Case Studies

Hollingsworth Pack

A global company with local interests

With a host of international private and federal clients, Hollingsworth Pack has been providing construction management services for the past 20 years. Headquartered in Williamsburg, Virginia, Hollingsworth Pack also maintains offices in Austin, Texas, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hollingsworth Pack was founded in 1995 by Col. J Bryce Hollingsworth and Victoria Pack. As a family-owned and -operated business, the company currently involves three generations of the Hollingsworth family. Bryce’s son Scott is currently director of the company, while his son Neal is an office manager in Copenhagen. Chris Hewitt, also a family member, leads the Austin office.

After serving in the United States Air Force for nearly 30 years, Bryce Hollingsworth started Hollingsworth Pack at 63 years old. Founded with his partner Victoria Pack, the pair started the company with a vision to provide consistent, old-fashioned professional design and construction consulting services to clients in Virginia. Over the past 20 years, Hollingsworth Pack has expanded its reach to become a global company while remaining a relatively small firm. The firm has also expanded its services to include project management, structural and civil engineering, as well as architecture.

A Global presence

With 25 employees spread remotely over six continents, Hollingsworth Pack is a company that thinks locally while acting globally. “Most of the companies that perform internationally are large corporations with a large overhead which can prevent them from mobilizing as quickly as us,” says the Scott Hollingsworth. “Being light and fast allows us to mobilize employees in different places around the world many places around the world with one email.”

With an international presence since 2005, Hollingsworth Pack has been an innovator in global commerce. By using communications technology to decrease the company’s carbon footprint, Hollingsworth Pack sets an example as a company that maintains the ability to add a personal touch to its projects, regardless of location. “We work with individuals,” says Scott. “Over the years we established relationships with people all over the world that understand the way we do things and trust our work.”

Hollingsworth Pack applies a sustainable approach with simple, old-fashioned consulting to locations throughout the world. In Denmark, the firm works with one of the world’s toughest building codes to create low energy housing. In Niger, the company works with simple design solutions matching local conditions. In all their global work, Hollingsworth Pack applies simple, sustainable solutions tailored to the local capabilities.

Basic applications

In the design of a prison in Niger, Hollingsworth Pack has approached the facility with the basic idea of using local materials as much as possible to keep the design simple. By using old-fashioned techniques the design will minimize energy requirements while maximizing the ability of the complex to be self-sufficient. A ventilated double-wall construction is being utilized to shield the sun off the building volume, which due to prison security involves a dense and heavy concrete volume. The design of the courtyard of the prison includes a chimney effect that circulates the air, similar to designs from more than 100 years ago.

“We’re using very basic, logical techniques,” Hollingsworth explains. “Due to the world’s dependence on technology over the past 50 years a lot of these simple techniques have lost their focus. Green building can also mean reverting back to the basics and ensuring that it works well in a sustainable way for the local community.”

Hollingsworth notes that the basic methods are only effective when they are applied in way that makes a difference locally. This is being displayed through the design approach to the sewage system for the prison. “There is not enough space on the site for a large sewage treatment plant so we’re using a more technologically advanced system which creates methane gas,” Hollingsworth explains. “The next step is to create a way to store and use that gas.”

In an effort to maximize energy efficiency, the design of the prison is minimizing the use of air conditioning throughout the facility. While focusing on areas of the building that will at times have a large volume of people such as the visitation area, Hollingsworth is incorporating a method of misting. By using water fed from a local well, a fine cloud of water droplets will be sprayed throughout the area to keep temperatures down. “Again, this is very basic technology,” says Hollingsworth. “It just comes down to controlling ventilation so the effect of the water remains in the room long enough to work.”

Working on his fourth prison abroad in Third World countries, Hollingsworth is well aware of the conditions created in areas without the means to establish sustainable facilities. Creating efficient, sustainable spaces while satisfying a client’s needs is what gives Hollingsworth the biggest sense of pride about the design team. “What motivates me as a person is knowing that at the end of a project, we have created an opportunity for people to have a better life,” says Hollingsworth. “We are helping societies in other parts of the world by making their prisons more humane and ultimately their societies safer.”

Lowering consumption

For a new home in Rødvig, Denmark, the conditions and program were completely different. The Danish energy code is very strict, with the goal of all buildings in the country achieving ‘net plus’ status. The current code has a maximum of 30 kWh/m2/y but the home has been designed to a level under 20 kWh/m2/y using a traditional passive design approach to the building envelope and an energy efficient heating- and ventilation system.

With the company’s geographical footprint reaching six continents, Hollingsworth Pack is in a prime spot to expand. As a network-based company that strives to please its clients and lacks large overhead, Hollingsworth Pack is able to offer employees an opportunity to collaborate on interesting and rewarding projects around the world.

Watch the US Builders Review interview with Hollingsworth Pack at Greenbuild International Conference & Expo 2015 here: https://youtu.be/-QLMeGmt7sU

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