Case Studies

Dellabarca Design & Build

Central California's construction planning, design and contracting team

Salvi Dellabarca established Dellabarca Design & Build in 2001 after working independently on a number of projects throughout central California. For nearly 14 years, the business has grown, serving the industrial sector with comprehensive design-build services. While the company’s footprint within the industry has grown, Dellabarca Design & Build has remained relatively small as a business.

Tom VanderVeen and Dan Brown have been running the day to day operations of the company for the last couple of years, while they have incrementally purchased the company from Dellabarca; January 1, 2015 marks the completion of the transition period.  VanderVeen and Brown remain heavily involved with each project, working with a team of five office employees and approximately 30 field employees to deliver high-quality projects throughout the region.

Dellabarca Design & Build specializes in preconstruction, design-build, general contracting and concrete services. The company has established strong partnerships with strategic partners throughout the region who help the business pull together successful new construction and renovation projects in California’s Central Valley. The company has a headquarters in Manteca, California and travels as far as the Bay Area.

The company’s portfolio includes a range of projects, including warehouses, food processing facilities, wineries and other industrial properties. Scope of work has spanned from interior build-outs to new tilt-wall building construction. Aside from growth, little has changed for the business over the years. Dellabarca Design & Build maintains a commitment to quality performance, professional delivery and customer service.

Dellabarca Design & Build, Inc.A growing portfolio

The Dellabarca team has performed several projects for E.J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, California. “Our client did a major expansion 2012 and 2013,” says VanderVeen. “We completed a significant portion of the site work and concrete work for that project, including an elevated roadway, tunnels, sump pits and foundations for various structures and wine storage tanks. Throughout the contract, the facility was completely operational. The biggest challenge for our team was working on a tight timeframe. With fast-approaching deadlines to meet, our crew worked a lot of overtime, with a lot of employees working a lot of hours. We performed a majority of work on the contract with only a few vendors.”

In early 2015, the company is working on a tilt-up concrete warehouse for a local cannery. “On that project, we are doing the whole structure including the foundation and concrete walls,” VanderVeen explains. “We do have quite a few subs for some structural work and the major trades. We will be adding onto an existing, occupied building, which means we have unique safety requirements for the project. The client has rerouted the forklift paths of travel to get around our work area. They have also temporarily relocated some processes that will end up moving into the new warehouse. This is a tight worksite with not much staging area or room to maneuver, so logistics have been very important.”

Dellabarca has also recently remodeled a 100,000-square foot warehouse for Flowers Bakery. The scope of work involved taking an open warehouse space and providing the right utilities, foundations, electrical and ventilation for the client to be able to install all equipment. “On this, the biggest challenge was working within the constraints of available utilities,” VanderVeen notes. “We also had a lot of people in fairly small space, preparing the building around employees installing equipment at the same time.”

Another project wrapped up in the last year has been work building a 100,000-square foot warehouse for a local packaging manufacturer. “The purpose of the new building was to make room for our client to install a new corrugator machine,” VanderVeen explains. “This was another tilt-up concrete warehouse. Ventilation was also a big part of this contract. On this one, our biggest challenge was building on part of the property where they were doing a lot of staging and employee parking. It was a little congested, but we all made accommodations to get the project to run smoothly.”

Maintaining relationships

With each project, VanderVeen and his team strive to build and maintain strong client relationships. A majority of the company’s contracts come from repeat customers, a fact that VanderVeen takes a lot of pride in. “Those repeat customers were still bringing us work throughout the recession,” he explains. “We kept our overhead low and cut costs where we could, which kept us above water in a tough market.”

In order to manage these costs, it helps that the Dellabarca crew performs a significant amount of work in-house. The qualified team operates efficiently and maintains partnerships with key subcontractors, keeping everyone on the same page throughout the process of any given project.

Looking ahead at 2015, these partnerships will continue to pave the way for growth. VanderVeen is excited to work toward steady expansion, identifying new key markets and potential customers. Active involvement from the partners continues to play an important role in the success of Dellabarca Design & Build as the business remains a strong player in the region’s new construction and renovation markets.

Published on: July 6, 2015

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