Case Studies

Robert A. Bothman Inc.

Delivering High-caliber Performance Facilities

Robert Bothman founded Robert A. Bothman Inc. (RAB) in 1978 as B & B Concrete, a company specializing in traditional and specialty concrete applications. Today, the company has transformed into a full-scale general contracting company always expanding its comprehensive capabilities to further establish itself as the builder of choice for quality projects.

“We are slowly becoming a full-service, turnkey operation,” explains Brian Bothman, vice president of business development. “We are very diversified at the moment and we have a number of different divisions, but we are constantly working to merge into new markets while maintaining the relationships we have.”

From headquarters in San Jose, Calif., as well as offices in Stockton, Calif., and on the island of Hawaii, RAB works for both private and public sector clients throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. “We do a lot of commercial work and quite a bit of work for public school districts, as well as some high-end residential,” says Bothman. “We specialize in high-end athletic facilities but we also offer design-build services, structural and architectural concrete, solar projects and synthetic turf. Also, we have our own trademarked pervious concrete, RABCrete.”

Sustainable to the Core

Over more than three decades RAB has developed a team of professionals, many of whom have been with the company for 10 to 20 years or more, dedicated to the company, client and the industry as a whole. Building with experience and a sense of pride, these craftsmen are focused on integrating innovative techniques and value-added services into every aspect of operation. Services include cost estimating, project management, general construction, design & engineering and many in-house trades, including structural and architectural concrete, grading, underground utility and infrastructure, specialized stone base for our synthetic turf projects, precision grading, soil preparation and rootzone installation, precision fine grading, irrigation, landscaping, site amenities, rough and finish carpentry and a variety of other construction specialties.

To keep the firm updated on the latest industry trends and training opportunities RAB partners with associations such as the Engineering and Utility Contractors Association (EUCA), Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), Sports Turf Managers Association, California Park & Recreations Society and more. RAB has used its expertise and sustainable designs to construct parks, athletic facilities, bridges and infrastructure, commercial and industrial site development and more.

As one of only a handful of certified pervious concrete installers in its market, RAB now has it’s own trademarked brand of pervious concrete, RABCrete. This product and the RAB team leads the industry in providing concrete solutions to clients seeking to meet LEED standards, while conserving sensitive natural resources, optimizing stressed water resources, restoring ecological processes and functions, and integrating sustainability into design. As with all of its specialties, RAB maintains a large workforce that stresses diligence and teamwork to be able to uphold its standards and the reputation it has rightfully earned over the past 30-plus years.

“Quality is key to the success of the projects, so all of our specialties are closely managed and performed with our own staff,” asserts Bothman. “We will use our subcontracting pool for the paving, electrical, vertical building and other items as needed, but we have a core of subcontractors we know and trust.”

In addition to these contractors and vendors, RAB has developed a plethora of designers, architects, geotechnical groups, irrigation consultants, structural and landscape architects, engineering firms for any possible design service.

In recent years, the firm has become more and more experienced in a variety of contracting options, including design-build and lease-leaseback, allowing project owners to select contractors based on a qualification-based award.

“The economy brought about a big shift in our business, however, about half of our work has always been in the public sector,” says Bothman. “So when the private sector slowed, those companies started moving into public market projects, the unqualified “low bid” method became unsustainably competitive and what we have seen more recently is a shift away from the traditional low bid system. For many public sector projects that model just doesn’t work so we have become very experienced in the lease-leaseback option to help our clients adjust to the different financing conditions, especially in school districts.”

Currently, the firm is employing its unparalleled level of integrity and responsiveness and its specialized skills set in one of its largest sectors: schools and municipal. For example, RAB is actively working for the Fremont Unified High School District at five locations. “We have a number of projects in progress for the school district that involve our specialty in solar panel work, athletic facilities and synthetic turf,” says Bothman. “Our two mega projects for the moment are the Fremont Unified High School District and for Stockton Unified High School [four locations] where we are completely demolishing and overhauling the athletic fields and stadiums.”

The traditional grass fields will be replaced with synthetic turf designed especially for athletic fields that will reduce maintenance costs, and reduced water consumption. The design also incorporates a photovoltaic solar panel array, which the firm also currently installing at three other high schools, that will ultimately contribute 50 percent of the school district’s energy supply.

RAB’s prowess in assembling running track facilities has earned the company yearly awards from the ASBA for nearly a decade. Its been acknowledged for everything from landscape design to structural engineering to commercial renovations. Additionally, the company’s commitment to safety has earned recognition from the AGC.

Looking Ahead

“We’re also working on one of the largest design-build solar projects in the U.S. that has design approval, which is for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Hunter Liggett,” says Bothman. “It’s a huge reserve base and one of the largest training bases in the western part of the country. The base has recently been designated a Pilot Installation by the Army for its Net Zero program. One of the main goals is a net zero energy program. This solar project is a huge step for the Army to make towards sustainable design.”

The $8.3 million project will involve the construction of a one-megawatt solar power grid to be placed on top of a covered parking structure. Not only will the photovoltaic panels supply an estimated 30 percent of the base’s electricity needs, but also all materials must have been produced domestically.

In the near future, the firm will be working to combat the highly competitive public sector market by adhering to its principals and further diversifying its specialties. “We are more than just a standard general contracting company and we are aiming for a 15-percent growth rate,” says Bothman. “It’s hard to say for certain though right now. However, there have been a number of new bonds issued that will begin to mature into actual projects. This funding source combined with the shift in delivery methods and our growth in the sustainable market has a very positive impact.”

Built on strong ambitions, Robert A. Bothman Inc. continues its dedication to quality people, quality projects, and providing comprehensive construction service packages developed with creativity, innovation and efficiency.

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