Major projects booked before the recession allowed High Concrete Group of Denver, Pa., to more than double its revenue in 2009. The fabricator of precast and prestressed products for commercial buildings branched into the bridge business during the past year, tapping into the experience of sister firm High Steel.
“We’ve had to focus on the few segments were there is some money—the universities and schools,” says Tom McEvoy, executive vice president of High Concrete, which was founded in 1919. “And we’re doing more with the military. Those are markets that 10 years ago were not a primary focus, but they are now.”
McEvoy says he expects the economy could bounce along at the bottom for more than a year, based on the fact that architects’ new work continues to be slow.
“We’re not that optimistic, which has forced us to look at innovation and new segments,” McEvoy says.
High Concrete recently introduced a NEXT Beam product and it developed a method for shipping on an angle a 15-ft-wide by 60-ft-long double-T flooring piece to avoid the need for truck escorts.
In conjunction with competitors, High Concrete formed AltusGroup and helped to develop CarbonCast, which uses light, noncorrosive carbon fiber instead of steel mesh in precast panels for building facades and parking garages.