer satisfaction.

24 southeast roofing solutions, inc., which is known for its quality roofinstallation and maintenance work in the Southeast, is beginning to install green roofs for its clients.

26 tlcgardens, llc offers complete landscape-design, installation, and consultation services, incorporating eco-friendly concepts and materials into unique, lowmaintenance outdoor spaces.

29 crane rental service inc. specializes in commercial lifting and rigging services for industrial- and mechanicalengineering companies, operating one of the largest crane fleets in the country.

Unique Services 32 ats drilling, lp is a full-service caisson and drilling company that specializes in turnkey bridge foundations, power plants, transmission lines, and more.

34 geotrack, inc. is a pioneering subsurface utility engineering company that skillfully locates and maps underground utilities

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


p. 75

This award-winning Coach store in Tokyo was created by Michael Neumann Architecture, one of the many notable firms featured in “High-End Design.”

Diverse Development 44 coldwell banker commercial mclain real estate has a long-standing reputation for integrity and a forwardthinking focus, serving as Alabama’s leading commercial developer.

46 cameron construction, which works in almost every area of commercial construction in the Intermountain West region, is known for a consistent commitment to both clients and quality.

48 the arnold companies uses its principals’ expertise to expand into highgrowth markets in the construction and property-management fields.

50 csdi construction, inc. is a leader in constructing multifamily apartment buildings, restaurants, and technical schools, and tailors its approach to each client’s goals.

54 the macquesten companies is a woman-owned construction firm that builds and manages sustainable and affordable housing developments throughout New York City.

High-End Design 76 michael neumann architecture, llc, celebrating its 15th anniversary, is renowned for its out-of-the-box retail designs, both nationally and internationally.

82 classic new mexico homes builds adobe-style homes, adding character through unique touches such as built-in window seats, wooden bancos, and specially carved lintels for interior windows and exterior gates.

86 mauck zantzinger & associates, inc., a high-end residential general contractor, gives its utmost to achieve its clients’ visions, no matter how detailed or difficult the artistic demand may be.

92 veverka architects focuses its diverse talents on astute designs of contemporary, streamlined Bay-area homes.

95 fogarty finger, an architecture and design firm focused on both residential and commercial projects, has developed a national reputation for excellence.

6 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

98 magness design has garnered a reputation for an innovative vision coupled with technical proficiency, despite being founded only two years ago.

Community Structures 102 collette contracting inc. has found success in commercial and government construction for more than 30 years, while building a stellar reputation based on safety, quality, and speed.

104 d.a.g. construction co., inc., a general-contracting and constructionmanagement firm, has had a hand in building some of the Midwest’s highest-profile community projects.

106 hahnfeld hoffer stanford, an architectural firm focused on the education sector, takes pride in its practical and innovative approach that has lead to awardwinning designs.

contents 110 jody miller construction inc. is a family-oriented company that completes commercial, industrial, and residential projects throughout the Pacific Northwest.

112 rod cooke construction, inc., a family-run general contractor, prides itself on quality work and gifted employees who build schools, hospitals, parking garages, and much more.

Plus 8 editor’s note 10 american spaces 14 abq building excellence awards call for entries

p. 10 Citygarden is a stunning new addition to St. Louis’ civic and artistic features. The 2.9-acre site is open to the public 365 days a year. Photo: Steve Hall at Hedrich Blessing.

130 materiality

Expert Restoration 116 marco enterprises, inc., a womanowned and -operated construction company, works in high-profile federal agencies on secret and top-secret government buildings.

118 dhi construction co. is a certified general contractor that serves clients throughout the country, offering services in mold remediation and storm recovery.

120 royal contracting specializes in bathroom renovations and remodeling, and prides itself on a high customer-retention rate due to its reliable, high-quality work.

Custom Homes 122 critchfield construction inc., which has a long lineage of building excellence, is working to carry on its legacy by constructing, remodeling, and restoring homes in southwest Pennsylvania.

126 robert a. scott general contracting, a family-run general contractor that serves the Boston suburbs, takes great pride in offering high-quality construction at affordable prices.

128 ej peters construction has garnered a reputation as a prolific builder of fine custom homes, commercial spaces, and residential developments.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


editor’s note


merican Builders Quarterly has always prided itself on the eclectic nature of the building topics we cover. This issue is no different, featuring a vast array of organizations, design firms, and building professionals that all have one thing in common: a passion for what they do. ABQ explores not only the structures that American builders create but also how those structures impact the communities and the individuals that rely upon them.

This issue continues ABQ’s coverage of the work by housing authorities across the country in an effort to rehabilitate and reimagine public-housing development. Thanks to HUD’s national Hope VI program, Milwaukee and Boston have already made great strides in revitalizing their publicly assisted communities (page 64). According to Kate Bennett of the Boston Housing Authority, “there has been an intensive effort to connect residents with services, jobs, transportation, and educational opportunities.” For these housing authorities, urban development means strengthening a community’s mobility, economy, and safety. We spoke with research fellows from the Urban Land Institute who discussed the future of what are now widely referred to as “walkable communities” (page 58). Sustainable urban development is changing the way that Americans approach both transportation and everyday city living. ULI also discussed the growing importance of retrofitting the nation’s office buildings to be energy efficient. “The sustainability revolution is changing how we live in ways no less significant than the Industrial Revolution did,” says Ed McMahon, senior resident fellow for environmental quality at the Urban Land Institute. “It’s about finding better, smarter, and greener ways to live, work, and move around.”

Top:The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee’s Convent Hill project features 12,000 square feet of green-roof space. Middle:The Urban Land Institute’s work for the headquarters ofWallace, Roberts & Todd, LLC provides employees with ample natural light. Photo: Raber Photography. Bottom: Mauck Zantzinger & Associates incorporated a customdesigned Bulthaup kitchen and a heated stone floor into this project. Photo: David Reeve Architectural Photography.

For this issue, we also had the pleasure of working with multiple architecture and interior-design firms that specialize in what is broadly known as “high-end design” (page 75). The builders and architects we feature in this section stand at the top of their fields. Some have decades of experience, others just a few short years. What they all have in common, however, is an eye for detail, which makes their work stand out. “We look hard for the artistic and architectural intent of a project,” says Richard Zantzinger of Mauck Zantzinger & Associates. “It reflects so much of what we really do well.” High-end design is created through just that: a focus on the aesthetic aspects of a construction project, right down to the final custom details. As you continue through this issue of ABQ , we encourage you to draw inspiration from these featured designs and developments, and to think about your own standout building projects. ABQ has always covered builders who embody excellence in their fields, and as we launch our first-ever Building Excellence Awards, we will continue that tradition. I look forward to exploring the best of what the American building community has to offer. As always, we hope the articles in this issue motivate, inform, and inspire your work. Enjoy. Molly Soat Features Editor

8 american builders quarterly september/october 2010





editor-in-chief Christopher Howe

director of editorial research George Bozonelos

bowen, guerrero + howe, llc

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features editor Molly Soat copy editor Michael Danaher correspondents Zach Baliva Daniel Casciato Christopher Cussat Julie Edwards Joyce Finn Karen Gentry Sandra Guy Sheena Harrison Megy Karydes Jennifer Kirkland Jamie Ludwig Laura Williams-Tracy


designer Aaron Lewis photo editor Zach Huelsing associate photo editor Courtney Weber design intern Yeonjae Huh

editorial research managers Anthony D’Amico Gerald Mathews Heather Matson editorial researchers Holly Begle Genevieve Bellon Jime Brock Amy Gaydo Jamie Foley Dan Hopmann Bronwyn Milliken Sean Kasten Ryan Kelly Ellie Kim Will Megson Molly Potnick William Robinson Andrea Sedlay Dane Vanderlaan Allyson Weninger Erin Windle editorial research assistant Adam Castillo

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controller Andrea DeMarte accounting assistant Anya Hostetler circulation manager Lee Posey assistant to the publisher Brittany Miranda executive assistant Katherine Lazaroff

sales managers Desmond Chester Stacy Kraft Krista Lane Williams sales representatives James Ainscough Blake Burkhart Gavin Coll Mike DiGiovanni Andrew Dimit Chuck Finney Scott Hara Michelle Harris Justin Joseph Rebekah Mayer Christopher Miller Colleen Wall Brendan Wittry Daniel Zierk senior account manager Cheyenne Eiswald account managers Kimberly Callanta Lindsay Davis Megan Hamlin Amy Lara

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american spaces

citygarden Citygarden is a 2.9-acre sculpture park located on two blocks of downtown St. Louis’ central corridor known as the Gateway Mall. Funded by the local Gateway Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the arts throughout St. Louis, Citygarden is a hybrid of urban park, sculpture garden, and community gathering space. Within walking distance of the famed Gateway Arch, the park has brought tourists, art fans, and residents together with a collection of unique amenities. Designed as a space for everyone, the garden does not have any exterior walls, admission fees, or “do not touch” signs. Citygarden has revitalized downtown St. Louis in a way that will serve as an inspiration for urban planning across the nation. The park is now a major catalyst for development, both cultural and corporate, that will foster economic growth for years to come.

St. Louis, MO

Sculptures abound throughout the park, and the collection of 24 works of art includes modern and contemporary pieces by famed artists like Tony Smith, Jim Dine, Astride Maillol, and Bernar Venet. Left: Untitled (Two Rabbits), 2004,Tom Claassen. Photo: Debbie Franke. 10 american builders quarterly september/october 2010


Citygarden was designed using various sustainable elements. rain gardens absorb and cleanse runoff from the surrounding hardscape and city streets. Inside the park, an eco-friendly café and maintenance building feature green roofs that also minimize runoff and curb energy use. locally sourced materials were used as much as possible in the landscape design. Limestone blocks quarried from just an hour downriver from the city were used to create a serpentine, 550-foot “arc wall” that spans the length of the park.

The landscaping of Citygarden was designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz of Charlottesville, Virginia, and was inspired by Missouri’s famed river systems. Citygarden features a spray plaza, which occupies more than 4,300 square feet of the park, making it one of the largest fountains in the country. It consists of 102 computer-controlled spray nozzles, each outfitted with LED lighting that is illuminated at night. The park also contains a 180-foot rectangular pool that includes a 6-foot waterfall, as well as a 34foot-diameter tilted granite disc that is partly covered by a scrim of water.

Below right: 2 Arcs x 4; 230.5 Degree Arc x5, 1999, BernarVenet. Photo: Steve Hall.

12 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

mit media lab

american spaces

MIT MEDia lab The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, a technology-driven research laboratory and think tank that harbors world-renowned designers, engineers, artists, and scientists, has recently expanded into a new, six-floor facility. Comprised of 163,000 square feet, the MIT Media Lab features seven laboratories, nine conference rooms, a 100-seat theater, and various social, administrative, and exhibition spaces. Located on MIT’s east campus, the new complex (designed by Tokyobased Maki and Associates) looks to serve as a hub for innovations in design, communication systems, and collaborative research. Photos: Andy Ryan. Boston, MA

american builders quarterly september/october 2010



CALL FOR ENTRIES Registration Deadline: January 24, 2011

American Builders Quarterly速 is celebrating the very best in American building and design with the 2011 Building Excellence Awards

APPLY TODAY: The ABQ Building Excellence Awards recognize achievements in architecture, design, and community planning. Winning projects will receive featured coverage in the November/December 2011 issue of American Builders Quarterly速, in addition to prize packages available exclusively to Building Excellence Award winners. For more information, a complete list of categories, and downloadable entry forms, visit:

Eligibility: 1) Projects must have been completed between December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2010. 2) Entries are limited to construction firms headquartered in the United States; however, projects constructed abroad will be considered. Categories: One residential and one commercial project will be designated as the Project of the Year, and awards and honorable mentions will be given in over 15 categories across all residential and commercial building sectors.

niche resources

Co-chairman Mike Cremonese and BWH associate Megan Leham review architectural drawings as part of the firm’s risk-management services. Photo: Ric Evans.

Burns, white & Hickton, llc Diversified law firm mitigates legal risks for construction companies by sheena harrison

at a glance

when it comes to protecting companies in the construction and building-design industries, law firm Burns, White & Hickton, LLC (BWH) works to make sure its clients face as little risk as possible. The firm was founded in 1987 by five partners who shared a philosophy of providing personalized legal services and helping clients solve legal problems in an effective and efficient manner. Since then, the firm has grown to approximately 100 attorneys, with eight offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia, and Delaware.

location: pittsburgh, pa founded: 1987 employees: 236

BWH has a variety of practice groups, including construction, transportation, litigation, long-term care, corporate, Medicare, and workers’ compensation, among others. While the construction group is a significant practice for the firm, BWH has been able to thrive in a tough economy because of its diversified client base, says

Mike Cremonese, co-chairman of the firm’s construction group. “The economy has been in such a state that if you read legal newspapers, you see a lot of firms have been laying off over the last year and a half,” says Cremonese, who joined the firm in 2000. “But we’ve hired new lawyers and opened new offices during that time.” BWH’s construction practice includes seven attorneys handling claims in all of the firm’s coverage areas. The firm has successfully helped to defend and stave off litigation for a wide variety of client projects, including condominium and residential developments, industrial facilities, office buildings, hotels, hospitals, and a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. In these projects, BWH has assisted clients with such services as organizational structure, professional licensure, contract review and negotiation, risk management and conflict avoidance,

16 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

burns, white & hickton, llc niche resources

We certainly pride ourselves in being able to assist clients, from what they do at the beginning of a project, all the way to the end. We help them negotiate fair, reasonable contracts and provide sound risk-management advice. —Mike Cremonese, Co-Chairman

project-claim review and counseling, and mediation and arbitration. Many of the firm’s clients come from wordof-mouth referrals from previous customers who have been satisfied with BWH’s work. “In representing design professionals, I would consider us one of the leading firms in Pennsylvania,” Cremonese adds. While Burns, White & Hickton can work with its clients at any stage of a legal process, Cremonese says the firm emphasizes risk management in order to help clients avoid litigation pitfalls. “We certainly pride ourselves in being able to assist clients, from what they do at the beginning of a project, all the way to the end,” Cremonese says in regard to the firm’s construction and design clients. “We help them negotiate fair, reasonable contracts and provide sound risk-management advice. Both of those are with the explicit mindset of avoiding claims at the end.”

says there may be potential for the firm to continue growing in the near future. “We will look to expand to other geographic regions or open other offices if our clients’ needs dictate that we do,” Cremonese says. “We’re always open to best serving our clients where they need those services provided.” abq



2:41 PM

Page 1

Building productive partnerships with design professionals for more than two decades

The law firm is actively involved in the construction and design industries, since it believes understanding the needs and challenges of its clients allows the firm to provide strong legal representation. Cremonese serves as counsel for the American Institute of Architects in Pittsburgh, for which he often gives presentations. Additionally, BWH regularly speaks at and hosts roundtable discussions with its construction clients, to keep all parties updated on the latest industry trends and issues. “We try really hard to stay at the forefront of changes in the construction industry,” Cremonese says.

Services include: • • • • • •

That attention to detail and its clients’ expectations has allowed BWH to open three new offices in Cleveland, Ohio; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, during the fourth quarter of 2009. Meanwhile, the firm has tripled its number of attorneys in its Philadelphia-area office during the last two and a half years.

• •

As word continues to spread about Burns, White & Hickton’s strength in the legal-services industry, Cremonese

Litigation, Defense, Appeals Professional Licensure Issues Contract Review & Negotiation Risk Management & Conflict Avoidance Project Claim Review & Counseling Formal Protests & Interventions Filed with State Administrative Agencies Business Transactions Alternative Dispute Resolution






niche resources AM Shield’s workers are highly skilled in areas such as sheet-applied membranes, epoxy coatings, air-barrier systems, and more.

AM Shield Waterproofing corp. Multifaceted waterproofer remediates clients’ interiors and exteriors by zach baliva

as homeowners and developers rush to meet the demands of the construction process, and avoid costly overages or delays, waterproofing is often overlooked. Hugo D’Esposito, owner of AM Shield Waterproofing Corp., says the effects of mold in finished spaces are hazardous to both buildings and residents. High moisture levels in improperly sealed structures lead to mold, mildew, poor indoor-air quality, and even concrete failure. at a glance location: albertson, ny founded: 1996 employees: 27 area of specialty: interior and exterior waterproofing

D’Esposito believes in an all-inclusive approach to waterproofing, and his New York-based company provides an array of services, including interior and exterior basement waterproofing, mold remediation, and egress-window installation. Experience with numerous applications, such as liquid- and sheet-applied membranes, sump pumps, drainage systems, dry wells, epoxy coatings, urethane injections, and air-barrier systems, ensures that D’Esposito and his 27 employees can specify and install a waterproofing system appropriate for each client’s individual needs. “We work

with clients to attack or prevent their problem, and will go in, look at what they have, and suggest a plan of action,” he says. At least 75 percent of AM Shield’s business lies in the competitive residential market, where the company sets itself apart with its technical knowledge of exterior foundation coatings in liquid and applied membranes. D’Esposito received OSHA certification in 2004, and he works within codes for excavations during complicated foundation repairs. Since many Long Island properties are more than 60 years old, repairs are common, and AM Shield guarantees its work for 20 years. Embracing emerging technologies, developments, and trends is important for AM Shield because clients are always looking for the most efficient and economic product. For the past three years, D’Esposito has carried indoor-air-barrier systems. The new product is a collection of building assemblies that use airbarrier components to provide continued air tightness

18 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

am shield waterproofing corp. niche resources

We work with clients to attack or prevent their problem and will go in, look at what they have, and suggest a plan of action. —Hugo D’Esposito, Owner

throughout a building. A combination of liquid- and sheet-applied membranes wraps the entire building to eliminate mold and moisture. While traditional buildings use sheet-applied barriers, the alternative approach is increasing in popularity because its green properties allow for energy savings. “Buildings of a certain size are required to use indoor-air-barrier systems in many parts of New England,” D’Esposito explains, adding that he expects the system to take off as more cities adopt similar mandates. AM Shield’s all-encompassing approach was recently on display at St. John’s University, where the company performed complete foundation waterproofing for the college’s new residence building in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York. D’Esposito’s team reviewed the developer’s plan and met with the project manager before ultimately deciding to install spray-applied waterproofing over a 12,000-square-foot area of foundation. The company also supplied and installed an underslab waterproofing with a product called Tremco Paraseal that prevents groundwater from rising through the slab. The project took 16 months to complete, and was performed in several phases. Other notable features of the project include capillary waterproofing in elevator pits, an air and vapor barrier around the building, flashing around windows, and sealing on all areas, as well as waterproofing roofs, decks, and other miscellaneous areas.

in four categories: quality of work, responsiveness, punctuality, and professionalism. D’Esposito and his team are proud to have received the recognition. The company provides free estimates, and works with each client to determine which combination of its services is appropriate in any given space. Part of that superior customer service, he says, is being experienced enough to provide specific and unique solutions to address each client’s demand. abq


NAWSRC is proud to acknowledge A.M. Shield Corporation, an active member of the association.

Almost two-thirds of AM Shield’s clients come to the company as a referral, so D’Esposito works to maintain an active presence in the community. He and his colleagues are members of several Long Island community and trade associations, and they attend many industry trade shows. D’Esposito leads and trains his staff to provide excellent customer service, which has proven very valuable for the firm—the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors gave AM Shield its STAR (Service and Technicians Assessment Report) Award in 2007 and 2008. The award recognizes industry leaders who receive high ratings NAWSRC is evolving. Imagine the day when a healthy basement is a standard, not a luxury.

niche resources

New Jersey Door Works Inc. Expertise and industry know-how lead to sales growth for commercial supplier by daniel casciato

Left: New Jersey DoorWorks’ installations include overhead doors, rolling steel doors, and specialty industrial doors.

Serillo describes the company as a positive, fun, and challenging place to work, which is why it attracts the best, brightest, and most skilled individuals in the door industry today. “We have a lot of superstars here—guys who are really good in their given niche,” he explains. “We’ve collected the best in the business, and we like to hire employees who are considered to be experts in their respective fields.” Looking back at the company’s history, Serillo stresses that it has stayed true to its mission of doing the right thing for every customer, the first time and every time. Its customers include companies of all types, from small mom-and-pop shops to multinational Fortune 500 corporations. Its capabilities are equally varied, handling jobs from the most routine service call to large and complex installations. “Whether you need a simple wood door for your office, or you need one of the most advanced door products on the market, we can do it,” says Scott Greco, the firm’s marketing manager. “Through our residential division, we also repair, sell, and install a wide range of different brands of garage doors and garage-door openers.”

at a glance location: hillside, nj founded: 1988 employees: 55 area of specialty: commercial and industrial doors, gates, and loading-dock equipment

in the current economic climate, companies that understand the demands of their clients’ operations are the ones that have flourished. For more than 20 years, New Jersey Door Works Inc., based in Hillside, New Jersey, has been the expert in the sale, service, and installation of all types of commercial and industrial doors, gates, and loading-dock equipment throughout New Jersey and New York. Its success is all thanks to its employees, who work hard and go the extra mile to ensure that customers are well serviced and satisfied, all in a timely fashion. “There is no passing the buck,” says Mike Serillo, the firm’s founder. “We possess a winningteam attitude and have fun with what we do. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and a ‘we’re in this together’ mentality.”

Serillo has worked in the door industry since he was 13 years old. After performing a significant amount of work for larger door companies, Serillo quickly gained respect for the quality of his work, and took pride in the energy, knowledge, and enthusiasm he put toward his craft. Characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit and a dedication to servicing customers, Serillo started the company from scratch, building the firm from one truck to the state’s largest door company. He now has 20 crews on the road daily and has acquired many smaller companies over the years. Two years ago, Serillo brought his brother, Glenn, on board as a part-owner. Glenn was head of sales for a multibillion-dollar logistics firm; and with his strong corporate background, knowledge, and expertise, Glenn has helped turn New Jersey Door Works into a worldclass company, Greco says.

20 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

new jersey door works inc. niche resources

We possess a winning-team attitude and have fun with what we do. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and a ‘we’re in this together’ mentality. —Mike Serillo, Founder

Despite the recession and the competitive building environment, business has been booming for New Jersey Door Works. In fact, since its inception in 1988, the company has enjoyed year-after-year growth in both sales and profits, and the company looks for that upward trend to continue in 2010. “Our capabilities go well above and beyond what any other door company in the area can handle,” Glenn says. “We will continue to reinvest in [our] plant and equipment, and stay ahead of the competition by maintaining the most advanced tools and truck setups in the industry, as well as to keep focusing on hiring and retaining area superstars in the industry. Because of this, we’re looking forward to many more years of growth.” abq

New Jersey DoorWorks specializes in loading-dock equipment and doors, among other products.

Industrial/Commercial, Fire, Aviation & Custom/Specialty Door Systems

new jersey door works’ selected client list As a full-service overhead-door and dock supplier, the firm regularly works for large, multinational corporations, including: Mercedes Benz, Tesla Motors, McGuire Air Force Base, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Transit, Shoprite, Pathmark, A&P, Covanta Energy, Cumberland Farms, Yankee Stadium, Coca-Cola, PSE+G, Snapple, New Jersey Air National Guard, Gulf, Exxon Mobil, New Jersey State Police Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, Johnson & Johnson, Newark FBI Building

Door Engineering and Manufacturing has been offering industrial, commercial, fire-rated, aviation and specialty door solutions for over 40 years. By partnering with premier, certified installers like New Jersey Door Works, we can guarantee our products will exceed the expectations of our customers in design, fabrication, installation and function.

Door Engineering and Manufacturing

(800) 959-1352

niche resources

Left: Sprocket Studios created this custom bronze sign for The Colony at the Grand in Fairhope, AL.

Artistic talent and passion for good signage have been key factors in Sprocket’s success, and with only two artists at work, clients can be assured of a certain quality of output. “We are totally custom,” Lucy says. “Everything we put out is custom made to order. This helps us service our customers better because we manufacture our own products… Also, we are sign obsessed. Both of us are continuously thinking about signs and how to create something new and unique for our customers.”

sprocket studios Florida-based sign specialists focus on quality craftsmanship and attention to customers’ concerns by jamie ludwig

pace, florida-based sprocket studio’s coowner Lucy Paux has long been interested in signs. An early passion for the art led her to found her first sign company at the age of 17. Twelve years ago, she met her future husband and fellow sign artist Tom Paux, co-owner, and the two soon joined forces to form Sprocket Studios.

at a glance location: pace, fl founded: 1988 area of specialty: ada-compliant signs

Early on, Sprocket specialized in hand lettering and carving, and over time it developed a focus on signs compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that utilized unique materials. Although the projects have changed over the years, and the company’s geography has expanded (recent projects have included signs in Mississippi and Alabama, as well as Florida), Sprocket Studios has managed to keep operations very much the same as always. According to Lucy, the company’s growth model allowed the two partners to accept a modest number of larger-scale projects each year, rather than requiring them to hire additional employees in order to tackle a larger number of projects. This strategy has worked; today, most of Sprocket’s signs are commissioned for large construction projects rather than small businesses, such as the interior and exterior signs completed for NOAA Fisheries Lab in Passcagoula, Mississippi. “This type of project is our specialty,” Lucy says. “It required interior ADA-compliant signs and an exterior monument sign.”

This creative streak has led Sprocket Studios to utilize a wide variety of materials, such as metals, plastics, and woods, giving each product a distinct touch and allowing the company’s owners to further hone their craft. For example, the company created stone interior and bronze exterior signs for The Colony at the Grand, located in Fairhope, Alabama. “We are always looking for new material choices to get the best look and function for our clients,” Lucy says. “One of our new favorites is 3form, because there is such a variety of modern colors and textures to work with.” Sprocket’s work with 3form plastic can be seen on the exterior building detail at the Baylen Lofts in Pensacola, Florida. This versatility, when it comes to materials, has meant that Sprocket is able to provide its clients with more options and more flexibility to meet different budgets, which is especially important in troubled economic times. Lucy points out that no matter how much money is available for a project, customers should always opt for the highest-quality materials; decisions based on price point alone can often cost more in the long run. “Quality does not always cost more when you consider the benefits,” she says. “Using quality materials and construction, our signs will stand the test of time.” She adds that in her part of the country, signs are subject to particularly tough weather elements. “The environment in the Gulf-coast area is very harsh—salt air, hurricanes, humidity—and quality workmanship and materials is a must,” she says. In the past few years, Sprocket’s environmental awareness has translated into exploring even more diverse materials, and has leant itself to new business practices as well. “In the last few years, we have become more aware of environmental issues and what we might do as a business to help,” Lucy says. “We try to recycle as much as we can. Also, we assemble our interior signs with doublesided tape adhesive instead of liquid adhesives. This allows components to be taken apart and recycled when the project is dismantled. We also try to use substrates

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sprocket studios

niche resources

Quality does not always cost more when you consider the benefits. Using quality materials and construction, our signs will stand the test of time. —Lucy Paux, Co-Owner

made from all or part recycled materials. We try to buy materials from local suppliers and manufacture on-site to lessen the environmental impact of production.” Along with eco-friendly business practices, creativity, and workmanship, dedication to customer service has given Sprocket a competitive edge in the sign industry. “Quality and customer service are the main goals of our company,” Lucy says. “We like a customer to know we are there to support them.” Going forward, she is optimistic that Sprocket Studios will continue to use this unique blend of creativity and business savvy to maximize its success. “Hopefully,” she says, “we can continue to use technology to improve our products and services available to our customers while providing superior customer service.” abq

Sprocket created this acrylic sign with slide-in name slots, raised letters, and braille for the NOAA Fisheries Laboratories in Pascagoula, MS.

niche resources

Southeast Roofing Solutions installed this roof atop the Statesboro Police Department in Statesboro, GA.

southeast roofing solutions, inc. Roofer builds on esteemed reputation, provides sustainable options by sheena harrison

at a glance location: statesboro, ga founded: 1967 employees: 100 area of specialty: commercialroofing installation and repair 2009 revenue: $8 million

commercial contractor southeast roofing Solutions, Inc. (SRS), based in Statesboro, Georgia, has spent more than four decades installing roofing systems for a variety of clients across the southeastern United States, and is continuing to grow by becoming an expert in innovative roofing technologies. President Shawn Corbett says his company’s success is built upon a tradition of integrity and honesty that has kept clients coming back to SRS over the years. “We’re not just selling you a roof; we’re selling you our ability to perform,” Corbett says. SRS was founded in 1967 as Wallace H. Wiggins Sheeting and Roof Metal Co. The company, named after Corbett’s grandfather, installed roofing for buildings across Georgia and quickly developed a reputation for doing quality work. “My grandfather was a very hardworking man,” Corbett says. “He believed in a job done right and making sure the customer got what they paid for. I believe he often gave the customer more than he had quoted them. He was very concerned with them being satisfied with his work.”

Wiggins passed down that work ethic to Corbett, who began working for his grandfather’s company after college in 1995. Corbett became the company’s sole owner in 2004, and has since worked to carry on his grandfather’s legacy. “To my grandfather, a man’s word was his bond,” Corbett says. “I think we’ve carried that through.” Today, the company, which consists of 60 employees, performs traditional roofing installation and maintenance, and installs such systems as standing-seam metal roofing, metal wall-panel systems, single-ply roofing, and modified bitumen and built-up roofing. SRS’s revenue totaled approximately $8 million in 2009. SRS’s clients include private companies, schools, and municipalities. The firm recently completed roofing projects for high schools in Dublin, Georgia, and Beaufort, South Carolina, as well as a new roof installation for the corporate headquarters of King & Prince Seafood Corp. in Brunswick, Georgia. Previous clients have included the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Southern

24 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

We’re not just selling you a roof; we’re selling you our ability to perform. —Shawn Corbett, President

University, and Savannah State University. Corbett says customers come to SRS through its marketing and sales efforts, client recommendations, and referrals from some of the region’s top roofing-material distributors. The company has grown by working with customers who are interested in maintaining long-term partnerships with SRS. “Our ideal customer is someone who is not just looking for a one-time contract,” Corbett says. “It’s someone who can see the value in a relationship—who can see our quality and service and the ability to perform at a high level as paramount, versus someone just looking for the lowest price.” One of the ways that SRS has kept customers coming back is by staying at the forefront of roofing technology. The company now offers eco-friendly roofing products, including vegetated roofing systems and LEED-approved products, which help reduce stormwater runoff and improve energy efficiency for buildings. SRS has also utilized reflective roof coatings, which direct sunlight away from buildings and can lower their cooling costs. SRS has already installed several eco-friendly roof systems, and it expects sales for that segment to increase. “What we’re trying to do is gain those new relationships and maintain them,” Corbett says, emphasizing the importance of attracting clients who want environmentally friendly roofing. By establishing itself as a regional leader in green roofing, Corbett is confident that SRS will see future growth. In the meantime, he says, the company will continue performing quality work for its clients in order to keep them coming back. “The economy is never as good as you think it is, and it’s never as bad as you think it is,” Corbett says. “If you just focus on doing what you do well and work for today, the future really does take care of itself.” abq

This project in Longmont, CO, features plants that were hand-selected by TLCgardens, including yarrow, feather reed grass, and dwarf evergreen.

niche resources

tlcgardens, llc Landscape designer connects clients to the natural world by christopher cussat

at a glance location: longmont, co area of specialty: landscape design, installation, and consultation 2009 sales: $250,000 sales growth in past year: 300%

cheri stringer, owner and principal designer of TLCgardens, LLC, recently turned her favorite pastime into a thriving, successful business. The firm actually stemmed from Stringer creating gardens as a hobby for herself and for the benefit of her friends. As more people noticed her fine work, garden- and landscape-design requests started pouring in. Realizing that she potentially had a very profitable entity in her hands, Stringer took that love and passion for plants and turned it into one of the premier, up-and-coming design-build landscape firms in Boulder County, Colorado.

cial clients, including landscape-design packages, which involve site survey, landscape design, preliminary concept plan, planting plan, and construction drawings of common elements; budget studies, which give accurate pricing on all elements in the plan, homeowners-association submittal packages, and other varying perspectives; installation packages, which include installation coordination, material selection, and plant selection, as well as placement and site review after completion; and consultation services for construction drawings, initial site visits, plant lists, and sketches.

Since its founding five years ago, TLC has offered complete landscape design, installation, and consultation services to a growing number of residential and commer-

The firm specializes in what Stringer defines as a multifaceted approach to “sustainable landscaping.� In fact, everything TLC does—from material selection to uti-

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tlcgardens, llc niche resources

completed projects and gross sales, 2005–2009




2005 1 project

2006 4 projects


2007 12 projects


2008 25 projects

lizing the unique properties of a jobsite—is designed to create outdoor spaces with long-term stability. For example, Stringer often asks clients how the space will change in use as their children age, making sure her designs are sustainable and suited to each client’s needs and changing lifestyles. “We’re also choosing materials that are sustainable to the environment,” she adds. “This is our niche.” As a result, TLC’s designs are not only eco-friendly, but they are lasting and sustainable in the sense that they require little, if any, modifications for several years.

2009 15 projects

hands,” Stringer says. This practical experience allows TLC to create landscape designs that are construction savvy. In addition, Stringer has 20 years of experience with different plant species in Colorado, and she has really seen firsthand what plants work well for each individual project. Stringer’s family background and education also add to TLC’s competitive edge. “My grandfather and two of my

From appearance to process to maintenance, the firm’s work provides its clients with landscapes that fit their homes and lives perfectly. As the company’s name clearly suggests, TLC provides all of its services with that extra personal touch of tender, loving care. “We want to make landscape design that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, sustainable, and simple—so we take care of everything,” Stringer explains. “Our installation services allow us to manage and coordinate the teams that install your landscape down to the very last details.” TLC’s success can be attributed to Stringer having more than 15 years of hands-on experience constructing landscape elements. “I’ve built walls, patios, decks, pathways, perennial gardens, and flagstone structures with my own

Dwarf lilac is a pleasing addition to this TLCgardens project.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


niche resources

tlcgardens, llc

One of the most invigorating elements of landscape design and construction is reconnecting clients to the natural world right outside their door by creating a destination that appeals to them. —Cheri Stringer, Owner & Principal Designer

Penstemon is featured in a custom-designed landscape.

uncles were architects, and I spent a lot of time walking through buildings and sites with them as they were being constructed,” she says. A master’s degree in science also provides her with a strong foundation in both organizational and application aspects. “I utilize that science basis in many parts of my business—for presentations and meetings with clients, as well as researching materials and plant selections,” she adds. Looking forward, TLC’s immediate goals are to continue creating sustainable landscapes and to soon become certified through the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. “We also want to be the ‘go-to’ landscape-design company in Boulder County for landscape-renovation projects,” Stringer adds.

Scott Haugland Owner 303.472.5929

Mike Woods

Landscape Designer 303.472.1096

By consistently offering sustainable, highly organized, and complete landscape-design packages, TLC hopes to further grow its business reach and expand the company’s already solid reputation of providing high-quality work and intense attention to detail. This also reinforces TLC’s philosophy and mission for all of the company’s clients. “Creating an intimate, meaningful outdoor space is a personal journey of discovery, peace, and fulfillment—not a cold, sterile comparison of options,” Stringer says. “One of the most invigorating elements of landscape design and construction is reconnecting clients to the natural world right outside their door by creating a destination that appeals to them.” abq

One of CRS’s 300-ton cranes setting a 15,000pound air handler at the Kaiser Permanente Venice Medical Offices.

Crane rental service inc. Lifting-and-rigging company’s focus on quality service and employee satisfaction results in corporate success by christopher cussat

in 1965, william c. foster set out to create a family crane business that embodied his high ideals of customer service, quality, and work ethic. Today, Crane Rental Service Inc. (CRS) has not only successfully carried on Foster’s dream and philosophy, but remains one of the most highly regarded crane-service providers in the western United States. CRS primarily works with industrial- and mechanicalengineering companies—and a majority of its services involve moving heavy machinery, compressors, cooling towers, chiller units, and commercial air-conditioning units. “For example,” says Jess Sturgeon, general manager, “from the little mom-and-pop stores that need smaller air handlers lifted on top of their buildings, to the huge 50,000–60,000-pound air handlers required for larger companies, we’ll put all of those up for our clients.” The company has also worked for private housing, and it offers its services for underground and rebar projects. CRS always strives to deliver good service, Sturgeon continues, and he believes this makes the company not

only successful but highly competitive, as well. “I think that whatever company it is, service is what’s most important,” he says, “and that’s the way CRS is.” Sturgeon recalls one of Foster’s simple philosophies that he passed on to everyone at the company. “Our phone should never ring more than two or three times,” he says. at a glance “Somebody should always pick it up, because if it rings more than two or three times, the people on the other location: end are not going to be happy.” orange, ca CRS plans to continue providing high-quality service so that its customers remain happy and, in turn, continue recommending CRS to other companies. “That way, our customers also sell for us,” Sturgeon says, “so not only do we have our sales force out selling, but our own customer base is out selling, as well.” He also believes that in these challenging economic times, service is more important than ever—and CRS does everything it possibly can to meet the goals and needs of its clients. “If we’re bidding a job to a customer,

american builders quarterly september/october 2010

employees: 60 area of specialty: crane lifting/ rigging for mechanicalengineering companies; excavation, hauling, remodeling, and equipment rental


niche resources

crane rental service inc.

Any little thing that we can do to help our clients, that’s what we try to do. —Jess Sturgeon, General Manager

we often say to them, ‘OK, we know you’re probably hurting, too, so how can we better serve you? By either lowering the price or working with you on coming up with different ways to cut your costs.’” For example, if a job is going to last more than a day, instead of driving the crane back and forth, CRS can work with clients to leave the crane on the job site and have the operator report there to save travel each day. “Any little thing that we can do to help our clients,” Sturgeon says, “that’s what we try to do.”

As a proud family business, CRS’s employees have definitely been integral to the company’s success. “It’s very important that you have the right people from the top to the bottom, and I’m telling you that this company is absolutely the best company I’ve ever worked for in my life—all of the people here are simply the best,” Sturgeon says. With Foster at CRS’s helm as CEO, his children are also an extremely strong leadership presence at the company: Cathy Greinke (daughter) is president; Greg Foster (son) is vice president; and Lori Hunter (daughter) is secretary/treasurer. Ultimately, CRS is the living epitome of Foster’s vision and dream. “CRS was started by William C. Foster; he’s my mentor, my boss, my friend—and he never ceases to amaze me,” Sturgeon says. “He has so much knowledge for this business, and he’s passed that onto his family.” Sturgeon adds that what truly makes CRS a family business is the fact that the people who work there feel like they are a part of the family. “What Bill [Foster] wanted to do, he has done, and anybody who works here simply says that this is the best place they’ve ever worked,” Sturgeon says. “And I agree with that.” abq

Retrofit Technology, Inc. Installing tomorrow’s “Cooling Technology” in today’s buildings

On the cutting edge of chilled water system replacements, serving Southern California and the nation since 1989. 3351 S. Riverside Avenue, Bloomington, CA 92316 (800) 235-7524 |

Covering all of the United States & Canada


unique services One of ATS’s current projects, the IH-30 President George Bush Turnpike, in Dallas, requires installing 490 shafts for a bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard.

ATS Drilling, LP Building a strong foundation of experience through specialized caisson and drilling services by christopher cussat

often the key to sustaining a successful company is finding the correct niche, building a deep reservoir of experience, and continuing to focus on that specialization. This is exactly the strategy and formula that ATS Drilling, LP has implemented for more than 20 years—and the company is still forging a strong foundation and reputation as one of the top drilling companies in Texas and its surrounding areas.

at a glance location: austin, tx founded: 1983 employees: 100 area of specialty: caisson and drilling services annual sales: $40 million sales growth in past year: 30%

Texas, and proudly serves the state’s commercial and highway/bridge construction industries. ATS’s customers include various government and private entities, including the Texas Department of Transportation, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the North Texas Toll Road Authority, the Port of Houston, the Dallas Area Rail Transportation, the DFW Airport, the Denton County Transportation Authority, the South Texas Electric Cooperative, the Gables Development Corporation, Samsung USA, Intel, Texas Instruments, Omni Hotels, and Deloitte.

ATS actually began in 1989 as a division of Austin Traffic Signal Construction Co. Then, in 1994, the company acquired the drilling operations of Martin and Martin Hoag attributes ATS’s competitiveness to the high Drilling and became its own corporate entity. After volume and quality of the work contracts it commands. seeing even more opportunities for growth in 1997, “Our company is geared for the largest, most complex, ATS then acquired the drilling operations of Contracand schedule-driven foundation projects,” he says, tors Foundation Drilling (both of these companies had acknowledging the great importance of having a highly dated back to the mid-1950s). According to executive professional, dedicated, and knowledgeable team of vice-president Dave Hoag, revenues have continued to grow as ATS has increased its capabilities and equipment employees, as well as the tools to do the job right. “We have some of the most experienced personnel with one inventory. “In January 2001, ATS Drilling Co., Inc. ofof the largest equipment fleets in the foundation industry, ficially converted to ATS Drilling, LP—which today is which in turn enables us to excel at the projects that are recognized as a leader in the drilled-pier-construction complex or that have a high production schedule.” business in Texas and abroad,” Hoag says. Currently, ATS is a major, full-service caisson and drilling company that is located in Austin and Fort Worth,

Because of all this, ATS is the leader in the south central United States in marine foundation work. “We also have

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ats drilling, lp

unique services

Our company is geared for the largest, most complex, and schedule-driven foundation projects. —Dave Hoag, Executive Vice President

ATS installed two 72-inch-diameter shafts 170 feet into the floor of the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas.

a wide variety of foundation equipment designed for the largest, deepest, and toughest foundations in the United States,” Hoag adds.

of people, you cannot compete successfully,” Hoag adds, “so I think that’s the most important thing—you’ve got to have the right people who can execute and build the project right.” ABQ

ATS has plans to expand and grow cautiously, as long as such expansion can be done while coinciding with the company’s specialties. “Our expansion plans are based on our experience and strength in foundation market niches,” Hoag explains. But, ultimately, ATS’s primary goal is to be one of the best foundation contractors around. “We just can’t do that without considering our markets,” Hoag says. “We’ve got to continually look for our niches, which are generally very tough jobs that require our specific experience—like water work, deep excavation, or very hard rock—unique jobs that local companies would not be able to do.” ATS plans to keep pushing forward successfully by using the methods that have proven to work for it in the past. “The keys to our success are getting the work at the right price, building the work at the lowest cost, and taking care of our people and assets,” Hoad explains. “The most rewarding attribute to me is consistently seeing ATS exceed the expectations of our clients by beating their schedule, by building quality foundations, and by coming in on budget.” But as Hoag previously explained, he believes that, in the end, it all comes down to the people within the company. “You know, anybody can buy the equipment—it’s just all about the people,” he says. “I wouldn’t say it’s ever easy to be successful, but having key people with the experience is what makes all the difference in the world.” On average, every ATS superintendent has about 35 years of experience in the industry. “If you don’t have those types


Geotrack workers dig a test hole using vacuum excavation.

geotrack, inc. Perfecting the art of subsurface utility engineering by christopher cussat in the industry of utlity locating, geotrack, Inc. has established itself as one of the highest-quality service providers that boasts an industry-best safety record. President Jonathan Tan believes his company’s combination of technology, quality service, high safety standards, and dedicated management team has helped make Geotrack one of the premier utility-locating and -mapping companies in the country.

at a glance location: lake forest, il employees: 28 area of specialty: subsurface utility engineering

Geotrack was founded on August 14, 1989, by Tan’s father, Dr. Galo L. Tan, along with others from the utility-locating industry. “Their vision was to create a unique service company to mitigate risks associated with infrastructure projects that impact existing subsurface utilities,” Tan recalls. The innovative service that Geotrack promoted is called subsurface utility engineering (SUE), and its purpose is to improve the quality of utility-locating maps as they relate to engineering and construction projects. It was not long before the company began to quickly attain new contracts across the country, earning a strong reputation for both service excellence and quality. Today, Geotrack also distinguishes itself as a “professional one-call service company” and a worldwide leader in

SUE. “Once we’ve determined the existence and precise locations of these facilities,” Tan says, “we survey, map, and digitize the subsurface data as required—ultimately providing our clients with a CADD or geographic-information-system file depicting the utilities on design plans and on test-hole reports.” What separates Geotrack from other utility locators is that it does not just provide its services in the standard 48 hours before digging, as other one-call locating companies do. Rather, Geotrack gets information to designers well before they finish their design—usually during the 30–60 percent design phase—sometimes one to five years before construction. “As a result, new designs are based on utility maps that are more accurate and comprehensive,” Tan says. “That will improve project schedules and budgets; mitigate financial, legal, and catastrophic risks; and keep projects from being delayed due to utility-service disruptions and hits.” In fact, studies by the federal government determined an average of $4.62 saved for every dollar spent on SUE services. The ASCE has also established SUE standards for engineers to follow, which require designers to identify the appropriate quality levels of utility data for their projects, which range from D up to A. Quality Level D represents existing utility records that are usually not comprehensive or accurate. Quality Level C is a step up from D, as it represents topographic surveys depicting above-ground features such as manholes, valves, and inlets. Geotrack utilizes state-of-the-art electromagnetic, ground-penetrating radar, sonic, and vibratory technologies to perform this horizontal utility-designating

34 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

geotrack, inc. unique services

As a service organization, it is your people on the front line who must exhibit your values and live your mission, providing the highest level of service to the customer, and that is what makes us successful. —Jonathan Tan, President

tion to quality service, character, and achievement. service. The result is a more comprehensive view of utilities—identifying potential conflicts of existing utili- “You must always find the right people for each job, and then nurture them and invest your time and resources ties with the proposed plan. At those points of conflict, to help them be successful,” Tan says. “I have also Geotrack uses nondestructive pneumatic or waterlearned that leadership is about building trust in your vacuum excavation to determine actual utility depth, size, material, and condition, as well as the most precise people, customers, and vendors—and providing them a consistent message of quality. As a service organihorizontal location. This is a safe method of digging to zation, it is your people on the front line who must expose and obtain the most accurate survey of utilities. exhibit your values and live your mission, providing This is also called Quality Level A—it is the most acthe highest level of service to the customer, and that is curate level of data available. what makes us successful. We have the best managers and people in the industry.” abq “Our mission,” Tan says, “is to provide the standard of care in utility-locating data, to utilize the best equipment, processes, and people, and—ultimately—to provide the quality, timely, economical, and most accurate utility map or database possible for our clients.” Geotrack crew members locate underground utility lines. Tan directly attributes the company’s competitiveness to the personal services it provides. Another unique aspect of Geotrack is its high-safety and low-hit record. In fact, the company is most proud that it maintains an industry-leading safety record (including a zero professional-liabilityclaims history). This allows Geotrack to earn an excellent EMR of 0.89—allowing the firm to have $25 million in liability coverage, which is higher than the standard industry insurance limits. The company also provides other services related to utility locating and mapping, including video inspection, surveying, engineering, and utility coordination, as well as construction services such as excavating, demolition, and truck hauling. Tan believes that Geotrack’s success is a result of its strong reputation for service excellence, the many relationships it has made, its amazing safety record, its continued implementation of quality process controls, its perseverance through good markets and bad, its happy staff, and maybe even a little luck. “Also, never forget the client,” Tan adds, “For without them, we do not have a job to do.” As a family-run and customer-centered business, there is no doubt that Geotrack’s success is reflected and epitomized in its people and in the company’s dedica-

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


unique services

Lonergan & Son provides dirt-removal and grading services for its Canterbury Farms project.

lonergan & son inc. Georgia site-preparation and excavation company builds a strong reputation with quality subdivision work by karen gentry

at a glance location: harlem, ga founded: 1990 area of specialty: site preparation and excavation average annual sales: $3.5 million

family-owned lonergan & son inc. has found its sweet spot as a medium-sized excavating and site-preparation company in the Augusta, Georgia, area. Mickey Lonergan, president of the company, started his business in 1990, after running a sawmill for 25 years and working in banking. He saw a need for excavating in the area, and both he and his son wanted to work outdoors. Today, Mickey works alongside his son, Tripp, who serves as the director of operations; his wife, Emily, who serves as the company’s secretary/treasurer; and his daughter, Kathy Arrowood, who does part-time computer work for the company. Although the firm does site work for strip shopping centers, doctors’ offices, nuclear facilities, and an army base, Lonergan & Son has built its reputation on and specialized in the excavation of neighborhoods and subdivisions. The company averages about $3.5 million in annual sales, with 15 full-time employees. “It’s a good management size right now,” Mickey says. “We would like to grow a little bit but don’t care to get a lot bigger.”

Lonergan’s customers include a handful of developers who are building subdivisions or developing land within 70 miles of Harlem, Georgia, where the company is located, 25 miles west of Augusta. Lonergan & Son has worked with some developers for many years, including a five-year relationship with the Ivey Group and a 15-year relationship with Crowell & Company. For new subdivisions, Lonergan & Son is a total site contractor— clearing, grading, piping, and paving. “We’ve hit a good spot in the house market with the developers we’re working for,” Mickey says. “They have been able to move a lot of houses in the [$130,000–275,000 range].” He notes that the subdivision work has picked up lately after a dismal 2009. One higher-profile subdivision project—Canterbury Farms in Columbia County, Georgia—is one that Lonergan & Son has been involved in for five years. The subdivision features an award-winning entrance with rocks, landscaping, islands, and an almost one-mile concrete walk path on Euchee Creek. “We’ve built about

38 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

lonergan & son inc. unique services

Workers perform site-preparation and excavation services at Canterbury Farms.

We just try to keep everything we do in-house. That’s one reason we’ve been successful. —Mickey Lonergan, President

four different-priced neighborhoods in there,” Mickey says. “We’re doing a complete site job for this.” In addition, Lonergan & Son is completing work in The Pines, a subdivision with about 45 lots in South Carolina. With such extensive projects as these, it is necessary for Lonergan & Son to own, rather than lease, its own fleet of trucks and equipment, with employees performing the day-to-day maintenance. Mickey, who is proud of this self-sufficiency, estimates that he owns about $1.5 million worth of mini-tractors, large direct movers, and off-road trucks. “We just try to keep everything we do in-house,” he says. “We try to do as much of the work ourselves—that’s one reason we’ve been successful. When weather or a job creates a problem, we can make changes quicker when we’re not dealing with anybody but our own people.” According to Mickey, weather and finding an adequate labor force are the biggest challenges to running the business. He says it’s hard to find people who want to work outside, and he’s also competing with some Atlanta-area contractors who use Mexican labor. Persistent rainy weather can wreak havoc on projects, particularly with the red-clay soil of Georgia and South Carolina, which requires sun and warm temperatures to dry the soil. In addition, rising material costs, which can’t be passed on to customers after a job is bid, is another challenge. Mickey says there has been a significant increase in the cost of PVC pipe in the last five years, and that the cost of asphalt has increased by 50 percent. Despite these challenges, however, Lonergan & Son has prevailed, making a name for itself in the Southeast. The nature of its industry requires the company and all of its employees be lifelong learners, thanks to required classes to keep abreast of industry developments. And this is exactly what the company has done since its founding, and will continue to do for years to come. abq

Over 60 Years of Superior Service! Boswell Oil has supplied Georgia’s gas stations, manufacturers, private businesses and wholesalers with the petroleum products they need. Our company owned fleet provides transportation of petroleum products WHEREVER THEY NEED IT. WHENEVER THEY NEED IT. Mailing Boswell Oil Company Address: 150 Floyd Dr

Athens, GA 30606 Toll Free: (800) 533-3138 Local: (706) 546-8863 Fax: (706) 548-6977

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


The Building Relationship People Celebrating 50 years; 1960 - 2010


12046 E. Florence Avenue | Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 phone 562/944-6341 | fax 562/944-7092

western allied corporation

ESPN’s new broadcast facility in Los Angeles, CA is one of the company’s many high-profile projects.

unique services

western allied corporation California engineers find success with diverse design-build HVAC projects by karen gentry

when customers turn to western allied Corporation for HVAC services, they’re getting a company whose owners are degreed engineers—a rare accreditation for an HVAC contractor. In addition, Western Allied vice president Mike Gallagher asserts that the company principals are involved in projects from start to finish. “The same guy who markets the project is deeply involved in the conceptual design, the commissioning, and the installation,” Gallagher says. “When there’s a consulting engineering firm involved in the process, we work early on as a team.” Western Allied designs, constructs, retrofits, and maintains HVAC systems in Southern California, and

it has its own in-house sheet-metal and piping fabrication. The company completes HVAC projects for a host of industries, including commercial office buildings and Hollywood studios, as well as pharmaceutical and industrial facilities. Because of the structure of the company, Western Allied works on a lot of owner-occupied buildings, which tends to be a more specialized market, Gallagher says. Tani Poe, president of Western Allied, says the company is a design-build engineering firm with its own inhouse designers of HVAC systems and is a leader in the design-assist HVAC market. “We start the design-assist process,” Poe says. “We work as a team with the owner,

american builders quarterly september/october 2010

at a glance location: santa fe springs, ca founded: 1960 area of specialty: design-build and design-assist of hvac systems average annual sales: $45 million


unique services

western allied corporation

We start the design-assist process. We work as a team with the owner, the architect, and mechanical and electrical engineers to make sure the owners get a quality job that they can afford. —Tani Poe, President

the architect, and mechanical and electrical engineers to make sure the owners get a quality job that they can afford,” Poe says. As one of the largest HVAC contractors in California, Western Allied naturally completes many high-profile projects. Last year, the company completed work on the new ESPN building in downtown Los Angeles, a large complex across from the Staples Center, home of the LA Lakers and other sports teams. “Western Allied is very good at working with general contractors on fast-track jobs like the ESPN building,” Gallagher says. Another quick-turnaround project was the set for The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on the Universal Studios Hollywood lot, which included the installation of chilled- and hot-water plants and an air-distribution system. The project was a major remodel-addition of an existing soundstage on the Universal Studios lot. The challenge to the Conan O’Brien project, Poe says, was working on an existing studio lot featuring a high bay area and ductwork system, requiring Western Allied workers to perform at heights up to 35 feet. “We had to make sure the building was complete in a required time frame,” Poe says. “There were no extensions—we had to meet the date.” Western Allied is heavily involved in 3-D building information modeling (BIM) and direct digital controls (DDC). Since BIM has become more prevalent in the last five years on all major HVAC projects, Western Allied engineers are trained in general BIM requirements, with sheet metal, piping, and design engineers doing the actual work. With 3-D BIM drawings for piping and ductwork, Western Allied serves as a referee of sorts for the whole construction process, and works with other contractors

to pinpoint any potential problems. “The HVAC contractor is the leader on the typical BIM project,” Poe says. Additionally, as air-conditioning systems in large facilities have moved away from pneumatic air-to-electronic controls, the company has been fully capable in DDC controls—applications of microprocessor technology for a building’s environmental controls—for nearly two decades, Gallagher says. He adds that Western Allied is also certified for Trane Inc. and Carrier Corporation brands, and it is the first mechanical contractor to earn certification as a systems integrator for LonWorks, a generic networking platform. Western Allied employs many LEED-certified engineers who work on numerous LEED projects. He notes that energy efficiency, air filtration, and indoor-air quality are the most important aspects of LEED as related to HVAC systems. “The biggest drive in our industry is not just building LEED but explaining to owners how they have to take care of their facilities,” Gallagher says. The company averages about $45 million in annual sales, with about 30 percent of the business coming from the entertainment industry, 30 percent from office buildings, 15 percent from its service department, and the remaining client base consists of pharmaceutical and data centers. “In the last 10 years, that’s been a pretty good mix for us,” Poe says. “We believe that diversification in the LA/Orange County marketplace is very important.” This year, Western Allied is celebrating its 50 th anniversary, with Gallagher and Poe representing the third generation of ownership. The two believe that a company is only as successful as its people, explaining how turnover among the company’s 140 employees is exceptionally low. “We value our employees and think they are one of our most important assets,” Poe says. “We believe in treating employees properly and with respect.” abq

42 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

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The Clinton Crossing office building, a McLain Real Estate property, will be partdevelopment of the new gateway into downtown Huntsville, diverse mclain real estate AL.

Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate Strong values and a forward-thinking focus propel leading property developer by julie edwards

at a glance location: huntsville, al employees: 5 area of specialty: commercial real-estate sales, leasing, management, and development average annual sales: $10 million average annual projects: approximately 100

according to co-owner d. scott mclain, ccim, most of the commercial sales in the market for almost 30 years. Gene’s son, Scott, joined his father in the business Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate has in 1984, and today serves as principal and managing brothree rules that govern how the firm interacts with ker of the firm. A retail developer, Scott is an advocate clients, and those rules are what have helped make it for downtown redevelopment, and a proponent of adapa success. “The first rule is that we are economically successful, so we can operate at the highest professional tive reuse of existing real-estate developments. level,” Scott says. “The second rule is that we enjoy what “We handle several property types, but my personal we do, so we’re ready to be successful for our clients and for ourselves. The third rule is that we always main- specialization includes retail-commercial real estate, and I also work with investment properties and land,” Scott tain our integrity. We are vigilant in our professional, says. “Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate honest approach to our business. Our reputation is one is different in that we have more practitioners covering of credibility, fairness, and respect, and we constantly more areas than any other company in north Alabama. monitor those values.” We also are more involved in business and trade organizations, as well as the communities of north Alabama, Known for delivering the highest level of service, and the perspectives and opportunities we glean from Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate was founded by the late Gene McLain in 1974, in Huntsville, this involvement benefit our clients and customers.” Alabama. Embodying the values carried forth by the Indeed, the company is well known as a successful company today, Gene McLain kick-started the commercial real-estate business in Huntsville and was behind developer throughout the area. One of its recent projects

44 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

mclain real estate

We are vigilant in our professional, honest approach to our business. Our reputation is one of credibility, fairness, and respect, and we constantly monitor those values. —Scott McLain, Principal

included envisioning a new use for an old mall, aptly named The Mall. “We demolished most of the structure, reused a portion, and refit the site as a power center that transformed an area of Huntsville that was in decline,” Scott says. Another successful project for the company was assembling 13 sites for the City of Huntsville’s Public Safety Center. “The City needed a new jail and courts site, needed direction regarding where it should be located, and needed someone to make the site available,” Scott continues. Additionally, the company has been involved in other major projects for the city, including coordinating construction of the Huntsville Museum of Art, as well as handling large transactions for the Chamber of Commerce, Alabama A&M University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and others. Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate’s largest project is now underway—another mall redevelopment with an estimated project cost of $150 million. “We demolished Heart of Huntsville Mall and are creating Constellation, an urban, downtown, mixeduse redevelopment,” Scott says. “Thus far, a Springhill Suites is under construction at the site, and the land sale for Residence Inn by Marriot is complete, and all other phases of the project are underway.” Scott strives to stay focused while being creative and persistent, which he believes are “requirements” in challenging economic times. “A company cannot be in business now and not spend some time focusing on staying in

business and prospering,” he says. “Our goal is to ensure that we continue to respect our ideals as we provide outstanding services.” Currently, Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate is seeking LEED certification for its projects—a move that Scott believes will soon be required of developers and, in the interim, will be demanded by thoughtful clients and building users. “Commercial real estate has the largest impact on the environment,” he notes. “It should therefore be the responsibility of commercialproperty owners and developers to understand this impact, take responsibility for it, address the problems with specific strategies, and succeed in reducing the impact.” Lastly, Scott notes that he is encouraged by the growth in the Huntsville area. “There are more opportunities here than hours in the day,” he says, “and the future is brighter still for this community.” abq

a message from goodwyn, mills and cawood Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood is one of the Southeast’s largest privately held engineering and architecture firms with Business Alabama magazine ranking the firm number one for the past four consecutive years as Alabama’s largest architecture/engineering firm. Headquartered in Montgomery, with offices in Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile,Vernon, and Andalusia, Alabama, as well as in FortWalton Beach, Florida; Nashville,Tennessee; and Greenville, South Carolina, the firm is comprised of almost 300 employees. For more information, visit

diverse development

diverse development

Cameron Construction’s work for L & L Motors in Roosevelt, UT, included a pre-engineered steel building with a 22,400-square-foot vehicle-service facility.

cameron construction General contractor draws on diverse design-build experience to meet each client’s specific needs by zach baliva

when he started working at his father’s company 22 years ago, Kevin Cameron pushed brooms and did light work on job sites and in the office. Today, serving as president, he is in charge of construction and is one of the business’ three owners.

at a glance location: salt lake city, ut founded: 1973 employees: 25 area of specialty: commercial construction and project management

The company analyzes plans for constructability and cost feasibility before compiling bids to provide a fixed budget for the entire scope of work. Then Cameron Construction mobilizes and appoints a full-time, onsite superintendent who is responsible for day-to-day activities that keep each project on schedule. Meanwhile, Cameron’s office staff handles billings, paperflow, warranties, and other issues.

Since it’s inception in 1973, Cameron Construction has offered general-contracting services to commercial clients in and around the Salt Lake City area. Cameron As the company approaches 40 years in business, projdescribes his company as full service but says it specializes in construction management, with a workforce of 25 ects have grown to range between $3 million and $7 million. But successful completion of large projects, comprised of estimators, project managers, superintenCameron says, is measured by client satisfaction. “We dents, and support staff. “Our main strength is overall focus on making sure the client is happy with the result,” job-site management,” Cameron says, adding that his he says. “We want to be profitable, but not at the sole company works in many commercial sectors, including automotive, healthcare, light industrial, civic, and retail. expense of a client’s satisfaction.” Attention to detail and high standards of craftsmanship help his company achieve this goal. As project managers, it is important for Cameron Construction to get involved early in a project’s planning phase. “We help in all areas to make sure owners are get- The strategy has brought many clients back to Cameron Construction. In fact, Cameron and his team are ting the best value for their dollar,” Cameron explains.

46 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

We focus on making sure the client is happy with the result. We want to be profitable, but not at the sole expense of a client’s satisfaction. —Kevin Cameron, President

now completing their third Maverik convenience store since last year. The current site lies in West Valley City, Utah, and covers 4,200 square feet. Maverik returned to Cameron Construction after being impressed by the company’s paperflow management. Maverik’s needs were well met as project managers worked to make the construction process as painless as possible. Cameron Construction doesn’t alter its process for repeat clients—it simply tries to execute the building process in a more efficient manner.

Air Systems provides mechanical systems for commercial, educational, medical and industrial applications throughout the state of Utah. We congratulate Cameron Construction on their past success and look forward to working with them on future projects. • 801.262.9484

Other recent jobs include a softball diamond at Weber State University and a fish-hatchery modification for the state of Utah. The design-build project will last five months, during which time Cameron will install a metal building to cover Springville Fish Hatchery. While the project is vastly different from other jobs with which Cameron is involved, the company is able to handle a wide variety of work. “Working on varied jobs presents a small challenge, but the fundamentals stay the same,” Cameron says. The main challenge, he says, is finding the best way to work with a new client. While companies know the needs of repeat clients, they must learn what is important to each new business. “Everyone we work with operates in their own way, and we have to find out the best way to provide a service that meets their specific needs well,” says Cameron, adding that the process takes dedication and patience.

a r n o l d fa m i ly co r p o r at i o n

COMPANIES Ben Arnold Commercial Real Estate

By working hard to keep clients happy, Cameron Construction converts many first-time clients to repeat customers. “We attract new clients by keeping existing clients happy,” Cameron says. Working well to meet specific needs on specific projects is a talent developed over time. Cameron Construction’s 37 years of experience has built the company a solid reputation for customer service and quality products. ABQ

As a full service real estate investment & asset management firm, Arnold Companies provides property management to a wide array of commercial properties. Our services include: • property management • tenant relations • maintenance and repairs

Arnold Construction specializes in design-build delivery systems to streamline the demanding construction process. Let us use our experience for your next construction project. • medical • office • industrial • multi-family • mixed-use • retail/entertainment Excellence with Integrity



720 Lady Street Columbia, SC • 803.731.4321 •

The Lake Carolina project, in Columbia, SC, features retail space on the ground floor, and apartments on the second and third floors.

the arnold companies Entrepreneurial skills create a highly rewarded, fast-growing portfolio of building and real-estate-management projects by sandra guy

needed no introduction to the South Carolina business the arnold companies has leveraged the Arnold family’s long history of entrepreneurial genius to elite. Norman, a veteran naval officer who fought in the Pacific during the Korean conflict, has served as president enjoy success in both its Arnold Construction Corporation, a design-build firm, and its Arnold Family Corpora- and CEO of the Arnold family business since the unextion, a property-management and development business. pected death of his own father in 1963. Ben’s foresight allowed him to recognize the market cycle before the recession hit, so the Arnold Companies exited the condo Ben Arnold (grandfather of the current president, also and subdivision markets in the first quarter of 2007. named Ben Arnold) started the family business by striking out at age 14. He worked his way from selling Arnold Construction is keeping a steady flow of business candy, cigars, and the Wall Street Journal on a ferryboat through the tough housing market by renovating subsiin Florida, to starting a liquor-distribution business in Columbia, South Carolina, right after the end of Prohibi- dized apartments in rural areas of North Carolina and South Carolina. The Arnolds do not own the properties tion in 1933. Ben’s son, Norman J. Arnold, built the but have found a niche in assisting property owners and liquor-distribution business into the largest wholesaler the government with providing affordable housing in in South Carolina before he sold it in 1984, and left the low-income areas. In fact, Arnold Construction has been business 10 years later. at a glance so successful that it was named the 10 th fastest-growing company in South Carolina in 2008; and in 2009, it was Then, grandson Ben D. Arnold jumped onto the location: named the 2nd fastest-growing privately held company in entrepreneurial bandwagon. After graduating from the columbia, sc the state. University of Florida in 1989, he worked for a national employees: firm before starting his own property-tax consulting 85 The company manages all aspects of the construction service in Atlanta. area of specialty: process, including cost analysis, value engineering, property manageand critical path scheduling. One notable project is ment/ development Ben’s experience proved instrumental in growing the the development of Lake Carolina’s Town Center—a family business. He used his hard-won expertise to buy and design-build 22-acre mixed-use development within a planned comproperty, in partnership with his father, Norman, who services

48 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

the arnold companies

consist of 216 apartments with resort-style units in five four-story buildings.

munity. The project features five two- and three-story buildings with offices, retail space, and restaurants on the ground floor, and offices and multifamily units on the upper floors.

In addition, Arnold Construction has won plaudits for renovating 51 apartment complexes in North and South Carolina while the units were occupied. Unlike traditional large-scale apartment renovations, Arnold Construction schedules the workflow to minimize interference with a tenant’s continued use of the apartment. Any activities started in the morning are completed by 5 p.m. This allows the apartment complex to be fully renovated while the tenant maintains full use of the apartment, and the owner does not lose revenue from a “down” unit.

Arnold Construction also completed a 14,500-square-foot job for the Paul Mitchell School in the heart of Columbia’s trendy downtown Vista. The school now boasts office space, unique classrooms, and locker rooms, with modern elements throughout. Another prominent project in the Vista is a mixed-use building that is home to many restaurants and professional offices, as well as multifamily apartment living. The Vista Lofts Apartments won the award for New Construction in a Historic Context from the Historic Columbia Foundation in 2003. The Arnold Companies also built and own Southlake Village, a retirement community in Lexington, South Carolina, and the Lake Murray Marina and Yacht Club in Ballentine, South Carolina, on a 48,000-acre lake. Currently, Arnold Family Corporation is developing a four-story Class-A apartment complex and marina center on Lake Murray, adjacent to the Lake Murray Marina and Yacht Club. The $32 million project will

diverse development

Today, Ben—who, like his father, has become a member of local charitable, educational, and community boards and organizations—says the company has maintained its edge during a particularly competitive time by maintaining a trustworthy reputation and valuing its employees. “In times like these, you have to find a niche and be the best at your niche,” he says. “You have to have good people and good systems in place to manage those people and treat them well.” abq

Carolina Comfort, Inc.

Carolina Comfort, Carolina Comfort, Inc Inc has has worked worked with Arnold Arnold Construction with Construction and their and their sta sta for for over over15 15 years. ey have always years. ey have always conducted themselves conducted themselves with the utmost with the utmost honor honor and integrity on every and integrity on every project we have done. project we have done. e quality of the product e quality thethe product they provideofand they provide and the ability of people they ability people employoftruly setsthey them in employ truly sets them in a class of their own. aCarolina class of Comfort, their own.Inc is Carolina proud to Comfort, be a part ofInc theis proud to be a part of Arnold Construction the Arnold Construction family of contractors." family of contractors." - Richard J. Mitchell, - President/CEO Richard J. Mitchell, President/CEO

Heating Heating&&Air AirConditioning Conditioning

Residential ResidentialInstallation Installation Commercial CommercialInstallation Installation Servicing Residential Systems Servicing Residential&&Commercial Commercial Systems Real RealEstate EstateInspection Inspection Historical Renovations Historical Renovations

(803)794-5526 (803)794-5526 Fax(803)939-9607 Fax(803)939-9607 110 B Sunbelt Blvd, Columbia, SC 29203

110 B Sunbelt Blvd., Columbia, SC 29203 SC 29203 110 B Sunbelt Blvd, Columbia,

CSDI constructed this 280-unit, 26-building apartment development complex, encompassing 170,000 diverse square feet of residential living space in Boise, ID.

csdi construction, inc. Diversified builder prides itself on nearly two decades of success by laura williams-tracy

over the past two decades, csdi construction, Inc. has grown from its humble beginnings into a fullservice construction-management and general-contracting firm serving clients across the United States. Based in Boise, Idaho, the firm opened in 1991, and it quickly grew to take on public-works and commercial projects. Today, it stands out in the fields of multifamily apartment buildings, restaurants, and institutional facilities.

CSDI has developed a strong relationship with Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus Steakhouse and Rock Bottom Restaurants, and has built 15 Golden Corral restaurants along the West Coast. Furthermore, CSDI also focuses on multifamily projects, having built 30 apartment buildings over the past five years for client Northwest Real Estate, a firm that develops low-income housing with federal backing through the Section 8 program.

“Our greatest success was when we had negotiated repeated clients,” says Robert Feldmann, owner and president of CSDI, who joined the company in 1998. “That’s what kept us profitable and alive over the years.”

In addition, CSDI has a growing niche in technicalschool buildings, having recently completed a veterinary teaching facility at Brown Mackie College in Boise, and is currently building a dental lab for the school. To meet the school’s growing student body, CSDI accelerated the construction schedule and permitted, designed, and built the 8,000-square-foot facility in just two months. “It should have taken that long to basically permit it,” Feldmann says. “We had the walls framed and roughed in before we called for our first inspection. We’ve double- or triple-shifted several projects and built them in a couple of months to meet a client’s schedule.” That flexibility allows CSDI to add value and efficiency to projects of all sizes and complexity, he adds.

at a glance location: boise, id founded: 1971 employees: 17 area of specialty: construction management and general contracting

Today, the firm has 17 employees working as job superintendents and project managers, and it works with a strong base of subcontractors. CSDI builds mostly in Idaho, California, and Oregon, but the company has completed projects ranging from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon. Projects range from multistory commercial office buildings to tenant-improvement and -renovation projects. The firm excels in the restaurant-construction market and has extensive experience with some of the most innovative building concepts in the United States.

CSDI’s project-delivery systems have proven successful, and it’s services range from construction management

50 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

csdi construction, inc. diverse development

to design-build, utilizing both traditional bid and negotiated contracts for both public and private clients. “We offer custom commercial arrangements tailored to fit each client’s unique needs and requirements,” Feldmann says. “We work on an open-book, full-disclosure basis so that our clients are always aware of where and how resources are being allocated.” Along with an open relationship with clients, CSDI emphasizes team building within the office. Most staff members attended Boise State University, and many of them built friendships at the school before starting at CSDI. Feldmann says the staff often enjoys attending football games and spending free time together. “It’s fun,” he says, explaining that the outings allow the staff to bond on work issues. “It’s a nice escape from the reality of the economy right now,” he adds. Feldman goes on to say that this same dedication to making the experience fun carries over into the building process. “I don’t think it’s too hard to shine among the masses if you just do what you say you are going to do,” he says. “We make the building process enjoyable. If you are honest and have integrity and make people’s life easy, they are willing to keep using you. It shouldn’t be a difficult thing. After all, building a building is usually the largest expenditure you ever make.” ABQ

We work on an open-book, fulldisclosure basis so that our clients are always aware of where and how resources are being allocated. —Robert Feldmann, Owner & President

CCB# 162653



6320 S. SCHNEIDER RD. WOODBURN, OR 97071 CSDI’s C.W. Moore Plaza project, a class-A office building in downtown Boise, includes a fully finished basement, eight stories of offices, and a penthouse with a patio garden.

P.O. BOX 884 AURORA, OR 97002

Tony Mendez Apartments

Olga Mendez Apartments Claremont Park Apartments Highland Senior Residence Rev. Dr. Fletcher C. Crawford Housing

MacQuesten Development, LLC

Specializing in Affordable Housing

“Building Affordable Housing

for the

Webster Place Apartments


Palmer Court Homes

MacQuesten Companies One N MacQuesten Parkway Suite 100 Mount Vernon, NY 10550 914.667.7227 T 914.667.8745 F EMail:




Licensed Electrical Contractors



To perform for our customers the highest level of quality construction services at fair and market competitive prices. Our pledge is to establish lasting relationships with our customers by exceeding and gaining their trust through exceptional performance by every member of our construction team.





Lawrence Rego President Richard Feil Secretary, Treasurer


2362 Westchester Avenue Bronx, New York 10462 2 South St Mt. Vernon, New York 10550 General Contracting: Including new construction and rehabilitation projects.

Tel: 1-718-885-3367 Fax: 1-718-885-2160

Carpentry and Drywall: Including but not limited to structural heavy gauge framing, interior framing. Insulation, gypsum wall boards, plastering, trim, doors and hardware, bathroom accessories and kitchen installations. Construction Management: Covering every phase of a project from inception to completion.

32-08 38th Avenue LIC, NY 11101, United States Tel: (718) 482-7481, Fax: (718) 482-7487

CRESTWOOD MECHANICAL 2393 Butler Place Bronx, New York 10462

We are a Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler full service contractor striving to find the perfect balance between costs and efficiency according to the owners objectives.

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Claremont Park Apartments in the Bronx is one of the company’s many housing diverse development developments. Photo: David Ricci.

the MAcQuesten companies Affordable, sustainable housing expands in New York City by jennifer kirkland

“i remember coming into the city as a teenager and thinking, ‘Wow! I want to own buildings and create things,’” says Rella Fogliano, president of The MacQuesten Companies, a Mount Vernon, New York-based general-contracting firm. But while many construction- and property-management firms operate on the East Coast, MacQuesten is unique because it specializes in building and owning affordable and sustainable housing developments in New York City.

notable projects as the Palmer Court Homes in the Bronx and the 130-unit Tony Mendez Apartments in Harlem. Fogliano enjoys the palpable, concrete qualities of work in the construction industry. “It’s more tangible than working on Wall Street,” she says. “I can drive by and show you the building I made, tell you its history, how to care for it.” In many ways, she was born into construction, so owning her own company has come naturally.

at a glance location: mount vernon, ny founded: 1988 area of specialty: affordable and mixedincome housing developments average annual revenue: $20-25 million

Fogliano has been going to construction sites since she was six years old. Her father was a successful general contractor who built commercial buildings, hospitals, and banks in the New York area, and Fogliano worked in his office throughout her high school and college years. “I always had the idea of going into construction,” she says. “It was a challenge I wanted to meet. I wanted to build properties we could own.” In 1988, Fogliano started MacQuesten and began acquiring vacant land in the Bronx. By 1992, MacQuesten submitted its first affordable-housing proposal, and the company has grown steadily ever since, developing such

Still, some people are taken aback when they learn Fogliano is the boss. “The reception has gotten better,” she says. “But sometimes when I walk into a room quietly, most people think I’m an employee or a real-estate lawyer.” She often attends meetings that other developers and principals do not, and her hands-on approach is one of the keys to MacQuesten’s success. Along with local and federal governments, MacQuesten’s development team often partners with nonprofit organizations. “As we became known as developers of affordable housing, organizations kept coming to us,” Fogliano explains. “They may have the property and the need,

54 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

the macquesten companies

but lack the experience to develop it the right way.” She believes her company’s experience as both property developer and property owner is a huge plus that not only enhances MacQuesten’s projects, but also lessens the impact of the recession on its bottom line. “Affordable housing is difficult to do, regardless of economic times,” Fogliano says. “Everyone realizes, now more than ever, the great need for affordable housing, but sources of financing are harder to find. But because of our experience and creativity, we have 300–400 units scheduled for construction in the near future.”

diverse development

I take great satisfaction in seeing people with different incomes living in and enjoying the spaces I’ve created. —Rella Fogliano, President

Beyond her singular position as property developer and manager, Fogliano takes pride in promoting green building practices. “Sustainable construction may cost a little more up front, but in the long run, you’re going to save a lot of money,” Fogliano says. All of MacQuesten’s buildings use recyclable wallboard and flooring, permeable sidewalks, rigid insulation, Energy Star appliances and windows, high-efficiency boilers, and on-site recycling. “All our planning is tied to our green initiatives,” Fogliano says. “We’re doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint.” In many ways, MacQuesten’s business model is a green one; redeveloping unused and blighted urban land for sustainable and affordable housing helps recycle whole communities. “I take great satisfaction in seeing people with different incomes living in and enjoying the spaces I’ve created,” Fogliano says. Looking ahead, Fogliano expects MacQuesten’s steady growth to continue. “We’re going to continue doing what works,” she says. “We have a constant demand from many different groups, but we’re very choosy. We’re going to keep building affordable housing and learning more about our green initiatives.” abq

a message from quest electric corp. Quest Electric Corp. has been in business for more than 10 years. Quest Electric is extremely proud and grateful of its working relationship with Rella Fogliano and The MacQuesten Companies. Here at Quest Electric Corp. we offer quality electrical installations in a professional manner.

General Contracting

a message from westchester masonry depot The Westchester Masonry Depot has three convenient locations and showrooms in New Rochelle, Rockland, andYonkers, NY. We suit all your masonry-material needs.Visit us online at a message from the macquesten companies Rella Fogliano of The MacQuesten Companies is a forward-looking builder with long-term goals, who, along with an experienced project manager, has the unique ability to expedite the construction project to successful completion. Where others are one or two months behind schedule, MacQuesten jobs are generally two to three months ahead of schedule.

P.C.I. Contracting | 550 Franklin Ave., Mount Vernon, NY 10550 Phone: (914) 662-2700 | Fax: (914) 664-0507

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0910 2010

sustainable Revolution /// Hope for Public Housing /// High-End Design //////////////////////////

While more and more projects throughout the country are incorporating green elements into existing structures, building owners have sought guidance from the Urban Land Institute–a nonprofit that offers extensive education on building and development issues concerning sustainability. Green roofs are increasingly popular in energy-efficient building retrofits. Photo: Conservation Design Forum.


diverse development urban land institute The SCA America’s headquarters in Philadelphia’s Circa Centre, built by Turner Construction, earned LEED Gold certification. The retrofit serves as an example of the trend toward greening America’s office buildings.

58 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

urban land institute



Revolution by jennifer kirkland

The Urban Land Institute discusses how the movement toward green building, walkable communities, and energyefficient retrofitting is transforming the future of urban development.

policy makers, and industry professionals from across the United States. ULI’s “university without walls” approach includes frequent conferences, workshops, and district councils; book and magazine publishing; and online programs to facilitate networking. As a staff member of ULI for six years, McMahon has studied trends in the industry and conducts many educational seminars for a number of professional and civil leaders. He sees several revolutionary trends on the horizon that will shape the future of the global real-estate market. “Everyone is concerned about the recession right now,” he says, “and credit and capital markets are at the top of the list.” Those trends will affect a variety of construction subsets over the short term.

Green Building

“We have a whole new mindset now,” McMahon says, describing “The sustainability revolution is changing how we live in ways no less the fast growth of green building. He attributes this trend to many significant than the Industrial Revolution did,” says Ed McMahon, factors but believes green building is here to stay. “I often ask office senior resident fellow for environmental quality at the Urban Land builders, ‘How would you like to build the last non-green office Institute (ULI). “It’s about finding better, smarter, and greener ways building in the United States?’ And one day that’s going to happen.” to live, work, and move around.” At this point, the benefits of sustainable design and construction ULI, a nonprofit research and education organization founded in are too numerous to ignore. Owners and managers of sustain1936, is dedicated to promoting the best practices in land use and able buildings enjoy lowered maintenance costs, greater occupant development. As the preeminent real-estate forum, ULI’s 33,000 health and satisfaction, and greater worker productivity. These members from all over the world include more than 2,000 CEOs, benefits translate into higher rental rates and retail sales, which

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


urban land institute

“I often ask office builders, ‘How would you like to build the last non-green office building in the United States?’ And one day that’s going to happen.” —Ed McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow for Sustainable Development

lead to higher returns on investment and market values for green buildings across the board.

as a lifestyle choice,” McMahon explains. “The neighborhood is now more important than the product, and this is a revolutionary change.”

“Green is becoming synonymous with Class A,” McMahon says. He believes the recession will slow but not fundamentally alter this drive toward sustainable real estate for three reasons: First, despite the recession, many green buildings are currently under construction. Second, market forces, incentives, and mandates are pressuring owners and managers to enhance the sustainability of their portfolios. Finally, green buildings will continue to outperform conventional buildings, so green makes better long-term economic sense. “Coming out of the recession, green is going to be where the action is,” McMahon says.

Because of rising transportation costs in recent years, living in the far suburbs has become more expensive. “The term ‘driving to quality’ meant that you drove farther away from the city until you found a house you could afford,” McMahon explains. “Now, you can find the point on the map where the savings in housing is offset by the cost of transportation. We call this the Beltway Burden.”

Home prices have dropped the most in areas with the longest commutes, but the cost of transportation offsets any savings. Younger consumers—the next generation of home buyers—are driving the market trend toward a residential landscape less focused on driving. “Compact, walkable development is a low-cost climate-change strategy,” McMahon says, “and we think it is a major trend.” Compact, walkable development often means more mixed-use development, since resiThe recession is undeniably changing the way Americans think of home ownership. “They no longer think of it as a good investment, but dents are interested in easily accessible amenities and resources.

Mixed-Use Development

urban land institute at a glance location:

washington, dc founded:




area of specialty:

education and research on landuse and real-estatedevelopment topics

One Beacon Street, a mixed-use development, consists of office space, condominiums, retail space, and affordable housing. Photo: David Joseph.

60 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

Photo: Conservation Design Forum.

urban land institute

urban land institute recent Publications

Conservation Communities: Creating

Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs

Retrofitting Office Buildings to Be Green and Energy-Efficient

Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change

by Ellen Dunham Jones and

by Leanne Tobias and George

by Reid Ewing, Keith Bartho-

Value with Nature, Open Space, and Agriculture

June Williamson (2008)

Vavaroutsos (2009)

lomew, Steve Winkelman, Jerry

by Edward McMahon (2010)

Retrofitting Suburbia:

Walters, and Don Chen (2009)

As winner of the 2009 PROSE Award in Architecture & Urban Planning, Retrofitting Suburbia examines the possibilities for the redesign and redevelopment of existing suburban built environments, rather than development in urban cores and new neighborhoods on cities’ peripheries. The book serves as a comprehensive guide for architects, designers, planners, and developers looking for tips on how existing suburbs can be reimagined and improved. The authors, both architects with extensive design expertise, illustrate how development in existing suburbs can evolve in relation to changing demographic, technological, and economic conditions, offering sustainable and marketable solutions to outdated sprawl.

One of ULI’s most recent An across-the-board study conpublications, this book takes the ducted by four leading urbanmystery out of green building, planning researchers, Growing giving real-estate professionals, Cooler demonstrates how urban developers, and investors insight development is both a main into the ever-evolving world contributor to global warming of sustainability. Serving as a and a vital combatant of it, as it green-building guidebook, the reduces vehicle greenhouse-gas book explains the best methods, emissions. The authors of this approaches, and practices for investigative publication study retrofitting an existing office the relationship between urban building to be eco-friendly. form and driving, showing that Covering an array of sustainable people who live in mixed-use systems, Retrofitting Office Buildcommunities drive 30 percent ings to be Green and Energy-Efficient less than those in non-mixed-use demonstrates why going green communities. Furthermore, it is worth the cost. Tobias and shows that addressing climate Vavaroutsos, both LEED APs, change cannot be done without showcase projects that have inaddressing driving, and that corporated sustainable practices reducing carbon content of fuel with favorable results and show and increasing fuel efficiency how those can be applied to any won’t be enough if people keep existing structure. increasing driving habits.

The latest book by ULI’s Edward McMahon, Conservation Communities, serves as a practical how-to guide for conservation-minded urban-planning professionals. The book, released earlier this year, is an essential guide that stresses the importance of natural lands and open spaces in master-planned communities. The book relies on the fact that large, open spaces greatly increase the value of a community and can actually be a costeffective solution to vehicle-oriented development. Focused on suburbs and cities, this thorough examination features numerous examples of sustainable housing developments that implement the book’s key strategies in incorporating open spaces into a community’s design and build.

“We need to make green more practical. We can think about how it’s good for the environment, but the immediate compelling reason we should do it is because it’s good for business.” — Anita Kramer, Content Editor, “Retrofitting Office Buildings to Be Green and Efficient”

american builders quarterly september/october 2010



urban land institute

“Retail is going in the direction of mixed-use development,” says Anita Kramer, senior director of retail and mixed-use development at ULI. She agrees with McMahon that the trend is both a practical solution to economic strain and a significant contribution to sustainability. Its adaptability allows a building to extend its useful life over the long term. “Mixed-use projects are becoming focal points for suburban places that had no centers before,” Kramer says, “which creates a sense of community and a more sustainable community.” Kramer sees the mixed-use trend as an important green strategy. Her next book project will be titled Retrofitting Multifamily Buildings, and she is also planning a book about residential units being built above retail locations—an important element in mixed-use developments.

balancing Density and Sprawl As many developers know, mixed-use development is far more challenging than the traditional designs of suburban sprawl. Walkable, mixed-use communities are naturally denser than car-oriented residential communities. While many residents have been embracing walkable communities, McMahon points out the fickle nature of American tastes. “Americans don’t like two things: sprawl and density,” he says. “Overcoming density requires good design and compensating amenities.”

The Cost of the Beltway Burden According to ULI’s Ed McMahon, transportation is the second-largest expense in a household budget. Factoring in gasoline, insurance, maintenance, and car payments, the average expense of one car each month equals an average mortgage payment.

percentage of annual income that an average US household spends on transportation percentage of annual income that a low income US households spends on transportation. percentage of annual income that an average EU household spends on transportation, despite gasoline prices that are on average three times higher. percentage increase in American driving by 2030 predicted by US Department of Transportation.

The Hare and the Tortoise: transit usage in Two Washington, DC Suburbs Germantown

is a car-based community far from transit. Residents use cars for 90% of non-commute trips

Sun City, Arizona, is a typical example of suburban sprawl gone wrong: traffic is severely congested, and the city was allowed to grow without proper long-term planning. On the other hand, the Battery in Charleston, South Carolina, is more sprawling than Sun City—8 units per acre versus 5 units per acre—but the Battery’s design elements make it a very desirable neighborhood: its tree-lined streets are more walkable, and careful planning has lessened many of the negative effects of sprawl that dominate Sun City. Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, is an illustration of a high-density area—38 units per acre—that boasts everyday amenities but lacks aesthetic integrity. However, the French Quarter in New Orleans,

62 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

washington, DC city core

Bethesda is a walkable community close to transit. Residents use cars for 25% of noncommute trips

urban land institute


Industry TrendS:

Louisiana, which is known for its rich architectural history, is denser than Las Vegas at 39 units per acre and features similar conveniences. The Growth of Green Building in the United States “You can’t take a bunch of lookalike houses, stick them together, and expect people to respond,” McMahon says. So while walkability is more important than ever, architectural design is important, too, LEED certification costs especially in the case of mixed-use development.

beyond convaentional construction costs

“The Urban Land Institute excels at bringing people together who may not have such opportunities [for urban-development education]. So as people talk, they understand better and bring the challenge to the ground. We’re very aware that sharing information benefits everyone.”

LEED Platinum +6% LEED Gold +3% LEED Silver +2% LEED +0.5% Conventional Construction (100%)

LEED by the numbers 100,000

LEED-accredited professionals currently work in the USA.

—Anita Kramer, Senior Director of Retail & Mixed-Use Development

28,455 LEED-registered buildings in March 2010. 4,252 LEED-certified buildings in March 2010.

“ULI excels at bringing people together who may not have such opportunities,” Kramer says. “So as people talk, they understand better and bring the challenge to the ground. We’re very aware that sharing information benefits everyone.” Armed with knowledge, both policy makers and developers can make more intelligent, sustainable decisions, and ULI is helping that cause. abq


$36-49 Billion

McMahon believes government incentives will drive the development of more mass-transit infrastructure, in part to attain sustainability goals, and in part to meet public demand for such developments. According to recent studies, younger home buyers want to live near transit; so market forces and government incentives, combined with generational shifts in taste, will gradually begin to change our cities and suburbs.

Total value of construction projects seeking LEED certification in the US, 2003-2013

$10 Billion

The trend toward denser, mixed-use, and more walkable communities is spurred in part by the federal government’s economicstimulus legislation, which includes billions of dollars for new infrastructure and transit development, for homeowners to sustainably retrofit their residences, and for the federal government’s own retrofitting program. Such topics are examined in ULI’s recently published third-annual infrastructure report. “The people on Capitol Hill are interested in what ULI thinks about infrastructure issues,” McMahon says. “The organization does not lobby or help craft legislation, but we provide unbiased information that helps people make better decisions.”

$96-140 Billion

as many as in 2008.

Infrastructure AND incentives




Sources: McGraw-Hill Construction, Urban Land Institute, USGBC

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


diverse development hope for public housing

The housing authorities of Boston and Milwaukee are revitalizing their most distressed units through an ambitious funding plan known as HOPE VI.

HOPE FOR PUBLIC HOUSING by sheena harrison & daniel casciato

64 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

Photo: David Schalliol

hope for public housing

HOPE VI is a federal program operated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides funding to redevelop and revitalize public-housing projects for low-income families. In particular, the program focuses on “severely distressed” residential units that are owned and operated by public-housing or Indian-housing authorities. The program was created in 1992, after the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing proposed an action plan to eliminate poor living conditions for public-housing residents nationwide.


Convent Hill features green roofs and sustainable materials throughtout.

Money provided through HOPE VI can be used for such initiatives as building improvements and construction, demolition of dilapidated buildings, and acquisition of land for new public-housing projects. The funds can also be used to provide community and social services to public-housing residents, such as facilitation of jobs, education, and other quality-of-life measures that may assist residents in leaving the public-housing system. HUD budgeted $118 million for HOPE VI grant funding in 2009. Between 1993 and 2006, 239 revitalization grants worth $5.8 billion were awarded through the program, according to the most recent data available from the department. HOPE VI grants worth an additional $391.6 million were awarded for distressed-housing demolition between 1996 and 2003.

housing authority of the city of milwaukee The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) is working to ensure that quality, accessible housing is available to all of the city’s residents, while providing them with opportunities to improve their quality of life. HACM, established in 1944, provides public- and private-housing assistance to nearly 10,000 Milwaukee residents. Warren Jones, managing director of development, says the organization aims to provide quality homes for senior citizens and people with low incomes, while offering assistance that can help them graduate from the public-housing system. “We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity for decent, safe housing and self sufficiency,” Jones says. In the last several years, HACM has worked to build new housing and redevelop old buildings for its residents. The agency recently completed Convent Hill—a $19 million, 120-unit housing development for seniors. The project included demolishing an older development and constructing a new building with high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, green roofs, and sustainable materials throughout the building. This year, the housing authority will complete Olga Village, a $6 million project with 37 senior-housing units. The development also will include various eco-friendly features, such as ground-source heat pumps. HACM officials are working to make Olga Village the first LEED-certified project completed by the agency. Jones says that HACM began adding environmentally friendly elements to its housing projects in 2000, and has since become the

“We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity for decent, safe housing and self sufficiency.” —Warren Jones, Managing Director of Development , HACM largest developer of green single-family housing in the city. Since 2004, HACM has built 194 Energy Star-certified homes. While eco-friendly homes cost more to build than traditional housing, the organization expects the energy-cost savings will pay off for each new project that is being constructed. “Over the long term, the operating costs are going to be so much less,” Jones says. “We’re looking at about a five-year payback on these features.” Efficiency and sustainability are only a piece of HACM’s development efforts. The agency also works to provide assistance that can help public-housing residents to better their lives. Each of HACM’s

american builders quarterly september/october 2010



hope for public housing

Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee Citywide Property Holdings Financial Aid: The HACM’s services reach across the city, shown by a breakdown of the percentage of households receiving income from public assistance in 2000. HACM property 9.0%+ on public assistance 6.0–8.9% 3.0–5.9% 1.5–2.9% Less than 1.5% 0%/no information

Sustainable single-family homes: HACM has become the largest developer of green single-family homes in Milwaukee. Since 2004, it has built 194 Energy Star-rated homes in mixed-income areas throughout the city.

Olga Village: This recent HACM project will provide 37 units of eco-friendly housing. The complex will connect to the United Community Center, one of Milwaukee’s major Hispanic service organizations. Olga Village is slated to be HACM’s first LEED-certified property.

66 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

hope for public housing


Built from the Ground Up The New Face of Milwaukee

HACM’s Convent Hill project features nearly 12,000 square feet of green-roof space and a 1,400-square-foot garden terrace that is accessible to the development’s senior residents.

new senior-housing developments go above and beyond accessibility standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. For instance, new kitchens and bathrooms include five-foot turning radiuses for wheelchair users, and all laundry rooms and circuit breakers in new homes are located on the first floor. HACM also is working to help its residents graduate from public housing. Part of that initiative includes the development of mixedincome housing, which allows market-rate units to be placed in the same neighborhoods as affordable housing. Assistant secretary Bobbi Marsells says that the housing authority is looking for opportunities to create more mixed-income projects because they reduce the stigma of public housing while helping low-income residents to feel less isolated from Milwaukee’s overall community. That can inspire affordable-housing residents to find jobs and use education to help

“One of the things we try to include... is common areas that will help people grow intellectually and physically.” Warren Jones, Managing Director of Development, HACM

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


diverse development hope for public housing

reduce their need for public assistance. “It brings a vibrancy to that community,” Marsells says. “It starts to integrate people socially. You start to break some barriers and create understanding.” In addition, HACM offers a financial literacy program that helps residents save money for such goals as higher education, job searches, or a down payment for a house. It also is working to incorporate amenities in its developments that can assist residents with becoming more financially stable. “One of the things we try to include in our newly built buildings is common areas that will help people grow intellectually and physically,” Jones says. “We include workout areas. We include libraries. We include neighborhood networks, where we have computers connected to the Web so people can use them to look for jobs or further their educations.” Overall, HACM’s efforts have earned multiple awards for the city of Milwaukee. That includes several Best Practice Awards from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the US Department of Health and Human Services; two awards for social advocacy and municipal advocacy from the American Planning Association; and the 2005 World Leadership Award in the category of “Housing” from the World Leadership Forum at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. In the near future, HACM plans to begin renovating its 726-unit Westlawn development and renovating its 200-unit Lapham Park building. Jones says the organization will work to carry its standard of excellence forward as it works on those projects and others in the future. “We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire,” Jones says of HACM’s development plans.

boston housing authority Built in the early 1950s, the 266 apartments at Washington Beech are home to many longtime Boston residents. Over the years, however, several barriers have isolated the development from the surrounding Roslindale neighborhood. With mounting obsolescence and physical distress at the development, Washington Beech residents, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), and developer Trinity Financial, Inc., came together to develop a shared vision for the future of the community. In early 2008, Washington Beech was awarded $20 million through the HOPE VI program, to undertake a comprehensive redevelop-

“There’s a whole element of not only reknitting the site back into the neighborhood but stabilizing the resident community.” Kate Bennett, Special Assistant to the Administrator for Planning, BHA

68 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

hope for public housing

Franklin Hill: Funded by HUD’s Healthy Public Housing grant, this new Boston community explores ways in which housing improvements can positively impact resident health and comfort. The two-phase project includes the construction of 266 affordable rental units. The reconfigured street layout creates more traditional city blocks, which contain larger townhouse-style units with individual backyards, while still featuring the modern convenience of an elevated mid-rise building. Architectural renderings and photographs detail the project both as it was propopsed and constructed.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


diverse development


hope for public housing

Boston Housing Authority Citywide Property Holdings

Areas in Need: The BHA concentrates its development efforts in Boston’s most impoverished areas, shown here by a breakdown of poverty rates across the city. BHA Property 40–69.6% poverty 25–39.9% poverty 15–24.9% poverty 10–14.9% poverty 2.3–9.9% poverty 0%/no information

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hope for public housing

ment that will create 206 new affordable rental units. The development will feature: a mid-rise apartment building whose ground floor will provide a large meeting room, a computer center, a kitchen and food pantry, offices for management, resident services, and a tenant association; a corner building to house one-bedroom apartments; new townhouse-style homes with individual stoops and decks or private backyards; new roads to ensure all townhouse entries will be on a street with parking nearby; and a half-acre park for active and passive recreation. “It’s going to be a beautiful housing development and also provide a huge economic boost to the community,” says Kate Bennett, BHA’s special assistant to the administrator for planning. “There’s been an intensive effort to connect residents with services, jobs, transportation, and educational opportunities. There’s a whole element of not only re-knitting the site back into the neighborhood but stabilizing the resident community.” Sarah Barnat, a project manager with Trinity, touts the project’s sustainable-development initiatives. Many of the new structures will reuse existing foundation work. Inside the new structures, all units and community spaces are being built to exceed Energy Star standards, including features such as high-efficiency condensing boilers for heating and hot water, demand-control ventilation for all common areas, Energy Star-rated lighting with occupancy-control sensors, ultra-low-flow toilets, and light-stat thermostats for night setbacks. From a community perspective, the redevelopment supports public transportation through the construction of a nearby bus


“There’s been an intensive effort to connect residents with services, jobs, transportation, and educational opportunities.” Kate Bennett, Special Assistant to the Administrator for Planning, BHA

One of BHA’s most recent projects, the new Washington Beech development, will feature 206 new rental units. The site design includes a variety of building types, such as an elevated low-rise building, garden apartments, duplexes over flats, and townhouses.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010



hope for public housing

shelter. Taking these factors into consideration, the redevelopment is on course to attain LEED Silver certification. “Not only do we focus on the green elements of the building construction, but we also encourage sustainable initiatives to improve resident health and well-being,” Barnat says. “We seek to provide the safe and clean housing that residents need so that they can focus on improving their economic self-sufficiency without being overloaded with problems in their home.” This is not the first time BHA and Trinity Financial have worked together. They recently transformed the formerly distressed Franklin Hill public-housing development in Dorchester into a beautiful new community of affordable housing. Construction was completed in October 2009. “Franklin Hill was the most distressed site in the federal portfolio,” Bennett says. “Housing conditions were awful. Residents weren’t happy with either the housing conditions or other quality-of-life issues. The vision for Franklin Hill came from a community process with residents.” Through a HUD-funded Healthy Public Housing grant, BHA began work with Franklin Hill residents to explore ways in which housing improvements can have a positive impact on resident health and comfort, particularly for those residents suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma. Much of this work has informed the green

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and healthy building initiatives that BHA has pursued at Franklin Hill and in other recent redevelopments. These initiatives include upgrades to the ventilation systems, installation of electric stoves, use of low-VOC paint, and availability of carpet-free units. In addition, BHA is piloting 14 smoke-free public-housing units in two townhouse clusters at Franklin Hill. Bennett expects these redevelopment efforts to have a major impact on the affordable-housing community. “If you think of it from a quality-of-life perspective, these families came from housing conditions that weren’t very healthy and residents were living in a super block of institutional public housing,” she says. “Now they’re returning to beautiful townhouses, some of which have yards; are 30 percent larger than the place they left; have better living conditions and more green space; and have a community center. The result is something far more livable and positive for any family.” Likewise, for Barnat and Trinity Financial, these projects are about much more than just bricks and mortar. “They’re meant to really change people’s lives by encouraging new hope and aspiration through safe and exceptional housing,” she says. “In addition to the new housing, we provide a number of supportive services to help people achieve economic self-sufficiency. Also, the projects often provide the economic stimulus that allows for private investment in the area around our new developments.” ABQ

40 Court Street 8th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02108 Tel 617-720-8400 | Fax 617-720-8401 Email

Trinity Financial, Inc. is a Boston based real estate development firm, specializing in residential and commercial development. Established in 1987, Trinity Financial has completed or currently has in development over $950 million worth of real estate projects, including over 366,000 square feet of commercial revitalization space and over 5,600 units of housing.

A COLLABORATIVE URBAN SPIRIT Trinity’s work spans half a dozen residential and commercial specialties, from multiunit housing to transit-oriented development. Across that spectrum, Trinity projects have demonstrated a high caliber of vision and attention to detail, which has set them apart and led to sustainable success. ABQ Trinity Financial 1 Page‫‏‬.indd 2

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high-end design 76 82 86 92 95 98

michael neumann architecture, llc classic new mexico homes mauck zantzinger & associates, inc. veverka architects fogArty finger magness design

veverka architects, based in San Francisco, has an affinity for simple but efficient designs, specializing in a minimalist approach to create smart and sophisticated spaces.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

high-end design

michael neumann architecture

MNA’s Coach flagship store in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district won the Award of Merit from the Institute of Sales Promotion and Visual 76 american builders quarterly september/october 2010 Merchandising and Store Design magazine.

high-end design

michael neumann architecture by sandra guy

With bold concepts for international retail spaces, New York-based architects take the concept of “boutique design” to the next level

michael neumann architecture, llc, an internationally renowned design firm, is celebrating its 15th year with a list of top-tier projects, all based on its philosophy of listening to clients in order to create their ideal retail concept. The company—with headquarters in a Chelsea, New York, loft space—plays key roles in fashioning new-concept stores for clients like Coach, Nike, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, and other household-name retailers. The firm’s longtenured staff and out-of-the-box thinking create complete retail concepts, says Michael Neumann, founder and principal. “The store is an experience,” he says. “The experience begins when we work with a client. The product that results should be the spirit of that brand… You want that experience to evolve, and if something doesn’t work, we make it better.” Neumann’s first projects were residential—designing a house in Big Sur, California, and a townhouse in Greenwich Village, New York— after a 10-year career with esteemed New York architectural firm Shelton, Mindel & Associates. He transitioned into retail design and architecture after designing flagship stores for Ralph Lauren, which has become a long-time client.

at a glance location: new york, ny founded: 1995 employees: 12

area of specialty: retail design and architecture notable clients: coach, michael kors, west elm, martin & osa, lilly pulitzer, polo ralph lauren, hurley, and more.

Indeed, Michael Neumann Architecture recently designed Polo Ralph Lauren flagship stores in Moscow, Singapore, and in Seoul, South Korea. One store in Moscow—a 6,000-square-foot, two-level store in the Tretyakovsky Passage, a 19 th century stalwart, just one block from Red Square—features a traditional look with limestone floors, a staircase with an ornate wrought-iron railing, and an open elevator that operates in the staircase shaft. A second, more contemporary store, located in a wealthy Moscow suburb where Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin owns a home, sports floating-wood

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

michael neumann architecture, llc

The store is an experience. The experience begins when we work with a client. The product that results should be the spirit of that branD. — Michael Neumann, Founder & Principal

ceilings, cherry woodwork, and white lacquer woodwork in a freeform setting. The 4,000-square-foot store, housed in the Luxury Village shopping mall, plays host to such high rollers that the shoppers enter through a private garage and try on clothes in private VIP rooms. The firm’s three-level flagship store for Ralph Lauren in Seoul is located near Dosan Park in Sinsa-dong, an area considered to be the next cutting-edge shopping district in Seoul since Cheongdam. To pull together the disparate components of the existing façade, the firm clad the building in honed limestone, and replaced windows in the commercial spaces above with punched-strip windows. It also designed louvers of Afzelia wood to mask an additive part of the old façade, and the louvers clip over the edge and turn up to create a canopy over the rooftop garden. Furthermore, inside the store, each floor reads as a series of cascading levels—an idea reflected in the overlapping floating planes of the Irocco wood-plank ceiling and tumbled limestone flooring. And the interior casework is made of white lacquer or cherry wood, with accent fireplaces of Belgian Black marble. The firm has also done work for Hurley, a surf- and skateboardclothing brand for Nike. The store was fashioned in a way that young shoppers see the retail space as their own. The first store, a 4,000-square-foot space dubbed 225 Forest (after its street address in Laguna Beach, California), opened in 2009, with a relaxed atmosphere that features all inventory laid out on the floor instead of kept in separate storage, and tables where customers can sit next to the merchandise displays. Nike was so impressed with the design that it combined the brand with its other youth-oriented brands—6.0, SB, NikeID, and Converse—and developed the Chop Shop, a concept in

Top: MNA’s Coach store in Tokyo’s Ginza district is one of the firm’s three award-winning projects in Japan’s bustling city. Middle: The firm’s Ralph Lauren flagship store in Moscow’s Tretyakovsky Passage features limestone floors and irocco woodplank ceilings. Bottom: 225 Forest, a store commissioned by Nike’s surf-brand Hurley, was conceived as a unique space designed for and by kids. The store features an open concept and repurposed elements to give it a relaxed and spacious atmosphere.

78 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

the MNA office In 2008, Michael Neumann Architecture moved from its modest Manhattan workspace—a converted two-bedroom apartment—into a 5,000-square-foot upper-story loft space in Chelsea. The new self-designed, expansive office allows for small-office communication, while also providing private conference rooms and storage space. Some amenities include large sliding doors that can close off spaces for a quiet work area, 20 linear feet of sliding floor-toceiling pin-up panels, movable worktables, lounge seating, a design library, an open kitchen, and a foosball table. Loft windows and skylights provide natural light and fresh air, while salvaged maple floors, brick walls, and exposed timber allowed the firm to use repurposed materials. The office reinforces MNA’s creative, communal approach to design, and gives the firm hands-on experience with sustainable building methods.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

michael neumann architecture, llc

Retail is a life form. It’s an evolving thing. It’s not static.

white-washed poplar, industrial felt, and canvas—reflect Michael Neumann Architecture’s growing reputation for unique aesthetic design. “Clients with no physical presence on the street ask us to give them a look [architecturally] that can be replicated throughout a country and, in many cases, internationally,” Neumann says.

— Michael Neumann, Founder & Principal

The company sees its success as a result of its ability to listen and empathize with clients, to create constantly evolving concepts, and to treat its employees with great care so that they feel rewarded for their loyalty. “Retail is a life form,” Neumann says. “It’s an evolving thing. It’s not static.” ABQ

which shoppers can personalize designs of store-bought clothes, with the help of an artist-in-residence. “We broke all the rules of what retail was, and blurred the lines between customer and employee,” Neumann says. “Our idea was that the spaces would be in ‘found’ places, like an old warehouse, and fixtures would be made of things kids would find, so we made a display table out of stacked-up moving blankets, a display wall of garden hoses, and a 20-foot-tall wall where an artist-in-residence paints while people shop. Every one of these stores will become a personalized, funky space so that it doesn’t feel like a national chain.” These designs—as well as others like 77 Kids for American Eagle, in which the firm used materials such as galvanized steel, plywood,

a message from daniel demarco & associates Daniel DeMarco & Associates and AmityWood Industries have had the pleasure to work with Michael Neumann Architecture on a number of projects, including celebrity residences, corporate offices, and retail flagship locations. As an architectural woodworking firm, we take pride in the excellence of our work. As such, we rely on the creativity of our design development and detailed drafting departments. Our team is also aware that when it comes to constructing a luxury environment, quality must be accompanied by service.This is why our project managers make it their priority to provide each client with the personalized attention they deserve.

The Mission of Cutting-Edge Systems, Inc (CES) is to provide a unique service to our clients, whereby his/her entertainment and leisure time, at home is maximized. CES at the same time make his/her living space most comfortable and appropriately controlled. Centralized control of Lights, HVAC, security and surveillance, audio and video is one way we make it happen for our client.

In this age of information, the average householder is bombarded with choices, CES industry certified staff will clear the air, and help him/her make the most appropriate and lasting choices. We have been in the business for the past 30 years and there is no job too small for us.

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DANIEL DEMARCO AND ASSOCIATES AMITY WOOD INDUSTRIES Architectural Woodworking & Custom Store Fixtures

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high-end design

classic new mexico homes

One of Classic New Mexico Homes’ expertly and individually designed and constructed adobe-style residences.

82 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

high-end design

classic new mexico homes by sandra guy

By adding high-end details to traditional abodes, builders create a unique Southwestern aesthetic

at a glance location: las cruces, nm founded: 1986 employees: 5

area of specialty: planning, designing, and building adobe-style homes average annual revenue: $1.5–2 million

shortly after wayne and kiki suggs decided to turn their long years of detailed work in designing, building, and outfitting adobe-style homes into a business, the residential real-estate market tanked. Yet their company, Classic New Mexico Homes, has thrived as its expertly detailed homes win attention from passersby, businesspeople, high-end customers, and architecture publications alike. “A lot of our business is word of mouth,” says Kiki Suggs, manager of the company, which is co-owned by her husband, Wayne, and his brother, silent partner Dan Suggs. “Many bankers and other builders speak highly of us because they know how hard we work to provide a quality product.” One of the firm’s notable projects is a 3,900-square-foot home built for former Super Bowl-winning football player Bob Talamini and his wife, artist Mary Talamini. The home, which features a breathtaking view of the Rio Grande River Valley and the Organ Mountains, was Classic New Mexico Homes’ first house built using dead-stand wildfire pine, which had been curing for four years after a wildfire swept through northern New Mexico. “This is a very sustainable project,” Kiki says. “We used the dry, already-dead lumber, and the homeowners don’t have to worry about it shrinking. It has a lot of character, too.” The home features a stained-concrete pathway, Saltillo tile, turquoise trim, four adobe kiva fireplaces, and an attached private area—a casita— for guests. Mary’s art studio is designed around artist Virginia Maria Romero’s piece “Mary Walks in Harmony” and is set off by a stone swirl, known as a circle of life, as a floor decoration. The art studio opens onto a courtyard filled with natural light. This home and many others feature design elements unique to Classic New Mexico Homes. One of the company’s distinctive features for

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

classic new mexico homes

We only build two to three homes a year because our homes are high quality and handcrafted… We want to make sure that what we put out there is something we can really be proud of.

—Kiki Suggs, Manager

its buildings is 18-inch-thick walls with double-frame construction, which are blown full of insulation. Kiki draws inspiration from her childhood in Kingston, New Mexico, to give a historic look to the homes, much like the 1890s-era adobes that were built during the Silver Boom in that area. “These homes are so comfortable because they are so well insulated, and we can make everything curvy with the room we have to play with,” she says. “These homes have so much character—each room is different.” Yet another standout project, in the Picacho Mountains, is 2,900 square feet of unique Pueblo style that sits on a dramatic slope in the surrounding landscape. The home features a magnificent sweeping view and leverages the location by utilizing distinctly designed floor plans on four separate levels. This house features Wayne’s unique, handcrafted wooden arches, as do most of the homes designed by the firm. He also does much of the beam work and uses his expert eye on elevations to take advantage of the area’s sloping and multileveled geography. “We are intimately involved in every aspect of the work,” Kiki says. “We tell our clients to cut out pictures from magazines and books to give us direction. We try to get into their heads when we design.” The home’s kitchen features a stunning Cobalt-blue Viking range with Cobalt-blue accent tile, and a Cobalt-blue kitchen island with a beadboard backing topped by a four-inch-thick slab of Douglas-fir wood, held together with walnut bow-tie joints. The kitchen cabinets are

Top: Classic New Mexico Homes designs multilevel pueblo-style residences, which are built to fit perfectly into their native Southwestrn settings. Middle: This vintage kitchen (left) features an Aga range with a hand-plastered rangehood that sits on beams interlocked with dovetail joints, while this slipper tub (right) sits below a dead-stand pine and latilla ceiling. Bottom: This home’s living room features hand-carved doors that hide a 52” TV, as well as an adobe kiva fireplace.

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handmade by Greg Duff, the company’s expert carpenter. Meanwhile, the master bathroom shows off a faux terra-cotta finish with plenty of wash-green tile, but the hidden gem is a claw-foot slipper tub, which sits in a nook with a huge picture window that overlooks the valley and its spectacular view. In addition, the home office includes beamed ceilings, a Sonoran gold flagstone floor, antique shutters leading out to the hallway, and another magnificent view. A third project, in the Las Cruces’ Desert Mirage subdivision, shows off another creative way of overcoming Mother Nature—in this case, making the most of an arroyo that had formed from the area’s monsoon rains. The two-bedroom, 2,800-square-foot home features a 22’ x 18’ master bedroom, a workout room, and an outdoor courtyard with a hot tub overlooking the arroyo and the Organ Mountains. The kitchen is designed in a vintage/retro style with an AGA stove, painted sage-green cabinets, and stained-glass fixtures and skylight inserts. For unique projects such as these, the principals of Classic New Mexico Homes have no plans to grow or to outsource design and architectural functions. “We only build two to three homes a year because our homes are high quality and handcrafted,” Kiki says. “Either Wayne or I are on-site at all times. We want to make sure that what we put out there is something we can really be proud of.” The Suggs are also proud of their ability to innovate with each new project. “We learn on every single job,” Kiki adds. “We never stop learning to create a better product.” abq

high-end design

mauck zantzinger & associates, inc.

As a luxury-home builder, Mauck Zantzinger creates a custom residential space for each client based on individual needs and tastes.

86 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

high-end design

mauCk zantZinger & Associates by sandra guy

Residential builder provides a welcomed balance between modernity, comfort, and luxury in the nation’s capital

when a client sought a hard-to-find, aged finish for a white-oak interior trim for his home’s $500,000 conservatory, general contractor Mauck Zantzinger & Associates, Inc., based in Washington, DC, went to great lengths to find exactly the right look. “The client showed us images of English chateaus and castles with the interior trim and finish; that is a difficult look to replicate,” says Richard Zantzinger, vice president of the firm, and co-owner along with Michael “Mickey” Mauck, who serves as the firm’s president. “The trick, from our perspective, is to understand how to get from the images from 400 or 500 years ago to today in a convincing way.” But efforts such as this are what help to set the firm apart. “That’s where we add value,” Zantzinger adds. “We look hard for the artistic and architectural intent of a project. It reflects so much of what we really do well. We listen to the clients, hear what they want regarding finishes—which is often hard to achieve—and figure out how to get there.”

at a glance location: washington, dc founded: 1991 employees: 50

area of specialty: luxury-home architecture, construction, and interior design average annual revenue: $10-13 million

Mauck Zantzinger & Associates took the images to its millwork subcontractors, who got the species and product right but not the finish. So the firm sought out a furniture-maker who was able to achieve the desired finish. “We ended up buying all of the material from a mill worker and then hiring the furniture-maker to freefinish the stained-grade, light-oak, aged-looking product,” Zantzinger recalls. After the installation, the furniture-maker came to the home to touch up the final look in the 800-square-foot addition. The conservatory was part of a more than $3 million project that included a complete gut-renovation of the 10,000-square-foot home in Georgetown.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

mauck zantzinger & associates, inc.

Mauck Zantzinger & Associates works on homes ranging from $200,000 to $4 million, and limits its work to 10–12 projects at a time. A project manager stays abreast of 3–4 projects, and each home is assigned its own superintendent or lead carpenter. In addition, the firm performs its own framing, interior and exterior trim, some concrete masonry work, and 95 percent of a home’s millwork. “The superintendent or lead carpenter has with him a crew of Mauck Zantzinger employees, who are on the job from beginning to end,” Zantzinger says. “That gives us not only continuity, which matters enormously in our business, but the opportunity for the framer to see from the start the details that usually show up deep in the plans at the back end of a job. This model has kept us competitive.” Mauck Zantzinger prides itself on working with the best-quality architects and on overcoming various obstacles, such as building a house to commercial code due to the building’s tall height and small width. A 10,000-square-foot house worth $2.8 million in Phillips Park—a high-end, custom-build residential site bordering 200 acres of national park land outside of Georgetown—had to meet the unusual code requirements. “The sheer wall and structural details have gotten a lot more complicated in residential codes, and even more so in commercial codes,” Zantzinger explains. Mauck Zantzinger also advocates green practices, as it maintains its adherence to architectural purity by translating energy efficiency into basic tenets, such as ensuring the best insulation, high-quality windows, and (when possible) geothermal heating and cooling.

We look hard for the artistic and architectural intent of a project. It reflects so much of what we really do well. —Richard Zantzinger, Vice President & Co-Owner

a message from royal gutter serivce Working with Mauck, Zantzinger, and Associates over the past ten years has always been a pleasure.Their office and field staff are always friendly and are true professionals.The outstanding custom projects that they produce make it easy to see why they’re being recognized for what they do. a message from stone works inc. For over a decade, StoneWorks have seen that the quality of workmanship, attention to detail and service MZA provides is what sets them apart to achieve the highest quality of homes. It has truly been a privilege and an honor to work with an innovative industry leader like MZA.

The firm’s ideals of sustainability and high quality reflect the co-owners’ commitment to each other and to their employees, despite the country’s deep recession. Mauck and Zantzinger have shared an office for 25 years, including several years when they worked for another company. Mauck runs the day-to-day business operations of the office, while Zantzinger “puts a sales face on the company,” as he puts it. The two co-owners control 95 percent of the company, but they intend to give a greater ownership stake to key executives as the economy continues to improve. Mauck and Zantzinger decided to keep their workforce intact through the recession, which pummeled their revenues by 40 percent from 2008 to 2009. “We have terrific people who’ve worked here for a long time,” Zantzinger says. “We opted to keep the whole group as we try to keep the company as strong as we can in this economy.” Commitment like this displays the strong values that the firm possesses, propelling its success and dedication to its employees and clients alike. ABQ

right TOP: A large addition adds significant living space to this custom-built and custom-designed home. right bottom: This kitchen, designed in part by glass-structureexperts Marston & Langinger, features an open concept and an airy feel that fills the home with natural sunlight. opposite page: A custom-built media center and an integrated gas fireplace give this space a modern, clean look while maintaining all the functionality of a classic American living room. Photos: David Reeve Architectural Photography.

88 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

mauck zantzinger & associates, inc. high-end design

New family room with a custom built-in media

american builders quarterly september/october center 2010 and 89 an integrated gas fireplace.

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As a stone masonry company that has worked with MZA for over a decade, helping to turn their client’s dreams into reality, we at Stone Works, Inc. have seen that the quality of workmanship, attention to detail and service MZA provides is what sets them apart from others. They have pushed the boundaries with their creativity and vision to achieve the highest quality of home construction in the Washington DC area. It has truly been a privilege and an honor to work with an innovative industry leader like MZA.

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high-end design

mauck zantzinger & associates, inc.

Rear view of a Veverka-designed residence in San Francisco, built on one of the city’s typical 25-foot lots.

92 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

high-end design

veverka architects by laura williams-tracy

Bay-Area design firm’s minimalist, personalized approach creates satisfied customers and envious neighbors

Getting a home design approved in San Francisco’s regulationheavy building environment is a challenge for any architect. Jerry Veverka, president of Veverka Architects, relies on 47 years of career experience, including teaching design at some of California’s most prestigious universities and managing construction at campuses for leading employers, to deliver unique home designs in the Bay area. “There are always challenges in San Francisco because neighbors here get a say in everything you build,” Veverka says. “When you file for a permit, everyone within 150 feet of the proposed project is notified.” Most homeowners are looking to protect their vistas and views, and getting approval for a building permit can take two years. Veverka says he’s accustomed to working with both planning staffs and neighbors, and he can always deliver a design that the neighbors love. One recent client found Veverka Architects after the firm designed a neighboring residence. The new client liked his neighbor’s house so much that he knocked on the door to get Veverka’s name and hired him to build a home from the ground up.

at a glance location: san fransisco, ca founded: 1986 employees: 5

area of specialty: luxury-home design principal’s career experience: 47 years

“We listen,” Veverka says. “We do a high level of service. I’ve done a lot of projects, and there’s a lot of different ways to do things. I don’t have a problem helping a client get what they want. I learned a long time ago that if you force a design down a client’s throat, they will change it.” Veverka says clients do tend to be drawn to his clean lines and contemporary shapes and volumes. His own preference leans toward smaller, minimalist homes that play down their impact on the environment. “I like things much simpler than most of my clients,” says Veverka, who designed his own home, which includes just one

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

mauck zantzinger & associates, inc.

The greatest compliment is to go to a house we’ve designed years later and it’s exactly the way we left it. —Jerry Veverka, President bedroom and two art studios. “I’m building a house for myself and my wife that not all of my clients would accept.” Establishing Veverka’s affinity for clean lines, simple designs, and small spaces has been almost 50 years in the making. However, in affluent San Francisco, Veverka’s work for clients tends to consist of luxury homes of 7,000 square feet and larger. To counteract those large footprints, every home he’s designed in the past seven years has included photovoltaic panels on the roof to provide solar energy, and the firm is increasingly incorporating green material elements into its projects. Veverka came to San Francisco in 1968, after graduating from the University of Illinois and working for several Midwestern firms. After 13 years of professional practice in San Francisco, he returned to graduate school, earned a master’s of architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught design at California Polytechnic State University for the next three years. Although he was on a tenure track, Veverka missed San Francisco and the pace of commercial design. He moved back to practice with MBT Associates and took on project management of a 1.1-million-square-foot expansion of the Bay Area’s Chevron Park and a corporate campus for the former Tandem Computers, Inc. Then, in 1986 he launched Veverka Architects, focusing on commercial renovations, office-tenant improvements, and residential projects. Since 2000, the firm has focused on residential projects. “I like it because it’s very hands-on,” he says. “It’s a scale I like.” Veverka hand-selects slabs of granite and draws where he wants them cut, picks out plywood flitches for custom cabinetry, and designs custom light fixtures. This personalized and detailed work has left Veverka Architects with many satisfied customers. Quite often, Veverka will discover a “thank you” note from a client tucked in with their payments. “The greatest compliment,” he says, “is to go to a house we’ve designed years later and it’s exactly the way we left it.” abq Top: Veverka designed this San Francisco residence using a clean, minimalist aesthetic. Middle: This loft displays the firm’s knack for clean lines and simple, effective designs. Bottom left & right: With the smaller plot sizes typical of San Francisco, Veverka makes use of vertical space and natural light.

94 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

Fogarty Finger designed the new East River Science Park campus in New York with glass-paned facades that create a vibrant and luminous aesthetic.

fogarty finger

high-end design

fogarty finger by laura williams-tracy

New York design firm utilizes vast experience for residential and commercial projects

when partners robert finger and chris fogarty left an acclaimed New York City architecture firm to launch their own design practice in 2003, they thought some national clients might follow them to their startup, Fogarty Finger Architecture/Interiors. They soon found that despite their talents as designers, larger developers still wanted a signature firm’s name on their design. “That was an awakening,” Finger says. “We left with great relationships with all of our clients, and they were happy for us and encouraging about spinning off on our own, but we learned that they hired the firm, not you.”

at a glance location: new york, ny founded: 2003 employees: 10

area of specialty: residential and commercial architecture and design geographic scope: global

Over time, however, the partners—equipped with extensive résumés showcasing their experience designing projects around the world—learned something else about being in business for themselves: when client loyalty finally comes, it’s the most rewarding part of the job. “We never lose clients,” Finger says. “We can never do something halfway.” With its early lessons learned, Fogarty Finger soon saw its fortunes turn. Within just a few years of its launch, the

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

fogarty finger

architecture and interiors firm developed strong relationships with new developers and quickly began to see a bounty of rewarding projects. “When we reached the four-year mark, we hit a threshold for credibility,” Finger says. The firm began to hit its stride with commissions for projects whose scale reflected those commissioned to global architecture firms. Over its seven-year history, Fogarty Finger rapidly developed a reputation as a premier New York City design firm with expertise in residential, office, hospitality, and retail projects. The 10-person firm is based just west of the SoHo district, in a loft where Finger says music is always playing and the team draws inspiration from the surrounding city. The collaborative environment draws on the talents of each designer to deliver a unique project to each client. Finger, who grew up in Washington, DC, and attended Syracuse University, focuses on interiors, while Fogarty, from the United Kingdom, built his career designing skyscrapers. “We always knew we were ideally suited for doing large-scale commercial work,” Finger says. The pair has combined its talents to build a niche in commercial-office upfits and high-rise metropolitan-condominium projects.

When we reached the four-year mark, we hit a threshold for credibility. —Robert Finger, Principal

Rochelle, White Plains, and Brooklyn, and is currently designing a similar-sized project in New York City’s West Chelsea neighborhood. One notable project that the firm recently completed was a 5,000square-foot dental office designed to look and function more like a spa than the typical medical space. “What was critical was to create a spa-like atmosphere, with a richness of material and finishes you don’t expect to find in a typical dentist office,” says Finger, adding that the project’s design eliminated doors, creating an open and relaxed atmosphere that puts patients at ease. The success of that project has led to more medical-office design work.

Long-standing clients include residential developer Adellco, for whom Fogarty Finger recently completed two large residential redevelopments, as well as Terramax Inc., Fortuna Realty Group, and Thor Equities. Another major client is Avalon Bay Communities, for whom the firm recently completed apartment buildings in New

Fogarty Finger—whose commercial-interiors work includes corporate headquarters for L3 Communications, Turner Construction, and the redesign of the GM Building lobby for Boston Properties in New York—also designs high-end personal residences and has designed homes in such diverse places as Long Island, Hawaii, and Germany, as well as a hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

top left: Fogarty Finger designed this dental office in the Flatiron District of New York City to resemble a tranquil spa. top middle: The firm designs its interiors with a strong emphasis on richness and detail. top right: This unique approach to interiors is demonstrated in the lobby of Avalon Bay Communities in White Plains, New York.

The firm also employs an interior designer who moves beyond the building finishes selected by architects to bring a project to furnished completion. “When you are doing an executive suite, you must have antiques and rugs,” Finger says. “You need all of the resources of residential design.” Combining high-end residential work with a commercial focus, he adds, has helped the firm develop an expertise in interiors that is unexpected in corporate settings. abq

96 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

Industries, Inc. • heavy fabrication • heat treating, annealing, hardening & quenching • blasting • painting • transportation Turner Interiors is proud to support our friends at Fogarty Finger

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Andrew Fethes Architects congratulates Magness Design for their feature article in American Builders Quarterly, and the other recognition and accolades so duly deserved.

Andrew Fethes Architects, PA

Bronx Terminal Market Bronx, NY

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613 Oradell Avenue Oradell, NJ 07649 T 201-261-5510 F 201-261-5523 E info @

Andrew Fethes Architects, PA is a full service architectural design studio that has offered professional services to our residential, commercial, and institutional clients since 1993. In that time we have assembled a diverse portfolio of successful projects, satisfied clients, and have proudly improved the built environment in many cities and communities.

high-end design

magness design

The space-conscious living room of a Magness-designed New York City loft.

magness design by zach baliva

Emerging designer launches successful boutique firm in New York City at a glance location: new york, ny founded: 2008

area of specialty: luxury interior design principal’s education: university of texas at austin, pratt institute

it may still be a young company, but Magness Design is taking on big projects and generating considerable buzz in the world of interior design. Owner Sarah Magness started her boutique firm in 2008; just two years later, House Beautiful magazine listed her as one of the Top 20 Interior Designers to Watch. Magness says her background in architecture has helped attract clients with elaborate and interesting projects. She studied at the University of Texas at Austin and worked under a mentor who helped her discover a passion for interiors. Magness then moved to New York to enroll at the Pratt Institute while working for leading designers and architects. “Working in architecture and spending four years studying interiors gave me the fundamentals of form, function, space, and light,” she says. “Education in classic design translates well to interior spaces.” Unlike some competitors, she is able to quickly understand all components of construction and easily communicate with all trades on a job site.

98 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

magness design

Nothing is better than the challenge of asking a client to come to me with their dreams for a space and being able to produce it for them. —Sarah Magness, Owner The energy that a young and passionate designer can bring to clients fits well in New York City. “There are so many things accessible in a big city that help me achieve my clients’ goals,” Magness says. Her approach consists of asking clients to share with her their thoughts and dreams for each job, and then she strives to exceed expectations at all costs. While working with clients, Magness avoids dictating a certain style and relies instead on the foundation of her architectural training. Clients are asked for pictures and descriptions of things they love and things they hate, from which Magness gets an idea of personal style. “I love collaborating with new people to create new spaces,” she says. “Nothing is better than the challenge of asking a client to come to me with their dreams for a space and being able to produce it for them.” Magness works with a team that helps the company focus on up to seven projects at any time. She has recently completed a total renovation of an apartment on 5th Avenue and 68th Street on New York’s Upper East Side. Her client, a young bachelor, wanted to create a space to entertain and socialize in a unit not updated since the 1960s. Magness gutted the entire structure and converted two bedrooms into one, blowing out almost every wall to maximize views of Central Park. Traditional elements were kept while she essentially created a new loft space and enlarged the kitchen and entertainment areas at the client’s request. “We took something very traditional and heavy and opened it up to make something modern and light,” Magness says. The project took nearly 18 months to complete. Outside of the city, Magness is working on what she calls a “once-ina-lifetime project.” She’s renovating an old monastery built on Long Island in the early 1900s and abandoned since the 1990s. Magness worked with the contractor to decide the stability of the house and other buildings on the seven acres of land. The house will be torn apart and transformed into a Mediterranean-style villa with impressive views of Long Island Sound.

top right: A combined dining room and entertainment area make efficient use of space in this New York City loft. bottom right: The New York loft’s design allows for natural light and maximized views of the surrounding city.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


high-end design

high-end design

magness design

I want all my clients to walk into their home every day and say, “I can’t believe I live here.” —Sarah Magness, Owner

The monastery project is the kind on which Magness thrives, because it allows her to showcase her creativity in new and unexpected ways while helping clients realize their property’s potential. “I want all my clients to walk into their home every day and say, ‘I can’t believe I live here,’” she says. As an emerging interior designer, Magness is realizing her own dreams, too. She continues to amass an impressive portfolio of eclectic projects. With loyal vendors, repeat clients, and new projects, she’s ready to continue her ascent to the top of the industry. abq

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a message from andrew fethes architects, pa Andrew Fethes Architects, PA is proud to be a design partner with Magness Design. Based on our mutual philosophies, we have successfully collaborated on a wide range of projects from interiors to landscape design.The underlying theme of our work is an acute understanding that each project is a confluence of many variables that must be carefully analyzed, absorbed, and assembled into an appropriate and unique design solution. Our practice is highly process-driven—we immerse ourselves into the project and thoroughly explore all possibilities from the most pragmatic to the sublime.We involve our partners and collaborators early in this process to achieve the best results, and collectively we strive to communicate the simplest and clearest expression of the project’s goals, our clients’ needs, and our desire to enhance the environment into which the project is built.While each project is a specific response to a particular problem, we knit a common thread through all of our work—confidence, integrity, and professionalism.

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high-end design

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Collette Contracting replaced the synthetic field of West Point’s Blaik Field at Michie Stadium.

collette contracting, inc. Portfolio of challenging government and military contracts builds on firm’s reputation for quality, collaborative work by julie edwards collette contracting, inc. has found a strategy for continued success—a steady influx of commercial and government contracts built on the company’s 30-plus-year reputation for quality work and superior customer service.

at a glance location: rutherford, nj employees: 20–25 area of specialty: high-end commercial and government construction and renovation average annual sales: $15–20 million average annual projects: 12–15

The company, started in 1976 by Guy Collette, began as a sole-proprietorship construction firm. In the beginning, Guy worked mainly as a subcontractor on major industrial and commercial renovations. In 1987, the company expanded its focus to include high-end commercial-construction projects that required a general contractor or construction-management team. The company incorporated in 1991, and Judi Collette, Guy’s wife and business partner of nine years, became 100-percent owner, and Guy became Collette Contracting’s president. That same year, Collette Contracting secured its first substantial commercial project through Judi’s efforts. The $1.4 million contract was to renovate a 26,000-square-foot retail space for Mikasa, a worldwide leader in tabletop fashion and decorative accessories. “The Mikasa project helped establish us in the commercial-contracting arena,” Guy says. “The project included a lot of specialty and custom fabrications that were completed on-site by our in-house carpentry team

assembled through the Local 15 Bergen County Carpenters, of which Collette was a signatory.” The company continued its success, growing in confidence while continuing to win contracts with major corporate clients, including international corporations such as Evergreen Shipping and Sangyong Group. However, Judi realized that in order to continue to expand the business, the company would have to broaden its vision and look to other areas for growth. As a result, the company began bidding on government-contract work and, since that time, has completed more than one hundred contracts from a number of federal-government agencies, including the US Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, as well as the US Army Corp of Engineers. “Our philosophy is to always stress safety, quality, and speed—in that order,” Judi says. “We have built our reputation on completing projects on schedule—and even early—while never sacrificing expert craftsmanship.” Today, Collette Contracting is involved in all aspects of commercial and government construction, which include design-build services, construction-management services, and general construction. Collette also has in-house engineers and architects who assist with the

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collette contracting, inc. community structures

Our philosophy is to always stress safety, quality, and speed—in that order. We have built our reputation on completing projects on schedule—and even early—while never sacrificing expert craftsmanship. —Judi Collette, Owner

design-build aspects of its projects. As owner, Judi oversees the sales negotiations and contract bidding, while Guy oversees the crews in the field. Typically, the company takes on about 12–15 projects each year, with most of them based in New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. “We work with our clients as a team, beginning with the concept and design process, continuing with interior design and preconstruction value engineering, and ulti-

Abruzzi Electrical Services, Inc Residential + Commercial

mately to actual construction, whether it’s as construction manager or general contractor,” Judi says. “During this process, the client’s objectives are merged with the diversified talents of our staff to plan, manage, and deliver a quality product, on time and within budget.” The company’s projects have ranged from constructing a savings bank, to a wide variety of renovations at West Point, to constructing flood-control systems for Dover, New Jersey, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Currently, Collette Contracting’s works in progress include an extensive renovation of Eisenhower Hall at West Point. The scope of the project includes the design and construction of a theatrical lighting and audio system and structural modifications, as well as repairing exterior masonry, interior walls, and ceilings, renovating the kitchen and servery, and installing a new emergency generator. “One day you’re constructing a building from the ground up, and the next day you can be working on a historical renovation,” Judi notes. Collette Contracting plans to stay on its current path, as it continues to rely on its solid reputation to gain new and repeat business. “We depend upon continued business,” Judi says, “which is why we are always there for our clients from conception to completion.” abq a message from zampolin& associates Zampolin & Associates provides architectural services internationally and in the United States. Projects designed by the firm have been showcased in the New York Times, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and has been the recipient of the Custom Home of theYear Award for six consecutive years.We work closely with each client to create the perfect custom residence. In addition, the firm provides design services for national banking facilities, universities, and institutional/commercial clients. It has been a pleasure working with Collette Contracting for 15 years on projects ranging from universities, and historical restorations to commercial interiors.

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community structures

D.A.G.’s Baldwin Grove senior-housing project is a two-story, 114,000-square-foot building, which had a total project cost of $10 million.

D.A.G. Construction Co., Inc. From humble beginnings, general contractor succeeds in building some of Midwest’s largest-scale community projects by laura williams-tracy

at a glance

after immigrating to the united states from India in 1974, Dale White sat on a bench, waiting for a job interview for more than eight hours. “I’m very patient,” says White, who left India, after working as an executive with an automobile manufacturer, to find success in the United States. “The first six months in the States were awful. No one gave me credit for my Indian education. I was offered one job at minimum wage.”

location: cincinnati, oh founded: 1990 employees: 35 area of speciality: general contracting and construction management.

White eventually landed a job as bookkeeper with the same firm that had kept him waiting all day. He ultimately rose to the position of vice president and general manager for the construction company, proving that patience is indeed a valuable virtue. When White and the firm parted ways 17 years later, he launched his own firm, known as D.A.G. Construction Co., Inc., with partner and COO Gregory Webb. “I figured if I can make money for [someone else], I can make money for myself,” says White, who acts as CEO of the company.

Today, the Cincinnati-based general-contracting and construction-management firm has built some of the area’s highest-profile projects—from Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, to multiple hotels, public schools, healthcare facilities, and houses of worship—working in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio, as well as Kentucky and Indiana. “It was a leap of faith,” White says of starting his own company. “At that time, in the summer of 1990, it was not a good year to start a business. Due to the fact that I had a lot of contacts, people knew me very well and knew I would stand to something to the very end. That gave me the edge.” Yet again, White utilized his patience to ensure controlled growth and quality work for his firm. He started out small, taking on home-remodeling projects, doing demolition and construction. His big break eventually came with an opportunity to bid on a large

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d.a.g. construction co., inc. community structures

It’s all been hard work and honesty and being surrounded by good people who have all of my beliefs in mind. Starting this business was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. —Dale White, CEO

contract to pour concrete at Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble. He was notified late on a Friday afternoon that he could win the contract if he could secure financing. White worked through the weekend to find a supplier to extend the credit. “I was on the job at 5:30 that Monday morning, getting everything lined up; we had a crew ready to go,” he says. “Procter & Gamble was surprised I had my crew ready to be badged.” The job was certainly a learning experience for such a young construction executive. “It was kind of scary because I had to pay people every week,” he says. “I extended every credit line I had. But prosperity doesn’t come without some hardship.” By 2001, business took off as D.A.G. took on construction management for the large-scale Paul Brown Stadium. White says his two decades of construction experience helped his young company land the big

contract, and today D.A.G. Construction has annual billings of $25 million. D.A.G. continues to be involved in some of the Midwest’s biggest projects, including Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Indianapolis Colts), which opened in August 2008, and for which D.A.G. served as general trades contractor. The company has also developed a niche in hospitality construction, building hotels for such chains as Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, Hilton, and Best Western. Today, White’s three children work within the company in operations, marketing, and running the hospitality division. “It’s all been hard work and honesty and being surrounded by good people who have all of my beliefs in mind,” he says. “Starting this business was the smartest thing I’ve ever done.” abq

D.A.G. Construction served as the construction manager for the Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals.

american builders quarterly september/october 2010


Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford’s $4-million-plus Northpark community YMCA, in Fortstructures Worth,TX. Photo: Chad Davis.

hahnfeld hoffer stanford Practical innovation distinguishes custom-designed municipal structures by jennifer kirkland

at a glance

“we’re a design firm,” says eric hahnfeld, president of Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford, an award-winning architectural firm based in Fort Worth, Texas, that is known for designing large higher-education, public, and private schools, as well as faith-based and municipal projects. “We don’t offer stock designs. Everything is customized to our client’s needs and expectations.”

location: fort worth, tx founded: 1963 employees: 46 area of specialty: architecture for educational/ municipal projects

Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford’s most recent projects reveal the range of their many long-term endeavors. The firm is the design architect for the extensive expansion and renovation of the Waco Convention Center—a $16 million project that will add 14,352 square feet to the 180,000-square-foot complex while updating interior space throughout to accommodate current and future client demands more effectively. “We’re totally transforming the appearance,” Stanford says, “making a contemporary statement with a building that was

constructed more than 40 years ago.” The center will remain open during reconstruction, lessening the impact to the local economy. Another project, the $21 million Caruth Hall at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, is a completely new design that blends traditional elements, sustainable construction, and state-of-the-art technology. The handsome collegiate Georgian building will aim for LEED Gold certification. Additionally, the firm’s work for the new Scharbauer Hall at Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth, also blends traditional design with modern sustainability and innovation. This LEED Gold building will house the College of Liberal Arts’ academic departments. The firm’s successful long-term relationship with SMU has evolved during the course of many planning, de-

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hahnfeld hoffer stanford

Top Left and Right:The Northpark YMCA provides an aquatics/ recreation center in north FortWorth, including fitness and aerobics areas, a weight room, child care, exterior play pool, water features, administrative offices, locker rooms, and concessions. Right: SMU’s Caruth Hall, designed to LEED-Gold specifications, offers 64,000 square feet of teaching and research space. Rendering: Hahn Hoffer Stanford. Photos: Chad Davis.

sign, and construction projects, including the Embrey Engineering Center, which opened in 2006 and was the second of three buildings that form a new east quadrant on campus, Caruth Hall being the third building. “The dean of the SMU Lyle School of Engineering is very innovative,” Stanford says, “so we were able to push the envelope and set new standards of excellence.” Indeed, Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford’s Web site reminds us that “the greatest innovations are grounded in practicality.” Hahnfeld explains how an opportunity for innovation presented itself during the Embrey project. “The central plant for the entire campus was directly across the street from the site,” he says. “They used to waste huge quantities of water from the cooling tower. We helped them establish a system that uses the waste water for landscaping and toilets, saving the university thousands of dollars per year.”

community structures

TheWaco Convention Center’s $16 million expansion and renovation will add 14,352 square feet to the complex, with updated interiors throughout. Rendering: Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford.

We’re totally transforming the appearance [of the Waco Convention Center], making a contemporary statement with a building that was constructed more than 40 years ago. —David Stanford, Vice President & Lead Designer

Since 1997, when the company was purchased from founding principal Lee Roy Hahnfeld (the company was originally founded in 1963 under the name Lee Roy Hahnfeld, AIA Architect), the company has grown from 18 to 46 employees. It has been recognized as the largest private architecture firm in Fort Worth, designing between $65 million and $100 million in construction volume per year. “Our principal leadership has distinguished us,” Hahnfeld says. “We have a lot of experienced people who can work with clients directly.” The local approach builds client loyalty and name recognition. Hoffer believes the firm can educate clients about the practical advantages of sustainable design by carefully choosing projects and designing them to high standards with a well-organized and experienced team. Although these principles have helped Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford win many distinguished awards for innovation, it is the strong collaborative relationships built with clients and the firm’s ability to provide creative and functional solutions that have allowed it to excel. abq

a message from electro acoustics & video Electro Acoustics &Video, Inc. has been partnering with HHS architects for more than 26 years, providing audio, video, and theatrical lighting systems that inspire our clients to entertain, educate, and edify in churches, performing-arts centers, stadiums, convention centers, and boardrooms. We provide both design and installation services, to guarantee the quality of the entire design and build process.

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JMC’s Aylen Junior High School project, in Puyallup ,WA, is a 106,000-square-foot complex featuring 27 classrooms.

jody miller construction inc. Family-run company thrives in the Pacific Northwest with a focus on the education sector by joyce finn

at a glance location: tacoma, wa founded: 1976 employees: 40 2009 revenue: $44 million average annual projects: 8–10 area of specialty: industrial, commercial, and residential general contracting

Also in 2007, JMC changed its infrastructure to be able jody miller construction inc. (jmc), a to construct three or four schools simultaneously instead general-contracting firm based in Tacoma, Washington, has been successfully serving clients in the Pacific North- of one or two individually each year. “Fortunately we got into quite a few long-term school contracts before the west since being founded by Jody Miller and his wife, Susan, in 1976. As the business and their children grew, turn in the market, so we were able to ride out a portion of the recession,” Jody says. Recently, the firm has done so did family involvement, and now 6 of the 40 employextensive projects for the town of Eatonville, Washington, ees are family members. According to Jody Miller Jr., where it completed Eatonville High School, a $21 million project manager, “When I fill out a bank application and it asks how long I’ve been with the company, I put down project, along with two Eatonville elementary schools; and currently under construction by JMC is Eatonville ‘from birth.’” His brother, Josh, agrees. “We’ve been Middle School. In the Payallup School District, JMC comframing and sweeping floors since we were old enough pleted the 106,000-square-foot Aylen Junior High School, to hold a broom,” says Josh, who also serves as project built for 800 students, with 27 classrooms, music and art manager. “Our sister, Katie, who is a nurse, grew up rooms, and a technology lab. “We have a great reputawith nail bags and a broom in her hand. She worked her tion with our community,” Josh says. “We just don’t bid way through college like we all did—sweeping floors a school, build it, and then go on our way—we become and framing walls.” involved with the community. We constantly talk to the Generating more than $44 million in sales in 2009, JMC different school boards. They’ve been happy to work with us. It’s been a real pleasure for us, too.” completes approximately 8–10 commercial, industrial, and residential projects annually, ranging in size from Along with traditional construction projects, JMC oc$1.2 million to $30 million. In 2007, JMC initiated a casionally enjoys unique opportunities such as the Asian new division, Jody Miller Ventures, to focus on mulForest Exhibit and KidZone Exhibit at the Point Defitifamily high-rise residential construction, such as the recently completed nine-story high-rise at 505 Broadway ance Zoo and Aquarium, owned by Metro Parks Tacoma. “It adds a unique twist to what we do,” says Craig Vernon, in downtown Tacoma.

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jody miller construction inc. community structures

project manager and cousin of Jody and Josh. “It’s not framing day-in and day-out. This truly was an amazing project. From start to finish, the Asian forest exhibit required the utmost attention with construction of underground tunnels and a predator-versus-prey design. This project was quite the success.” JMC has also constructed henhouses, chicken-hatching and egg-cracking facilities, and milking parlors for Wilcox Family Farms, another long-term and nontraditional JMC client in the Pacific Northwest. Environmental concerns are important issues, and to ensure its construction sites have as little negative impact to the environment as possible, JMC has an erosion-control specialist on staff. “We try to minimize the damage to our landfills by recycling as much as possible,” Josh says. “By controlling stormwater runoff and monitoring all water being dislodged from the site, it helps protect our environment.” Josh concludes by saying, “Our reputation precedes us. We make sure we meet schedules, come in on time and on budget for all of our projects. We’re just a family business that worked really hard to get where we are. We’ve cornered a niche in the market, and we provide a great product for lots of owners, and will continue to do so for years to come.” abq

A rendering of the University Place Civic Center in University Place,WA, currently under construction by JMC.

Commercial Industrial Residential Founded in 1976, Jody Miller Construction Inc. has turned traditional values and pride into its corporate mission. Jody Miller Construction Inc. has grown to become one of the major mid-sized construction companies in Pacific Northwest.

J JODY M MILLER C CONSTRUCTION P.O. BOX 44628 TACOMA, WA 98448 Phone: (253) 537-6116 american builders quarterly september/october 2010 ABQ Jody Miller Construction 1-2 Page‫‏‏‬.indd 1

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Left to right: Founder and president Rod Cooke, with his sons Wes, VP of operations, and Lucas, project manager.

builders. In terms of his customers, he feels it’s important to treat them as he would like to be treated: fairly. Cooke is sensitive to how his company is perceived, and he goes to great lengths to guarantee his customers are happy with the firm’s work and customer service. “As president, I want to ensure that we build a quality project on time and treat everyone fairly and ethically,” Cooke says. “Our word is our bond.”

rod cooke construction, inc. Family-run general contractor considers quality work its best advertisement by megy karydes

at a glance location: mobile, al founded: 1993 average annual sales: $40 million area of specialty: local-infrastructure general contracting

while social-media sites like facebook and Twitter may seem like they are taking over the business world, the reality is that, for most companies, building solid, face-to-face relationships can never be replaced with a 140-character tweet. Such is the case for Rod Cooke, founder and president of Rod Cooke Construction, Inc. (RCCI), a full-service general-contracting company licensed in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Cooke, who founded RCCI in 1993, shies away from fancy marketing collateral and advertising, preferring his work to stand on its own as his number-one form of advertising. “We are a ‘meat and potatoes’ type of company,” Cooke says. “We are not flashy, nor do we have any sales force. Our completed work is the only advertisement we have.” In creating his quality firm, Cooke has surrounded himself with a moral, trustworthy team of experienced

Because of this attention to quality, RCCI—a “hard bid” contractor that specializes in schools, correctional facilities, parking garages, hospitals, and office buildings— was named one of Alabama’s top 30 general contractors for the past 10 years by Business Alabama magazine. At one point, Cooke’s team swelled to 250 employees, but that number has declined in recent years, as he has begun subcontracting some work. Regardless, retaining the best people for the job is important to him, and, according to Cooke, he has had very little employee turnover. In fact, most of his team has been with him since day one. The company completes approximately 10 projects annually and enjoys annual sales of around $40 million. Last year, RCCI saw its annual revenue hit its highest figure at $44 million. To help him manage the company’s growth, Cooke has enlisted the help of his children, Wes, Lucas, and Leah. Once serving as summer help while in high school, they are now active and integral members of the RCCI team. “Both of my sons work for me, and each has a degree in building construction from Auburn University,” Cooke says. “My oldest son, Wes, is vice president of operations, and Lucas is a full-fledged project manager. Wes has worked full-time for 10 years and Lucas for 6 years. My daughter, Leah Dees, is our receptionist and has worked here for 5 years. Her degree is from South Alabama.” Cooke sees immense value in all of his jobs, as each has its own unique challenges, rewards, and personality. Today, the firm continues to do outstanding work on the local infrastructure projects for which RCCI has become so well known. Nevertheless, Cooke doesn’t take his firm’s reputation for granted. “We are known in the industry for estab-

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We are a ‘meat and potatoes’ type of company. We are not flashy, nor do we have any sales force. Our completed work is the only advertisement we have. —Rod Cooke, Founder & President

lishing a solid reputation of building quality projects linked with competitive pricing, leaving owners happy, and having an excellent warranty program,” he says. It’s a reputation that hasn’t come to RCCI by accident—it has been building that reputation for almost two decades. abq a message from johnstone, adams Johnstone, Adams, a full-service law firm with offices in Mobile, Birmingham, and Bay Minette, Alabama, is proud to have supplied legal services in the area of construction law to our friends at Rod Cooke Construction, Inc., for the past 12 years.

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Rehabilitation and reconstruction work was performed by Marco Enterprises on the Ellipse inWashington, DC.

marco enterprises, inc. High-quality construction, with minimal client disruption, in the nation’s capital by jamie ludwig

founder and president of marco enterprises, Inc., Donna Seaton-Fagon, first developed an interest in the construction field while working with a contractor at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. “I took a liking to the construction arena and began to enhance my knowledge with various construction courses covering all disciplines of construction, project and construction management, as well as job costing and construction accounting, to develop my career,” she says. “As the years went on, I was able to master my work, and so I ventured out and formed Marco Enterprises in 1998, and I have not looked back since.”

at a glance location: landover, md founded: 1998 employees: 22 area of specialty: government projects

challenge was proving that a female-owned and -operated company could perform and keep up with the challenges in the construction field,” she says. “Once we landed a project and our quality and performance was witnessed firsthand by the government agencies, we were given many more repeated work opportunities.”

Although Marco accepts jobs as far as New Jersey, Delaware, and Philadelphia, the company’s location in Landover, Maryland, within the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, has had a profound impact on its project base. “We are fortunate to be in an environment surrounded by government agencies,” Seaton-Fagon says. “That afforded us many opportunities for growth. We Marco began by taking on small-scale projects, which decided early on in our development that the best avenue over the years bloomed into regular offers for multifor us would be to tailor our business to accommodate million-dollar projects. By December 2008, Marco the federal government.” As such, Marco has developed had grown to 67 employees. “Marco started as a small unique specialties in order to cater to its clients. “We company focusing on performing small, easily manageable project under $3,000, and performed work through are able to provide our clients with a variety of different the IMPACT Card system used by all the federal-govern- work trades that all have security clearances,” SeatonFagon adds. “We are a one-stop company for secret and ment agencies within the metropolitan area,” SeatonFagon says. “We were able to expand our business as our top-secret work. Additionally, every project is overseen revenue increased and our performance and work quality by a VP of the company, along with a project manager.” became know to the government-contracting officers.” In recent years, Seaton-Fagon explains that working for Through her high-quality work, Seaton-Fagon overcame government agencies has meant a different set of challenges for Marco than in years past. “Since 9/11, one of any preconceptions about a female-owned company in the biggest challenges has been the security requirea traditionally male-dominated industry. “The biggest

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marco enterprises, inc. expert restoration

We are able to provide our clients with a variety of different work trades that all have security clearances. We are a onestop company for secret and top-secret work. —Donna SeatonFagon, Founder & President

ments and accessing the facilities,” she says. “The rules for security clearances and accessing of the facilities have been tightened to the point where it becomes difficult to get subcontractors personnel clearances to gain access to project sites. As a contractor to the government, you need to also be aware of the tremendous amount of paperwork that goes along with each project, as well as the security requirements to ensure all personnel are cleared timely so they can have site access and secure their badges in order to access the facilities to work.” These challenges, though, have not stopped Marco Enterprises from moving forward. Today, it is well ahead of the curve when it comes to ecologically friendly construction. “Commitment to green design is a new concept for everyone,” Seaton-Fagon says. “However, it is our belief that it is something they need to be educated about most of the time. Now that the government is pushing green [initiatives], the customers are more aware of the green environment in construction.” Marco’s basic management philosophy is, “People are our most important resource.” As such, the company prides itself on its dedication to both clients and employees. “Since the majority of our projects involve working with and around our customers and their employees, we train our employees to be very mindful of their surroundings, to perform and deliver quality work within budget,” Seaton-Fagon explains. “Our ability to perform renovation work in these facilities, which were occupied spaces, has set us aside from other similar contractors.” Recently completed projects include the historic renovation and rehabilitation of various sites for the National Park Services; two rehabilitation projects for the FBI; and construction of the VA Medical Pharmacy clean room in Philadelphia. Due to the negative effects the economic downturn has had on the construction industry, Marco was forced to lay off two-thirds of its staff. Still, Seaton-Fagon remains

focused and optimistic. “Even with the current economy, it is our plan to continue to secure work in the same specific construction areas we have focused on over the past 10 years, and tap in to the secret and top-secret work,” she says. “We feel we have a distinct advantage over other contractors in this area due to our experience, knowledge, and past performance of the requirements for this specific type of work, as well as promoting green design to our customers.” abq

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A DHI kitchen renovation in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

dhi construction co. Trust and reliability a key factor to success in storm recovery and mold remediation by megy karydes

at a glance location: sunrise, fl founded: 1986 area of specialty: general contracting, mold remediation, and storm-recovery services

honesty, integrity, and dependability have served Joe Ignicco, president of Sunrise, Florida-based DHI Construction Co., well over the past 24 years, as he has worked hard to build his company. In fact, those same attributes are just as important to him today, as he and his team of seven work hard to exceed their clients’ expectations. DHI Construction is a certified general contractor with residential and commercial clients primarily based in southern Florida. Business has sent the company as close as North Carolina and as far as Texas, since many clients have properties and projects in various parts of the country and call on DHI to get the job done right. In addition to his general-contracting services, with a specialty in kitchen and bath remodels, Ingicco also is a certified mold inspector and remediator, allowing

him “to check spaces for toxic black mold, mildew, and mold-growth location,” he says. “And, as an inspector, I can investigate, test, identify, and remove mold in homes, workplaces, and other real-estate properties, as well as advise on mold prevention, which is a nice feature to offer as part of DHI Construction.” Storm recovery, another specialty of DHI Construction, has also led to project opportunities; the company was called out to do work in Houston, after Hurricane Katrina caused major damage to the roofs of a 300-unit townhome complex. Ingicco began his business in 1986, with the intention of becoming one of southern Florida’s premier construction companies, he says. Staying abreast of industry trends is an important part of that mission, because in order to service customers, Ingicco feels it is necessary to understand what is happening in the industry and to

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dhi construction co. expert restoration

I want to continue on our course for future growth and expansion while we maintain our core values… Our outlook for the future is to navigate toward the green concepts of energy efficiency in our products and projects. —Joe Ingicco, President

know the latest trends, innovative products, and offerings. Today, more than half of DHI’s business focuses on residential work, while the rest focuses on commercial projects such as hotels and office buildings. To help stay abreast of the latest building trends, DHI is involved in a number of industry and trade organizations, including the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the Better Business Bureau, and the Mold Inspection Consulting and Remediation Organization. “Being a part of these organizations not only shows that we’re professionals, but it lets people know we are committed to our industry,” Ingicco says. The organizations are a great source for continuing education and a way to network with other contractors. Since membership in the organizations is a big part of DHI Construction’s marketing, Ingicco appreciates the opportunity to be listed as a resource on the Web sites, which increases his company’s exposure online. Nonetheless, it is Ingicco’s client relationships that help generate business. “We’ve been involved in the construction industry for more than 30 years, and I have been blessed to have made a lot of high-level contacts in different industries,” he says. “Most of my business is generated from referrals and repeat customers.” According to Ingicco, he and his team of seven go above and beyond their clients’ expectations to give a quality job, on-time and within budget. As one of DHI’s clients once said, “This is a small company that can do big things.” For the future, Ingicco’s goals are very similar to what has served him well in the past. “I want to continue on our course for future growth and expansion while we

maintain our core values,” he says. “Honesty, integrity, and dependability are important to me. Our outlook for the future is to navigate toward the green concepts of energy efficiency in our products and projects.” abq DHI does hardscaping work as well, like this pool and spa renovation in Coral Springs, FL.

expert restoration

made me want to succeed even more,” he says. “I want him to be proud of what his father has built. I hope that our company, Royal Contracting, will have expanded and exploded into something he can run some day.”

Royal Contracting built this custom porch, which created a second point of egress for the existing structure.

The now 11-year-old general-contracting business specializes in residential bath and kitchen remodeling/ renovations and finished carpentry in the suburbs surrounding Boston. The company’s mission is to provide high-quality work, superior customer service, and fast, reliable repairs and renovation. “We intend to get through these tough economic times the same way we have grown our company from the beginning—offering top-quality craftsmanship at reasonable rates and being sure the customer is happy before the job is complete,” McElligott says.

royal contracting Fast, reliable, and comprehensive renovation services create a returning client base by sandra guy

at a glance

dermot mcelligott, originally from meath, the county next to Dublin, Ireland, started working in construction at age 13 during his summer breaks from school. He helped a friend of his father’s build houses, and soon realized he was suited for the construction trades. “I was raised with a strong work ethic,” McElligott says. “Growing up in a small town, most jobs were for people you knew. You were always held accountable. I bring that with me today to any project on which I work.”

location: dedham, ma founded: 1999 employees: After completing his carpenter’s apprenticeship, McEl3 ligott moved to Boston in 1996, at the age of 21. He area of specialty: originally came for a summer but ended up gaining bath and kitchen steady work and meeting his bride-to-be. His first jobs remodeling/ were making cabinetry and then serving as a residenrenovation and finished carpentry tial contractor. However, McElligott soon realized he wanted to have more freedom to return to Ireland and to average annual be his own boss, so he started his own company in 1999. sales: “After my wife and I had our son, Denis, two years ago, it $250,000–300,000

Royal Contracting offers other services, including home additions, deck and porch installation and remodeling, home remodeling for bigger spaces and greater natural lighting, installation of new doors and windows, and finished carpentry, such as designing and installing built-in bookshelves, fireplace mantels, window seating, kitchen cabinetry, and custom-designed decks. The majority of Royal Contracting’s bathroom-remodeling services range from $12,000 to $15,000, while the kitchen remodeling can reach anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000. Most customers live in older homes and want high-quality work with little in the way of fancy or funky design. “Most people want a clean and neat job, and don’t get into the latest trends,” McElligott says. While he isn’t seeing an upsurge in interest in using green materials or environmentally friendly projects, McElligott recognizes a distinct difference in the level of interest in green building between the United States and Ireland, where his house boasts a wind turbine and needs no fossil fuels. “Royal Contracting keeps itself in a competitive position by staying ahead of the curve by getting certified and/or qualified with the latest programs,” he says. The company is certified for home renovations through the EPA, and is in the process of getting certification from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Much of Royal Contracting’s success is due to its steady workflow and sensitivity to clients. “We satisfy our customers with our efficiency,” McElligott says. “We are in and out of a bathroom-remodeling project within 10 days. Since at times we are working in the only bathroom or shower in the house, we help out the clients by making a temporary shower available during the time of construction. It is important in these tough economic times for people to know that when they are spending their hard-earned money, it is on quality products for a reasonable price.”

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royal contracting

Royal Contracting goes beyond the call of duty when it finds structural problems, as well. McElligott recalls a deck reconstruction in Somerville, Massachusetts, last summer, when Royal Contracting found structural deficiencies that required a condo-building deck to be taken down completely and rebuilt. “We had to make a second egress before we could pull down the deck,” McElligott says. But Royal Contracting quickly got the necessary permits and completed the job efficiently despite the unforeseen complications. Such diligence as this is reflected in the company’s A-plus customer-satisfaction rating with the BBB. “Customer satisfaction is our number-one priority,” McElligott says. Overall, McElligott is satisfied with sticking to his suburban Boston roots, where he enjoys a 50–60 percent repeat and referral rate from satisfied customers. To keep customers happy, McElligott explains that the company stays organized and maintains communication with them. “We are truthful,” he says. “People are happy with our work. We strive to exceed our clients’ expectations, which leads to our thriving repeat and referral client base.” As for the company’s organization, “it’s about having the right people—the electrician, the plasterer, the tiler, the plumber, the painter, and so on,” McElligott continues. “We work with a select group of subcontractors who we can depend on. Reliable subcontractors are a necessity.”

expert restoration

Growing up in a small town, most jobs were for people you knew. You were always held accountable. I bring that with me today to any project on which I work. — Dermot McElligott, President

For the future, McElligott hopes to continue growing Royal Contracting so that he can hire two full-time salespeople, allowing him to keep a close eye on the work in the field. “I like being on the job,” he says, “and I like to finish each project, one at a time, and then move on to the next so that we work in a very timely manner and don’t keep anyone waiting.” With high-quality work and customer satisfaction under his belt, McElliott’s hopes for his highly organized company certainly seem within reach. abq

We will get the job done in a timely manner and leave you with a product that you will be 100% satisfied with.

(781) 326-5500 65 Harding Terrace, Dedham, MA 02026 Fax: (781) 381-0062 Mobile: (617) 365-4333 E-mail: Fully Licensed & Insured

custom homes

royal contracting

The great room of a Critchfield-constructed 122 PA. american builders quarterly september/october 2010 timber-frame dream home in Ohiopyle,

custom homes

critchfield construction inc. Continuing a family legacy of luxury-home construction in Pennsylvania by sheena harrison

as a young boy, richard n. critchfield remembers hearing his family tell stories about his grandfather who worked as a contractor. He never dreamed his career would one day provide him with a chance to work on one of his grandfather’s historic projects. But several years ago, that’s exactly what happened when his company, Critchfield Construction Inc., was asked to remodel a local home that was built in the 1940s. Though the client didn’t know there was a connection, it turned out the 6,000-square-foot house was built by Richard’s own grandfather. He searched through his family records to find old drafts of the house, and used them to craft updates for the home. “It was a rather modern home for that era,” Richard says. “The architect was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. A relative who originally lived in the home was wheelchair-bound, and the house had an elevator. When we designed the

updates, we put a fireman’s pole in the elevator shaft so the owner’s kids could use it to come downstairs.” Richard, who serves as president of the Somerset, Pennsylvania-based company, says he is proud to carry on a family legacy of quality construction and remodeling projects—a history that includes his uncle, a residential building contractor for more than 30 years. “I have construction and sawdust in my veins,” Richard says. Critchfield Construction was founded by Richard and a partner in 1987. Despite his early career aspirations to become a commercial diver, Richard says he entered the construction business because he had a lifelong love for architecture and building. “I had lots of practice building treehouses in the neighborhood when I was younger,” he says. “I was always kind of handy that way.” Richard

american builders quarterly september/october 2010

at a glance location: somerset, pa founded: 1987 employees: 8 area of specialty: residential construction and remodeling; fire and water restoration average annual sales: $2 million


custom homes

critchfield construction inc.

We just do good, old-fashioned work, and we’re not afraid to walk away if someone says they can have it done for half the price. —Richard Critchfield, President & Cofounder

Above: Richard Critchfield Right: Critchfield remodeled this kitchen for a townhome in HiddenValley, PA. Below: One of the company’s many remodeled homes in Southwest Pennsylvania.

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critchfield construction inc. custom homes

This Critchfield-built mountain home features a dining area with an overhead loft space.

estimates that about 35 percent of his business lies in new construction, and about 50 percent lies in additions, whether a single room or second story. The remainder of the firm’s work comes from kitchens and baths, managing both new construction and renovation projects. The company’s first big project was building Richard’s own home. The unique design of his home, coupled with his connections from work at nearby ski resorts, provided a calling card for Somerset-area residents who wanted Critchfield Construction to do their building and remodeling projects. Since then, the company has become known for building modern, rustic-style homes with eco-friendly amenities. The company also does restoration work for homes with fire and water damage—a business segment that has grown significantly in the last several years. Today, Critchfield Construction has grown to eight employees and $2 million in projected revenue for 2010. The firm prides itself on providing first-rate customer service and unique designs that allow each client’s home to stand out as a work of art. “We take the project from conception to the actual build,” Richard says. “We’re very hands-on.” Critchfield Construction’s clients typically come through word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, the company has developed such a strong reputation that Richard has been asked to remodel or construct homes for clients he has never met personally, since they only come to Somerset during vacation season. In each case, the clients made sure to let him know they were satisfied with the company’s work, he says. While Critchfield’s construction and remodeling services don’t come cheap, Richard says his clients know his company will do the job correctly—complete with a full clean-up of the job site when the project is completed. That work ethic, as well as the company’s business savvy, earned Critchfield Construction a spot on Remodeling magazine’s Big 50 list of top builders in 2009. “We just do good, old-fashioned work,” Richard says, “and we’re not afraid to walk away if someone says they can have it done for half the price.” For 2010, Critchfield Construction expects to do more quality homebuilding and renovation projects in the Somerset area, and Richard says his company will work to carry on the name his family has built over three generations. abq (office) 814-443-4226 (fax) 814-445-8566


Full Service Remodeling, Design Build Firm, Fire & Water Damage Restoration, Custom Homes.

The firm retrofitted thisWayland, MA, home with a sleek new kitchen remodel.

robert a. scott general contracting Quality workmanship on custom homes at an affordable price by daniel casciato

at a glance location: billerica, ma founded: 1984 employees: 4 area of specialty: new-home construction and renovation

like meeting with customers and helping their families bob scott always knew that if he ever out, as well as helping out my own employees,” he says. decided to start his own business someday, he would be sure to treat his employees with the utmost respect and “Although it comes with its issues like anything else, I truly enjoy the freedom that comes from running my in the most ethical manner possible. In the early ’80s, own business.” to get his feet wet and to learn the ins and outs of the construction industry, Scott began working with several As a full-service construction company, Robert A. Scott different contracting companies. After discovering that one particular contractor was playing fast and loose with General Contracting Company specializes in custom renovations and new-home construction. Based in Bilemployees’ paychecks, Scott had finally had enough. lerica, Massachusetts, and focusing on the state’s northeastern area, the firm offers services in new construction, “I was already doing some projects on the side and felt additions, second levels, siding and roofing, windows that it was time for me to start my own company,” he and doors, kitchens and baths, decks, sun rooms, porch says. “As the company began to grow, and I started to hire more employees to keep up with the demand of our enclosures, garages, excavation, grading, and demolition. Ninety percent of its work is residential, while projects, my primary concern was to take care of them the other 10 percent is for the commercial sector. As a and not have the same issues I had when I was worklicensed and insured contractor, the company guarantees ing for someone else.” Having been in business now for its workmanship for one full year. “What sets us apart is more than 25 years, Scott loves being his own boss. “I

126 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

robert a. scott general contracting

custom homes

We try to communicate well with our customers, as they do with us. They appreciate having that in a company. —Bob Scott, Owner & President

that we provide high-quality construction at reasonable prices,” Scott says. “Everything is driven by pricing in this economy, and we try to accommodate our customers by giving them a good value.” Communication is also a critical aspect to the company’s success. “We have a pretty good rapport with our customers, as far as communications go,” Scott says. “We try to communicate well with our customers, as they do with us. They appreciate having that in a company.” Although Scott’s company had as many as 15 employees at one point, the economy has forced him to scale down to 4. “In the past, it was easy to grow a company pretty large,” Scott says. “But when the economy in the construction industry shrinks, it’s very difficult to downsize once you have become a fairly large smaller company. Downsizing is critical to adapting to the economy if it’s shrinking, but the employee pool needs to shrink with it if you want to survive in the future.” In the past, Scott was able to keep more employees on staff than he needed because he had more work coming down the road. “But in between those lags and jobs, keeping those employees on board—thinking you are doing them a favor—actually hurts the bottom line and could set up the company for disaster,” Scott says. “Over the years, I try to do my best to help out my employees, but you also need to know when you have to cut back.” Today, Scott works more with subcontractors, to keep up with the demands on his business, but he plans to continue growing more cautiously as the economy improves. “Throughout the years, most of our business has come from repeat customers and referrals,” he says. “We expect that trend to continue, and it looks as though the economy will pick up a little bit this year as well. We’re actually starting to see some uptick in small residential projects. So down the road, our future looks very bright.”abq

37 Richardson Street Billerica, MA. 01821

978.667.3614 Quality Workmanship Licensed & Insured

New Home Construction | Baths | Decks Basements | Garages | Windows | Kitchens

custom homes

EJ Peters prepares to move a Hillcrest, NJ, home.

ej peters company Small developments provide new opportunities for established custom builder by zach baliva

edwin peters is no stranger to large construction projects. Peters, president of EJ Peters Company, started in the industry in 1972. In 1982, he relocated to the former USSR to work as a senior supervisor during construction of the United States’ $250 million embassy. He now lives in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where he specializes in high-end custom building. at a glance location: mountain lakes, nj founded: 1972 employees: 10

EJ Peters Company builds a few custom homes each year while staying active with additions and renovations— some of which are valued at more than $3 million. Peters retains 10 carpenters and credits much of his success to a loyal and talented workforce. “We never do cookiecutter work,” he says. “Our homes are custom designed from start to finish and we focus on quality.” The practice has helped Peters attain a solid reputation as the area’s preeminent luxury builder.

The company started when Peters and a colleague were making $2.25 an hour as laborers and decided to go into business for themselves. Peters took on addition and renovation jobs during the day and attended school at night, eventually earning a graduate degree from New Jersey’s Science & Technology University. Then, his company started to expand into other areas, including new custom homes, offices, and schools. Recently, EJ Peters Company has completed several small subdivision developments and is currently working in its native Mountain Lakes neighborhood. As raw land remains at a premium, developers often purchase land and demolish an existing home, or subdivide the lot to create buildable space. Peters is working to subdivide a square lot of 230 feet while at the same time moving and renovation an existing stucco home located on the

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ej peters company

custom homes

We never do cookie-cutter work. Our homes are custom designed from start to finish, and we focus on quality. —Edwin Peters, Owner & President

plot. The three-story Arts & Crafts home was built in 1918, using stone and wood from the nearby community. “We saw value in saving and preserving a historic home,” Peters says. His company plans to move the house to one side of the lot and build a new home next door. The existing stucco house features six bedrooms and four and a half baths, all of which will be renovated. Peters and his colleagues will provide a new foundation, and lower-level plans include a two-and-a-half-car garage, an expansive rec room, a bedroom, a bathroom, utility closets, and high ceilings. Old elements like the chestnut trim will stay, but Peters’ crew will install new utilities, hardwood floors, soffits, stucco, front and rear porches, windows, blown-in insulation, and many custom touches. The home’s main floor received a substantial facelift with a large family room adjacent to the kitchen, replacing what used to be a series of small rooms. The new space, Peters says, has a flowing and open feel and benefits from ambient light provided by a newly installed bank of windows. The property is listed with Coldwell Banker for $1.3 million, while Peters expects the lot’s other home to fetch almost $2 million. Peters jumped at the chance to work on the Arts & Crafts home after it sat untouched on the market for several months, despite an attractive upside. “It’s always location, location—and this lot is right in the center of town, close to the club, close to good schools, and close to good transportation,” he says. “It just made sense to do it.” He finds potential projects by maintaining a good network of realtors who provide updates on market activity and trends. Peters is also finishing a 16,000square-foot office building that his company owns and plans to lease. As a custom builder, Peters works closely with clients and likes to remain actively involved in each phase of

a project. In addition to design and construction, EJ Peters provides site acquisition, site planning, and construction-management services to make the process as smooth as possible. And although projects may vary from small renovations to multimillion-dollar homes, quality, craftsmanship, and experience remain constant across the entire company. abq

Dale S. Aungst - House Moving -

566 Beegle Road • Clearville, PA 15535 (814) 784-3600 Cell 814-494-0264 We can move your frame - brick - or stone house to a new location, we can also support your existing house and put a new foundation in. We can also do all your masonry work.


Bamboo Lighting As the building industry becomes more eco-conscious, it is important to utilize the right design materials. One increasingly popular and eco-friendly material is bamboo, which is now available not only in traditional plank-flooring and lumber forms, but in a variety of high-end design accessories. Because it is so versatile and renewable, designers and builders alike are utilizing bamboo in new and interesting ways. Here are a few lighting fixtures made of this sustainable and beautiful material that will add a unique element to any design.

Swish Pendant Lamp / David Trubridge Design / / The Swish Lamp features wavelike strips of bamboo layered over a frosted polycarbonate body. The design is also available as a table lamp.

Dissolve / TEORI / / TEORI’s Dissolve pendant light utilizes curved bamboo, creating a clean and aesthetically pleasing design using the eco-friendly material. Dissolve currently remains a prototype, though a production run is planned for the near future.

Furrow Parkade / Propellor Design / / Propellor’s series of Furrow pendant lights evolved from the company’s woodshop experiments with bamboo. The ecofriendly product also features a CFL bulb.

130 american builders quarterly september/october 2010

When you are designing a custom home, you want an architect with vision - one who can take your ideas, wish-lists, and personal preferences and transform them into a practical, three-dimensional structure called home. Not just any home. Your home, designed and built to your speciďŹ cations. Your particular needs. Your inidvidual tastes. Since 1985, Rbert E. Zampolin & Associates has been bringing other people’s dreams to life through our own particular vision. Our philosophy is simple: design truly individualized homes for people while raising their comfort level in the process. Our


Not just any home. Your home.

Zampolin & Associates a r c h i t e c t s / i n t e r i o r s

proven visionary design, combined with meticulous attention to

187 Fairview Avenue, Westwood, NJ 07675 Phone: (201) 358-1166 | Fax: (201) 358-1175

detail and a warm, open-door client relationship is the foundation

of success.

American Builders Quarterly Issue 36  

High-End Design

American Builders Quarterly Issue 36  

High-End Design