Case Studies

Revcon Construction Corporation

Two Generations of Specialty Foundation Work

Revcon Construction Corporation (Revcon) has been installing caisson foundations in the Chicago area since 1984. Guy Revesz, the first president of Revcon, had previously been Caisson Corporation’s president; when the company was sold, Guy decided to start Revcon as a family business.

Rex Revesz, Guy’s son and current president of Revcon, also previously worked at Caisson Corporation; however, Rex joined Revcon at the company’s inception and took on his current role in 2003. Rex is now responsible for all company operations, overseeing as many as 100 employees.

Rex has been active in the industry since 1977. Between his time with Caisson Corporation and his 30 years of experience at Revcon, Rex has been intimately involved in hundreds of complex projects. His experience and knowledge of the industry has helped make Revcon a competitive entity in the local market. According to Rex, with only a few competitors, the company has little trouble standing out.

“We started small,” Rex recalls. “We had two truck rigs to go out and do smaller caisson projects. Now we have multiple style drill rigs up to 150-ton cranes with attachments for major work in downtown Chicago. The majority of our business is caisson foundations, although we do some selective pile driving, as well. About 95 percent of our work is in the Chicago metropolitan area. We have also worked in Wisconsin and Indiana and downstate Illinois. If asked we will look at work anywhere.”

Setting the Foundation for a Good Reputation

Revcon works with all of the major contractors in the area. The company’s notable strategic partners include: Power Construction, Lend Lease, Pepper Construction and Linn-Mathes, among others. “The general contractors we work with remember us for all the right reasons,” Rex explains. “We want to be the caisson contractor of choice. We take pride in our work, which shows in the jobs we complete.”

The company has been involved in a number of unique projects over the years. With a large fleet and a capable team, Revcon can handle just about anything. The versatile drilling equipment is suited for various sizes and depths of caissons, both belled and straight shafts to rock. The scope of work generally involves the complete caisson installation, which includes layout, concrete, steel and off-site disposal of the material excavated from the caisson.

Along the way, Rex and his team have worked on some truly unique projects. “We’ve done more than 12 jobs for Six Flags in Gurnee, Ill.,” he recounts. “They don’t usually reveal the name of the rides they build until they are finished; they keep it top secret. We worked on one of the park’s newest attractions, the roller coaster X Flight. This is their most advanced ride yet. We drilled and poured more than 125 caissons, some as big as 8 feet in diameter and 80 feet deep.”

The team also worked on the Ronald McDonald House main headquarters in Chicago. “We also recently completed work on a new research center for The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago,” Rex adds. “That was huge. We poured more than 8,000 cubic yards of concrete in 76 caissons 90 feet deep with bells as large as 21 feet in diameter. We have also done several projects for Northwestern University, most recently the School of Music and a parking garage.” Another repeat client for Revcon is Christ Hospital, where the team has performed four major contracts.

Staying Ahead in a Tough Market

Rex and his team have fought hard to stay ahead, despite the recent recession. “The bottom dropped out in 2008,” he recalls. “Our sales dropped 60 percent, but we’re conservative with our business decisions and are always planning for the possible rainy day. Things are on the rebound now, but 2008 through 2010 were tough years.”

Through smart saving, Rex did not make any layoffs of key people during the recession. “We’re in a specialty business,” he explains. “Our employees have to be highly experienced. We invest a lot in our guys and we don’t want to turn them loose because the economy is bad. There is a lot of loyalty here. In our business we must be ready with equipment and people to get the jobs done properly when things pick up.”

Rex’s relationship with his team is echoed in his relationships with his strategic partners. Though Revcon rarely subcontracts out work, Rex relies on a small network of trusted subcontractors when needed. “We also maintain valued vendor relationships,” he notes. “They give us good service and we give them a lot of business.”

In turn, the general contractors that Revcon works with feel the same about Rex and his team. “We do what we say and hold up our end of the contract,” he elaborates. “It feels good to get the job done, especially when the contractor is pleased. When we finish a job on time and get the work done properly, we can look forward to scheduling a new project. All the details that go into getting a job ready to start are satisfying for us; the rest is performance.”

Revcon has a number of large projects under contract as the market continues to recover. “Coming off these slow times, the bidding is picking up,” Rex states. “Our business plan has always been, and will continue to be, that we will do what we know best and that is caisson work. We just try to do it better and keep our equipment operating well and looking good on site.” As the company’s list of completed contracts continues to grow, Revcon Construction Corporation will continue to deliver quality caisson work with dedication to detail and integrity.

Published on: August 5, 2014

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