Case Studies

Sanders Construction Services

Committed to Timely, Efficient Completions

Sanders Construction Services (SCS) is a full-service design-build general contractor headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif. Patrick B. Sanders, president and founder of SCS, runs the family business with his son, Ryan Sanders. Ryan, a project engineer for the company, is also a LEED Green Associate, and has been working on the expansion of SCS’s portfolio of LEED-certified projects.

Patrick has been in the business for many years, but LEED projects are new to the company. “We are just getting into the green building stuff,” says Ryan. “In the past our niche has been concrete structures and commercial buildings.” Operating from a single office, SCS performs projects mostly around Orange County, but Ryan says work has taken them as far north as the Burbank area and as far south as San Diego.

Success Stories

SCS has built a massive portfolio since the company was founded in 1994. Projects include medical centers, retail outlets, schools, apartment buildings and parking garages. Each project was executed efficiently, taking advantage of Patrick’s hands-on management style and his ability to assemble and communicate with an efficient team of detail-oriented experts.

“He has a deep knowledge of the building process,” explains Ryan. “That helps us save time, manpower and effort throughout a project.” The team builds plans and timelines to fit each individual design, examining potential obstacles before work begins on any project in order to avoid costly interruptions. SCS’s customers agree that Patrick and his team have saved them money, time and some serious potential headaches.

The business’ first project was a full renovation at Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles after an earthquake left the building completely devastated. Patrick was introduced to the bank’s president, Wayne Bradshaw, through a local developer who had experienced firsthand Patrick’s observant, honest attitude towards business. The bank’s insurance company deemed that flood damage throughout the five-story structure was too extensive for repair, however, Bradshaw decided to seek out a second opinion.

Patrick showed up for a walkthrough only to discover that the building did not have any sprinklers whatsoever. An enormous water heater and boiler expansion tank on the building’s roof had become dislodged during the earthquake, pouring water into the building for days, destroying the building’s interior as well as electronics, computers and records. The building’s integrity was challenged, but Patrick did not find the project impossible, however. Bradshaw was so impressed with the thoroughness of Patrick’s evaluation and consultation that he hired the SCS team on the spot to complete the renovation. The bank became a repeat client in following years and contracted SCS to perform several remodels on branches in the area.

Progressive Portfolio

Drawing on over 100 years of combined hands-on field experience, the 30 employees of SCS have the type of insight that has made the company an attractive choice for top-notch work at the best possible price. Ryan says the company is in the middle of its first LEED project.

Northwood Community Center is being built for the city of Irvine, Calif., and after three months on the project, Ryan says, “We’re right around 96- to 97-percent diversion from our demolition,” meaning almost everything SCS has torn down has avoided landfills. “We’re working with Tierra Verde Industries to develop our recycling program, Ryan explains. “Darren Ross has been a huge help for us from documentation to weighing and certification.” When it is completed, Ryan believes the center will achieve the LEED Gold standard for green construction.

SCS has several projects in the works, some LEED certified and some not. Ryan says the focus is on increasing sustainability in SCS’s practices and building more green experience. Maintaining quality is foremost for Ryan and Patrick, who maintain a network of reliable partners for projects. “We keep a list of subcontractors we’ve worked with who consistently offer the best quality and price,” explains Ryan. “Especially on LEED projects, we need subs we can trust to get the job done right.”

While SCS relies on quality licensed and insured subcontractors for certain specialty and LEED-related trades and to reinforce the company’s ranks when needed, the preference is to have the SCS team self-perform most of its work. “We do all of our concrete, plumbing and grading,” Ryan elaborates. “A lot of the time we’re the ones doing soft demo, masonry and drywall, too.” Self-performance saves SCS time and money on these projects and allows Ryan and his father to maintain quality control. “Having our own guys to perform our work makes things a lot easier,” says Ryan. “And the experience of our crew allows us to do things other companies can’t.”

The company’s ability to undertake complex challenges and offer practical, time and cost-saving options kept the business afloat throughout the recession, although Ryan says he has seen a huge decline in the amount of public projects up for bid. “We were doing a lot of private work for some time,” he explains. “There were projects like a big two-year apartment project we were working on.” There are less long-term developments currently finding financing, but constant client referrals have kept the team busy and Ryan says the public projects are starting to come back.

Ryan is looking forward to expanding SCS’ reputation to include more environmentally focused service, especially in the public sector. “We’re heading into more LEED projects,” he says. “Especially with schools and public works we’re seeing more and more projects that are designed to fit these standards.” Patrick and Ryan Sanders are continuing to build important relationships on their values of integrity, quality and service, reinforcing Sanders Construction Services as a go-to strategic partner in green building.

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Spring 2018



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