METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS;  May 2003; By Megan Langell (Full Article)

Congratulations are in order for a distinguished member of the metal construction industry. Span Construc­tion & Engineering Inc. of Madera, CA, has maintained its status for the 13th consecutive year as Metal Construction News’ Top Metal Builder for 2002. This recognition shows evidence of Span’s success.

The company has offered design and construction serv­ices for commercial, industrial, and agricultural projects for 23 years.

However, there is a deeper meaning behind Span besides all of its high-quality proj­ects. The people of Span, including the company’s long­term affiliates, helped achieve the top metal builder honor. It is the simple things such as employee morale and strong business partnerships that make the company renowned.

According to King Husein, presi­dent of Span, the company’s employ­ees are the biggest assets to the com­pany’s success. “Some of our employ­ees have been with us for more than 20 years and many have been here in excess of 15 years. Currently, we have 275 employees. Each employee is committed to the company philoso­phy and his or her individual respon­sibilities as they have grown over the years.”

Doug Standing, controller for Span, commented on this employee commitment to Span and its outside relationships. “The success of Span can be attributed to the commitment of the top executives down to the office staff and field laborers. Over 60% of the employees are part of our construction labor force. We at Span try to hold to the basic principles that have been instilled since the compa­ny’s inception. Honesty, commitment, quality, service and value are key components that the company works to attain on every project.

“I also feel that the teamwork that exists between Span, VP Buildings and some key customers add great value to the success of Span. Relationships are not taken for grant­ed and we try to continually improve to raise the bar.”

Raising the bar was exactly what Span did in 2002. Growth has been a trademark for the company over the past year. Span reached a milestone in 2002 as the first builder within the entire industry to receive the Cumulative Sales Volume Award of $300 million with VP Buildings, the company’s building supplier. Span was also the first metal building con­tractor in the industry to attain $ 100 million in steel purchases from VP Buildings in 1996. In addition, sever­al administrative changes over the past year for Span have resulted in growth.

“We have made a few significant changes in our company. We have adopted a new company logo, drafted a new mission statement, created a new company slogan and launched our website, In an effort to capture new business, we have appointed a full-time marketing person and developed new literature,” said Husein.

Span’s new mission statement reads: “Our mission is to exceed our clients’ expectations by providing construction services that are unparal­leled in the construction industry with regard to safety, integrity, quality, value and schedule.”

Although there is a new rruss1on statement, the company’s philosophy has remained the same since incep­tion. As stated above, many Span employees have been with the compa­ny for over 15 years and have seen the stability over time. One Span employ­ee in particular has witnessed the company philosophy remain the same through growth as a small contractor to its prevalent rank.

“I hold the distinct privilege of being hired by King as the first employee for Span almost 23 years ago. Starting out as a draftsman and wearing many hats over the years, I have enjoyed the steady growth of Span from being a small local design/build contractor to our current position in the industry,” said Keith Harris, vice president, sales and mar­keting.

“The company philosophy estab­lished 23 years ago continues to be practiced even today. We have devel­oped the expertise to design and build projects either simple or complex on a national basis as well as overseas,” Harris added.

In addition to the mission state­ment and philosophy being especially significant, so is the company’s slo­gan. It is “Safety is our priority. Service is our spirit.”

“My responsibility as the dire of safety is to make sure that all our employees are safe and projects are built accident free. The commitment to safety is at all levels of our compa­ny and we have made a significant investment in Span University which is used to train all our field personnel in various aspects of our business,” said Tim Pendley, director of safety.

Span is not only concerned with its employees, but it takes great pride in the work of its affiliations. Several firms assist Span in developing remarkable projects. Quality is job one for both Span and these business­es. The firms have a mutual feeling towards Span.

“Beyond the production aspects of our history, is the strong working rela­tionship with VP and Span that guar­antees the success of our projects. Span’s team is truly dedicated to their work. They are knowledgeable, pro­fessional and always available to help with even the smallest detail. Their prompt response to our calls means we are able to maintain schedules without compromising quality,” said Ronald Maddox, executive vice presi­dent of MulvannyG2 Architecture, Bellevue, WA.

This quality of partnership and projects was evident in 2002. Of the approximate 50 million sq. ft. that MulvannyG2 has designed utilizing the services of Span, some projects built in 2002 received recognition from VP Buildings.

Two Costco Wholesale projects received VP Buildings Hall of Fame Awards. The Bakersfield, CA, build­ing is a 155,700 sq. ft. project that uti­lizes special architectural wall panels and split face masonry walls. A 24-gauge standing seam roof was also used. The Boca Raton, FL, facility is a 149,400 sq. ft. structure that includes several towers integrated into the design. The building is topped with a 24-gauge standing seam roof with stucco walls to complement the surrounding architecture. The towers and auxiliary structures include a tile roof. This project also won the Best Of Category Award.

MulvannyG2 has designed other Costco Wholesale facilities. The 135,000 sq. ft. facility in Celaya, Mexico, was constructed on a fast­track schedule. The exterior walls consist of 8′ -high masonry with architectural panels above. A combi­nation of masonry and special archi­tectural wall panels highlight the exte­rior of the 148,000 sq. ft. Costco Wholesale facility in Gilroy, CA. The 144,000 sq. ft. building in Vacaville, CA, consists of several towers designed to complement the exterior appearance. Brick, tile, masonry and stucco are used to create an aestheti­cally-pleasing appearance. All three locations utilize 24-gauge standing seam roofs.

These projects represent only a portion of the facilities MulvannyG2 has designed that utilize products and systems from VP Buildings.

Maddox commented, “MulvannyG2 has worked closely with Varco Pruden (VP) and Span Construction for nearly 20 years. Together we have built millions of square feet of pre-engineered steel buildings and we are well aware of the benefits of their system. Year after year we have found these consistent values in their products and services – speed and ease of construction, long-lasting performance, quality of materials, extended warranties, and competitive pricing.”

This is an example of a partnership based on trust. Span’s greatest assets, its employees, create an atmosphere that assures the correct materials and solutions will be provided.

Valentiner Crane Brunjes Onyon (VCBO) Architecture of Salt Lake City, UT, can attest to this assurance. The company is presently working with Span in the design and construc­tion of the Brigham Young University Indoor Practice FaciJjty in Provo, UT.

“Span was a great partner in the design of the structural system, wall panel selection and in the engineering solutions for a 95′ -tall structure locat­ed in a seismic zone IV. Their engi­neers working with VP showed great expertise and professionalism,” said Niels Valentiner, president of VCBO. “The core benefits of selecting a pre­engineered structure were apparent early to our firm and to the owner.”

The 107,000 sq. ft. indoor practice facility is currently under construc­tion and is scheduled to be completed by October 2003. It consists of a 220′ clear span open web curved truss frame with moment resisting tapered sidewall columns. The eave height is 56′ and the peak height is 93′. The exterior walls are special masonry block and a kalwall system, and the roof is an architectural standing seam panel system.

Span has completed numerous other projects over the past year including multiple facilities for indi­vidual companies.

A 727,000 sq. ft. project was built on a fast track basis for Buzz Oates­ConAgra Foods in Modesto, CA. Continuous beam framing was uti­lized to achieve large clear spans inside the building. The hardwall project consists of concrete tilt-up walls and a standing seam roof. This project also won a VP Hall of Fame Award. Buzz Oates in Fresno, CA, is a three-building project totaling 643,500 sq. ft. Column spacing was designed to accommodate dock load­ing operations. Concrete tilt-up walls and a standing seam roof are includ­ed. The Stockton, CA, Buzz Oates facility is a 546,000 sq. ft. hardwall project consisting of concrete tilt-up walls and a standing seam roof with wide bays for steel framing and bar joists. McGlade & Associates, Sacramento, CA, designed all three projects.

A 102,000 sq. ft. Home Depot in Lathrop, CA, was constructed and designed with a 112′ clear span to achieve a complete open space inside the building. This regional distribu­tion center has a 9,000 sq. ft. office inside. The exterior walls are concrete tilt-up and the roof panels have a KXL finish. McGregor Associates of Atlanta, GA, served as the designer.

Designed by Carter Burgess of Fort Worth, TX, was The Great Indoors in Deerfield, IL. This 129,000 sq. ft. project is a two-story structure with parking on the lower floor and retail space on the upper floor. The steel framing systems consist of a continu­ous beam design with a long span, open web bar joist. The exterior walls are concrete tilt-up and the roof is a 24-gauge standing seam system.

Two of Span’s projects in 2002 involved conventional framing with tile roofs and stucco walls. These were the 8,000 sq. ft. Boy Scouts of America office and the 20,000 sq. ft. Britz Office Building. Both are locat­ed in Fresno, CA.

All of these projects were complet­ed in 2002 in what is believed by most to be an economical hard time. Regardless, Span refused to succumb to the ideals of society and continued to construct high-quality projects.

“The state of the economy reduced our business by 20% in 2002. At the same time rising insurance costs have impacted our bottom line. We have cut back on our staff and have made the remaining work force more effi­cient to continue to give our cus­tomers the quality, service and value they expect. In addition, we are now marketing our metal building services to large general contractors who need a safe, reliable and cost efficient solu­tion to their building needs. We have also built a few conventional projects in order to keep our crews busy,” com­mented Husein.

Growth is at the heart of Span’s business, even when faced with eco­nomic changes Like that of today. Span’s motion forward is possible with business partnerships, employ­ees and a little company reorganiza­tion. Above all, it is attitude that keeps the company going.

“Span Construction has many strengths, but the one thing that stands out the most is the ‘can do’ attitude of Span Construction and all of its employees. The success of a project is assured when the team members have this kind of positive attitude. Repeatedly Span has shown that when they bring their powerful and experi­enced team of professionals to a proj­ect, it insures that the project will be successful,” stated Gerald Mele, pres­ident of Gerald Mele & Associates Inc. of Fresno, CA, a consulting engi­neering firm.

“I have been working for Span for almost 20 years and participate in the management of the day-to-day opera­tions of the company. Our ‘can do’ attitude and open-minded approach has helped us over the years. We are constantly exploring different avenues to expand our business,” stat­ed George Goddard vice president, engineering & construction service.

Using this attitude and approach, Span looks to the future to create an even better company. Speculating on the future of the metal construction industry helps Span plan ahead.

Husein commented on the future of the industry. “The metal building industry continues to have a good future. The integration of the metal building system with other materials such as concrete tilt-up, masonry, glass, stucco and other architectural features are opening new markets for our industry. Building owners contin­ue to look to metal buildings for speed of construction and value for their building projects. I foresee metal building systems to make in road the conventional building segment.”