Case Studies

American Site Builders LLC

Top to bottom high-voltage contracting

American Site Builders LLC (ASB) is in the business of powering major clients in the energy and utility industry in the western U.S. Based in Amarillo, Texas, the family-and minority-owned company was originally established to provide civil concrete construction services. Since inception in 2007, ASB has built on this base and much more in the high-voltage market, steadily evolving into a turnkey supplier of power and construction services.

“I was a minority partner in the business in 2007 when we rebranded an existing company into ASB,” tells Dwayne Hoving, now CEO of ASB. “In 2010, my wife, Debbie Hoving, now president, and I had the opportunity to purchase ASB outright. We’ve been operating with the current team members for about four years, over which we’ve seen tremendous growth. This is a byproduct of our team coming together and getting the job done.”

All phases of high voltage construction

Upon inception, ASB delivered civil concrete construction services to the energy and utility industries. “At the time, we specialized in deep-drilled pier foundation construction and pad foundations for substation, electrical equipment, transmission lines, wind turbine towers and power plant facilities,” says Hoving.

Over a span of six years or so, ASB grew rapidly, extending its offerings and adding construction services in the wind farm sector and turnkey services for substations and transmission. From road construction to pad construction, excavation and site work to electrical substation construction, lattice assembly and wire pulling for transmission lines, ASB has become an all-in-one high-voltage contractor.

ASB now runs a team of more than 120 construction professionals. “Our niche is in high-voltage contracting,” explains Hoving. “Unlike other companies we self-perform all phases from underground work to concrete, grounding and conduit to commissioning; top to bottom. We’re not a huge firm, but most our size don’t do as much in-house, they tend to subcontract so we feel like we’re a good fit for customers looking for an all-in-one solution.”

“We just gradually captured more pieces of the market,” tells Hoving. “Now we’re truly a full service construction provider for high-voltage customers.” As a result, ASB is working with some of the biggest names in the business -Southern California Edison (SCE), MidAmerican Energy (MidAmerican), American Electric Power and many more. “We’re fortunate to have developed good relationships with large industry players,” adds Hoving.

ASB has fostered these relationships by striving to be the construction supplier of choice in the power industry. “We earn our customers loyalty by placing safety, quality, performance and honesty above all else,” says Hoving. “At the end of the day, our business is really about people.”

American Site Builders LLCSite work, drilling, concrete

From the beginning, ASB has specialized in deep drilled pier foundation construction and pad foundations. The company’s site work expertise allows ASB to partner with clients to provide access road construction and maintenance, right of way prep, earth work for turbine construction and the installation of stormwater pollution prevention measures.

“One of our longest spanning projects is a 65-mile right of way road we constructed through the Palo Duro Canyon for easier access,” tells Hoving. “It’s the second largest canyon in the U.S. and we made way for 65 miles of dirt road in fairly extreme conditions and topography.”

Just 45 minutes outside of its home base in Amarillo, ASB has been influential in the Panhandle Wind Substation project. “Working with Mortenson Construction, we delivered the civil scope,” shares Hoving. “It started with just an open field, which we stripped to top soil and built a pad. We brought in base material and drilled foundation piers.”

Transmission and distribution

Building on its scope of civil services, ASB has expanded its transmission and distribution capabilities. Electrical construction in the energy industry not only requires technical skill, but also complete focus on engineering requirements. “Due to liability and exposure risks, most construction companies are not eligible to participate in project build-outs,” compares Hoving. “ASB has proven our technical acumen to our customers without fault. Through an unwavering commitment to provide exceptional construction services delivered on-time and within budget while exceeding customer expectations.”

In 2013, the company completed 200 miles of steel tower erection in Texas for WETT. “This was one of our more recent larger projects with a lot of moving parts in all different areas in the state, but it was good experience for ASB,” says Hoving. “We’re also currently working on a 345-KV yard for MidAmerican in Iowa, consisting of below-grade work, grounding, conduit, as well as foundations. “We stacked the steel and we’re now working on high-voltage equipment. This is a great example of a turnkey top-to-bottom substation.”

Moving into 2015, Hoving says ASB has a considerable backlog. “50 percent of our backlog is with SCE; mainly transmission work, running new line and upgrading large portions of their system,” he details.

Field safety

But no matter where ASB finds itself, there are considerable dangers in the field -storms and lightening, heavy equipment and high-voltage hazards- you name it. “We stress safety first in each and every project,” says Hoving. “The majority of our employees are Occupational Safety and Health Administration-30 certified – that means most of the guys in the field are considered a competent person as it relates to safety.”

Hoving says even amid a growth trajectory, ASB has upheld its commitment to doing jobs safely and right. “We’ve seen a decrease in our EMR rating -it’s at approximately a 0.72 currently, and that shows we’re improving our safety culture,” he grades.

Part of promoting a safety culture means all employees are actively involved in the ongoing training and development of ASB’s health and safety program. Monthly core safety refresher meetings, daily tailgate meetings and job safety analysis are completed for every task, keeping everyone focused on the overall objectives for a safe and effective work environment.

People first and foremost

“By maximizing the participation of our most valuable business component, our people, we work to proactively identify any and all unsafe situations to achieve a zero recordable injury accident rate,” says Hoving. “This is the only acceptable result.”

Protecting people is central to ASB’s success because Hoving says that’s what makes the business move forward. “Our business is really about people,” he reiterates. “Our family, our team members and our customers -that’s what it’s about.”

Since inception, the company has strived to be the construction supplier of choice in the power and energy industry, placing safety, quality and performance first. “We are excited about being part of tomorrow’s clean renewable generation of power,” says Hoving. “We are building relationships, streamlining our business practices and looking far into the future to find better ways to power America. We believe in setting the standard of excellence in every facet of our work.”

Excellence – that’s been the standard for American Site Builders LLC since formation as it continues to power major clients.

Published on: July 6, 2015

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