Case Studies

ARC Construction Services

Demolition services in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia

ARC Construction Services is part of a second-generation family-owned group of companies. Nick Thrappas, owner and president of ARC, began working with his parents’ company in 1986 after serving in the Air Force. In 1988, he purchased a segment of the business, establishing ARC. Now his company is responsible for demolition work in a range of high-profile renovation projects throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia.

Thrappas employs between 80 and 100 people, who perform hand demolition for interior construction projects. “We very rarely touch the outside of a building,” he explains. “Our niche is interior demolition, waste removal and some hazardous material abatement.”

The team is typically called on for more high-profile work. ARC has built a reputation for efficient, clean projects and critical clients know the team can work in occupied spaces without disrupting occupants. The company frequently completes phased work for large renovation projects, drawing attention exclusively for its professional, respectful and qualified team.

High-profile projects

ARC is currently working on the headquarters of the Labor International Union of North America (LIUNA) in Washington, D.C. “This is an eight-story building and we are gutting everything,” says Thrappas. “That includes the mechanical, walls, everything. The contractors is putting a new tower up so we are taking down the east wall of the building. This complete interior demolition project includes some hazardous material abatement as well.”

The crew is also working on the Hampton Plaza headquarters for Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, one of the largest contractors on the East Coast. “This is another project where we are gutting the interior back to a white box,” explains Thrappas. “We are working on three floors in their building and we are proud that they trust us to do their facility. The biggest challenge on the project is that we are working in many phases to allow them to keep the operation going. We do the demolition, then they do the renovation.”

Other recent work includes demolition for the renovation of Black&Decker’s headquarters in Towson, Maryland. The team also demolished the large steel pavilion at Chevy Chase Pavilion and has worked at the German Embassy.

Though an older project, Thrappas says the embassy contract was another unique and sensitive environment. “We did selective demolition of the entire building down to the structural steel shell including the external façade,” he recounts. We had to build a bubble around the building with scaffolding to enclose the space while we performed asbestos and lead paint abatement. It was all fast track and covered 90,000 square feet.”

“We’re generally called on for more high-profile, key type projects,” says Thrappas. “Contractors call on us for jobs that require a better team of employees for sensitive environments.” The business has also completed work at the Maryland State House, the U.S. Botanical Gardens and has a project coming up at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Quality control

In order to ensure professionalism, safety and efficiency, ARC performs nearly everything in-house. “Occasionally, we will sub out waste handling, environmental testing and air quality monitoring,” notes Thrappas. “But our work is very labor intensive and we do 90 percent of it ourselves.”

Quality control is more critical now than ever. As the economy recovers, reputation is powerful tool in landing work. “The recession hurt a lot of businesses, including us,” says Thrappas. “We’re still working it out to bounce back to where we were. The work is back and the margins are finally creeping back up again, but there are still aspects of the business we really have to stay on top of.”

ARC has maintained a pattern of steady growth over the last five years throughout the recovery. ARC has a strong backlog of projects for 2015 and the years ahead. Thrappas and his team took advantage of the downturn to reevaluate and tighten up systems. The company embraces a lean construction philosophy and closely monitors and manages time, resources and processes to deliver value to clients.

For the years ahead, Thrappas and his colleagues have a strong plan for growth. “Our goal is to utilize more targeted marketing,” he explains. “We are identifying specific clients who can benefit from our services and marketing directly to them. We tend to be more client-focused in our work and that is how we are approaching growth.”

Throughout this growth initiative and into the future, ARC Construction Services will continue to provide diligent service to contractors and building owners throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Published on: August 18, 2015

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