QEI Construction Group LLC
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In 2006, QEI Construction Group LLC was established as an industrial design-build firm to serve the hub of warehousing and distribution facilities throughout eastern Pennsylvania. With more than 7 million completed square feet in distribution sites, QEI understands the large-scale logistics that go into these facilities and expertly coordinates schedules.
While QEI has been in business just shy of a decade, the firm’s parent company, Harrisburg-based Quandel Enterprises Inc., is a leader in comprehensive construction, management, project development and engineering services. Quandel dates back to 1882, with a history of more than 133 years in the construction industry.
Quandel is a nationwide conglomerate, encompassing nine companies, including QEI, with 16 offices in six states. “Quandel has over 300 employees amongst QEI, Quandel Construction, Quandel Enterprises, J. Vinton Schafer, Quandel Consultants, QBN Development, Quandel Engineering, Performance Construction, Pyramid Construction and Trident Water Solutions,” details Mike Hozella, president of QEI.
“In fact, Quandel was recently named one of ENR’s Top 400 Contractors in the country; we placed 200th on the list,” adds Hozella. “Each division concentrates on separate markets -everything from bank buildings to prisons, wastewater treatment facilities to hospitals and schools, but our focus at QEI is on the warehouse and distribution marketplace.”
Big warehousing-distribution business
Hozella says Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania are home to a large amount of industrial and commercial warehousing activity. “We work with developers and warehouse end-users,” he explains. “And they’re from all over – New Jersey to Atlanta, Chicago to California, even Australia – Central Pennsylvania is an important market for this type of product.”
Hozella, who’s been with QEI for 27 years and in the industry for the better part of 40 years, has watched this market grow through the course of his career. “I started out in a carpentry apprenticeship program, where I was tested and selected as one of five out of 100 to work in the trades,” he recounts. “I went on to foreman, graduating to superintendent and worked my way through a number of positions with Quandel to president of QEI.”
Centered on service and employee tenure
Over his time with the Quandel family, Hozella says there are two things that truly set the group apart: first-class service and longstanding employees. “We take care of our customers -everyone says that, but we truly try to make a difference in every project we go into,” he measures.
Among the company’s 300 some employees, Hozella says it’s not uncommon to see 10-year, 20-year and even 30-year anniversaries for staff members. “This is something I’m very proud of,” he shares. “When people come to work with us, they stay with us.”
A sweet showcase
A tenured team means some of the best experience in the business; a win-win for QEI and its clients. “Our experience lands us work with some major clients in the area,” says Hozella.
One of such is the company’s relationship with Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc., better known as Lindt Chocolates. “We’re currently building a close to 500,000-square-foot warehouse for Lindt,” details Hozella. “As you can imagine, this facility requires a lot of precise mechanical components to regulate the temperature and humidity in the facility. When the chocolate comes out of the wrapper it has to look and taste exactly right and the warehousing affects the integrity of the product.”
The 421,000-square-foot facility is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The facility is being renovated into a distribution center to house Lindt products, including the signature Lindor truffles. The existing facility, which is LEED-certified and features state-of-the-art refrigeration and storage technology, will be renovated to Lindt’s specs by QEI. “The distribution portion of the facility and retail store are expected to open in early 2015,” projects Hozella.
Cutting costs for customers
FedEx Freight is another big-name client in QEI’s portfolio. QEI was hired by FedEx to be the general contractor for their new, 94-dock and pod addition at the facility in Middletown. The 49,000-square-foot addition is comprised mostly of a large terminal (dock); including a pre-engineered single span rigid frame with multiple bay spacing, canopy expansion, standing lock seam roof, dry-system fire protection and 254 coiling overhead doors. Attached to the terminal facility is the 2,000 square foot pre-engineered pod structure with wet-system fire protection.
“But the unique feature of this building is its greywater-recycling system, which includes a 10,000-gallon water storage tank that collects rainwater from the roof and transfers it to the facility’s toilets,” details Hozella. “With the potential to reduce FedEx’s water bill by 30 percent, the system offers a significant cost savings as well as a positive impact on the environment.”
Hozella adds QEI is also in the works with hundreds of acres of land with distribution facilities that range in size from 400,000 square feet to over 1,000,000 square feet in a single building in the Mid-Atlantic Region. “Over the last year, things have picked back up and there are sizable projects going,” he says. “We’re back in the saddle.”
But no matter the size or scope of the job, Hozella says it comes down to owner satisfaction. “We try to do continuous, incremental improvements every time we do a job and judge our progress,” he explains. “Improving is important and treating everyone you deal with respectfully and with dignity is equally important.”
QEI understands there’s a lot at stake for an owner – money, time and the reputation of their business. That’s why QEI Construction Group LLC puts owners in control and guarantees that all large warehousing and distribution projects are placed on line, in time.
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