About Admin

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Admin has created 54 blog entries.

April 2019

Employee Spotlight: Kelsey Greco

2019-04-08T15:57:53-04:00April 8th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Kelsey Greco’s passion for design helped pave the way that led her to Shook. Raised in a family that worked in construction, she has always had an interest in it. Now, she is forging her own path as she explores new roles and responsibilities at the company.  

What inspired you to get into this career?

My parents both worked in construction, so I was always around it growing up. That, combined with a love for design, made it inevitable that I ended up on the same path.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I completed my degrees in Construction Management and Architecture at the Ohio State University and worked as an intern. After graduation, I joined the Shook team as a Project Engineer, then entered the field as a Superintendent. I plan to continue moving in this direction in my career.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

One of the most important qualities of a leader is to be respectable. This doesn’t happen overnight; you must work hard to earn it from the crew.

What does safety mean to you?

To me, safety is to never compromise a person’s well-being to finish a job. We work in a stressful environment, but it’s never worth it to take shortcuts and risk an accident.

Who inspires you?

My parents are my biggest inspiration. My father is a carpenter and has built homes he designed, while my mother works as an accountant for a construction company. They work on the residential side of construction and I have seen what they have been able to accomplish with rather difficult upbringings. They inspired me to go into the larger, commercial side of the industry to help create better buildings and structures for society.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?

This year taught me how important it is to pay attention to detail and to plan ahead. Understanding the project, scheduling in advance, and conferring with the experts helps keep work flowing and problems under control. The goal is to be proactive, not reactive.

What piece of technology helps you most with your job? And why?

Having an iPad and PlanGrid on the job site is helpful. I can review, mark up, and search drawings in the field without flipping through pages or trying to remember the location of every detail. Being able to use 3D models helps solve problems ahead of time.

March 2019

Maximize Project Collaboration Using the Design-Build Delivery Method

2019-03-19T08:12:19-04:00March 19th, 2019|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Design-build has grown in popularity the last few years since Ohio legislation made it available to public entities. It certainly has its advantages by giving the owner one single point of contact throughout the entire project, as well as providing opportunities for cost and schedule savings. We discussed these particular benefits in a previous blog post here.

Now that the new water treatment plant is complete for the Village of Yellow Springs in Ohio, we would like to share some specific examples of how design-build maximizes project collaboration.

Water Resources Construction

During Design and Preconstruction

Under the design-build umbrella, the construction and design firms work together with the owner to maximize the project budget.  Constructability and schedule issues are identified during design and value-added solutions then can be incorporated. 

In this case, we continually analyzed various design approaches to ultimately arrive at the most efficient concept ensuring the project stayed within the Village’s borrowing ceiling. One of those enhancements included relocating the new building to minimize yard piping and electrical wiring.

During Construction

Another advantage of design-build is that the owner has a single point of contact.  When design problems arise, the owner is not positioned between the designer and contractor, along with the possibility of added project costs.  Design-build usually involves a Gross Maximum Price (GMP) for which the project will be both designed and constructed. In addition, a contingency is used for unanticipated costs and any savings often are shared between the owner and design-builder.  This results in a project cost profile that decreases as a function of time, unlike traditional design-bid-build where cost increases with time.

Additionally, we collaborated with the designer to develop a 3D construction sequencing model, specifically as it relates to the concrete pours. This allowed us to not only visualize the placement of the concrete, but how the timing may affect other areas of the project. The 3D model also allowed the client to visualize the interior of the process building and confirm that the design provided ease of operations and maintenance. 

To learn more, we invite you to attend our conference session on April 11th as part of the Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Shook Construction proudly partnered with designer Jones & Henry. The team also included D.A.G. Construction, Chapel Electric and Dmytryka Jacobs Engineers.

Using Technology to Improve Project Performance

2019-03-07T07:50:53-05:00March 6th, 2019|Project News, Thought Leadership|

Shook continuously searches for ways to dramatically improve our performance. As the industry evolves, it is increasingly apparent how essential technology is. Not only does it save us time and money, but also it attracts new talent and customers. Recently, we introduced the enhanced technology processes, which have tremendously benefited our projects.

DRONE TECHNOLOGY

James Hillegas, a project engineer at Shook, has been an avid drone pilot for years. When he became aware of the opportunity to use them onsite, he was ready to help.

Mapping Existing Site Work  

At the Community Tissue Services project in Kettering, Ohio, James used drones to gather sitework images which he then shared with Project Manager Matt Wendel. The data collected assisted Matt in narrowing in on the site work estimations, which in turn freed up funds to reallocate to other project needs.

Bringing the Project to Life: Augmented Reality 

Hillegas also used a drone to gather photos of the existing facility, which then were used to create a model of the new building. This model allowed the owner to visualize how their new building would look when completed. “Augmented reality helps the owner better understand the project,” Hillegas said.

Source: John Poe Architects

Ensuring Safety

On the Summa West Tower project in Akron, Ohio, a drone helped us proactively prepare for the possibility of an emergency. As the project progressed, James flew the drone to collect updated site photos. These images were sent to the fire department to communicate where access points were in the event of an emergency.

PLANGRID TECHNOLOGY

Improving Onsite Efficiency  

Source: firstround.com

Another device introduced on the Summa project was PlanGrid, a cloud-based program that grants users mobile access to project information, including document drawings. PlanGrid has been incredibly helpful with organization and timeliness. All the project drawings were accessible in the program, which kept the project team from wasting time flipping through pages of drawings.

Project Engineer Rachel Mulholland shared the benefits of using it, stating, “Having all the drawings on the same system has saved us a considerable amount of time.”

Holding Subcontractors Accountable

PlanGrid alleviated some of the stress during closeout procedures. Shook asked their subcontractors to use the program to track and report the overall schedule. This helped keep everyone accountable. The team would open PlanGrid to check the floor plans and, based on the information, assign tasks to certain people. Rachel found this to be one of the greatest benefits of the program.

Technology is improving our productivity and enhancing our ability to communicate. From saving time to solving problems proactively, these tools have drastically changed the way we perform our work.

February 2019

Employee Spotlight: Kyle Canon

2019-02-25T15:02:58-05:00February 25th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Kyle Canon understands the importance of teamwork and project collaboration. Having worked in multiple positions himself, he is a firm supporter of learning about the different types of work performed on site. This has helped him tackle problems and perform his best work.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I’ve worked in multiple market channels since I started my career. In each channel, I’ve had different roles such as estimator, project engineer, and superintendent. Each position taught me a great deal about construction.

Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

Challenges can be tackled when we work as a team and successfully implement project collaboration. There are always several disciplines on site. Instead of working individually, we unite, communicate, and do an outstanding job.

What is the most important thing you do each day when prepping for your work day?

I like to start each morning by making my to do list and determining the order of importance. This is a great way to keep me organized. It also helps me keep track of the products that have been approved, as well as their scheduled installation. Tracking this ensures that we stay on schedule with installations.

Who inspires you?

My dad has always been my greatest role model.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?

Never be afraid to ask questions. Construction is complex; it’s better to be certain how to do something rather than guessing. The more you know helps you and the team perform at a higher level.

What piece of technology helps you most with your job? And why?

At Summa [Health’s Akron City Hospital] West Tower, CAD and the modeling programs were tremendous in helping me do my job. While I was not the operator of these programs, they were key in my management of the envelope team coordination. These programs allowed each team member to confidently install the steel embeds, structural steel, curtain wall embeds, curtain walls and envelope framing/finish systems.

Employee Spotlight: Chris Shafer

2019-02-06T14:06:10-05:00February 6th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed at Shook.

In January, it was announced that Chris Shafer would assume the role of CFO. In his new position, he will also oversee risk management, human resources, and information technology.

“Chris embodies our core values,” shares Executive Vice President Chris Halapy. “It’s important to us to first look within to fill leadership roles so that we can maintain our culture as we continue to grow.”

Shafer is a Certified Public Accountant and has 20 years of experience. He joined the company in 2014 as a controller, then was promoted to director of finance. Since then, the company has experienced substantial growth thus creating many opportunities for its own employees to step up into new leadership roles.

“This is an exciting time for the company,” says President and CEO Bill Whistler. “Through this period of significant growth, Chris has shown an acute awareness of the financial intricacies of our business and the construction industry as a whole. Combine that with his innate leadership skills, and he was the perfect fit to step up into our CFO role.”

We are confident that he will contribute to the continued prosperity of the company and another successful 93 years.

Congratulations, Chris!

January 2019

Employee Spotlight: Rachel Mulholland

2019-01-16T14:38:23-05:00January 16th, 2019|Employee Spotlights|

Project Engineer Rachel Mulholland discovered her interest in engineering as a college student. Ever since, she has devoted herself to learning more about the industry. Ultimately, this has taught her how it can support local communities, as well as how she can be a leader.

What inspired you to get into this career?

I was inspired by my civil engineering classes I took when I was an undergraduate. Learning about the application and execution of principles made me want to get out there and do them in the field. I was able to put them into practice when I started working in construction. I also wanted to support my local community. It wasn’t long before I realized I could do so by working in the construction industry. I have been able to contribute to the success of multiple communities thanks to my career.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

I began as a co-op in college, which provided me with valuable experiences. After graduation, I was hired full-time and have been working for the past two years.

Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

My approach has always been to tackle the most daunting problems first. Once those are out of the way, I can focus on simpler tasks, which are quicker to finish. I also believe that when an issue arises, it is critical to talk to my teammates to try to find a solution.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

The best leaders are knowledgeable and understand the project they are working on. If they aren’t sure how to do something, they are willing to learn. A leader should also be approachable. They keep the team together and functioning. If people aren’t willing to talk to the person in charge, problems will arise. Finally, it is important that leaders clearly communicate. Confusion can be detrimental to the outcome of a project and can put us behind schedule.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

The new West Bed Tower for Summa Health Systems Akron Campus in Akron, OH.

December 2018

Employee Spotlight: Bill Whistler

2018-12-10T14:27:44-05:00December 10th, 2018|Employee Spotlights|

President and CEO Bill Whistler has gained a tremendous amount of experience, as well as respect, in the industry. From working odd jobs to working his way up to his current position at Shook Construction, he truly has seen it all. These experiences have not only prepared him for whatever life throws his way, but also helped shape him into the leader he is today.

What inspired you to get into this career?

My dad first sparked my interest in the business when he enlisted my help in projects around the house. There were a lot of hands-on construction projects to do, so I quickly learned that way. Soon, that interest expanded into architecture as well. I went off to University of Cincinnati and became a co-op at a company called Shook Construction.

Briefly describe your career path to date.

It’s been a long and winding road. From working odd jobs, such as taking out the trash and picking up mail, to becoming a quantity surveyor then making my way up to CEO, you could say I’ve tried it all. You can never have too much experience though!

Construction can be a challenging business. Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?

A tried and true method is to plan the work and work the plan. This approach has helped me to adapt and overcome when the unexpected hits the fan—and the unexpected is inevitable. Each day presents a new problem, so you need to be ready to face it, even if you’re unsure what ‘it’ is.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

There are a handful of them. A leader needs to be trustworthy, approachable, and decisive. I’ve also learned how important it is to be a good listener. Listen to your team and what they have to say. Having a different perspective on things can be incredibly important when you need to solve a problem.

What does safety mean to you?

Everything…all you have to do is live through handing a new widow her late husband’s car keys to understand why everything means everything.

Who inspires you?

My wife…I got nothing on her 🙂

 

November 2018

New Dayton Office Embraces Our Culture

2019-01-08T21:06:56-05:00November 12th, 2018|Corporate Events|

After 24 years, Shook closed the doors of its Northcutt Place office in Dayton, OH. While it was bittersweet to say goodbye, we were excited for the new home awaiting us. In September, Shook’s headquarters relocated to 2000 W. Dorothy Lane in Moraine, OH. The Moraine office was a special project for us as we enlisted the help of our own employees to repurpose the facility. Having our own people in charge of planning the office design allowed us to best represent ourselves: modern, yet down to earth. As this plan unfolded, we realized we were mapping out the future of Shook—our new home will help us evolve as a company and continue to best serve the needs of our employees and clients.

To reflect the aspirational, innovative culture we celebrate at Shook, we want our building to be modern and forward-thinking. Some of the features in the office are high-tech devices, such as the flat screen TVs in the collaboration spaces and tablets outside the conference rooms used for making room reservations. Other features like the workout facility were added for employee enjoyment and to promote healthy living and stress relief. We purposely added more open spaces with cozy furniture, motivational quotes, and white boards to inspire creative thinking and collaboration.

What makes the building truly unique to Shook is its interior design. It was important for us to show that we are a company evolving with the times, but we also wanted to pay homage to our past. One can get a sense of this when touring the facility. When people walk through the office, they catch a glimpse of Shook’s history through photos from the early ‘50s that were used as wallpaper. Visitors can admire the black and white images of past employees and old machinery.

Our core values, mission, and vision statements were created based on not only our culture, but also our aspirations and accomplishments. We chose to display these statements throughout the building to serve as constant reminders to employees. We must remember what is important to us and continue to align ourselves with our values and goals. There is much to look forward to now that we have finally moved into a wonderful, new space. We are excited to see where the future takes us as we enter Shook’s next era.

 

October 2018

Key to Success: Project Collaboration

2018-10-12T15:55:17-04:00October 12th, 2018|Client Service|

As any sports fan knows, there is no “I” in “team.” Our favorite teams have proved this time and again—individual talents are sought out, then joined with others to create a force to be reckoned with. The most successful teams have been victorious because they recognize the importance of unity and comradery. Victory cannot be secured if one player walks out onto the field alone. The power is in the collective abilities of the whole.

Construction work is no different. When our team walks onto a jobsite, we work together to provide the best results for our clients and keep each other safe. This is especially important on mission critical projects. Due to the complexity of these facilities, which range from data centers to telecommunications buildings and more, we emphasize the importance of working together—and building a cross-disciplined team to deliver the work successfully.

Shook works with subcontractors that specialize in mechanics, electrical engineering, and plumbing to ensure that the necessary building environment is maintained for operation. It is critical that the system continues to properly function during construction since most clients do not have the luxury of closing for several months. Therefore, we work closely with them and our subcontractors to guarantee a smooth process.

Data centers, telecommunications buildings, and call centers are all critically dependent on their mechanical and electrical systems to maintain the building environment necessary for operation. Collaboration is key on these projects—that is why we work with specialty contractors from the MEP trades to add value early in the process. This is exemplified by a recent project our team worked on for University Hospitals. When we were working on the project, we enlisted outside help that enhanced the planning and execution.

This team was able to achieve real results. With all hands-on deck, we managed to finish our University Hospitals data center upgrade six weeks earlier than planned. This saved our client a great deal of time and money.

We recognize that some projects require special attention and have different needs that we cannot always provide. By seeking out experts and working closely with them in the building process, we have improved our work, given our customers’ positive experiences, and even better facilities to work in. Not only is that a win for the client, but a win for us as well!

 

 

August 2018

Employee Spotlight: Randall Beck

2018-08-08T12:31:05-04:00August 8th, 2018|Employee Spotlights|

Randall Beck has had a prosperous career due to his openness to change–whether that is by preparing for the unexpected or adjusting his leadership style. After working on countless projects, he has found the best equation for being successful in this field of work: by using his extensive engineering knowledge and believing in himself.

What is the most important thing you do each day when prepping for your work day?

Expect the unexpected. I can never predict every single thing that happens on a jobsite. I have to allow the unexpected to happen and just go with it. The way I handle it is what matters.

What are the most important qualities of a leader?

A leader must understand that not everyone responds the same. What works best for one person may not work for another. Having a leadership style that is flexible and adaptable to the multiple personalities on your team will almost always guarantee you success.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by anyone who goes above and beyond their expectations for themselves. This motivates me to push myself every day and do my absolute best. When I fail, I don’t give up. I remind myself of my own potential and try again. 

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Water treatment plants are the best projects there are. We use all aspects of Civil and Mechanical engineering in every job we do. I always enjoy bringing all the knowledge I’ve gained in this industry to one project and watching it come together to create a final product.

What is a specific skill-set or attribute you possess that you believe adds value to your projects?

My engineering skill set is something I bring to the table when I’m working on a project. It gives me an advantage because it allows me to understand why things are designed a certain way. Once I figure it out, I can think of ways to build more efficiently.

 What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?

I’ve found that having goals and dreams are key to finding happiness. If you’re unhappy, you’re not going to be motivated to be your best self. Not only do you suffer, but so does your potential for creating great things. So, for your own sake, find something you’re passionate about and enjoy doing!