Monday, October 27, 2014

Highway Test Project

Sika Corporation recently developed a new technology: epoxy that adheres directly to asphalt. This product is the first of its kind (current applications are for use on concrete only). The traditional application used to seal and repair asphalt requires heating the material, applying and setting for at least 24 hours before the area can be opened to traffic. The new technology only takes a few hours to complete from start to finish.

Technicians preparing test area.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is interested in implementing this new product on Kentucky roadways. Before it can be approved for use in the state, it has to be tested for durability and effectiveness. Construction Services Group (CSG), a StructureTec Group subsidiary, was contracted to perform the test project.

Applying the epoxy.

CSG Technicians, Sika Engineers and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet representatives went to work to determine the test area and project parameters. The team worked together seamlessly. They were able to efficiently reroute traffic and perform the necessary preparation and application of the new epoxy. The project was completed within six hours minimizing the disruption of traffic flow.

Engineers will be monitoring the test area to measure its effectiveness for use on Kentucky roadways. If all goes well, more states could adopt this new technology. Chances are you’ll see one of our bright yellow Construction Services Group t-shirts on a highway near you.

Finishing the project.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

High Performance People Series: Interview with Sergio Pages

Our motto here at StructureTec Group is: "High Performance People...High Performance Results." We know the employees are what truly make this company successful. We'd like to share with you some of our high performance people who are behind the StructureTec Group brand.

Vice President and CIO Sergio Pages represents our motto well. Below is an interview with Sergio as he discusses his 22 years with StructureTec Group. 

Q: How long have you been working with StructureTec Group?
A: Since 1992. I started as an outside consultant helping install our first finance and accounting system. Shortly after, Jeffrey Brittan (CEO of StructureTec Group) asked me to join the Board of Directors. In 2001 I decided to come on full time with the company in our Detroit regional office.

Q: What significant changes have transpired since you started?
A: The biggest change has been our geographical expansion. In the beginning, our work was primarily in Michigan. Another big change has been the expansion of services. Expansions like the pavement division and the addition of Construction Services Group (CSG).

Q: How has your role within the company changed over the years?
A: When I came in I had two titles, VP and CIO. Then we added the title of Client Relations Manager. So I have many titles. I still serve on the Board of Directors, but my number one priority is business development and client relations.

Q: What is your most memorable/rewarding/challenging project?
A: Oh man that’s a tough one…there are so many. Spectrum Health is one because of the timing. It was a 10 year process of performing a complete building envelope and roofing program for the hospital. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) because of the variety of projects there, including parking structures. Hines Renaissance Center/General Motors in downtown Detroit, because of the iconic significance of the building, also managing the weatherproofing program for a major energy services provider because we've been their consultant for 160 different locations.

I have really enjoyed doing what I do in these cases and other cases because of the variety of business that these clients are in. From healthcare to automotive and even energy, the variety of industry really motivates me. There is so much variety, yet there is a commonality of needs that we can meet.

I also really enjoy working with the teams that we have in our company. I enjoy when they’re having challenges and they come to me for help. I’m able to help them in different ways. Being a bridge between the teams is something that I truly enjoy doing. I interface with every department in some fashion to help bridge the gap. My strong suit is relationship building, that’s where I try to help internally and externally, by building relationships.

Q: How have our customers/clients changed throughout the years?
A: The justification to fund projects has become more complex and challenging for our clients. We've had to learn how to help them make a stronger case to justify their need for funding our projects. Another change is that our clients seem to have fewer resources for new construction and as a result, their need for our services is increasing.

Q: Where do you see the direction of the company going in the next decade?
A: Expansion of additional offices in other states, expanding the existing services that we offer and moving further into the international arena, beyond North America; which is something I’m looking forward too. I enjoy variety…different industries…when you add the cultural diversity, it is even more exciting. Adapting our business to new cultures would be really interesting.

Q: What makes StructureTec unique?
A: We are much more engaged than any other firm in our industry. What I mean by engagement is we truly take ownership of the projects that we work on. Ownership means we control it…we work hard to make sure everything meets our clients expectations and exceed it. When we fail…we also take ownership of that and resolve it for them. Other companies, when something goes wrong they will only go so far to fix it, then move on.

Sergio Pages and his wife of 20 years, Jackie are the proud parents of two sons (Mario and Carlos). He is very active with the Boy Scouts of America where he serves as a mentor and with the non-profit organization The Business Round Table, where he sits on the Board of Directors.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Choosing the Right Project Delivery Method for Your Project

A successful roofing, building envelope or pavement remediation program involves important decisions regarding the method by which the projects will be designed and constructed, the project delivery method. This decision has become more complex as a variety of alternative delivery methods have been developed.

Choosing the right project delivery method plays an important role in the ultimate success of your project.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Design Build - Historic Building Renovation

StructureTec Group recently completed renovations of a historic building in a major Midwestern city. The building is headquarters for an industry leading energy provider. As part of the company’s 175th year anniversary celebration, the building was getting a much needed face lift.

The owner’s objectives were to preserve the historical aspects of the building while providing a safer, dry place to work by replacing the buildings deteriorated and leaking infrastructure. Choosing StructureTec Group allowed them to utilize our design-build program, Premier Engineered Systems, ensuring that a unified team of designers and builders held the owners objectives to the highest priority.

Installation of floor tiles along entire portico area.
The renovation took place on the portico main entrance. Renovations included replacement of the travertine marble floor, waterproofing the basement offices, structural concrete repairs, and the installation of a new drainage system.

As with any project, there were many challenges that pushed our team to new levels as they developed innovative ways to complete the work. For example, the original drawings for the building were faded, leaving many aspects of the project up to the field engineering expertise of the team.  In addition, the building was located on a heavily traveled street, with only two entrances to the public. Access needed to be available at all times and the heavy traffic needed to be safely routed around the construction site. Overlapping shifts and night work allowed for ease of access to the building during the business day without delaying the project.

Temporary rigid insulation board installed for flood testing zones.
The end result was a beautifully restored, waterproof portico entrance with new elements crafted to perfectly replicate the existing building features – just in time for their anniversary celebration.

Overview of completed portico.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Corporate Planning Session and Employee Awards

The StructureTec Group team gathered for a one day business update and planning session on Friday, September 19, 2014. The focus was to review year to date accomplishments and to ramp up for the 4th quarter.  2015 goals and objectives were also touched upon. Company culture was discussed in detail to ensure all employees are in line with the company’s Core Values of Integrity, Quality, Relationships, Expertise, and Accountability. All employees left the meeting toting the motto of “StructureTec - High Performance People … High Performance Results.”

Business Update and Planning Session
The StructureTec Group Team
The afternoon was spent celebrating successes of the company and honoring employees for their contributions. Employee’s 1, 5, 10 and 15 year anniversaries were celebrated as well as employees who have went over and above and have taken their positions to a higher level.  Contractor’s awards were also presented to contractors that exuded excellence on StructureTec projects throughout the year.

1 Year Honorees receiving their signature StructureTec portfolio

 Employee honorees included:

Brianne Bucklin - Corporate Accountant, Corporate Office, Excellence Award

Chris Cogan - Regional Manager, Detroit Regional Office, Customer Service Award                               
Tim Russell - Regional Manager, Construction Services Group - Kalamazoo, Quality Award

Terry Spradlin - Restoration Manager, Construction Services Group - Cincinnati Regional Office, Safety Award
Carla Bradley - Administrative Manager, Construction, Specialty Products and Services - Kalamazoo, MVP Award

Dawn Dahlinger - Regional Administrative Manager, Corporate Office, Above and Beyond Award
Megan Button - Human Resources Manager, Corporate Office, Impact Award

Contractor honorees included:
DC Byers - Quality Award for Restoration Services

R.E. Middleton - Quality Award for Paving Services

R. Adams Roofing - Quality Installation Award for Building Products Group

Olsson Roofing - Quality Award for Roofing Services

Royal-West Roofing - Quality Award for Roofing Services

Sign Center - Quality Award for Professional Services