JWR Construction Services Inc.
JWR Construction Services Inc. (JWR) has taken a true design-build approach to every project since it was founded in 1985. The company has helped many commercial and institutional clients achieve long-term goals on schedule, on budget and on point by aligning itself entirely with the vision and concerns of each client. The team has over 27 years of experience, allowing JWR to provide truly end-to-end solutions of every size in addition to a high level of attentive service to every client.
“Our philosophy from day one has always been to do many things for a few people, rather than a few things for many,” asserts William Gallo, AIA, LEED AP, executive vice president and cofounder of JWR. Gallo founded the company with Jerry W. DuBois, CGC and president of JWR, and the uniqueness of the firm’s approach stems from the founders. The team at JWR believes in being a relationship-based company, never a transaction-based company. JWR’s combination of architect- and general contractor-based qualifications has helped the firm establish itself as a design-build mainstay in the south Florida markets.
The company and its 37 skilled employees are based out of JWR’s head office in Deerfield Beach, Fla., serving clients as far away as Pasco County. On a day-to-day basis, though, JWR likes to stay a bit closer to home, working primarily with clients in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Lee counties.
The Building Blocks of Long-term Relationships
“We have a really holistic sense of the development process so we can work with clients from the moment they think of a project until the day they move in,” says Gallo.
The true design-build company works with sister architectural firm Gallo Herbert Lebolo. The partnership enables the team to provide comprehensive feasibility studies along with architectural designs, master-planning and LEED consulting services in addition to JWR’s design-build, general contracting and project management services.
JWR’s ability to provide consulting and construction services enable the team to develop long-term relationships with clients. The company has provided the team’s exemplary services to a number of well-respected companies, including Barnett Bank – which was acquired by Bank of America in the late 1990s – and a number of higher education institutions such as Johnson & Wales University, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and Florida Atlantic University.
JWR has worked with Johnson & Wales University since the institution decided to expand with a North Miami campus. “It started with renovating an existing building, but we have since followed through with several more new buildings as part of the master plan our partner architectural firm developed,” says DuBois.
The first renovation project took place in 1992. The building was a vacant former hospital totaling over 152,000 square feet and an adjacent 60,000-square foot medical office building, which the team at JWR helped turn into University Center. The building now boasts a combination of culinary laboratories, classrooms, administrative offices, student residences, and academic and student centers. As of 2009 the university had invested over $40 million into its campus, which now sprawls across 29 acres and 21 buildings, seven of which are residence halls.
JWR prides itself on supporting each client at every stage of development on projects of all sizes, which is why the company operates a smaller office on the NSU campus in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla. “We provide something similar to property management services for the university in addition to building larger projects,” says DuBois, who is responsible for overall operations.
JWR recently wrapped up a project for NSU’s aquatics center. The 50-meter pool is the largest in the county holding over 1.3 million gallons and boasting a moveable bulkhead, which allows the pool to be separated to host separate swimming, diving and water polo events simultaneously.
The company has been recognized over the years for the team’s high caliber of work; JWR received the Project of the Year award for overall craftsmanship performance from the Construction Association of South Florida for the new Florida Shores Bank branch located in Pompano Beach in 2011. This prestigious award, voted on by industry professional and peers, represents the highest level in quality and confirms JWR’s commitment to unparalleled craftsmanship.
Setting Sustainability Standards
JWR has established itself as a partner for sustainable building as well. The company employs a number of LEED Accredited Professionals, who were put to the test for NSU. The team developed and installed an entirely solar-powered heating system for the pool. JWR also worked in concert with Gallo Herbert Lebolo and NSU to develop and implement a master plan for a zero net energy facility at John U. Lloyd State Park in Hollywood, Fla.
“It may not be our largest project, but it’s definitely one of the most exciting because we were able to design the park’s infrastructure to be completely self-sufficient,” adds Gallo. JWR included a series of four solar electric systems in different corners of the park to power the entrance, administration, maintenance and concession buildings. Solar hot water systems were added to heat water for the park rangers, and JWR also completed major upgrades to high-efficiency equipment for the park facilities’ lighting and air conditioning systems.
JWR has been around long enough to survive more than a couple economic downturns, but the most recent one was still a breed of its own and JWR responded by retooling its approach to succeed in the public sector. “The difference with the most recent economic downturn is that the private-sector market has almost completely vaporized,” admits Gallo. Even so, JWR managed to get its foot in the door early on in the downturn by landing a contract to build the Miami Sector Headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security.
JWR has already seen, as Gallo puts it, a small “flurry” of activity in the commercial sector and the company plans to continue to pursue growth in the alternative energy arena, as DuBois has recently obtained licensing as a Florida solar contractor. The move will help JWR continue to evolve in anticipation of its clients’ needs and ensure the company has the necessary technical expertise to turn one-time customers into long-time clients. In the process JWR Construction Services Inc. will continue to prove that a relationship and service-oriented corporate culture is the key to understanding and exceeding client’s needs.
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