- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Since 1985, Dees-Hennessey Inc. (Dees-Hennessey) has been one of northern California’s most trusted locally-owned and -operated shotcrete and shoring contractors. Based in San Carlos, Calif., the company serves a wide range of public and private clients, providing safer, more cost-effective building solutions.
Dan Evans, now president of Dees-Hennessey, joined the company in 1986, gradually working his way to the top of company ranks in 2007. “Del Dees and Pete Hennessey originally founded the company in 1985 as a subcontractor specializing in shoring, drilling and shotcrete; all of which we still provide today,” reveals Dan. “After joining in 1986, I was promoted to vice president in 1990 and when Del retired I assumed my role.”
Even with 40 years of industry-leading experience, Dan says he relies on a trusted team of executives to steer Dees-Hennessey. Dan’s team includes Ron Coleman, vice president of field operations for Dees-Hennessey, as well as Ron Thomas, executive vice president of shoring and drilling, and Jason Myers, vice president of shotcrete operations.
The Best Team in the Business
Dees-Hennessey’s crews of engineers and tradesmen have worked together since the beginning and are well-versed in all things shotcrete. The team tackles it all, including structural walls, basement walls, seismic upgrades and structural rehabilitation, channel lining and slope protection. No matter the job, Dees-Hennessey can provide stability, safety and cost-effective solutions backed by one of the most skilled teams in the industry.
“We do all types of shotcrete and also earth retention and shoring systems,” notes Dan. “Anything from new construction to canal linings, ditches and deep garage basement foundations to retaining walls and even skate board parks and swimming pools; we have it covered.”
Dees-Hennessey operates in both the public and private sector, from privately owned office buildings to highways and roads for the California Department of Transportation. “We do all sorts of jobs, large and small,” ensures Dan. “We cover all of northern California from the Oregon border to Nevada. We have one location in San Carlos on the San Francisco Peninsula -halfway between San Francisco and San Jose.”
A Better Way to Build
Part of building concrete structures in northern California is designing them to withstand seismic activity. “We can meet earthquake codes; whether it’s new construction or an upgrade that’s a good portion of our market share,” shares Dan. “Shotcrete is generally less expensive and quicker to install than conventional cast-in-place concrete, but it’s also a structural equal. Shotcrete lasts for many decades and is able to stand up well to seismic forces.”
Dees-Hennessey also offers the added support of shoring and underpinning. “Most foundation and structural vulnerabilities can be fixed with engineered solutions,” explains Dan. “We perform shoring to support structures during construction and underpinning to strength and stabilize foundations of existing buildings or structures.”
Dan is proud to note that Dees-Hennessey’s specialty is the company’s ability to self-perform. “We occasionally subcontract scaffolding, but even then, we sometimes do that in-house.”
Precise Project Engineering
Dees-Hennessey’s team delivers high-quality service and accuracy on a range of projects, spanning from institutional buildings to large-scale utilities. “We’ve been working closely with Pacific Gas Electric [PGE], a large utility contractor that installs dams for hydro power and irrigation,” reveals Dan. “We’ve assisted PGE with canal lines throughout the mountains in the northern part of the state.”
The company also frequents institutional clients, working with high-profile names such as Stanford University and U.C. Berkley. “We provided shotcrete service for a huge, state-of-the-art energy center at Stanford University,” notes Dan. “At U.C. Berkley we’re working on what’s shaping up to be the world’s largest computer building. Instead of cast-in-place concrete the university went with shotcrete, saving time and money.”
In 2006, Dees-Hennessey performed one of its most outstanding projects to-date. “We delivered about $2 million worth of rooftop shotcrete work for the California Academy of Sciences Exploratorium Museum,” shares Dan.
The 197,000-square-foot living, breathing rooftop is composed completely of native to California plants. The roof shotcrete imposed a particular challenge with extreme dips and slopes. “We were creating green domes and the shape and size of the structure presented many engineering challenges,” adds Dan.
Amongst other black tar and asphalt rooftops, the green roof helps reduce the urban heat island effect, which causes cities to be up to 10 degrees warmer than outlying greener areas. The academy’s green rooftop keeps the building’s interior an average of 10 degrees cooler than a standard roof, in addition to capturing rainwater and reducing energy needs for heating and cooling.
While Dan says the company experienced some setback and a definite pinch from the slow economy over recent years, he sees more mega projects in Dees-Hennessey’s future. “The Silicon Valley is constantly growing and building, which means more infrastructure in place to go along with it,” he explains. “We’ll be there to support that growth.”
With mega projects on the horizon, Dan says it’s the challenges that keep him moving forward. “The challenges keep things interesting,” he adds. “By putting performance, quality, safety and pricing first and foremost we keep our clients smiling.”
Since 1985 when the company emerged as a small-scale subcontractor, Dees-Hennessey Inc. has been making a name for itself in the northern California shotcrete, earth retention and shoring industry, providing stability and support for 28 years.
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