The General Contracting division, of which Marc is in charge, offers general contracting in the commercial and public building sectors. The division has found a niche in churches, completing several since 1995. It has also found success in military structures, schools, retail spaces and police buildings.
T.B. Penick is involved in the decorative concrete market through its Innovative Concrete Systems division, established in 2000 when Byron and Frank Klemaske came on board with the company. Today, the Klemaskes oversee 165 employees, and in 2006 the division performed more than $16 million in decorative installations.
Through Innovative Concrete, T.B. Penick has seven finishes patented or patent pending under the Lithocrete brand. Lithocrete is an architectural concrete paving system which can be colored and accepts surface-seeded materials. Innovative Concrete has 22 Lithocrete licensees across the United States, and the division added an Ohio branch this year. In addition, Innovative Concrete Systems established a residential department in 2007 and plans to introduce a line of self-levelers in 2008.
As the decorative market across the United States has exploded, the Klemaskes have worked to stay on the cutting edge of trends, establishing T.B. Penick as a "go-to" company for the decorative industry. "We work really hard to emphasize we want to be a resource to the architectural community and builders. When they have a question about concrete, we want them to call us," Byron Klemaske says.
The plan is working. Architects and builders often take advantage of T.B. Penick's resources and bring clients to see the hundreds of sample finishes and applications on view at T.B. Penick's headquarters. T.B. Penick also allows architects and builders the use of its conference rooms for presentations or meetings that might coincide with a visit to T.B. Penick's sample space.
Klemaske encourages clients to visit T.B. Penick's "candy store," a shed full of colored aggregates, glass and other materials that can be incorporated into decorative concrete. T.B. Penick's two full-time sample staffers turn clients' ideas into hands-on examples. Klemaske says he likes to see clients choose colors and finishes on their own because people are more likely to accept a sample when it's something they feel they had a part in creating.
When a customer comes to Klemaske with a challenge, his team works to find them an answer. "If a client has an idea but doesn't know if it can be done with concrete, we're willing to work with them to find out," Klemaske says.
Another area of growth for T.B. Penick is the green building market. The company has LEED-accredited (LEED AP) employees on staff. Some of the Innovative Concrete division's offerings that contribute points toward LEED certification include Lithocrete, terrazzo, GrassCrete, alternative cementitious components and the HD Concrete Flooring System. T.B. Penick is also one of the leading installers of pervious concrete in the San Diego area. The company has worked with local architects to write performance specifications for projects to help ensure they get the sort of installation they're looking for.
T.B. Penick's other divisions have seen growth potential in the green building market, too. The company has been the designer/builder on five LEED-certified or compliant projects in the last three years - two facilities for the city of San Diego and three projects for the U.S. Navy. The company is currently involved in two more projects that are planning LEED certification. "Sustainable design in the public construction market has bloomed over the last five years," Tim says. "Over the next 15 years, it will continue to be a significant growth market. Folks who have experience and expertise in green construction are going to be in a good place."
Through their work in the green building industry, both as a general contractor and as a subcontractor, T.B. Penick has learned a few tricks to successfully executing sustainable design projects. "Gaining LEED certification is a complicated engineering task. You don't get LEED points by just saying you did something, you have to track how you build and have proof of what you did at the end of the project," Marc says. "You should also plan to achieve more points than the minimum number needed for the LEED certification level your client expects. If you need 33 points for a Silver rating, you should shoot for 40, and you might end up with a Gold rating."