The following content is featured in the Virginia Spring 2016 edition of The Who’s Who in Building & Construction.
Making the Impossible Look Easy: In High Gear at Hourigan Construction
Too complex. Not enough time. Too small. Too big.
These are not phrases you’ll find in the vocabulary of Hourigan Construction, a construction management firm that has built a reputation of excellence by consistently delivering service with a “bring it on” attitude.
“We pride ourselves on successfully delivering projects that others would find too difficult or that seemingly have impossible deadlines,” says Mark Hourigan, president of the 24-year-old construction company based in Richmond and Virginia Beach, VA. “We approach these projects not only with skilled talent, but with people who are given the opportunity to thrive, collaborate, and do outstanding work.”
Mark launched Hourigan Construction in 1993, and like any budding entrepreneur, looked for opportunities to grow his firm. The company’s early projects included commercial office buildings. Hourigan doubled volume every year and the firm expanded into a number of different market sectors, including health care, institutional and commercial.
Hourigan offers construction management and consulting services to many of the nation’s best private institutions, public universities and corporate partners. “The core of what we do is about construction,” says Mark “but the impact of what we do is about people.”
CONSULTING, CONSTRUCTION, AND COLLABORATION
Hourigan is an industry leader in its use of building information modeling (BIM). Recently, Hourigan launched a Special Projects Group to take on and provide dedicated resources for smaller projects, while maintaining a high level of customer service and integrity.
By not focusing on one sector—and developing expertise in many—Hourigan can insulate itself from the ups and downs of the economy, and, by extension, the construction industry. In Virginia and across the eastern U.S. where the firm operates, you’ll find its iconic “H” logo design stamped on signage outside of office buildings, military installations, schools, airports, churches and commercial spaces.
One of Hourigan’s most prominent projects in recent months has been the development of a 200,000-square-foot East Coast production and distribution facility for Stone Brewing Co., a San Diego-based craft beer brewer. The facility was completed in just 14 months, thanks to BIM technology, prefabricated materials, and a get-it-done attitude held by all parties—from San Diego (brewers) to Richmond (builders) to Germany (equipment makers). At a topping-off event where the final piece of Stone’s roof was put in place, Richmond’s Mayor Dwight Jones commented to an audience of 300 people: “If you want to build something fast, call Mark Hourigan.”
And Hourigan is about to embark on its biggest—and tallest—project yet: a new, soaring glass tower in downtown Richmond for Dominion Resources Inc., a power and energy company.
Hourigan Construction is an industry leader in BIM technology and fast-track project delivery.
“It’s important that we fully align ourselves with our clients’ goals. This means we anticipate their needs and find solutions for their challenges to deliver best practices for the success of the project,” says Mark. “Long before the groundbreaking, our team stands ready to dig in through consultative work that includes site selection, due diligence, expansion needs, exit strategy, constructability, capital outlay forecasting, and more.”
A FAST-TRACK MISSION
In 2013, Hourigan built the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in a mere 24 weeks, while coordinating with the state, city, Economic Development Administration, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, and the football team. Projects like the state-of-the- art training center—with seemingly impossible deadlines and a high degree of complexity and unknowns—are ones most firms would avoid. Team Hourigan says, “Bring it on.”
Hourigan has become a recognized leader in fast-track delivery. “Without compromising our high standards, the team quickly unites around a clear mission to define and execute the plan,” shares Mark. “Our ‘can-and-will-do’ attitude becomes contagious and creates alignment among project partners.”
One of the firm’s most complex fast-track projects includes the Altria Center for Research and Technology. Hourigan completed $250 million worth of construction in 24 months—averaging an astonishing $10 million of construction each month.
One way the company helps its clients achieve efficiencies is through the utilization of BIM, which allows Hourigan to “build everything twice”—first in a software program during preconstruction to understand the precise needs of a project. BIM applications continue through final closeout, benefitting clients by identifying potential issues throughout construction, minimizing change orders, and ultimately saving valuable time and money.
BUILDING FOR THE COMMUNITY — AND THE FUTURE
Hourigan supports many initiatives that enhance the economy and health of the regions it serves, most notably Richmond (Virginia’s capital). Perhaps most prominently, Mark’s team took part in a global event in the city—the UCI Road World Cycling Championships. The September 2015 event featured Hourigan signage throughout the course and at the start/finish lines; the company even constructed a massive viewing platform for attendees at the race, which drew people from around the world to the area. Additionally, many members of the Hourigan group are avid cyclists, and volunteered at the event.
“It’s important that we fully align ourselves with our clients’ goals…We anticipate their needs and find solutions for their challenges to deliver best practices for the success of the project.” – Mark Hourigan, President of Hourigan Construction
Hourigan also maintains a close relationship with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech). Its engineering and construction schools provide a steady stream of talent to Hourigan year after year. Several of Mark’s employees regularly speak or teach at the Blacksburg-based school.
“Through this partnership, we are able to give students real-world experience by getting them directly involved with our company’s projects to understand how their classroom learning applies to the field,” explains Mark. “Virginia Tech has been and will continue to be an excellent academic partner for our company and future growth plans.”
And that’s a key aspect of Hourigan’s future— ensuring that the company continues to grow and thrive as company leaders retire. Hourigan recently moved into what Mark calls the “office of the future,” which is located in downtown Richmond. It is double the size of their previous office and has been fully renovated. The open floorplan has no traditional office spaces or cubicle walls, but instead includes flexible work stations designed for employees to work alone or together. Closed-off conference areas and “war room”-style huddle spaces provide spots for intense project planning and problem-solving. For Hourigan’s multi-generational workforce, the new space’s design and technologies had to accommodate everyone’s unique working styles. It’s a forward-looking office for a traditionally old-school industry.
Even still, Mark says, it’s the people that truly drive the organization.
“You can have the best and most efficient workspace in the world, but you have to have the right people to fill it. For us, that means finding not only skilled talent and smart people, but individuals who want to work as a team and create something big,” Mark concludes. “We have great plans for the future, and an impressive team that will take us there.”