Case Studies

Allied Geothermal Well Drilling

Raising the geothermal bar in the Northeast

Founded in 1994, Allied Geothermal Well drilling began as a small, local well drilling company in Laurel, Maryland. Since then the company has grown into a full-service geothermal drilling services provider. Services the company provides include casing advancement, concrete coring, limited access drilling, vacuum excavation and SPT split spoon sampling among others. With locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Allied has a geographical footprint from North Carolina all the way to New York.  

Full-service provider

Included in the vast array of services provided by Allied, geotechnical drilling is an aspect that the company is able to offer its clients. The company has environmental and site-work divisions, which eliminates the need for subcontractors. “We self-perform all of our work,” says Adam Santry, president of Allied. “If an engineering firm approaches us with a big project we can do any of the drilling on-site.” The company also provides water well drilling and service.

Self-performing 100 percent of the work has certainly created an advantage for Allied. Hiring a subcontractor to perform excavation work on a geothermal project has the potential to create conflicts for a project that is on a tight schedule. The different types of drilling services offered by Allied make for an inclusive approach that is unique to the company.

“For a large scale project, many times three of four different drilling companies will be hired,” says Santry. “One company will specialize in geotechnical drilling while another will offer geothermal services. We provide all of that under one roof. The different types of drilling that we do here are all separate but internally part of one company. In order for our guys to be as good as they are at what they do, they have to be specific to one aspect whether its geothermal, environmental or geotechnical.”

Santry has been involved with Allied since his father started the company. Working during summer vacations through high school and college, Santry gained a grasp on the industry while obtaining his master welder well drilling certification. Santry remains motivated by the fact that many of the employees who Santry worked with 20 years ago are still with the company. “When this started we had 10 people working for us,” explains Santry. “Those employees are still with us today and they are my project managers.”

A growing portfolio

Allied is currently working Roosevelt Senior High School which is located in Washington D.C. The projected has presented many challenges, which Santry says the company is proud to overcome. “It’s always a challenge to go into the district,” Santry explains. “A lot of drillers don’t like to go into an urban environment because it’s logistically difficult from a project management perspective. Not many people want to go into a downtown area and drill right next to a sidewalk and try to put in a 400-foot well when you’re drilling 10 feet away from a subway station. You also have to take deliveries at 3 in the morning because you’re not allowed to have trucks down there. We’re able to do that and we’re proud of the work we’ve done in those tough situations.”

Bensalem High School in Philadelphia is a job that Santry views as an exceptional project completed by his talented Allied employees. Despite confronting geological issues on the project, the company completed the project ahead of schedule. “We went into a situation with some tough geological conditions and our team did an amazing job and finished about four months ahead of schedule,” says Santry. “I feel that project is an example of what really sets us apart.”

Santry enjoys the challenges presented by the geothermal industry. With a portfolio spanning a large geographical area, varying rules and regulations force the company to remain vigilant and to prepare for logistical issues. “When you work in this many different locations you find that the rules are different everywhere and they’re constantly evolving and changing,” Santry explains. “We’re always looking to learn more about what’s going on in the industry.”

Locating the right people to complete its workforce is a challenge for any company. This is an obstacle that Allied has managed to dodge. The yearly growth that the company has experienced is proof of the talent that Allied manages to recruit. “We don’t go out and find well drillers, we find hard-working individuals that we train from the bottom up,” says Santry. “The guys that I’ve worked with for 20 years started as laborers with shovels in their hands and they have worked their way up through the company.”

Looking ahead

As the president of the company at the relatively young age of 35, Santry says Allied is continuing to grow as it continues to attract a younger generation of employees. “Some people say that it’s hard to get young people into this industry because of how hard the work is but we haven’t had that problem,” says Santry. “Our next generation of drillers is always ready to step up.”

With a strong backlog of work, the future is bright for Allied. While the geotechnical and environmental divisions are the younger departments of the company, Allied has experienced substantial growth in both aspects. As the company progresses, Allied Geothermal Well Drilling will remain a leader in the drilling industry.

Published on: August 3, 2015

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