It also means going to where the work is.

"It's a lot easier for a lot of contractors to just send their guys home and minimize the risk and slow things down, [while] we will reach out," Moore says. "We've gone to Beaumont and done a big project for Exxon; we've done a big project in the middle of Texas A&M's College Station campus. It's caused our guys to travel some, but they all are very appreciative. They know that we're working hard to keep them working."

MacDowell also emphasizes that TDI has never cut its training and development activities, even in tough times.

One of the firm's customers, Tellepsen Corp., has worked with it on several projects, including Texas Children's Hospital West Campus and the University of Houston Health and Biomedical Sciences Center.

"TDI's services are top-notch. They use advanced technology, they have good cost information and whether it be in preconstruction or in construction, the people they put on their jobs are very competent, and equally [important] they have the right attitude," says Howard Tellepsen Jr., the company's CEO. "They're very customer-focused, and their people do what they say they're going to do."

More Than Mega

Also on TDI's project list this year was the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Terminal Renovation. Through a joint venture with Philips/May, TDI is renovating the mechanical and plumbing systems and providing general works support for Terminal A. The $85-million project should be complete by the end of 2014, ahead of the overall renovation plan at the airport, which is estimated at $1.9 billion and set for completion in 2017.

But big projects aren't the only ones for TDI.

"We're not just a mega-job company from a construction perspective. We really do focus resources and delivery on a wide range of project sizes, everything from $50,000 to $50 million," MacDowell says. "I think that's one of the reasons why we've been very successful."

Moore points out that special projects, anything in an existing structure by TDI's definition, have really grown in the past year. That business unit, which is in the Houston office, has almost doubled in the last six years.