Briggs Engineering & Testing
Robert Briggs founded Briggs Engineering & Testing (BET) in the late 1950s. BET’s initial focus was on asphalt and concrete applications, and the team established a niche in airport and roadway engineering. Within a few years, BET expanded its services to include quality-control inspection and materials testing of additional construction materials and application. The team originally operated out of a single location in Hingham, Mass.; however, the company quickly outgrew that location and moved to Rockland, Mass., to accommodate its growth.
Paul Skorohod, president of BET, has been with the business since 1970. “This was my first job and it’s been my only employer,” he notes. “I started fresh out of college. I answered an advertisement in the newspaper and was hired. Today, with Ken Oliver [executive vice president and co-owner of BET] the company employs 113 engineers, technicians and inspectors in two offices. Our headquarters is in Rockland, Mass., and with another location in Cumberland, R.I., we serve clients in both of those states.”
Today the company continues to diversify and offers a wide range of engineering and consulting services across New England. BET’s client base includes municipalities, school systems, health care and real estate developers and homebuilders among others.
A Trusted Name in Engineering
With half a century of experience, the BET name has adopted a reputation for quality in service. And, according to Skorohod, his team has a simple straightforward focus. “Our goal is to ensure an owner that their structure is built according to project plans and specifications,” he explains. At any phase of construction, BET can step in to provide consulting for a number of building processes.
For new construction projects, BET offers a number of construction monitoring and quality-control management services; included is testing and inspection for a number of materials, such as soil/earthwork, concrete, masonry, structural steel and fireproofing, among others.
In regards to preconstruction, the company can help builders analyze and prepare land for construction. With geotechnical and environmental services, BET offers a selection of monitoring, testing and analysis services to prevent settling or damage from seismic events. True to the company’s history, BET continues to offer leading road quality management services for new and existing concrete and asphalt surfaces.
For existing buildings, BET helps owners with building maintenance and repair concerns by testing, monitoring and inspecting services for structural systems and building envelope components. For older buildings in need of an upgrade, the team performs visual building condition and restoration surveys followed by testing, remedial design, contract administration and construction phase quality assurance services.
Despite recent economic setbacks in much of the country, BET continues to secure a range of unique projects. “We have performed three projects for the University of Massachusetts in the last few years,” Skorohod says. “We’re currently providing services at Boston’s Pier 4 and the East Pier One developments, and we also have major contracts with the DPW’s of Boston & Providence, R.I. We’ve recently worked on several exciting, high-profile projects, which include Gillette Stadium, as well as the MGM expansion at Foxwoods, which took more than two years. The Boston Convention Center was another large and very complicated project.”
Skorohod is proud to note that the company has between 60 and 70 ongoing projects at one time. “We are busy now,” he says. “We have a few upcoming projects that should be very interesting, as well. We’ll be involved with the Longfellow Bridge in Boston, the Fore River Bridge in Quincy, Mass., as well as the Providence, R.I., Viaduct project.”
The changing economy has had some effects on the business, although surprisingly not on the demand end. “We have a hard time finding qualified personnel,” Skorohod explains. “We have to hire people and train them in-house. We hold classes and provide a lot of training in our lab. Payroll is our largest expense and we need to have quality employees with the right background for this kind of work.”
The company has not cut any corners, either. “Our business is certified by the state for our materials laboratory and we are always updating to state-of-the-art equipment,” details Skorohod. “We are also certified by AASHTO [American Association of State Highway & Transportation] and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among others. These certifications allow us to get involved with a diverse range of projects requiring the services that we offer.”
Skorohod and his team at BET have seen improvements in both the economy and the industry in recent months, although he notes he can only speak for his region. According to Skorohod, the recovery is coming around slowly and BET is maintaining steady growth. “Over the next few years we intend to focus on increasing our sales and expanding our work vertically with new services,” he elaborates. With a continued dedication to fulfilling ever-changing customer needs, Briggs Engineering & Testing will continue to offer peace of mind to builders and building owners alike for many years to come.
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