Construction Today Volume 18, Issue 3

Page 1


In fine form As a widely-respected expert in its field, Coffrages Synergy Formwork hopes to take its formwork capabilities to new regions and industries in the next three to five years

BIM How developments in BIM are improving the way people work and the implications of additional technology pg.8

Fire safety Connected fire technology tools make it easier to design, install, test and commission fire safety systems pg.12

Editor’s Letter Chairman Andrew Schofield Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove Editor - Libbie Hammond Assistant Editor - Will Daynes


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Sales Director FROM OUR EDITORS AND WRITERS Alasdair Gamble


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Hello and here we are in March, and the third issue of Construction Today for 2021. Times have been challenging for all of the sector, but every month that goes by, there are increasing numbers of positive stories of development and growth, and I am lucky to be able to report on a few of them here. It’s fascinating to see not only how the industry has addressed the immediate problems, but also the technology and solutions that are predicted to arrive in the future. What are your visions for what’s coming next? Our cover story this month is on Coffrages Synergy Formwork. A fascinating company


led by visionary President and CEO Isabelle Côte, the business targets attention onto its

employees and credits this approach as being the reasoning behind its achievements. “We focus on their wellbeing, ensure they have

© 2021 Schofield Publishing Ltd Schofield Publishing - Corporate Head Office

high-end equipment and enable them with the best technologies to carry out their day-to-

Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road,

day work,” states Isabelle. “Synergy is like a big

Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K.

family. It’s important that our people feel part of

T: (312) 854-0123 T: +44 (0)1603 274130

something bigger. That’s been a key part of our success over the last two decades.”

Finelight Media

As a widely-respected expert in its field, Coffrages Synergy Formwork hopes to take its formwork capabilities to new regions and industries in the next three to five years

BIM How developments in BIM are improving the way people work and the implications of additional technology pg.8

207 E. Ohio Street, Suite 351,


In fine form

Chicago, IL 60611

Fire safety Connected fire technology tools make it easier to design, install, test and commission fire safety systems pg.12

T: (312) 854-0123

Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every

Libbie Hammond EDITOR

reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.


Features 4


Demolishing a landmark building on one of


Vancouver’s busiest thoroughfares — without bringing local traffic to a standstill or risking residents’ health and safety — required some creative engineering



As increasing numbers of AEC design and VR applications become available in the cloud, along with the emergence of 5G, BIM streaming will soon introduce more revolutionary ways to communicate

10 CONCRETE The concrete industry is making bold changes today that will help it build both the marvels and the practical essentials of the future, to make them stand stronger and last longer


Coffrages Synergy Formwork



Through the application of digitization principles and Industrial Internet of Things technology, connected fire technology tools make it easier to design, install, test and commission fire systems

14 CASE STUDY Two infrastructure projects recently delivered by engineering firm Wenlock present very interesting aspects both for innovative design and the benefits to on-site construction

The SR11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project

Peerless A Window


18 NEWS The latest news and announcements from the world of North American construction – contracts, projects, products and more!


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JMX Contracting turned to robotic demolition in its quest to topple a Vancouver landmark


ancouver’s Empire Landmark

occupying an entire city block in the heart of

But when developers set their sights on

Hotel held the title of the city’s

downtown. Cloud 9, a revolving restaurant

revitalizing downtown Vancouver’s bustling

largest free-standing hotel for

at the top, served guests an array of fine

West End, it was clear the Landmark’s time

more than 40 years. Opened in

dining options paired with breathtaking

had come.

1973, the building towered 420 feet (128

views. With such a prime location, the hotel

meters) over Robson Street and extended

and restaurant quickly became a popular

busiest thoroughfares — without bringing

a further three levels underground,

destination for tourists and locals alike.

local traffic to a standstill or risking residents’


Demolishing a building on one of the city’s

Demolition Systematically crushing concrete and cutting reinforcement steel, the Brokk operators directed the remote-controlled machines to work their way through the gutted tower of the Empire Landmark Hotel, taking advantage of the Brokk robots’ extended range of motion — reaching 22 feet vertically and 24 horizontally — to crush concrete slabs, beams, walls and columns safely and efficiently

health and safety — would require creative

stories — 430,000 square feet of floor space

the potential for substantial safety risks

engineering, though. JMX Contracting

— in 21 months.

required unique solutions to avoid impacting

Inc., Canada’s premier environmental and

the daily lives of the city below. Relying on 20

demolition company, was ready with an

History-making demolition

years of multi-story demolition experience,

innovative solution worthy of Canada’s

JMX identified several key factors that

JMX engineered a plan that used robotic-

largest building deconstruction. Using robotic

would make the demolition of the old hotel

demolition, a ‘silent demolition’ method

demolition, JMX systematically removed 44

challenging. The high-traffic location and

they’d had great success with in the past.


The company commissioned two Brokk 400 JMX’s highly engineered demolition plan leveraged the quiet operation of the Brokk machines and Darda CC700 attachments, crushing the concrete rather than breaking it with hammers. This resulted in noise levels six decibels lower than ambient street traffic just outside the hoarding system

Diesel machines with CC700 crushers and SB552 hammers from Brokk’s Washington state-based service fleet to work in conjunction with a Brokk 160 electric unit and a crusher they already owned. “People assume demolition will be loud and dusty,” said Shane Macpherson, director of business and projects, for JMX West. “Historically, they’re right. But with creative engineering and today’s technology, it doesn’t have to be. We developed a plan that virtually eliminated dust and only registered 85 decibels inside the demolition zone and 70 decibels outside the hoarding. That’s six decibels quieter than ambient street traffic.” JMX’s plan leveraged the quiet operation of the Brokk machines and CC700 attachments. In addition to reducing noise, the Brokk machines’ power-to-weight ratio addressed the building’s robust construction and floor load limits. The 6-ton Brokk 400D offered hitting power on par with a 9- to 12-ton excavator in a compact 5-foot by 14-foot (1.5-meter by 4.2-meter) footprint. It also provided versatility — handling the 1,400-foot-pound (1,898-joule) energy class SB552 or the CC700 attachment with 278,000 foot-pounds (376,917 joules) of crushing force — allowing JMX to limit the need for additional equipment.

Empire’s end Phase one of the demolition started in November 2017 with JMX crews stripping the entire building to bare concrete and installing mast climbers around the tower’s perimeter. After transporting equipment, materials and personnel to the top of the building, JMX converted the mast climbers into a hoarding system that safely enclosed the entire work area to trap dust, debris and noise. With initial preparations in place, JMX faced the most challenging aspect of the Landmark demolition – the two-story Cloud 9 restaurant extending out 12 feet (3.7 meters) from the top of the tower. JMX engineered crash decks and a scaffolding system with a double layer of plywood and net hoarding to support the restaurant’s floor and roof and contain material, dust and water. Finally, it was time to start the demolition. Systematically crushing concrete and cutting reinforcement steel, the Brokk operators


Demolition Corner Cast Project Using robotic demolition, JMX removed 38 stories of the Empire Landmark’s tower in just nine months, averaging one floor every three days. Overall, the project created 40,000 tons of concrete to recycle for road base

maneuvered the machines through the

Using this demolition method, JMX

a high-reach excavator and three support

restaurant. Standing 18 feet (five meters)

removed 38 stories of the Empire Landmark’s

excavators to remove the remaining traces of

away, safe from debris and dust, operators

tower in just nine months. Crews then used

Vancouver’s Landmark.

were able to use the Brokk robots’ extended range of motion — reaching 22 feet (6.7 meters) vertically and 24 feet (7.3 meters)

Job Stats

horizontally — to crush concrete slabs,

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

beams, walls and columns safely and

Dates: November 2017 to August 2019

efficiently. Crews then dropped the concrete

Duration: 21 Months

down the decommissioned elevator shaft. Misters installed at various points in the

Material Removed: 630 tons of asbestos containing materials

elevator shaft dampened concrete debris

Material Recycled: 40,000 tons of concrete, 2,700 tons of other recyclable materials

on its way down, minimizing dust at lobby

Equipment: 1 Brokk 160 Remote-Controlled Demolition Robot, 2 Brokk 400D RemoteControlled Demolition Robots, Volvo 460 with 70-foot High Reach, CAT 336, 330 and 325 excavators with specialized attachments, various smaller pieces of support equipment

level. From there, the material was collected and transported to a staging area for further crushing before being recycled.

The Brokk method The project picked up steam once the Cloud 9 restaurant was removed. The Brokk machines continued the demolition, completing one floor every three to four days. With each new floor, the mast climbers were lowered and tied into the tower to continue the demolition process. The Brokk machines and skid steers moved down the stairwell using a specially engineered ramp. JMX installed five floors of shores under the active demo floor — 160 shores per floor — to carry the load, ensuring the stability and

JMX Contracting Inc. JMX has been delivering innovative and competitive decommissioning and environmental solutions to a wide range of industrial, institutional and commercial clients for 20 years. A nationwide presence provides clients a single source approach by offering complementary services including demolition, environmental remediation, dismantlement, metals recycling and equipment salvage. Brokk Brokk has been the world’s leading manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines and attachments for more than 40 years. Through continuous innovation in engineering and design, Brokk is able to offer unique solutions to multiple industries worldwide, including construction, demolition, mining and tunneling, cement and metal processing, nuclear and other specialty applications.

safety of the building during demolition.


New ways of


BIM developments in 2021 and beyond. By Alexander Le Bell


s the world remains in the grip

ways to operate. Many organizations we

as they do not rely on certain physical

of Covid-19, the monumental

talked to already recognized the benefits

hardware requirements and processing

shift in how technology is

of digital tools and how they could improve

power, normally only found on an office PC.

supporting staff working from

collaboration and streamline workflows.

By making BIM models more easily accessible

home is set to continue in 2021 and beyond.

Then the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic

online, less physical meetings are needed

But how are developments in BIM improving

simply forced many to change the way they

to discuss them and clients or colleagues

the way people work and how will 5G and

did business.

are able to view then when they want – on

BIM streaming soon be transforming the efficiency of AEC workflows even further? During 2020, those who had been

mobiles or the desktop. By updating team

Improved virtual collaboration

members in this way, with more 3D models

Processes in the construction planning phase

online, engagement increases and everyone

delaying the digitalization of construction

involving BIM, for example, were accelerated

has a better understanding of a space.

processes found themselves accelerating

by using various online tools already

how technology could help introduce new

available. They supported home working,


New ways of sharing BIM models like this also extends the lifecycle of BIM outside its

BIM Corner Cast Project

model. This helps solve the problem of

Due to the size of data involved and

misunderstandings in the design process

restrictions of mobile devices, such as their

and underpins better collaboration

memory, viewing large models remotely has

during construction between architects,

made collaboration difficult.

contractors or clients.

In the same way that increased bandwidth in the home enables faster downloads of

traditional realm. By eliminating barriers to

Future developments

Netflix or effortless streaming, so 4G is

sharing 3D models, they become a valuable

A major new development on the horizon is

now enabling BIM streaming. But 5G will

asset, not a liability. Users now view BIM

the roll-out of 5G, which will be the catalyst

accelerate the adoption of streaming of

as a long-term benefit and can easily take

for the next generation of construction

any size model from the cloud, direct to any

advantage of models for the entire lifecycle

software. Like 3G and 4G before it, the huge

device. This will introduce vastly improved

of a building, not just for the planning and

jump in bandwidth which 5G delivers will

collaboration methods for AEC professionals

construction phase, but also in facilities

make the largest BIM models, VR and other

and transform the working practices of

management, training and maintenance,

data-intensive applications run far more

architects, engineers and BIM managers, as

for example.

smoothly and faster than ever. Being able

they seamlessly interact with complex BIMs

to view any size or type of BIM model, on

from any location.

Widen your stakeholder audience

any device, will be a major milestone in the

These developments are helping to drive

streamlining of AEC workflows and it’s not

AEC technology developments – you

the use of BIM amongst new stakeholders

far off.

definitely don’t need to go into an office

too, so not just the core BIM cohort but

Over the last few years, the construction

Covid-19 has accelerated some significant

to view a 3D BIM model any more. And

non-technical groups – anyone who

industry has struggled with how to

with the increasing number of AEC design

could benefit from seeing a 3D model,

share complete models of large scale

and VR applications being available in the

including contractors and personnel on site,

developments such as airports, hospitals or

cloud, along with the emergence of 5G,

marketing, sales, IT, finance, contracts, etc.

shopping malls with everyone, anywhere,

BIM streaming will soon introduce yet more

Plus, externally, with stakeholders such as

without any technical or financial barriers.

revolutionary ways to communicate.

planners and government bodies. By making BIM models easily viewable online, new faster workflows are created which challenges the status quo. A workflow that reduces the time it takes architects to communicate internally or externally, with staff, clients, contractors or anyone else

Alexander Le Bell is the CEO of Tridify. Tridify has been developing VR solutions for over 30 years, focused on automating the delivery of 3D models to improve AEC workflows and introduce new ways of collaborating. Customers around the world include WSP, Skanska, DPA Architects and City of Helsinki. The company was also recently awarded an Epic MegaGrant to develop a BIM streaming tool for Unreal Engine.

who benefits from seeing an interactive



changes A green recovery and a carbon neutral future is possible – but needs the whole construction value chain to play a positive role. By Dr. Andrew Minson


he Panama Canal, the

resilient, fire resistant, with excellent

the key binding ingredient in concrete,

Sydney Opera House, the

thermal and acoustic properties. It is also

accounts for about seven per cent of global

Pentagon, the Burj Khalifa,

surprisingly sustainable – made locally

CO2 emissions.

and the Three Gorges Dam.

(including the cement), the structures it

Over the past three decades, the industry

The unifying building material in these

creates can last for generations, and over its

has reduced its emissions proportionally

world-renowned human-made marvels

lifetime concrete re-absorbs and retains CO2

by around 20 per cent. Ours was the first

is concrete, the central substance that

from the atmosphere.

industry to collect and publish emissions

holds our world together. As the most

data of this kind. These reductions represent a huge effort from producers across the

water, concrete is essential to our society –

Our response to the climate challenge

supporting the infrastructure we use every

We know concrete is needed, both now and

success and extend these reductions.

day such as bridges, roads, homes, hospitals

in the future, but we also know that it comes

and energy supplies. We use concrete

with a significant challenge that we need to

the leading cement and concrete companies

because it is so useful – strong, versatile,

address, namely climate change. Cement,

represented by the Global Cement and

widely used material on our planet after


world, but we know we need to build on this That is why in September last year, 40 of

Concrete Corner Cast Project

Concrete Association announced a global

various trials showing the

climate ambition to drive down the carbon

technology works and there are

footprint of their operations and products to

several live projects in North

provide carbon neutral concrete by 2050.

America, China and Europe.

This represents a critical milestone for

Research and innovation

the industry. It is the first time it has come

will clearly be key – our

together globally to state a collective

Innovandi Research network

ambition for a carbon neutral future, and we

is bringing together academia

are fully committed to working right across

and industry from around

the built environment value chain to deliver

the world to collaborate to

this aspiration in a circular economy, whole

accelerate the development

life context.

of crucial solutions. Innovandi brings together more than

2050 Roadmap to a carbon neutral future

30 companies from across

Work is well underway to develop a 2050

industry and supply chain –

Roadmap, which will set out the pathway

manufacturers, admixture

and milestones necessary to achieving

specialists, and equipment and

our ambition. Producing a Roadmap is a

technology suppliers – along

significant and complex undertaking, and

with 40 renowned scientific

we will be among the first industries to do

institutions from across the world.

the cement and concrete

so when we complete ours at the end of the year. Our Roadmap will outline all the levers

transparently measure all carbon emissions of all potential building materials’ emissions

Cross-sector collaboration We know we won’t achieve carbon neutral

throughout their lifecycle. We believe concrete is already a highly

across the entire value chain that will be

concrete or build a net zero economy

sustainable building material across its

required to reach our goal of carbon neutral

alone – such a wide-reaching material that

lifetime and with our ambition to make

concrete. In cement manufacture, this

touches all corners of society requires

it carbon neutral, we are certain it has a

includes the ingredients, kiln technology,

input at multiple levels. We want to work

defining role in building the sustainable world

new binders and reducing fossil fuel use at

actively and closely across industry, with

of tomorrow.

every stage. In the use of concrete, we need

policymakers, investors, designers, end

to look at how we unlock its performance

users and governments to help shape the

that will help us build both the marvels and

benefits such as its thermal mass, ability to


the practical essentials of the future, to

act as a carbon sink, and also how we design

This includes calling for a level-playing

The industry is making bold changes today

make them stand stronger and last longer

buildings that maximize its efficiencies,

field in building material assessment. We

and ensure that they’re worthy of the world

minimize waste and build in the ability to re-

believe it is important to accurately and

they’ll represent.

use concrete, or where necessary recycle it. Recycling and reusing material from demolition sites will play an increasingly important role – concrete’s recyclability is one of its great sustainability benefits, but this means shifting perceptions to see concrete and cement not only as products to be produced, but as crucial components in a circular economy with a broader life-cycle context. The adoption of policies and practices that encourage the circular economy, particularly recycling of construction materials, should not be contentious and would be eagerly supported by the industry. As a final measure towards carbon neutrality, some CO2 will need to be captured, re-used if possible, or stored as a last resort – (CCUS). The industry is well on its way with

Dr Andrew Minson is Concrete and Sustainable Construction Director at the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA). The GCCA is the trusted, authoritative platform and voice for the cement and concrete sector across the world. Dr Minson leads GCCA’s work promoting the sustainability value of concrete in the future of construction. This includes improving understanding of concrete’s lifecycle and its role in the circular economy. He also leads work with industry partners developing new global sustainability guidelines for concrete. Andrew is a member of the GCCA executive team.


Conne onnected cted



Can next gen fire commissioning expedite new-build and refurb lifecycles asks Sameer Agrawal

ptimal time and cost

projects when fire safety teams are often

full alignment with mandated inspection

performance are fundamental to

already working against a time deficit.

and maintenance requirements. These tools

the success of any construction

The stakes can be high and is why leading

automatically capture the testing activity

project. To remain competitive,

construction firms and building owners are

thereby removing any doubt on which

the construction industry, including

selecting suppliers offering integrated, app-

device was tested, when and by whom. It

building owners, must capitalize on digital

based software to enable efficient building

also automatically generates suggested

technologies that help improve operations

commissioning - by eliminating unnecessary

corrective actions and planned maintenance

across the entire project lifecycle – from

paperwork and man-hours, providing access

recommendations based upon local

design to commissioning. Software provides

to real-time data, facilitating remote checks,


the potential to accelerate the project

and enabling effective maintenance for the

lifecycle through to a final, critical stage – fire

life of the system.

system commissioning. The use of mobile apps, robots, artificial

Through application of digitization

Commissioning more effectively with less

principles and Industrial Internet of Things

Especially in today’s environment,

intelligence and drones is becoming

technology, connected fire technology

organizations across the fire safety value

increasingly commonplace within the

tools make it easier to design, install, test

chain face unprecedented challenges,

construction sector. Connected sites are

and commission fire systems while helping

including the need to achieve even more with

using cloud technology to enable real-time,

eliminate errors and manual data entry

fewer resources – many facility maintenance

remote access to information across many

throughout the process. These tools can

teams are working with reduced staff. They

aspects of a project for all relevant parties,

improve the delivery of on-time completions

also need to manage the challenges of

the utilization of the right technology at the

and the handover of a compliant system with

limited access to facilities due to shutdowns

right time is giving the early adopters a true

the relevant reports, saving channel partners

and deal effectively with safety incidents,

competitive advantage.

– and end users – time and money.

where risks remain the same at any

The commissioning of fire systems comes in at the tail end of refurb and construction


As a result, Systems Integrators can reassure their customers that they are in

occupancy level. Honeywell’s Connected Life Safety

Fire safety occupant density to comply with social distancing. System Integrators need to provide their customers with the highest level of commissioning flexibility that will allow speedy re-configuration of buildings with the minimum of man hours on the ground and with maximum level of trust in the compliance reporting. Advancements in technology will only continue to make buildings more intelligent and adaptive to the needs of their occupants. With so much useful data to be captured and utilized, facility managers can use future developments to their advantage giving them the ability to be more agile in reconfiguring and commissioning as unforeseen challenge are thrown their way.

Services (CLSS) platform addresses these

Faster at the edge

challenges by enabling systems integrators

Edge devices, such as fire sensors, motion

and facilities management firms to access

detectors and energy meters, have

the data within a fire system from anywhere,

traditionally served a simple, discrete role

without necessarily being physically at the

in providing a safe, secure and comfortable

control panel.

environment. With digitalization, though,

EDSB Group of Companies, a UK-

their capabilities have quickly evolved. With

based provider of fire, security, electrical,

communications and intelligence embedded,

mechanical and building services, is

edge devices can help process information

employing the CLSS platform within a

and make quick decisions independently,

50,000-square-metre logistics center

while sending data to the cloud for further

for a freight carrier at East Midlands

analytics and compliance reporting.

Airport. “CLSS offers a level of connectivity that

Meanwhile, for autonomous buildings, smart edge devices will be able to maintain

provides invaluable reassurance that the

their own health by identifying the need for

system has been commissioned effectively

replacement or maintenance, potentially

and is being maintained safely,” said Jonathan

improving operating costs. They will also

Parker, managing director, EDSB Group of

be able to more quickly detect and respond

Companies. “We can also see how old every

as well as provide automated compliance

detector is and when it needs to be changed

reports alongside long-term trend analysis

based on prevailing regulations. With CLSS,

to continuously improve performance.

we can tailor settings based on a customer’s requirements and verify weekly testing is

Many facilities are working to create healthier environments and even limiting

carried out according to their specifications while also logging faults and fire activations. “Clients love that we can tailor settings in line with their requirements,” Jonathan continues. “Take weekly testing for example - using CLSS, a company with several sites can verify that these tests are carried out according to their specifications, as well as logging any faults and fire activations,” he

Sameer Agrawal is General Manager, Global Fire Software and Services, Honeywell. Honeywell Building Technologies (HBT) is transforming the way every building operates to help improve the quality of life. It is a leading building controls company with operations in more than 75 countries supported by a global channel partner network. Commercial building owners and operators use its hardware, software and analytics to help create safe, efficient and productive facilities. Its solutions and services are used in more than ten million buildings worldwide.



Below: Roberto Garziera


solvers When it comes to innovative solutions on major infrastructure projects, engineering firm Wenlock has established itself as a business that can think out of the box


ver the years since it was

over 20 years, who, after a long career of

lining systems, have been patented and still

established, Wenlock has

designing and consulting across a variety of

appear on the market years later.

developed a knack for supplying

industries has contributed new ideas and

innovative solutions to very

products to many sectors, such as pulp and

delivered by Wenlock present very

complex problems. This mostly derives from

paper, plastic packaging, special machinery,

interesting aspects both for innovative

the experience and skills accumulated by

consumer products, steel constructions and

design and the benefits to on-site

its founder, Roberto Garziera, a leader in

infrastructures. In many cases his solutions,

construction, especially in terms of

construction design and engineering for

spanning from cookware to full round tunnel

simplification and time saving.


Two infrastructure projects recently

Case study Fig 1

Fig 2

The first project involved the design and delivery of a set of twin travellers for the construction of 1.8km of cut and cover tunnel on the High Speed Train Line near Tortona, Italy. “About 1km of artificial tunnel had to be built overground, therefore requiring both inner and outer wall formwork panels (as shown in Fig 1). With that arrangement, tie bars were used through the pour,” explained Roberto. The remaining 0.8km were to be built underground, therefore using internal wall formwork panels only. The outer formworks and the top structure supporting them were removed, resulting in a self reacting arrangement (as shown in Fig 2). A common approach when dealing with a longer cut and cover tunnel, would be mounting the panels on a traveller. “In this case, the traveller also had to selfreact the pour pressure. Wenlock’s solution, a 25m long traveller, resulting from two twinned 12.5m travellers, had a 25m long and 8m high formwork panel. A typical solution for supporting such a large self-reacting panel, but for a much shorter tunnel, could have been using one-sided brackets every 1.25m,” he added. In addition to an anchor rail at floor level, in a standard traveller the panel pressure would be contrasted by means of


Fig 3

a central structure and at least two rows of turnbuckles on each side. In order to enable dismantling, conical pins would be used for connecting the turnbuckles to the panels. By hammering out the conical pins, the tension in the turnbuckle is released and they can be turned freely. Accounting for two pins on each side, every 1.25m, 80 pins would have to be handled twice for each pour: once for setup and again for dismantling. Based on Roberto’s previous experience with large tonnage press design, and his knowledge of the industry (he is in the top percentile of his field) Wenlock designed a traveller with a very innovative approach: the two panel walls were contrasted, in addition to the anchor rail at floor level, by Fig 4

two large truss beams (painted in red in the pictures). The truss beams were moved by a toggle link mechanism which would allow a 900mm travel, to enable easy inspection and cleaning of the panels (fig 3 and fig 4 show the toggle link mechanism with retracted cylinder ‘formwork open’ and with extended cylinder ‘formwork closed’). Only two toggle link mechanisms on each side could stand the enormous pour pressure when they were in extended state, since the two ‘arm’ parts were aligned (shown in green in fig 5). “Additionally, it only required pulling the ‘elbow’ with a modest force for dismantling (fig 3). The advantage was enormous: pulling a hydraulic valve lever instead of manually handling 80 pins and wedges, or two hours

Fig 5

of setup and dismantling reduced to ten minutes!” Roberto exclaimed.

Hinkley C project Another interesting project whose execution drew benefit from Wenlock’s innovative design was for the Hinkley C Nuclear Power Station Sea defence wall. The wall construction was divided in two phases: pour a number of buttresses at 10m distance from each other, then use the buttresses as stop-end and carry out the intermediate pours with just the side formwork panels. The buttresses had a base approximately 6m wide, were 7m high and were spaced 10m apart (fig 6). During the preliminary study phase, it was soon recognised that the best equipment for pouring the buttresses would have


Case study Fig 6

been a formwork traveller moving on rails. The formwork, reflecting the shape of the buttress, had the shape of a pyramid trunk whose walls were made of plane formwork panels. The main technical obstacle presented by such a traveller was disengaging the formwork from the pour after it had cured, allowing movement in either direction in order for the traveller itself to be setup for the following pour. “Given the important height of the buttress, either of the wider sides of the pyramid trunk had to be opened in order for the traveller to be able to move away from the buttress pour. In a similar but less critical case, the natural solution would have been hinging the front and back panels along one side and opening them like a door for dismantling. Alternatively, the front and back panels could have been split in the middle, hinged along both sides, and opened like a double door. However, given the large base size (6m) and the fact that the front and back panels’ sides were slanted, it was obvious that this solution was not viable, or it would have created lots of problems of distortion, misalignment and other

Fig 7

difficulties,” noted Roberto. The idea which Roberto suggested turned out to be the simplest and the one which would guarantee less distortion of the panels. The entire front and back panels were hinged at the top and lifted by two hydraulic cylinders. Given the height of the pour (7m), the opening was rather impressive, however it was seamless and simple. After lifting either the front or back panel, the traveller could move away from the buttress pour as shown in fig 7. Once lowered again, the panel’s corners matched perfectly with the side panels because their opening movement did not affect their alignment along their sides in any way: ready for the next pour.

Wenlock is an engineering firm based in the West Midlands specialised in the design of bespoke machinery and devices, special equipment, steel constructions, and industrial products.


News In Brief $1 billion acquisition

Homes for Texas SGB Development

Autodesk, Inc. has signed a definitive

Corp., a wholly

agreement to acquire Portland, Oregon-

owned subsidiary

based Innovyze, Inc., a global leader in

of SG Blocks, Inc.,

water infrastructure software, for $1

has executed a

billion net of cash subject to working

contract to acquire

capital and tax closing adjustments.

and develop an

The acquisition positions Autodesk as a


technology leader in end-to-end water

seven-acre site

infrastructure solutions from design

in Austin, Texas,

to operations, accelerates Autodesk’s

which is expected

digital twin strategy, and creates a

to yield a maximum

clearer path to a more sustainable and

of 225 condo units

digitised water industry.

that will be sold

“We can achieve a more sustainable

at market rates.

planet, but we can’t do it without

The project is ‘as

responsibly managing our use of water

of right’ and is

and securing its future,” said Andrew

anticipated to start in Q3 2021 after the planning and approval process.

Anagnost, Autodesk president and CEO.

Above: Plan for proposed American Way development in Austin, TX. (Photo: Business Wire)

The project will be funded by third party debt and equity sources and will be

“An estimated $1.9 trillion is required

fabricated at SG Echo, the company’s manufacturing plant, in Durant, Oklahoma.

to address global water infrastructure

Upon completion, the net profit on the sale of the condo units is estimated to be in

needs by 2030, and by fundamentally

excess of $20 million. Units will be built modularly and will target young professionals,

changing the way systems are designed,

millennials, and those looking for waterfront living.

constructed, and operated, we are best

“We love the Austin market, and our site on the Travis River will provide exceptional

positioned to overcome this challenge

apartments and lifestyles, in a city many see as the next Silicon Valley,” Paul Galvin,

and realize the better world we’ve

Chairman and CEO noted.


Boston development

Comfort for passengers The Elevator and Escalator Division of

BioMed Realty has acquired an existing

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., headquartered in

162,000 square foot office building and

Cypress, California, has unveiled PureRide™

adjacent 7.5 acre site at Assembly Square in

Vertical Transportation Solutions. The

Somerville, Massachusetts. The Assembly

PureRide™ suite of solutions helps

Square campus will be developed in

customers improve the usability and

phases and represents a total of 1.3 million

convenience of elevators and escalators

square feet of best-in-class, purpose-built

as society moves toward creating a more

innovation space for research, technology,

comfortable, resilient, and user-friendly

and life science tenants.

transportation environment.

“Our vision for the Assembly Square

Included in PureRide™ Vertical

location is to create a premier innovation

Transportation Solutions is the PureRide™

campus where science and technology

Touchless Control System, a simple, no-touch display that allows users to call an

intersects,” said Sal Zinno, Vice President

elevator from the lobby and designate a destination floor in the car by simply placing

with BioMed Realty. “With close proximity

their hand or finger over a sensor. The panels feature an LED ‘halo’ that centralizes

to downtown Boston, the airport, a major

the sensor’s target and provides users feedback regarding their hand position. The

interstate highway, public transit and

halo illuminates to indicate to the passenger that the call has been registered.

adjacent amenities including restaurants,

The PureRide™ suite also includes the Touch Free Smartphone Elevator Call

entertainment and new retail, it’s an

System— a smartphone application that works with destination dispatch systems

ideal location and size for a large life

and buildings’ access control systems to allow passengers to summon a car from

science company to establish a prominent

their phone while inside the building. The application displays both the assigned


elevator as well as its current status. It also sends an alert to the passenger as the car approaches, resulting in less crowded waiting areas and improved rider comfort.


News Top flight projects

Sustainability goals achieved

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced three grants for infrastructure projects through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FY2021 Airport Improvement Program. The grants, the first of approximately $3.2 billion in funding available through this

Multinational construction consultancy firm, Linesight, has

program annually, will provide a total of $76 million to Chicago O’Hare

completed and launched two data center projects with leading

International, Dallas-Fort Worth International and Fort Lauderdale/

North American provider, NTT Global Data Centers Americas, Inc.

Hollywood International Airports.

Linesight provided cost management services on the two projects,

“Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure is a top priority for

located in Hillsboro, Oregon and Chicago, Illinois. Both projects

President Biden’s economic agenda, and the Airport Improvement

represent groundbreaking work to meet ambitious sustainability

Program allows airports nationwide to upgrade and improve the

goals, with renewable energy packages being offered to clients to

safety of their facilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete

support their own green initiatives. The Hillsboro location is also

Buttigieg. “These improvements - at some of our nation’s busiest

the only data center to be certified at level three by Cleaner Air

airports - will serve our communities and the traveling public as we


start to build our country back better.” “Each airport project provides a benefit to the National Airspace

“NTT continues to innovate with designs that deliver up to 100 per cent availability with highly flexible power configurations

System through safety and capacity enhancement,” added FAA

to meet the ever-evolving, in-demand needs of this industry.

Administrator Steve Dickson. “As a former airline pilot, I can attest

This makes them a really exciting partner for Linesight to work

first hand that the traveling public are best served when the system

with on their many groundbreaking projects,” said Alan Dowling,

handles demand without unnecessary delays.”

Commercial Manager at Linesight.

Ground-breaking solution The Port of San Diego and ECOncrete®, an eco-engineering company, have launched a three-year pilot project on Harbor Island to demonstrate an innovative new design of ECOncrete’s awardwinning interlocking COASTALOCK Tide Pool Armor. Approved by the Board of Port Commissioners last year, the pilot project is part of the Port’s unique Blue Economy Incubator, a launching pad for sustainable aquaculture and Port-related blue technology ventures that provides early-stage entrepreneurs with key assets and support services focused on pilot project facilitation. Harbor Island is currently protected from storm flooding and erosion by a riprap rock mound, offering very limited habitat value. As part of the pilot project at the Port, the first COASTALOCK installation anywhere in the world will secure Harbor Island’s shoreline with 72 interlocking armor units to provide environmentally sensitive edge protection. Requiring minimal maintenance, the interlocking armor provides structural, ecological and community engagement benefits, including the promotion of marine organisms and restoration of local ecosystems. Every six months after installation, ECOncrete will evaluate the viability of the tide pool units as an ecological armoring replacement to traditional riprap. ECOncrete has developed a variety of technologies for the eco-engineering of urban, coastal and marine infrastructure, providing high-performance, environmentally sensitive concrete solutions for ever-growing climate change threats such as rising sea-levels and superstorms. “ECOncrete is excited to launch the first installation of COASTALOCK here in the Port of San Diego. This Blue Economy pilot is proving that the coastal and marine construction industry can achieve two goals at once: any concrete infrastructure going into the water can perform structurally and be good for ecosystems,” said Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Co-founder and CEO, ECOncrete. “COASTALOCK is a fully load bearing, durable solution that changes the form and function of our developed coastlines - making them stronger, able to store carbon, while rejuvenating the precious coastal ecosystems, and inviting the local community to engage with their waterfront.”


Coffrages Synergy Formwork

Coffrages Synergy Formwork

Services: Construction firm specializing in formwork



ffering the most complete, leadingedge solutions in the formwork industry, Coffrages Synergy Formwork is a construction firm powered by people. Founded in Quebec, Canada, in 2000, the company grew quickly

thanks to the dedication of its workforce, so that today, it operates as the largest formwork construction business in eastern Canada. Now, with 1200 employees furthering the company’s reputation across Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec each day, President and CEO Isabelle

In fine form Led by visionary President and CEO Isabelle Côte, Coffrages Synergy Formwork has become an award-winning construction firm with a proud culture and remarkable track record of success

Isabelle Côte

Côte attributes the ongoing success to the growing Coffrages Synergy Family. “The achievements of this company are a direct result of our focus on employees,” Isabelle declares. “We focus on their wellbeing, ensure they have high-end equipment and

enable them with the best technologies to carry out their day-to-day work. “Formwork is a really hard part of the construction business, so we make sure our teams are well-trained because an employee that knows what they are doing will not only

give us better quality, but be safer and happier in their work. We want all our employees to be happy and enjoy what they do. Synergy is like a big family. It’s important that our people feel part of something bigger. That’s been a key part of our success over the last two decades.”


Coffrages Synergy Formwork Brossard, and Nouvelle Maison Radio-Canada. “Specializing in high-rise buildings, we are currently in three different areas for formwork projects, but we are also looking at new segments in Canada,” Isabelle explains. “Upcoming diversification will see us work more and more as a general contractor with public industry entities, such as businesses, schools, hospitals and construction organizations. This will be an important avenue for the business in the next few years.”

People first

With more than 6,500 projects to its name across the commercial and institutional, industrial, and civil sectors, Synergy’s personalized formwork solutions have helped the company build a reputation as one of Canada’s leading construction firms. Operating from two million square feet of land, including a 24-hour, 50,000 square foot prefabrication


plant, the company is capable of working on multiple major-scale formwork projects and can supply material for up to 70 sites daily. Focusing on large developments requiring extensive

Always in high demand, Synergy is set to continue work on a number of exciting projects in 2021, including a long-term development for Hospital Complex Enfant-Jésus in Québec City, which involves the construction of a critical care building. Other recent projects have seen the firm construct projects in Maestria in Montreal, where it has built two towers – one 58 stories tall and the other 61 stories tall – connected by the highest suspended skybridge

equipment - one current project utilizes eleven tower cranes - Synergy’s illustrious project history includes work at Aeroport International Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, Marriott Courtyard

ever built in Quebec as part of a residential project, as well The Columbia in Hull, which is a 20-story building made up of 226 units. As evidenced by these developments,

Synergy’s popularity continues in 2021 – a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the wider industry. For example, at the end of 2020, the company was twice honored at the annual Mercuriades Awards, taking home one award for its Training and Workforce and one award for the firm’s Exceptional Women. As a trailblazer herself, Isabelle believes that Synergy’s commitment to putting employees first – and the support the firm offers women in particular – remains a key industry differentiator. “Sometimes, at male-led businesses, the focus is more on financial results, but at Synergy we are having great results because we put people first and I think that tends to be a more female way of thinking,” Isabelle proclaims. “We’ve hired a lot of women over the years. Our Human Resources Vice President is a woman, as is our Estimation Director, and we have many female project managers and women onsite. “Today, Synergy employs way more than the average number of women for a construction company in Canada, but the reasoning behind that is not political, rather, we have always just wanted to be an open organization and focus on hiring people that can help us as a business

– whether they are male or female. That open mindedness gives a balance to the company; it helps to bring new ideas into construction and

presents us with new perspectives. “As a female leader in the construction world, I believe it is now my duty to provoke

Cropac Equipment Since 1977 Cropac Equipment have been committed to quality and customer service. Cropac Equipment are one of Canada’s largest crane dealers, and we firmly believe it’s all about your equipment working for you. Based in Oakville, Ontario with branches in Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia, Cropac Equipment are a major partner of Coffrages Synergy.


Coffrages Synergy Formwork

these changes, not only in this business, but across the whole sector,” Isabelle adds. “In general, I think that things are starting to change. As the construction industry becomes more open-minded, opportunities for women are growing, which helps to benefit the sector as a whole.”

Heritage & standing Powerful and deeply pervasive, the company culture Isabelle has established at Synergy is built upon five pillars of success: Health and Safety, Quality, Partnership, Team Spirit and Efficiency. Known as the ‘Synergy DNA’, these principles make for a workforce that values the importance of community – both inside and outside the workplace. “Our corporate culture is based on human values. We achieve our goals as a team and that is the strength of the company,” Isabelle says. “Synergy believes that the key to success lies in the desire to give the best of oneself, which ensures a continuously higher level of efficiency. Our members are professionals in the field who possess the same values and objectives that make up our DNA. The Synergy family continues to convey a positive message to community organizations by participating in events of all kinds to help them carry out their projects. “At the core of it, our employees are people who care and who give their time generously


to the benefit causes, mainly related to youth. Synergy also raises funds annually for the benefit of the Cancer Research Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Our company is largely socially involved and can also count on the support of a large network of partners and generous contributors.” One example of Synergy’s commitment to social involvement and community initiatives is its participation in the Toucher le Sommet challenge, an annual ten-week process aimed at promoting perseverance among young people aged 12 to 24 facing various social or academic difficulties. Synergy are multi-year attendees at the event, which usually includes several gatherings and activities, and culminates in participants climbing a mountain that reflects their journey. Similar causes that have received Synergy’s support over the years include La Passerelle Project, mentoring initiatives with the Quebec Association of Construction Companies, and Les Elles de la Construction. Synergy is also a major partner of the ‘Souper des bâtisseurs’ to benefit Le 2159, an organization that works with at-risk youth to prevent and address homelessness, delinquency and sexual exploitation. The 2019 edition raised over

$253,000 and despite the Covid-19 situation, Synergy and its partners were able to raise the sum of $175,000 in 2020. Understandably, a sense of pride filters through the entire organization at Synergy. The company’s heritage and standing in local society is such that, even when they are not on duty, many employees wear clothing bearing the company’s logo. “We have a big marketing team who takes care of branding at Synergy, which is really important as a way of showing the world who we are and what we are about,” Isabelle reports. “Strong branding helps our workforce feel part of something bigger than just their daily tasks. Everybody on the job site dresses the same way, which facilitates teamwork, togetherness and belonging. It can be hard to find skilled employees in Canada right now, so

the more attractive we can make the business, the better chance we have in bringing in great talent.” In line with its modern approach to business, Synergy employs a number of developers to help with the delivery of the Synergy App. Designed for use on smart phones, the app acts as a onestop-shop for employee needs, providing staff with company updates, training videos, tips and tricks, messages from the CEO, as well as a host of similar activities. “The Synergy App gives our people the opportunity to watch short, important videos whenever they want - on their lunch break, at night or over the weekend,” Isabelle states. “We decided to design the app to be like a social media channel, so we regularly post things like birthdays and other occasions, plus, when employees watch videos, we credit them with

PERI Formwork Systems Inc PERI Formwork Systems Inc. in collaboration with Coffrages Synergy Formwork continue to leave their mark on major projects throughout Eastern Canada. This partnership is committed to increasing production rates while improving overall safety through using new construction methods. PERI is proud to have its RCS protection system on the 1111 Atwater project in Montreal, Quebec enclosing the perimeter and enabling workers to operate efficiently and safely regardless of wind conditions. A family-owned company since 1969, PERI remains one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of formwork, shoring and scaffolding systems.


Coffrages Synergy Formwork Synergy points, which they can then use in our store for the purchase of new clothes for themselves, their kids or their partners, as well as umbrellas, home products and a variety of similar branded gear. “As you can see, the app helps us stay connected across the organization,” Isabelle continues. “Nowadays, people are on their phones all time and our employees are no different, so it’s win-win situation for everyone. Instead of sending emails that never get seen, we can take messages directly to our team members in a method they prefer. “The app proved particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic, when gathering all our people together in the same room for training or updates became impossible. It’s very useful technology and we are confident that it will

remain a vital resource for us in the future. The app is just another example of how we react and adapt to changing times, develop new strategies, put those strategies in place and then gain results.” With a backlog of more than two years of work in front of it, Synergy hopes to spend

the next 24 months improving its service and firming up its long-term vision before it actively searches for new projects. Having always excelled on the client relations side of the business, Synergy’s gratitude towards its customers has only been reaffirmed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Isabelle and her team are now looking forward to repaying the faith that Synergy customers placed in the business throughout the Covid crisis.

Lauded reputation “We have the pleasure of working with people we really like and love,” Isabelle asserts. “I am thinking about the clients, the suppliers, and everybody that gravitates towards Synergy. It’s not just our employees that we want to keep happy, but everyone else we work with. Consequently, we focus a lot on the families of our employees and clients to make sure they are happy. Making sure that everyone who comes into contact with us is content is very important to us because it makes for a happy business in general. This is the main focus for us over the next year.” As a widely respected expert in its field, Synergy hopes to take its formwork capabilities to new regions and industries in the next three to five years, as well as adding to its work as a general contractor. Unsurprisingly, as a business with such a lauded reputation, demand for Synergy’s services across the next decade will not be in short supply. “There are a lot of new projects heading our way,” Isabelle reveals. “We’re well set up for positive years ahead, and with Covid-19 behind us, I think we have a lot to look forward to. We have a detailed, well-built strategy in place and it’s going to help accelerate our success. There’s a lot of demand out there


and, importantly, we have a crew able to handle it. It still makes me so proud to see our people working together so perfectly as a whole and it’s a great sign for our future. When I think about the next five years at Synergy, it makes me smile. It’s going to be great.”

Réno-Direct Réno-Direct never compromise on excellence when it comes to providing construction material products and exceptional service. Moreover, our retail sales and services for all trades have made us an essential ally for construction experts and contractors alike. In order to help them meet their critical deadlines and to provide them with high quality products, our qualified and devoted team is proud to accompany Synergy to successfully carry out their numerous projects of all sizes. Consequently, Synergy Formwork and Réno-Direct have built a strong and durable partnership over the years. We are looking forward to expand our mutual business to new heights as our future together looks bright.


Escobedo Group

Masters of

their craft A relentless dedication to skill, artistry, integrity and pride has resulted in Escobedo Group creating some of the most luxurious residences found anywhere in Central Texas and beyond

Escobedo Group

Services: High-end residential home builder


“While we are not a business that is out there saying that we can help to solve the housing crisis that exists in different parts of the world right now, what we are working hard to do with things like the Dario Panelized System is to create a product that we believe will ultimately become more affordable to the masses, and that will help to facilitate greater opportunities for companies and home owners in the future”



Escobedo Group

assion for quality and craftsmanship. Those were the qualities that were set as being the cornerstones of Escobedo Group when it was founded as a house builder in Houston in the late 1950s by Dario Escobedo. It was these qualities and a dedication to superior construction that made the Escobedo name synonymous with quality, and they would subsequently be passed down by Dario to his son, David Escobedo, who leads the business today as its Owner. It was under David, in 1983, that the business would relocate to Austin, Texas, by which time its mastery in each stage of the construction process – from concrete and stonework, to steelwork and millwork – meant that its team could grow through the recruitment of people such as experienced artisans and engineers. Today, Escobedo Group is a recognized pioneer in luxury construction, providing its clients with new and innovative solutions, and is in every sense of the word a family business. Alongside David is fellow owner –

and wife – Kathy Escobedo, while his three children, Matt Escobedo, Jessica EscobedoSmalley and Anna Escobedo-Pryputniewicz, also hold prominent roles. “One of the things that Escobedo Group is known for is our somewhat unique style of business, by which I am referring to our ability to self-perform,” David begins. “What this means is that we carry out, on average, 80 per cent of the work on a project ourselves utilizing the skills of our own highly skilled employees, a number of which have been with us for several decades and are real masters of their respective crafts. This is what sets us apart from the vast majority of general contractors, who subcontract much of their work out to other parties. Not only does this approach help to deliver the amazing quality of work that we are known for, it has also meant that we have become well versed in delivering contracts in compressed time periods.” Escobedo Group’s track record when it comes to innovation is also something that places it on a pedestal above many of its

peers, and this is perfectly highlighted by its development of a ground-breaking solution known as the Dario Panelized System. Named after David’s father, it is a panelized construction process that allows the company to build better, faster, and more efficiently, with less material waste generated and less impact on the environment. Utilizing a combination of craftsmanship, specialized software and cutting-edge technology to build customized, fully system-integrated floor, wall and roof panels in what will be a soon-to-be-built, 50,000-square foot, quality-controlled, state-of-the-art facility, Escobedo Group believes that the Dario Panelized System represents the future of construction.

Legacy homes The group’s unique capabilities and technologies have helped it to cultivate a unique client base, made up predominantly of those within the highest wealth bracket in the country. “I would estimate that around 90 per cent of our clients are what you would

Falcon Lath and Plaster Falcon Lath and Plaster have been privileged to work with some of Austin, TX best GC’s, with one of the top being Escobedo Group. All of their projects speak of their dedication to and demand of high-quality craftsmanship. Through decades of working with them as a subcontractor, we believe they trust we deliver on their high standards of quality when it comes to our craft of plaster and stucco service.


Escobedo Group


call ‘self-made’ individuals. What they tend to look for in a home is something that is special or different that can be seen as their legacy home, if you will, and they recognize ourselves as also being very entrepreneurial in the work that we like to carry out,” David explains. On behalf of said clients, Escobedo Group has spent the last several decades creating some of the most luxurious residences found in Central Texas, or indeed beyond. There are a whole host of different examples that one could explore, and David is happy to share a few of his favourites. “One of the first projects on which we started to really integrate our own cutting edge technology and craftsmanship was on The Mayan Estate, in Central Texas,” he details. A multi-level home with a stunning cantilevered stone staircase, stone vaulted ceilings, and load-bearing limestone walls, The Mayan Estate is truly a project unlike any other, and features long imperial-like halls with striking columns and polished stone floors, lavish interiors, and even Texas granite quarry cylinders stacked to form columns that fill a room with sunlight during the winter and summer solstices and equinox.

Ground breaking system More recently, another good case study to highlight the innovative work of the group would be the Rural Colorado Ranch project, found in Southern Colorado. “This particular project was delivered to a repeat client of the group’s, who reached out to us again around four years ago with a desire to turn their particular vision of what they wanted their remote rural ranch home to look like into reality,” David continues. “Turning to the Dario Panelized System, we built everything here in Austin, before shipping it to site to be assembled, thus combating the logistical challenge posed by the location of the ranch. The system allowed us to fully fabricate and pre-build the steel structure, floors, walls and roof panels – including all cut stone – without our own facility, and in spite of the complicated

nature of the double curvature structure of the premises, we were able to complete work in just 11-and-a-half months.” The Rural Colorado Ranch is just one of a number of projects that has benefitted massively from the development of the Dario Panelized System, and David needs no convincing of how much more in demand it will become going forward. “Every single person we have introduced this system to thus far has been amazed by what they have seen, and once they have taken the chance to view some of the work that it has helped us to deliver on the ground they are even more convinced of the cutting-edge nature of it,” David proclaims. “So convinced do they tend to be, that these people also come away sharing our view that, in perhaps as little as ten years’ time, the whole industry will be heading in the direction of such panelized solutions.”

Wilson AC & Appliance David and all the staff at Escobedo Construction are such a positive force in the building trade. Every job, and there have been many over the years, proves once again what a creative, innovative professional can do with home design and build. It’s rare to find a builder that does so much of the design and material fabrication in house. The Wilson Appliance sales and installation teams love working with Escobedo because they know they will get to share in the experience of building a home that is beautiful, creative, of superb quality, and frankly, amazing.


Escobedo Group


What the above does, however, is beg another question, and that is what further steps does David think the system can take to evolve in the years to come? “We are already looking at how we can use the system to further improve functions such as guaranteeing better air quality in the home, which is something that people are now much more aware of,” David adds. “We also want to continue to make our homes smarter and more technologically connected, but not necessarily by reinventing the wheel – as it were – but rather by taking the best bits of technology and the best techniques, and using them in such a way that they result in a better-quality outcome, while also keeping costs down as far as possible.”

Future opportunities Prior to 2020, Escobedo Group had celebrated its biggest year to date in 2019. However, while David is in no mind to jinx the group’s fate, its pipeline as of the first few months of 2021 put it in such a position that it could be celebrating new records of business by the end of this year. What makes this all the more remarkable is that it comes at a time when the group has yet to even seriously begin rolling out a focused advertising campaign

for the Dario Panelized System, with all of the demand for its use currently coming as a result of word-of-mouth. “We are in the process of getting ready to launch some exciting marketing materials that will shine a spotlight upon the Dario Panelized System and some of the work that we have delivered with it,” David states. “Also, we continue to move forward at pace with the construction of our new facility that will be dedicated specifically to the system, and once it comes online – hopefully by the end of the third quarter of 2021 – it will allow us to put out products faster than ever before. At the same time, we are also investing in a number of incredible new machines and pieces of kit from overseas, which will arrive in the coming weeks.” Although the group is open and honest about the fact that it works primarily with clients within the higher echelons of wealth, its efforts to further improve upon its innovative systems and solutions have all the potential of creating a real lasting, positive impact on the wider construction industry. “While we are not a business that is out there saying that we can help to solve the housing

crisis that exists in different parts of the world right now, what we are working hard to do with things like the Dario Panelized System is to create a product that we believe will ultimately become more affordable to the masses, and that will help to facilitate greater opportunities for companies and home owners in the future,” David concludes.


The Howard Hughes Corporation®


for the future With a portfolio stretching from New York to Hawaii, The Howard Hughes Corporation® has built a reputation for developing some of the best-in-class and most desirable master planned communities in the United States

Bridgeland - Josey Lake Boat House


The Howard Hughes Corporation®

Services: Real estate owner, developer and operator, specializing in master planned communities & premier commercial properties


The Howard Hughes Corporation® The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway

The Woodlands Waterway



edicated to innovative placemaking, The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, operates and develops award-winning commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate across the US. With a portfolio strategically positioned to meet and accelerate development based on market demand, Howard Hughes operates one of the strongest property portfolios in the country. Focusing on master planned communities and communities of the future, Howard Hughes’ inspirational vision helps people discover new ways to experience life. “Our approach to master planned communities at Howard Hughes makes us unique,” declares Heath Melton, Executive Vice President, MPC Residential. “We are one of the few fully-integrated, publicly-traded, large-scale developers in the industry. We develop all the infrastructure associated with a project and self-perform all asset classes with the exception of home building. We focus on long term value creation and remain 100 per cent involved in our projects for the life of the community.”

“Going forward, we will continue to deliver communities that remain focused on sustainability, as well as environmentally, but from a market penetration standpoint as well. We are constantly striving to keep our finger on the pulse so that we can adjust to the market and be dynamic in everything we do” and focus on providing exceptional open green space, parks, lakes and trails, offering residents the opportunity to connect meaningfully with nature and each other. These areas also fall in line with Howard Hughes’ commitment to the environment. “We encourage health and wellbeing in our communities,” Melton states. “You’ll see a lot of pedestrian connectivity in our neighborhoods. We like to make sure we have extensive trail systems to help connect residents from their homes to places of interest, including parks, retail centers or their office. A live, work, play component is incorporated into our design and our placemaking experiences to create an urban walkable environment. It also helps

with our sustainability goals. Not only do these open, walkable communities reduce vehicle usage, but we use a lot of plant materials native to the region, which sustainably reduces long term maintenance cost and water usage. We are focused on the overall ecosystem – all of nature’s creatures existing together.” Over the course of the last 12 months, the market around Howard Hughes has, understandably, shifted dynamically due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As more and more people decide to move out of densely populated areas, the demand for a quality lifestyle with open spaces has increased, and Howard Hughes’ master planned communities have been ideally positioned for the spirit of the moment.

Environmental commitment As of 2021, Howard Hughes’ portfolio includes the Seaport District in New York City, Downtown Columbia in Maryland, The Woodlands®, The Woodlands Hills®, and Bridgeland® in Texas, and Ward Village® in Honolulu, Hawaii. Summerlin® in Las Vegas, another of Howard Hughes’ master planned communities, was originally the site of a property owned by the company’s namesake and takes its name from Mr. Hughes’ paternal grandmother, Jean Amelia Summerlin. Today, Summerlin is the #3 top-selling master planned community in the US. “Our company is dedicated to being creators of culture and building for the future, with an unwavering commitment to masterful design and excellence in execution,” Melton says. “We want to bring people together in places where they can really engage and enjoy life. Building for the future has been a major focus for us. As you can see from our sites, we don’t just develop for the current day, we like to build with the future in mind - both from a sustainability standpoint, as well as ensuring our sites stand the test of time architecturally. We want all our developments to remain vibrant and relevant within the marketplace for the long-term.” While every one of Howard Hughes’ master planned communities has its own distinct environment and amenities, each is developed with the same principles of design excellence


The Howard Hughes Corporation® The Woodlands Hills

The Woodlands Hills Pool - Founders Park


“Today’s consumer is looking for alternatives to the traditional office density that provide a higher quality work/life balance and many have transitioned to working from home or a hoteling concept where they work from home two days a week and then go to the office for three days,” Heath explains. “We have definitely been able to capture that level of demand within our communities. Our home sales increased dramatically in 2020, and we will amplify that in 2021 if current trends persist.”

The Woodlands Hills - Founders Park playground

Blend of offers When it comes to residential properties, Howard Hughes’ efforts during the last four years have been directed towards cutting-edge design and becoming an architectural market leader. Since 2015, the corporation has helped to bring more modern interpretations of singlefamily residences and is widely believed to be the first to introduce modern farmhouse and modern prairie style designs to the Houston market. “Bridgeland has been home to a modernist development program that includes midcentury modern design and more transitional elevation. It has fared really well with the millennial generation that is now coming of age. In general, millennial customers have a changing family dynamic and are looking to get out of cities and buy homes in higher rated school districts,” Melton reports. “As a result, to better suit this market, we’ve worked closely with builders to redesign interior floor plans and create more of an open concept for people who like to entertain and seek modern inspired exteriors and interiors.” As part of its contemporary approach to community building, Howard Hughes has also been concentrating on the affordability and attainability of its properties. With the need for housing on the rise across the U.S., and master planned communities becoming an increasingly popular choice, Howard Hughes believes in offering a variety of residency programs at various price points, whilst maintaining the overall quality and aesthetic for which the company has become renowned. “One example of how we respond to market demand can be viewed through our townhome offerings. We partnered with select home builders and re-envisioned the elevations, making them feel really rich and modern, from the interior to the exterior,” Melton reveals. “We have used the same strategy on introducing 40-foot and 45-foot homesites, offering lower price points without sacrificing the design aesthetic fitting for our master planned community developments.”

To diversify its assets, Howard Hughes is introducing more multifamily programs in some of its master planned communities, allowing the business to better speak to the demographics of each location. The Woodlands, for example, which is one of the company’s more urban, business district-based communities, is now home to a variety of

high-rise, mid-rise and garden-style multifamily properties. “Our multifamily residences include large, two-story townhomes with dedicated garages, as well as four-story programs,” Melton remarks. “We offer a nice blend of offerings that speak to different demographics, both in terms of location and buyer/renter price points and preferences.”


The Howard Hughes Corporation® The Woodlands Hills - Activity Center


Market reawakening In the coming months, Howard Hughes is set to begin work on two million square feet of development across its master planned community portfolio. New condos and multifamily residences, as well as office and retail facilities will soon find their way to the Seaport, Downtown Columbia, Summerlin, Ward Village, The Woodlands and Bridgeland. “We are really bullish about 2021,” Melton asserts. “Based on the increasing demand for single-family housing, we think there will continue to be huge opportunities for us in Houston and Las Vegas. The single-family residential market will certainly be a focus for us in 2021, and we will be working across all our communities to satisfy that requirement. “As vaccines are implemented and the market recovers from Covid-19, we are going to see retailers re-awake in the market space,” Melton continues. “All signs point toward 2021 being very different from 2020. We are not only focused on filling out our existing space but also on discovering new opportunities that we can bring to market to fulfil the rising demand.” As owner and developer of its own master planned communities, Howard Hughes’ destiny remains very much within the company’s control. Not interested in selling its properties to third-party users, Howard Hughes is able to manage its own supply chain and, to some extent, manage the market, ensuring the space in which it operates never becomes oversaturated. “As we look out across the next three to five years, one advantage is our flexibility,” Melton notes. “We remain very flexible in both a design sense and in how we implement our plans. “As our core values suggest, we are always looking to build for the future,” he adds. “Going forward, we will continue to deliver communities that remain focused on sustainability, as well as environmentally, but from a market penetration standpoint as well. We are constantly striving to keep our finger on the pulse so that we can adjust to the market and be dynamic in everything we do.”

The Woodlands Hills - Trails


Howland Green Homes Ltd.

Beyond Net Zero

For Howland Green Homes, its mission is simple, yet revolutionary, and that is to create buildings that produce more energy than they require

Howland Green Homes Ltd. Services: Building positive energy developments


“All aspects of the system are geared towards energy conservation. Whether that means building the box out properly, or heating and cooling it effectively, it is about reducing the amount of operational energy required so that your bottom line comes out an awful lot lower than the average building


Howland Green Homes Ltd.


t Howland Green Homes (Howland Green), the aim of the business is not just to build homes, but positive energy developments. By this it means, creating homes, buildings and communities that are so efficient that they produce more energy than they consume. This marks the business out as representing the next step towards greater sustainability, as it looks to build beyond the ‘Net Zero’ standard and into ‘Net Positive’ territory. Leading this push is one Dave de Sylva, President of Howland Green. “I have been in the business of building and development for 49 years now, previously operating a company called Del Ridge Homes Inc. (“Del Ridge”), which is known for its popular GreenLife brand (“GreenLife”),” he details. “Whereas this company operated with a goal of creating Net Zero buildings, Howland Green is all about being ‘Beyond Net Zero’.” For Howland Green, this means utilizing even more insulation, applying greater technology in conservation, sharing advanced energy practices that result in even lower operating

energies, and achieving lower operating costs. “We build commercial office buildings and residential condominium buildings, and with both we have a unique building system that we try to make improvements to with each new project,” Dave explains. “All aspects of the system are geared towards energy conservation. Whether that means building the box out properly, or heating and cooling it effectively, it is about reducing the amount of operational energy required so that your

bottom line comes out an awful lot lower than the average building.” In a further positive move, Howland Green then looks to satisfy those lower energy needs with renewable energy. It generates off site solar on nearly every building which, when combined with the on-site photo voltaic system that it has become adept at utilizing, exceeds all demands generated by the building, allowing the company to give back its excess, clean, pollution-free energy to the local community. The success of Howland Green – and GreenLife before it – can in part be credited to Dave’s love of science and passion for problem solving. “I am one of those individuals who never stops thinking and looking at different ways of doing things,” Dave continues. “Science is so interesting because it talks to you, it responds to what you do with it, and rather than sit back on things that have already been done before, I enjoy experimenting and I don’t think that is something that should be feared. “As builders and developers, we take a piece of land and what we put there evolves over time, but more often than not our industry doesn’t really want to study how that land or construction behaves. A key part of science is data collection, and having the ability to collect data from that development, analyze it and manipulate it is so important as it allows us to learn from what we have done in the past to create a better future. I think that thought process is missing all too often with people more fixated on past accomplishments.” Howland Green’s own experiments with data, technology and various construction processes have led to it adopting a number of specialist techniques that it has incorporated into its Building Envelop, which make its projects so sustainable. This includes the use of upgraded insulated concrete forms (ICF). The company has invested in custom made ICF, which increases the walls from 2-to-5/8’’ of


expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS) on each side, to over 4’’. “A major benefit of having an enhanced ICF system is that your demand for space conditioning – heating and cooling – is so much smaller, often almost ten per cent of the norm,” Dave enthuses. Other facets of the company’s Building Envelop include, high quality triple glazed fiberglass windows, entirely enclosed garages – which eliminate at least 80,000-to100,000 KWHs of energy for ice/snow melt, the most up-to-date LED lighting options available on the market, hot water storage, decant recapture, geothermal heating and air conditioning, clean and grey water harvesting, and post waste recycling. Arguably the company’s flagship development today is its Howland Green Business Centre, one of the first and only net positive energy office building in Canada. Standing three storys tall, offering over 59,000-square feet of office space, and powered by solar and geothermal energy, it is a true revolutionary landmark achievement. In addition to producing more clean energy

than it uses each year, the building has been constructed to include individual geothermal heating and cooling controls, it harnesses all rainwater and recycles it on site, possesses 360,000 watts of photovoltaic panels, and stores energy for later usage using high-tech battery and pneumatic systems. “The Howland Green Business Centre is a terrific example of our pioneering work, that people are amazed by every time they hear about it or visit,” Dave proudly states. “Just to give you an example of its environmental credentials, it is February as I speak, and the furnace here has yet to come on once this

year! Thanks to features like our enhanced ICF, pre-cast floors and terrific triple glazed windows, heat doesn’t escape and the building’s temperature stays constant virtually all-year round. There is so much stuff also that you cannot see, little elements and features throughout the building, so we are looking forward to collecting all of the data for a fullyear’s operation later in 2021, so as to really highlight the benefits that the center has – and can – deliver.” On the residential side of the business, Howland Green’s major undertaking at present is its work on Milton’s Bront West, a

Fastform Insulated Concrete Form Fastform ICF have been supplying Insulated Concrete Forms in Ontario for over 25 years, helping on thousands of projects ranging from residential foundations to large multi-unit projects like Howland Green’s Bronte West Condominiums. Fastform ICF’s president Eric Duiker says: “Dave de Sylva and the Howland Green team continually push the envelope of energy efficient ideas and design. From net-positive structures, to industry leading R values, they don’t settle until they’ve exceeded the best in the industry by a significant margin.” Fastform Insulated Concrete Forms currently has three locations in Southwestern Ontario (Mississauga, Orangeville, and Ayr) stocking Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms and various other EPS insulation products.


Howland Green Homes Ltd.

new condominium development spanning some 190,000-square feet in Milton, Ontario, Canada. Here, more than 16 different energy


features combine to create a fully sustainable, eco-friendly, waste conscious condo experience. Ranging from 1078-square feet

to 1607-square feet, these two and three bedroom suites feature open concept living, with luxury finishes throughout. “Milton’s Bront West utilizes much – if not all – of the same technological features that have gone into create the Howland Green Business Centre, albeit over a larger, more spread out space,” Dave adds. “I have taken the experience that I had in successfully delivering condominiums under the GreenLife banner for Del Ridge, and combined it with technology such as our enhanced ICF that is being used in such applications for the first time ever, and the results so far have been excellent.” Looking back on the success of the business over the past 12 months – and indeed beyond that – Dave pinpoints its ability to adapt to the world around it, as well as the efforts of its people, as being fundamental. “One thing that sets us humans apart from the animal kingdom is our ability to adapt, and we as an organization are constantly evolving, because we know that standing still is simply not the answer,” he professes. “As far as our people are concerned, we are not a huge company in

terms of numbers, but some of those working alongside me have done so for 20, 25, even 35 years now. The reason why is because they – like their colleagues – believe in what we are, and are thrilled to be a part of what we are achieving here at Howland Green.” For 2021, the focus of the company is initially to complete its work on Milton Bront West. In the meantime, it is currently at the drafting board stage of a new office building project, and has its sights set on a follow-up residential build. Needless to say, then, that Dave and his team have no intentions of slowing down for the foreseeable future. Longer term, Dave’s attention is also fixed on identifying other firsts that the company can achieve. “As far as our mission or goals for the future are concerned, it goes back to that thought process of leaving no stone unturned when we set out to accomplish something,” he declares, before revealing one of the ambitions he would like to achieve. “One of the biggest things I would like to see us do is come up with an in-built system for the storage of a percentage of the energy that falls onto our planet each day. I know that there are a number of techniques being explored today to try and make such a solution

possible, and while I don’t know if one of these will show it can be done within a building itself, my instinct tells me that there has to be a way, and I am more than happy to explore such a theory to see if it can become a reality.”

In fairness, given the track record that Dave has had delivering industry firsts while operating Del Ridge and now Howland Green, you would perhaps be unwise to bet against the above coming to life sooner than later.


The SR11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project

Uniting across borders By creating a new, 21st century border crossing for the San Diego-Baja California mega-region, The SR11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project will not only enhance regional mobility, but also facilitate job growth, create economic opportunities, and help reduce emissions

The SR11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project



The SR11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project


joint venture between the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) – in collaboration with state and federal partners in the United States and Mexico – the State Route 11 (SR 11)/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project (OME POE) is designed to improve the commercial movement of goods, services and passengers across the US-Mexico border. Situated where San Diego and the Baja California regions meet, this 21st century border crossing will be a clean, green and smart port of entry, which will greatly enhance regional mobility,


whilst also fuelling economic growth and binational trade. Over the years, the US-Mexico border region has consistently grown, and as of 2018, the existing Otay Mesa and Tecate commercial ports of entry were found to process a combined $47.5 billion in total bilateral trade. With that number expected to increase in the coming years, it was determined that a new port of entry was required to facilitate further job growth and new economic opportunities for the private sector on both sides of the border. The answer is the SR 11/OME POE Project. Mario Orso is the Trade Corridor Director for

the undertaking, which involves working on behalf of both SANDAG and Caltrans. Mario leads teams consisting of a wide range of professionals in different disciplines from both agencies to deliver the SR 11/OME POE Project. Here, he provides some background behind the project coming to life and its progress to date. “In recent decades, we have witnessed exponential increases in movement across the border between San Diego and the Baja California, whether that be in the form of business transportation – trucks, heavy goods vehicles etc. – or commuters and/or tourists,” Mario begins. “In 2006, studies were carried out that revealed

up to $6 billion in trade was being lost due to border wait times. Such stark figures highlighted the importance of developing a new border crossing for the region, and what followed was a cost benefit analysis study, which determined that the cost benefit for building the new port of entry could be as high as ten-to-one.” Today, the project has what Mario refers to as three major pillars or components, the right-of-way, the roadway infrastructure, and the port of entry. “The first of these - the ‘right-of-way’ element – involved buying up all of the property for the highways and the port of entry itself,” he explains. “What traditionally happened is the Federal Government came and built the border crossing and then the local or state governments constructed adequate transportation facilities around the port of entry. This time, we the state completed the acquisition of all the right-of-way elements of the project. Then, we planned and designed the roadways leading into and out of the port of entry, because we know that


The SR11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project

you cannot have a good heart without good arteries. “Now, where we find ourselves is in the process of constructing all of the road ways, with the major component currently taking shape being the final piece of State Route 11 – together with some of the connector ramps there – which is being worked on by Skanska. We are also channelling efforts towards bringing the port of entry element to life, through potential funding or by striking some form of partnership, potential using the toll revenue. We are now getting ready to bring in all of the utilities that will be required at the port of entry, and we will soon start levelling the paths so that we can begin the construction of the facility. We have approached this phase of the project


with a view towards greater modernization, be it in the form of more dynamic trip assignment and signage, or more intelligent transportation systems.” To date, approximately $564 million has been invested into the SR 11/OME POE Project on the US side. Meanwhile, in Mexico, it too has acquired the right-of-way element to the project, and at time of print was in the process of closing a deal for the design of its port of entry. Also, with Mexico having now completed a traffic and revenue study of its own, as of March 2021, the two sides are in a position to commence with revenue sharing negotiations. In addition to SANDAG and Caltrans, other key stakeholders in the project include the US Customs Agency, the Federal Highway

Administration, and the General Service Administration. As one can imagine, maintaining co-ordination between so many different agencies and entities is no easy task, particularly when some of these are based on both sides of an international border. In spite of this – and also in the face of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – everyone involved in the project has excelled to the point where it is currently several months ahead of schedule! The project is also continuing to be delivered with the utmost respect and sensitivity towards the environment, with sustainability playing a huge part in every activity undertaken. “In California, we pride ourselves on being worldwide leaders when it comes to sustainability,

and this is being reflected in the decisions and investments we are making for the SR 11/OME POE Project,” Mario proclaims. “For example, our intelligent transportation systems and strategies have been designed around reducing vehicle waiting times, and thus also reducing emissions. Currently, commercial and passenger vehicles can wait for hours to cross the border. We are also signed up to the Governor’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan, which is a pilot project that will see us developing a border waiting time system, which utilizes data from all of the border crossing points to advise drivers of current waiting times. This data will also be able to be fed back to border agencies so as to better improve efficiencies across the board.” The endeavour of Mario and his teams is to open the facility in late 2024 or early 2025. While he himself describes it as a medium-sized facility, the purchase of significant acreage around the site leaves it with the tantalizing opportunity to expand even further in the future. “Once the project

is complete, I want those who have been responsible for this to have left behind the tools and foundations that will allow it to grow as demand increases, and to be able to adapt to and embrace additional new technologies that may arise,” Mario states. “It is important to note that along the way we have always taken into consideration the resiliency and redundancies of the border itself, so as to prepare the project and the port of entry to all manner of potential eventualities.” The SR 11/OME POE Project is unquestionably a project that is being watched closely in many different quarters, and should go on to be recognized as a monumental success on an international

stage. As Mario concludes, however, its completion will no doubt mean the most to those it will benefit at ground level. “Here in the San Diego/Baja California region, we consider ourselves to be one big border community, and what we want this project’s legacy to be is a showcase of what can be achieved when we work together. Often, families and businesses here can be divided by the US-Mexico border, so for many, going back and forth across it has become part of our daily lives. As such, we understand the long-term value of making The SR 11/OME POE Project a success. After all, the more doors we can open to people on either side of the border to navigate through, the better we believe it will be for everybody!”

SRK Engineering SRK Engineering are a certified Disadvantage Business Enterprise, Small Business Enterprise, and 8a General Engineering Union Contractor based in Southern California that specializes in retaining walls and underground infrastructure. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve success in the construction industry through attention to detail, executing efficiently, and delivering innovative solutions. Our team possesses years of experience on a diverse list of heavy civil, airport, bridge, retaining wall, and pipeline related projects..


Peerless Architectural Windows and Doors

Window maestros Founded in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1952, Peerless Architectural Windows and Doors prides itself on creating bold designs that are manufactured to the highest quality standards


Peerless Architectural Windows and Doors Products: Innovative window and door manufacturer


Peerless Architectural Windows and Doors


s it approaches its seventieth year in business in 2022, Peerless Architectural Windows and Doors (Peerless) today stands as an award-winning aluminum window, door, and wall solution provider based in the Mid-West of the USA. Proud to manufacture windows from the heartland of America, Peerless’ success is based on an extremely high level of engineering, as well as a pioneering approach to new technologies that drive bold advances in window designs. “We started off manufacturing many


different products, some being storm doors and garage doors,” began Sarah Lero, the Marketing Manager at Peerless, as she explained how the company evolved to its respected position today. “Throughout the years, we transitioned over into the architectural industry, providing innovative windows and doors nation-wide and now we are industry leaders, offering unrivaled products, and capabilities.” The early months of 2021 are the perfect time to report on Peerless’ activities, as the company has recently expanded its

capabilities into three locations. Sarah gave more details: “The expansions were undertaken at our Innovative Solutions Group (ISG) in Nevada, MO, and our Commercial Applications Group (CAG) in Iola, KS, and the corporate office and plant in Fort Scott, KS. We are now manufacturing a comprehensive range of windows, doors, and pre-assembled units for new construction, replacement, historical, and modular construction. “Furthermore, in the last year, we added the ability to ship windows differently from anyone else in the industry, aiding in loading

and unloading time on busy jobsites and reducing shipping damage.” Clearly already a highly-sophisticated operation, Peerless nevertheless makes sure that its production facilities and processes are constantly upgraded, to ensure that they are working at optimal efficiency. This is achieved through its own in-house Continuous Improvement department. Sarah gave some examples of some of the solutions that Peerless has implemented: “We make many oversized units that two people cannot easily lift, so in several of our facilities, we use over-

head lifts to increase efficiency and keep our workers safe,” she said. “Technology is essential to us. Additionally, the Peerless development team has built the Peerless Xpeerience App, so our customers can track their projects from the aluminum press through delivery.” No strangers to thinking out of the box, and unafraid to embrace innovation, Sarah highlights some further aspects of Peerless’ operation that set it apart from its competition. “I believe our ability to think about our impact on every party involved with our window during design makes us stand out. For the building owner, we make sure to provide a product every person could easily operate and provide maximum fresh air with fall protection and egress capabilities. “For architects, we regularly exceed project performance values required on projects. We

co-extrude our accessories and unitize many windows in one master frame for glaziers to make installation efficient and straightforward without going over budget. Providing a worldclass product is different than providing a product that is easy for us to manufacture; our research and development (R&D) team takes the time to design our products that will work in many situations.” The R&D team Sarah referred to is a hugely essential contributor to the success of the business and she gave an example of new product innovation that the team has released. “Peerless has a full R&D team that develops our products through a five gates system,” she began. “Throughout the years, we have never provided storefront windows, mainly due to the low industry cost, and we sell fully glazed products instead of a stick system. With the addition of our ISG facility and an oversized


Peerless Architectural Windows and Doors

testing wall, we can now build larger products. Larger products meant we could create a Pre-Assembled Storefront system with coextruded accessories for easy installation. Peerless Pre-Assembled Storefront is equipped with thicker mullions to hide any interior walls, so the whole system acts more like a wall than a typical window. Providing a system like this gives our customers the ability to bid on storefront, punched openings, and window wall within the same project. Peerless windows achieve some of the lowest u-values within the building product industry, so we like

window’s overall ability to resist heat flow, and the better insulated a structure is, the lower the u-value will be. Peerless can achieve as low as .15, and additionally, it’s SHGC score can be as low as .24 – SHGC measures how much heat is transmitted through a window. By providing windows with the best overall design, frame, glass package, and spacer systems available, Peerless is contributing to the net-zero energy goal in buildings. Peerless further reassures its customers that the products they are purchasing are of the highest quality, thanks to its

above that some of the most significant and interesting schemes across America feature Peerless products. A look at its website (www. will illustrate the range and scale of these astonishing construction projects, but there is one particular contract that really stood out for Sarah, when asked to highlight an instance of Peerless’ approach. “While we do focus on many new construction projects, Peerless has provided windows for some key replacement projects over the years,” she said. “One recent

to think of Peerless as pioneers who drive bold advances in product designs.” The u-value referred to by Sarah is an important consideration for almost anyone involved in construction. U-value is the

membership of the American Architectural Manufacturer’s Association (AAMA). It tests all of its products to meet the most stringent quality standards set by AAMA, and it is thanks to a combination of all the benefits described

notable project was Emerson Little Building in Boston, MA. Emerson Little Building is a 12-story structure that was initially completed in 1917 and housed many businesses, and now it is owned by Emerson College as a residence


hall. A considerable feature we could provide was windows that replicated the old windows’ look while bringing in today’s technology, including energy efficiency. “It was also important that we gave the college windows that anyone could operate, meeting the 5lb handle operating force enforced by The Americans with Disabilities Act. Peerless G261 Casement Inswings could meet ADA with an impressive 0.32 u-value and 15 lb water performance. Seeing the slowdown in new construction has also led us to ensure we have window systems that work for replacement work and products that will be as easy as possible for our customers to install.” The consideration that Peerless puts into the projects it is part of, for both its customers and the end-users of its products is clear, and this culture of responsibility extends throughout the business, especially towards

Christmas and New Years’ off as a company with time paid for if you have been with the company for five years, and part of the time paid for employees with the company between two to five years. “We also have annual meat give-away!” she added. “We go to surrounding county fairs and buy animals from the kids to butcher and pass out 20 lb. portions to our employees. We are also continuously working to improve our employees’ benefits because we understand that there needs to be a work/life balance to get the best out of everyone.” It is not surprising then to learn that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Peerless management team went above and beyond to protect not just their own staff, but also others in the community. “At the beginning of the pandemic, our President went out and bought six sewing machines to put together a task force to sew masks for our 400+ employees.

its staff. “People are huge for Peerless, and we know that we are only as good as the people who are building our windows,” agreed Sarah. “We have many different health and wellbeing programs that focus on our people

After our employees had masks, we started donating to other small businesses struggling to get them,” Sarah revealed. “Going through this pandemic has been challenging as a company, and we have had to pivot our sales

things have started to pick back up. We work with some excellent partners who let us build their projects early to keep our production running efficiently and lead times short.” As we go forward into 2021, the team at Peerless is ready to face the challenges that may arise and has ambitious strategies that it firmly intends to pursue. “We have many goals and plans for 2021, and we want to continue to grow our new ISG and CAG business while keeping our Peerless architectural window to the same high-quality standard,” Sarah confirmed. “We are currently improving our customer visit area, so we can host clients in a comfortable space when travel does start. As mentioned above, we are also improving our testing capabilities so that customers can do full-scale mock-ups while visiting us. We also have some new products that we hope to bring to market later this year.” She concluded with a longer-term vision for this ambitious and flexible business. “In three to five years, we hope to produce our products more efficiently than anyone is currently capable of in the window industry. This could look like automation, new Peerless patented

including the Peerless Wellness Program that pays for a portion of gym memberships, reimbursements for safety shoes, free hi-vis vests and shirts and fresh fruit passed out daily. This year we took the week between

and marketing techniques to keep projects coming in, and now I think our team is more versatile than we have ever been. “We did see a slight slowdown early 2020 because jobsites were just not open, but

equipment, or even new technology. We are at a pivotal time where the next big idea could change the whole window industry, and we want it to be something that comes from Peerless.”


McCormick Construction


excellence Putting clients first for more than a century, McCormick Construction continues to bring its family-centric, values-based approach to some of Southern California’s most exciting construction projects

McCormick Construction Services: Construction and consultation services


Main picture and below: Vert, Canoga Park, CA

Below: Wallace On Sunset, Hollywood, CA


ounded in Missouri in 1914, McCormick Construction moved to Southern California in 1945 and never looked back. However, though the sunny California coast might be very different to the peaks and prairies of Missouri, the company’s strong identity remains unchanged. Family owned and operated since its inception, McCormick combines its construction experience with in-house Consulting, Interiors and Renovations, and Management groups to help it deliver complete solutions across the Golden State. Now in its fourth generation of family leadership, the centenarian business combines its founding principles with modern methods, resulting in a forward-thinking firm that clients know they can trust.

“Service, integrity and honesty were key values for McCormick Construction when it opened its doors in the early 1900s and those ideas remain just as important in 2021 for our President Steve McCormick, his brother Mike, the executive level staff, and, of course, our dedicated employees,” explains Executive Vice President Don Shipley. “We have staff at McCormick that have been employed here for a long time. I, myself, have been here 31 years, working my way up through the business, and there are other individuals with similar stories. It makes for a highly-dedicated group, well-versed in various aspects of construction and with a deep knowledge of the quality we expect to produce. “At its core, the culture of this organization is built around care and speed,” Don adds.

“We are highly customer-orientated and the McCormick Family’s focus on honesty, ethics and transparency continues to permeate the business today.” Highly regarded throughout the region, McCormick has forged strong relationships with clients across Southern California over the decades, working on major developments like Wallace on Sunset for the Essex Property Trust – a seven-story, mixed-use project featured in Construction Today in 2019 that is now nearing completion. The firm has performed work on numerous projects with Hudson Pacific Properties, as well as constructing various office buildings and associated parking structures, both subterranean and above ground. “This company is diverse, which allows us to be able to pursue various product types


McCormick Construction Harlow Sunset Las Palmas, Los Angeles, CA that include office buildings, entertainment industrial, hospitality, financial organizations, manufacturing, retail and multi-family,” Don says. “Flexibility means that we can adjust to changes in the market, and recently, we’ve gone back to our roots and completed over 700 multi-family units. The most recent of these projects was Vert in Canoga Park – a joint venture by McCormick Evolution boasting 277 units, as well as a swimming pool, community room, fitness centers, yoga rooms, spin rooms, coffee shops and sky decks.” Prior to the Vert project, McCormick completed a development in Burbank, California, called Talaria. Developed by the Cusumano Real Estate Group, Talaria included 244 units, a swimming pool, two courtyards, a cigar lounge, dry cleaning services, a beauty salon, business and fitness centers, a movie theatre, sky decks, penthouse units and a Whole Foods store on the ground floor. This LEED Gold certified property in the City of Burbank, Talaria helped to blaze a trail for

greener, more environmentally conscious McCormick projects. “Talaria was one of our higher value projects and it gave us another opportunity to work with Michael Cusumano and the Cusumano Real Estate Group. We have

built several properties with Michael over the years,” Don reports, “including office buildings and parking structures, but this was our first multi-family project with Michael and his team. We always enjoy working with the Group and they are like us in their high level of ethics. We hope to do more work with Michael and his family in the future. “When it comes to Talaria’s LEED certification, it’s helped inform our work since and we actually completed another LEED Gold certified project last year,” Don reveals. “LEED certification is a step above the green building requirements in our nation and celebrates leadership, energy efficiency and design. Quite a few of our personnel at McCormick carry LEED certification, so our project managers, engineers, design team and subcontractors all understand the requirements for green building, whether that be indoor air quality, the thermal values of the wall systems, or utilizing materials with zero VOCs.” Supporting McCormick behind the scenes throughout these projects has been Procore Construction Management Software, a system that has allowed the business to learn and expand in conjunction with Procore’s support. A key part of the way McCormick has operated for four years now, Procore continues to act as a fully transparent, single-source platform of information for construction projects, with reviewable information and real-time updates available at any time. “Procore is one of the most widely used and successfully utilized systems in our industry,” Don declares. “The fact that it’s been in use at McCormick for almost half a


Talaria Burbank, California

decade shows just how good the company is at keeping its finger on the pulse of the industry and the wider economy. “As a business, we monitor situations carefully and react accordingly. Lately, that has meant understanding the shortage in manpower in the industry and the challenges it is likely to pose for our projects. In subcontractor development, you need to understand the ability of the subcontractors and the manpower necessary to make a project successful. That is one of the reasons why we like to employ a fully collaborative, integrated project delivery method. The use of systems like Procore enhance this approach and facilitate our success.” As we move deeper into the 2020s, McCormick hopes to keep growing, placing strong emphasis on its employees and their training, onboarding, and professional development. Over the next few years, Don and his team will be looking to reinforce the relationships the McCormick Family has established throughout the company’s history, and, utilizing the firm’s knowledge and expertise, pursue more multi-family, hospitality, and industry work with new developers.

“We also want to better exploit Procore so that we can harvest all the possible advantages it offers,” Don asserts. “Similar efforts will go into our use of Oracle, which we employ as part of our pre-qualification processes for subcontractors. We are actually working very closely with Oracle on that side of things, which will only enhance our ability to maintain performance and increase quality.” So deeply ingrained in the organization that he often jokes about changing his own surname to McCormick, Don believes that the company will continue to lead the industry from an ethics and integrity standpoint in the years ahead. Focusing on quality rather than volume, McCormick aims to create long-term success through the professionalism of its staff and the quality of its workmanship. Whatever challenges the firm faces, public service, job creation, economic growth and the wellbeing of its local communities will always remain at the heart of its mission. “Everyone at this company takes every project very seriously, including Steve McCormick, our President, who meets customers and attends project meetings regularly. To have a president of a company

directly oversee the management of your project is highly unusual, but that is just the kind of business we are,” Don remarks. “It’s now time for myself and other employees to carry the torch for the McCormick’s. They have always been incredibly good at working closely with customers and building a team environment that provokes trust between both parties. We can learn from that. Every business endeavor needs trust, and McCormick is excellent at establishing that in its clients. “One of the differentiators of this business is that we only ever take on a project volume that we can manage efficiently,” Don notes. “It’s all about great customer service at McCormick and there is a clear intention to build relationships and continue to work with repeat customers. Even now, we are still working with clients that we constructed buildings for around 40 or 50 years ago. I, personally, am currently working with some of those long-standing customers that my McCormick predecessors worked with long ago. That is all due to the quality, professionalism, and high level of service that this company provides. I believe that’s what really sets us apart.”


Guido Construction

Guido Construction Services: Commercial construction and building materials


A family legacy


A truly family-run enterprise, today Guido Companies is transitioning from the third to the fourth generation of Guido Leadership, and 94 years after its founding, is still focusing on customer service and meeting the needs of its clients

stablished in 1927 by Louis L. Guido and still privately held, Guido Companies includes Guido Construction, a construction management and general contracting firm, and Guido Materials, a material supply firm. While the organization and the services it offers have evolved over the years, the mission to create places and spaces that inspire human connection remains. Cosmo M. Guido, Vice President of Guido Construction, credits Guido’s longevity in the industry as being ‘based on building relationships FIRST, with a reputation grounded in the timely completion of diverse projects, focusing on quality of service’. “Guido has been a driving force in the San Antonio construction market for more than 90 years,” he said, before setting out what sets the business apart. “Our companies were founded in San Antonio and will remain here, maintaining working relationships based on mutual, professional respect. Our leadership team is involved in the daily activities of the company and are available literally 24/7 for any need. Many large companies’ owners are just a ‘face’ of the company; our leadership is in the office every day, visiting jobsites and working with clients.” The leadership team includes Chris Guido, President of Guido Materials, and Tom and Maryanne Guido, who hold the titles of President, and CEO/Owner, respectively. Maryanne joined the business in 1992 and was elected CEO and Chairman of the Board in 2005. “When Tom first asked her to work in the company, her biggest challenge proved to be gaining acceptance as a viable businessperson in a male-dominated industry — and a third-generation business,” revealed Lauren Tew, Director of Marketing at Guido. “Few women worked in Texas in the early 80s and even fewer in an Italian family,” agreed Maryanne. “I remember when Tom and I were first married and we’d be having business discussions at the Guido family dinner table, most of the men were surprised I cared. A woman who wanted a career and be involved in business leadership was very rare. However, I was raised on the East Coast by parents with a lot of foresight — and I would question if something did not make sense to me. I wanted to debate it and fix it.” From early analysis of commercial operations, Maryanne learned that barely ten per cent of family businesses survive beyond the third generation. The Guido Companies were also struggling to expand and she made it her mission to help. She began to study familyrun business models; what made them successful, why they failed and what their unique challenges were. She observed distinct differences between the corporate environment and a family business environment, and she realized the third generation of the Guido business lacked leadership, accountability, and standardization. However, with Maryanne’s input, the Guido Companies began a solid period of growth. They worked on projects such as the Sacred Heart Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake University, the University of Incarnate Word Chapel, HEB Science Treehouse at the Witte Museum, and the first of eight projects completed at SeaWorld of Texas: the SeaWorld Lazy River.


Guido Construction

Furthermore, when she took over in 2005, Guido became certified as a Woman Owned Enterprise and this fact is a source of pride not just to the Guido family but the entire company. Lauren also pointed out that the women within the business are keen to mentor other women throughout the industry and the San Antonio business community as a whole. “Young women in high school and college will come visit our offices and learn about opportunities for women in the field as Superintendents and Project Managers, as well as Saleswomen and Window and Door Installers,” she noted. “We believe it is our responsibility to mentor the future workforce, especially young women. As a womanowned business, we have had opportunities to work on public projects with the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and the State of Texas, representing minority women-owned businesses throughout our State.”

Time of transition Cosmo and Chris, alongside Lauren Guido Tew and Michael Guido, represent the fourth generation to be part of the business. As operations transition from Maryanne and Tom to their children, Cosmo noted that the Guido name does not guarantee you a place at the table. “My parents emphasize accountability; you don’t get a pass card because you are family. In years past, family businesses were almost seen as substandard to other businesses, and I do think that paradigm has shifted. People understand that in a family business, the owners really care what happens, as we now have over 175 individuals’ livelihoods at stake every day. It sounds cliché, but we are like one big family and we want all our customers to have the same great experience.


“Growing up, we were taught that if we wanted to join the company then we needed to have cultivated experience and expertise that is valuable to Guido. We were encouraged to work elsewhere and take time to get useful experience if we wanted to be part of the companies’ future,” he said. “This gave us all a chance to really figure out who we were, what our management style is, and what our vision for the Companies was. What has made us so unique is creating and maintaining a culture where everyone is treated as family, regardless of the size of our company.” From Cosmo’s account of the current operations at Guido, it is clear the company has been through some evolutions over the years; he highlighted the past two decades as being especially successful with exceptional growth being recorded. Looking more closely at the reasoning behind the growth in these ten years, Chris Guido identified three areas that had been given particular attention. “In the first two generations, the business was a labor of love and very entrepreneurial. But as the company ‘grew up’, there were a few things we realized we needed to do to really reach the next level,” he stated. “Firstly, everyone had great technical skills but nobody thought to really develop the soft skills around leadership and communication. So, we have placed a lot of emphasis on this in recent years – creating a clear unified vision and helping managers understand why people want to follow you or not.” He continued: “Stemming from that, we have refreshed our story and reinvented ourselves. Whilst some things remained unchanged in terms of our core values over the generations, one thing that has been key for us is redefining and reprioritizing our

values. As the company grew, we realized that objective input would be critical to future success. “Finally, our team has worked to create clearer accountability to each other and employees and have held ourselves to the same standards and higher. This has been incredibly important in helping to navigate conflict or challenging situations, which can exist in any business – family or not. Business can’t be for the benefit of the family; it has to be for the benefit of the business.” This revitalized agenda was added to a base layer of solid skills and services, which over the years have completed multiple milestone projects throughout San Antonio. These include meeting a huge demand for the renovation and restoration of cultural institutions and landmark projects such as The DoSeum – San Antonio’s Museum of Kids, the Historic Renovation of City Hall, Alameda Theater Renovation, the Shops at Rivercenter and the Fairmont Hotel move and renovation. The historic Fairmont Hotel project took place in 1985, and saw Guido move the Fairmont Hotel through the downtown streets of San Antonio, across the Market Street Bridge – a record move of 3.2 million pounds! In recognition of its significant cultural importance, it was recently presented with the AIA San Antonio Twenty-Five Year Distinguished Building Award. This is an impressive win but not the least of the Awards that were presented to Guido over the years – it was also the recipient of Construction Today’s Top Landmark Builder, Mayor’s Choice Award for ChildSafe Salado Creek Campus, and the Best Public Project & Community Impact Award for ChildSafe. Cosmo F. Guido, son of company founder Louis and a legend in the San Antonio

construction industry, was also recognized in 2019 with an SAISD Foundation Inspire Award, where he was honored for making a significant difference in their field and for his ability to inspire others. He passed in 2020 at the age of 97, leaving behind a legacy of San Antonio landscape that had been substantially shaped by the activities of his father’s company.

Cosmo Frank Guido, Tom, and Maryanne that Guido stands in a good position at the beginning of the second quarter of 2021, with the next generation of Guido’s ready to take the business to further heights in the future. “We are stronger due to the challenges of 2020 and have great projects scheduled for the next three years,” Cosmo

confirmed. The company perfectly represents long-standing traditions, innovative new ideas, and the collaborative efforts of its employees who have the vision and passion to build what is possible. “They take pride in producing works of excellence and timeless beauty, and really do build the exceptional,” concluded Cosmo.

Exceptional buildings 2020 also saw the unveiling of the business’ newly constructed headquarters on Vidor Avenue, tripling the size of its offices and showcasing a beautiful showroom for Guido Materials. But of course, 2020 also saw the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Cosmo confirmed that Guido had to contend with challenges including delayed project starts and materials shortages. But its main priority was to keep Guido’s staff safe. “We issued Covid-19-specific personal protective equipment for all employees and visitors and we offer up to 80 hours to our employees affected by Covid-19,” he added. The dedication to employees during this tumultuous time reflects the core values that have remained at the heart of the business since its founding. Summing these up as Authenticity, Commitment, Ingenuity, Community, and Integrity, Cosmo gave an example of the latter in action. “A great representation of our integrity was exhibited on a project completed at the Winston School. After we submitted our bid to the Owner, a subcontractor realized they had left over $100,000 of scope out of their bid. We believe our word is our bond so we stuck by our bid even though it hurt us overall.” It is thanks to this core set of standards, coupled with the vision and ethos of Louis,



Roofing America

One of the USA’s most respected specialist roofing contractors, RestoreMasters boasts a proud 50-year legacy of integrity, professionalism and construction excellence RestoreMasters Services: Specialist roofing contractor



ecently named on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastestgrowing private companies, RestoreMasters is one of the USA’s premier large loss restoration specialists and considered one of America’s Top 100 Roofing Contractors. Providing new construction, roofing and restoration services to property owners and communities throughout the country, RestoreMasters’ industry-leading solutions guarantee superior craftmanship for a wide range of small to large-scale commercial and residential projects. With more than 50 locations spread across the entirety of the US, RestoreMasters is

a trusted contractor for local communities throughout the nation. According to Owners Matt Irvin and Justin Reichl, possessing the capabilities of a national firm whilst retaining the feel of a local business is one of RestoreMasters’ core strengths. “I think there are a lot of similar roofing businesses with a national footprint, but there are not a lot of national restoration firms,” Matt declares. “For us, it’s about compiling our capabilities and taking care of each location as one business.” From Seattle to South Carolina and from Nevada to New Hampshire, uniting RestoreMasters across all its locations

is a single culture that revolves around service, sacrifice and delivery. Committed to these values, and a strong believer in the importance of stewardship, the company prides itself on treating its employees and the communities in which it operates with the same respect that it affords its clients. “I think our culture is a bit different to everybody else’s and I think that helps set us apart,” says Justin. “We actually care about all our people, right across the board, from the sales guys to our installation crews to our office staff. Our employees are not just a number; they are like family to us, and I think that goes a long way.

“It’s a culture reciprocated in the way our staff attend to clients,” Justin continues. “We will sacrifice whatever it takes to the best of our ability to fulfil our mission to serve, and we will deliver excellent results on every project. As a RestoreMasters customer, you have a team of professionals working hard every day to deliver the best project experience and the best project outcome.” A key modern milestone for RestoreMasters arrived in 2018 when Matt joined up with business partner Justin Reichl in a move aimed to take the business to the next level. Today, in 2021, the company is a preferred national roofing and restoration contractor

for a number of major multi-location property owners, including Harley Davidson, Wyndham Hotels, Big O Tires, Ace Hardware and Northeast Florida Safety Council. “When Justin and I partnered up in 2018, we pooled our resources, our knowledge and all our people. It acted as a real catapult for this business,” Matt reveals. “As of 2021, commercial roofing is our core business and accounts for around 85 per cent of what we do, but we are certified in all sorts of roof systems where we can offer 20-year warranties. We also offer water mitigation and a wide variety of emergency services so that we can keep businesses up and running,



meaning owners don’t have to worry about downtime or being out of business. One of our key roles is to get to clients fast, cover roofs immediately and then help to get things going as soon as possible.” As a certified member of the National Roofing Contractors Association, RestoreMasters provides a host of roofing services, including built-up roofing, EPDM roofing, PVC roofing, asphalt shingle, tile and slate, and metal roofing. On the commercial side of the business, TPO roofing systems are one of the company’s most popular offerings. Designed for commercial buildings with a low-slope or flat roof, a TPO roof consists of a single-ply membrane, supported by a properly installed solid substrate – often an engineered insulation system. Varying in thickness from 40 millimetres to 80 millimetres, TPO roofing systems form an effective barrier designed to repel water, snow and ice, keeping buildings and their contents safe and dry. Puncture-resistant, energy-efficient and cost-effective, TPO


roofing offers key advantages over similar roofing alternatives. Conversely, on the restoration and disaster response side of the business, RestoreMasters provides a wide array of specialist hurricane, tornado, hail, wind, tree damage, and burst pipe solutions. Dedicated to restoring properties to pre-loss condition, RestoreMasters helps customers every step of the way, from initial clean-up to insurance claim assistance, and from restoration to construction. Among the company’s emergency response offering is a shrink wrap roof seal, which has become the preferred roof tarp alternative for emergency leak protection in disaster areas after serious weather events. Consisting of a large plastic membrane heatwelded to the contours of a roof, shrink wrap provides protection from catastrophic water or hail damage while customers wait for the installation of a permanent roof. As an essential business during Covid-19, RestoreMasters has been able to continue

supporting those affected by natural disasters over the last 12 months. In March 2020, following a tornado in Nashville, the firm was on the ground within hours to help with the significant clean-up and restoration efforts. Similarly, when Hurricane Laura wreaked havoc in the south-eastern United States in August 2020, RestoreMasters was immediately on hand to repair damage to churches and hotels in the region. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, I think we actually performed better than usual in 2020,” Matt reports. “Some things had to be done differently - for example, when we performed damage assessments, we had to show pictures over zoom calls, but it didn’t prevent us from getting the job done. We were essential, and so we were able to mobilize and get on site and carry out vital emergency work for the people of this country.” More recently, RestoreMasters has been working around-the-clock to help property owners with emergency water mitigation

needs due to frozen pipes, burst pipes, severe interior flooding and water damage during winter storms in Oklahoma and Texas. Assembling dozens of crews from the company’s vast national network to help with water extraction, damage mitigation and general clean-up, RestoreMasters is, once again, delivering a critical service to hospitals, schools, churches, apartments and hotels. “We’re proud to have performed some really important work over the last year,” Justin states, “and it’s set to continue in 2021. We’re always investing in the business and recently hired Nick Iovieno as our National Sales Director. He is already proving to be an instrumental factor in our growth.” Looking to the future, Matt and Justin are confident that RestoreMasters will remain on a trajectory of growth for years to come, with expansion into Canada, and eventually Australia, headlining the firm’s plans. Ultimately, within the next decade, RestoreMasters hopes to establish itself

Matt Irvin, Joint Owner of RestoreMasters

as one of the top five contractors in North America. “We’ve performed projects with a diverse range of large companies from Diamond Resorts to Home Depot, but that is just the beginning,” Matt asserts. “We want to carry on growing and, though we weren’t able to do it last year due to Covid-19, we expect to open an office in Canada and expand our operation up there very soon. After that, the Australian market will be the next target. We’ve already got $140 million dollars’ worth of contracts signed and lined up for 2021, so there are lots of reasons for us to be optimistic going forward.”

Union Corrugating Union Corrugating have been a strong supporting partner of RestoreMasters for the past two years. Winner of Union’s 2019 and 2020 Commercial Contractor of the Year awards, RestoreMasters value Union’s high level of attention to customer service, including jobsite and sales support on projects sold throughout the United States. Union Corrugating’s mission is to be the most convenient metal roofing and metal building supplier for our customers. We will accomplish this by offering fast and reliable deliveries, high quality products, an easy and pleasant ordering experience, friendly hands-on technical support, and the best sales tools in the industry. Our support network ensures you’ll get what you need, when you need it. Your Roof. For Life. On Time and Complete!


Cocozza Restaurant & Retail

Building back better Almost ten years on from being founded on the concept of being a client-focused, one-stop-shop for restaurant and retail development, Cocozza Restaurant & Retail has emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic as a leaner, more robust organization

I Cocozza Restaurant & Retail Services: New York City-based construction and production company


n late 2018, Construction Today had the pleasure of documenting the operations and successes of New York City-based construction management and general contracting services company, Cocozza Restaurant & Retail. Speaking with its owner and Managing Director, Dan Cocozza, he highlighted how it had built a name for itself by becoming ever-more specialized in the fast-paced world of restaurant and retail construction, and was achieving strong and steady sales. Now, in early March 2021, Dan is able to provide an update on what life has been like for the company in the intervening time. “When we spoke back in 2018, the market of

the time was really helping to dictate a lot of what was happening with our clients and their various projects,” he begins. “With rents on the increase, and leases coming up for renewal, our clients were becoming more and more creative with how they wanted to fill their space, and this led to us creating for them all manner of different concepts, from bakeries and cafés, to speak-easy’s and fast casual or fine dining sushi restaurants. “This was a trend that continued pretty much all the way up until March 2020, resulting in a pretty big boom period for our industry. At this time, we were making our own push internally to grow as a business, which focused on developing our internal

systems, training and processes. This also involved the creation of our Production service, which we devised to guide, represent and educate our clients from the very onset of their respective projects, through to completion.” As everyone across the world will now know, what followed in the early months of 2020 was the emergence and spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which delivered a huge hit to Cocozza’s clients and markets, effectively changing the business overnight. “The pandemic essentially pulled the rug from under us, bringing all of our projects to a sudden halt,” Dan recalls. “This placed us in the difficult position of determining our next

move, and how we could best protect our business and our employees going forward.” The decision that was made was to significantly downsize the team – a move that Dan describes as the hardest he has ever had to make in his life. In the weeks that followed, Dan and his fellow Directors worked to keep the company afloat, and come the end of May 2020, clients began to reach out wanting to commence works on projects, which was the signal that Cocozza Restaurant & Retail was back and operational. One of these projects that Dan is very keen to highlight is the group’s work on Talea Brewery, a 10,000-square foot space located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “This is a project

that, for me anyway, really does highlight what we as a company can achieve for our clients,” he enthuses. “It is the vision of Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland, the women behind the Talea Beer brand, which they successfully built from the ground-up. We first met them back in June 2019, and they shared with us their goal of having their own brewery in which to manufacture their beer, as well as creating a modern, elevated tap-room experience unlike anything that exists in New York City today. That drew me in immediately, and in meeting Tara and LeAnn we were able to establish incredible trust and mutual appreciation extremely quickly. This allowed us to set about helping them to identify the


Cocozza Restaurant & Retail perfect site for this project, with our real estate team assisting in negotiating the best lease possible, and we commenced with the design phase of the project at the back end of 2019. We would go on to officially break ground on construction in August 2020, and we are very proud and happy to hear that Tara and LeAnn have now begun canning their first batch of beer from the brewery as of the beginning of March 2021!” The Brewery project presented a degree of design and construction complexity, what with the location site being designated as a DP Environmental Hazmat Site, which required the group to go through a special filing and review process ahead of works being approved, and with the installation of a number of large brewing tanks – with a weight capacity of up to 15,000 pounds – being of primary importance. With the help of a structural engineer with experience in this type of work, the team was able to develop and install a unique mat slab solution to sit beneath the above-mentioned tanks, which was supported by steel piles driven 25-to-30 feet below ground. “We are thrilled that by working closely with the client and by being very creative when it comes to value engineering that we were able to deliver this project within budget, and without compromising on the amazing look and design of the building,” Dan adds. “Working with interior designers Carpenter and Mason, the end result is a fantastic and unique building that has stayed true to the client’s brand and their vision.” Like any project that the company undertakes, it approached The Brewery with the same levels of attentiveness and dedication. “We really focus in on the things that our clients care about, so things like the budget, location, and scheduling,” Dan explains. “We do everything we can to align ourselves with the client and their expectations from day one, and by developing trust it allows us to do what we do best, which is bringing together the best team possible to manage the process from start to finish.” An added caveat to this particular project was the fact that the construction work took place during the world’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As Dan reveals, this required the team to approach their work in a specific way. “Key for us during this time was the need to simplify things, so be much more lean and efficient in the way we carried out our activities,” he says. “We wanted to make the whole process easier for our clients to be able to digest as well, and by really listening


to them, and getting in-depth knowledge of their respective needs and challenges, we have also been able to devise targeted service programs that we think will provide them with long-lasting support, even after construction is complete. This is something that we believe will help us to forge ever-closer working relationships, which will ultimately result in repeat business.” As we move through the early months of 2021, Dan and his team are right to feel positive about where Cocozza is headed. “With the development of things like our Production service, and by actively getting involved with projects at as early a stage as possible, we have created a strong pipeline of work for ourselves,” he states. “We have several projects currently in the design phase, with construction due to start in various locations in the coming weeks, which will keep us busy through the summer. For some clients, we are presently working on finding them the right locations for future works, while for others we are assisting with the signing of leases, with a view to commencing with design and construction over the summer and fall of 2021. “Coming out of the pandemic, we will focus even more on being a lean, mean operation, and while we want to grow the business, we also want to be able to remain fairly selective over the types of work that we take on and the clients that we work with,” Dan says,

before concluding by reflecting on the fact that Cocozza Restaurant & Retail will soon be celebrating its tenth anniversary. “The last ten years has been such a wild journey,” he says. “It all started out for me as an opportunity to pursue something that I love, which is taking a space and transforming it into something wonderful that we hand over to people and businesses making a living. This is an enterprise that I and my team feel sits at the heart of what New York City is all about and what makes it such a great place to live, and we cannot wait to be a part of helping the city recover from the past year of the pandemic.

“However, what everything comes back to in the end is our people, without whom we could not have achieved all that we have done over the last decade. Real estate, design and construction are crazy industries at the best of times, with so many moving parts to them, so this is not by any means easy work. Therefore, the fact that throughout everything that has been thrown at us in the last ten years we have managed to retain our values of being a boutique business that cares deeply about its clients and employees, while remaining an enjoyable environment in which to work, is something that I am personally immensely proud of.”


CHASSE Building Team

Built different, on purpose

Approaching the construction process as a positive, dependable team player, CHASSE Building Team is a general contractor committed to providing its clients with exceptional and innovative services


CHASSE Building Team Services: Arizona-based construction company


hen Barry Chasse decided to start CHASSE Building Team (CHASSE) in 2007, he did so with the intention of creating a business that was founded on the concept of teamwork and on building to make a positive difference within the communities in which it serves. Based in Phoenix, Tempe Arizona – and with another office in Tucson, Arizona – the company has since grown into a top-ten builder within the state, going from

ten original employees to over 150 as of 2021. Since its formation, CHASSE has created an organization that has a cost-effective overhead model, which it combines with highly experienced builders to create a winning construction formula. “The markets that we focus on include the community, education, multifamily, office, and retail build sectors,” begins Owner and Founder, Barry Chasse. “We undertake all types of construction, from renovation to new

builds, from pre-construction through to modernization or repurposing of existing buildings. We also assist with budgets, providing our expertise in helping architects to select the right materials or solutions to get the most bang for their buck from their designs and deliver their vision.” In recent years, there has been a very noticeable increase in the amount of people migrating into the state of Arizona, driven not least of all by its excellent climate. This has

helped drive further growth for CHASSE, but in truth it has been enjoying year-on-year increases in both revenue and head count for some time now, and Barry puts this down to several factors. “I believe a lot of our success comes down to our people, the technical expertise of our team – which continues to develop – and the culture that we have built here, which is one based on providing people with a positive and empowering environment in which to do great things,” he enthuses.

The great work that Barry alludes to can be seen in the form of the projects that the company works on. These tend to be fairly complicated, challenging undertakings that only a small number of specialist organizations can successfully deliver, and CHASSE’s ability to do so has helped it to consistently win both new and repeat business. “There are three projects in particular that we feel showcase our capacities very well,


CHASSE Building Team

“We want to stay true to who we are and to what it is that has gotten us to where we are today. CHASSE has always been the type of business that wants to do better all of which are multifamily based, with two located in the Midtown/downtown Phoenix area,” states Project Director, Mike Pask. “The first of these is NOVEL Midtown Phoenix by Crescent Communities, a single five-story building made up of a mix of 345 one bedroom, two bedroom and studio units. Amenities will include group fitness space, a lounge area complete with a waterfall, two murals, a suspended fireplace, pool and spa facilities, an indoor/outdoor cantina, and a movie lawn with a vintage airstream. The building will merge mid-century modern architecture with a location providing residents with convenient transit accesses to Midtown Phoenix. We received temporary certificate of occupancy for NOVEL Midtown Phoenix on schedule, so people are now moving into the building over the coming weeks, and we anticipate works to be fully completed by the end of April 2021.” Located close to downtown Phoenix is The Fillmore, a 348-unit complex, comprising seven stories across two different towers, and spanning a site that is 2.8 acres in size. Made up of a mix of studio, one, two and three bedroom units, junior one-bedroom units, and alcove studios, The Fillmore also boasts a three-story parking garage and two retail areas on its north side. “Unlike most other projects in downtown Phoenix, which are typically considered wrap projects with a pre-cast parking garage with apartment


units built around it, The Fillmore is a castin-place structure,” Mike details. “In addition to its large retail spaces, it also features a clubhouse, a tequila room for resident gatherings, billiards room, kitchen and bar, lounge, and a pool deck that will provide cabanas, grilling stations, a spa, hammocks and fire pits. The first units at The Fillmore will turnover in October 2021, those being based in the south tower of the project, while the north tower is due to turnover in February 2022.”

Committed to customers The third project of note is the Formation development that is occurring near to downtown Scottsdale in the Phoenix metro area. This 170-unit project saw work commence in October 2020, and upon completion in August 2022 it will boast 3800-square feet of retail space, an 8200-sqaure foot amenity area, a pool, a courtyard, and a wraparound precast parking garage. What makes the recent work of CHASSE even more impressive is that it has been carried out in the midst of a global pandemic.

With construction being quickly deemed as an essential service in Arizona back in March 2020, the company worked rapidly to establish new protocols to ensure that it could continue to deliver to its customers, whilst also keeping its people and the local community safe. “By sharing best practices with a number of our peers throughout the industry – particularly those on the East Coast who felt the initial wave of Covid-19 cases – we were able to roll out significant new procedures across our premises and construction sites, such as additional hand wash and sanitizer stations, mandatory face masks, and social distancing,” Barry says. “Meanwhile, from a customer service perspective, what we did in response was to set up cameras and use things like drones to document the progress of the projects, while also holding regular Zoom and Teams calls to relay up-to-the-minute information to all stakeholders,” Mike adds. “Our clients were extremely happy and impressed with the approach that we decided to take, however the truth is even prior to the pandemic, we were a business known for our meticulous planning and scheduling, and such good

habits have proven invaluable in recent months. Also, our teams have responded phenomenally to the challenge, and have never once wavered from their commitment to deliver for the customer.” As it was back in 2007, the three main goals for CHASSE are to have a great team, be a great builder, and have great clients. To this end, the game plan for the business’ immediate and long-term future remains similar to what it has always been, and that is to continue to improve the culture within the company, to improve upon its skills and expertise with each new project, and align itself with the type of client that really appreciates the emotional and personal investment CHASSE puts into the work that it does on a daily basis. “We want to stay true to who we are and to what it is that has gotten us to where we are today,” Barry concludes. “CHASSE has always been the type of business that wants to do better. That is a philosophy that has proven to work really well for us to date, and with the future ahead of us looking bright we see no reason to change that recipe any time soon.”


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