Case Studies

Roger & Sons Concrete Inc.: Building Landmarks of Today and Tomorrow

  • Written by: Roger & Sons Concrete Inc.: Building Landmarks of Today and Tomorrow
  • Produced by: Roger & Sons Concrete Inc.: Building Landmarks of Today and Tomorrow
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Companies don’t just win landmark contracts like the World Trade Center Tower Four overnight. It takes a lifetime of accumulated industry experience and a proactive approach at every jobsite to attract the kind of attention needed to even be considered. Roger and Sons Concrete Inc. (RSC) has amassed the required expertise over five lifetimes of practice. RSC was founded in 1975 by Acacio “Roger” Rodrigues as a small concrete contracting company. Today, the third-generation company is run by Roger’s three sons Tony, Joseph and Manny.

Based out of Lagrangeville, New York, RSC tackles logistical curveball projects with a combination of seasoned concrete professionals, team work and cutting edge technology. “The RSC difference is not only our technical ability, but is also that we have always been willing to embrace new technologies to give us a competitive edge in the industry,” asserts Peter Rodrigues, executive project manager at RSC. “Most importantly, we are known for working well with consultants, especially regarding structural steel since concrete and structural steel, which go hand-in-hand,” Rodrigues continues. As a union only employer, the company has a solid grasp of its labor costs, which usually account for 50 to 60 percent of a project’s budget, but needed something to help it track all of the other factors that go into a project. The new accounting system was developed in-house, specifically to help the company track between 150 and 250 separate costs. This comes in handy when working on three to four projects across the Tri-state area at any given time. In addition, the system even allows employees to track and budget expenses according to each phase of construction, which enables results to be monitored diligently on a weekly basis.

Working Its Way Up, Up and Beyond

RSC, 10 years earlier, established itself as a specialty concrete contractor capable of taking any challenge in stride when it was hired to build the American Folk Art Museum. The building’s design is almost entirely concrete and RSC was approached as one of only a handful of concrete contractors in New York specializing in architectural concrete buildings. RSC faced a fast-track schedule from the beginning, as well as the challenges of working on a small construction site nestled against the Museum of Modern Art in the middle of busy Manhattan. The firm worked with numerous consulting firms along the process, adjusting effortlessly when changes were made to the design, ultimately setting the pace for the other trades onsite. Construction took a year longer than expected, but the resulting product packs a big punch for such a small site, accumulating numerous awards and praise from architectural experts around the world. As an added bonus, the building was one of the first to finish construction following the attacks of September 11, making it a personal triumph for RSC.

Seven years later, RSC crews were wrapping up work on the apartment buildings that would eventually lead to its largest and most meaningful contract to date. In 2008, RSC crews finished work on two 50-story tall towers on a fast track schedule. The feat attracted the attention, of what would later be, Tischman Construction’s construction manager for the World Trade Center Tower Four. Tischman Construction may have surprised others by inviting the comparatively small RSC to bid, but RSC was not alarmed. RSC provided the lowest and winning bid. “For the past few years we have been staying away from the jobs that everyone can do and targeting the jobs that require the technical skill and experience we have. It’s as simple as playing to your strengths,” insists Rodrigues. In this case, RSC’s extensive expertise in building hi-rises with challenging logistics sealed the deal.

Rising to the Challenge with a Little Help

One of the biggest challenges on-site at the World Trade Center has been sourcing enough concrete to keep up with the construction schedule. “On any given project, we have a group of three or four suppliers we will pull from, but for the WTC there’s really only two companies I can trust to keep up,” admits Rodrigues. Rodrigues estimates that the firm will need 110,000 cubic yards of concrete, which translates to 11,000 truckloads that deliver up to four times daily. RSC has even been credited with speeding construction along, developing a wedding cake, tiered approach to the work schedule instead of moving floor by floor. Crews work on a two-day cycle, framing forms one day and pouring new ones the next.

At any given point there is a lot of concrete in the pipeline and much of it is specialty, blast-proof concrete. Therefore, RSC limits its business negotiations to a select group of suppliers it knows firsthand will pull through, even for things outside of building materials. When it came time to order safety products, there was absolutely no question which company RSC would turn to. For 10 years now, Safetywise Supply LLC has been present at the WTC site, and was one of the first suppliers to contractor working during the Rescue and Recovery phase. Safetywise has proven time, and again, its ability and willingness to make deliveries multiple times a day and at all hours, to keep workers on-site as safe as possible.

RSC plans to pursue slow and steady growth by pursuing opportunities to expand its niche capabilities. “We just hired a detailing specialist to offer in-house detailing and coordination because of the kinds of jobs we are pursuing,” states Rodrigues. The firm will also focus on developing its in-house talent for project management positions, which will enable it to pursue the detail-oriented projects. As the company approaches its 40-year anniversary, Roger & Sons Concrete Inc. is well-positioned to augment its already impressive portfolio of completed projects with contracts to build the Tri-state area’s landmarks of tomorrow.

Published on: March 10, 2013

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