Case Studies

Apex Steel Inc.

20 years of steel supply, erection and management

For nearly 20 years, Apex Steel Inc. has been a premier company in the steel subcontracting market. By diversifying and providing customers with innovative ideas in the steel and crane industry, Apex Steel has been able to maintain a competitive edge. This competitive edge secures projects that demonstrate the skill and production capabilities of its workforce. Located in Kirkland, Washington, Apex has positioned itself as one of the largest steel contractors in the area.

A passionate team

Founded in 1996 by Kevin Koester, Apex Steel has maintained its level of success by maintaining a core group of key employees dedicated to the success of the company. “It is without a doubt our people that set us apart from the competition,” says Koester. With a commitment to customer service and integrating progressive ideas and programs, Apex is able to present rewarding challenges to its workers. “We try to focus on very unique projects,” Koester adds. “I look to get the jobs that present some sort of challenge, whether it is logistical, constructability or scheduling. Those are the projects I feel that make us really stand out in the market.”

Koester founded Apex through hard work and maintaining an unmatched level of integrity and quality. An ironworker by trade since 1988, Koester immediately developed a passion for the industry. This passion would eventually lead him to the manifestation of his own ideas and visions and inspire Koester to start his own company “I attribute my success in life and in business to living in a balance,” says Koester. “Enjoying life with my wife and two children and managing Apex Steel are the two most important forces in my life. I strive to give equally to both by living in every moment and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.”Apex Steel Inc.

Beginning as a steel placing company, Apex Steel developed a strong administration to support the company’s transition into a steel construction management firm that still performs its own work. In managing the steel supply for each project, Apex works with fabricators from all over the Northwest to ensure that its customers are receiving the highest quality product available. “We’re very selective of who we work with because ultimately it’s our name on the project,” says Koester. “It’s also important that the fabricators that we work with know exactly what we are looking for.”

A recognized portfolio

Apex recently worked with its partners to complete a project for Amazon called Block 45, which was located in South Lake Union, a neighborhood in Seattle. Apex was able to construct a 12-story steel structure in 24 days for the project. “That was a very unique project,” says Koester. “We put two tower cranes up and had them swinging full time. It worked just like a dance as in everybody had to have their steps right on cue.” Apex supplied and erected the construction hoist on the project, as well as all of the miscellaneous steel for things such as canopies and handrails.

Another project in which scheduling was the driving force was the construction of the Nintendo office building in Redmond, Washington. The client wanted the building open six months earlier than the original schedule had allowed. Once again Apex made this happen by incorporating two tower cranes on the project in order to support the accelerated schedule. The 300,000-square-foot office with 2,310 pieces of steel was erected in just 10 days. Zoning and a comprehensive erection plan allowed Apex to use the two tower cranes simultaneously with no jib or load interference.

Currently, Apex is involved in the construction of the new Facebook office in Seattle. This project is unique in that it involves an 11-story steel structure that Apex had previously constructed for another contractor. “We built the steel structure two years ago and now it has been leased to Facebook,” Koester explains. “Facebook is now basically rebuilding it so we’re going in to structurally upgrade a building we built for a different contractor.”

As a premier steel subcontractor, Apex will expand its services as it gravitates toward the supply-and-erect management aspect of the industry. With the purchase of two construction elevators this year, Koester has found that the company will also look into the supply-and-install market for elevators. “In order to be an elevator contractor in the state of Washington, you have to have licensed elevator mechanics,” says Koester. “Those are very hard to come by so when you have the prerequisites you can really carve out your own niche.”

While Apex Steel Inc. remains one of the largest steel subcontractors in the area, the company will continue to integrate innovative methods to increase its diversification in the industry.

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Spring 2018



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