Every year in the construction industry, some firms achieve new milestones in contracts or find success where others faltered. As the new year gets under way amid what may be the twinklings of an economic recovery, ENR Southwest looks at six diverse companies whose work could make a difference in the coming year, and help to shape and refine the future of the region's construction industry.

Kovach Inc.

Metal panel subcontractor uses design-assist to add panache to key projects

Specializing in the fabrication and installation of high-quality metals, aluminum composite material and stone veneers for complex exterior designs, Kovach also provides in-house design assistance, 3D modeling and high-definition, laser-scanned building surveys.

“We have been able to put our products on buildings that typically would not be able to support a high-end finish by using the design-team approach with our architectural and general-contracting customers,” says company President Stephen E. Kovach IV.

The Chandler, Ariz.-based firm reported $30.8 million in revenue and rose 16 spots to 36th place in ENR Southwest’s 2010 Top Specialty Contractors. Kovach completed installation work at Casino Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the 14-story Maricopa County Courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

In 2011, the firm expects to start an $11-million contract at the 600,000-sq-ft Nashville Music City Center, the restoration of the Pauley Pavilion at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and two stations for the Sky Train at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. Kovach has opened a second manufacturing facility next to its headquarters to supply the demand.

Rohde May Keller McNamara Architecture

Designer of many award-winning projects

This Albuquerque-based firm’s revenue nearly doubled between 2008 and 2009. Buildings under way include the $106-million San Carlos Apache Health Care Facility in Graham County, Ariz.; $160-million University of New Mexico (UNM) Rio Rancho Sandoval Regional Medical Center, targeting LEED Silver; $21.5 million Isleta Pueblo Tribal Services Complex; and the $9 million Albuquerque Police Dept.’s Sixth Area Command Headquarters, targeting LEED Gold.

“We take pride in our diverse portfolio of projects that are made up of one-of-a-kind, unique responses to the functional and environmental specifics of each project,” says principal Mark Rohde, AIA.

Also started in 2010 were the $12-million UNM Technology Center and Classroom Building in Gallup and the $13.6-million Guadalupe County Hospital in Santa Rosa, N.M., both targeting LEED Silver.

The firm is currently designing a new Albuquerque library and expansion of the city's museum, plus a veteran's museum in Las Cruces.

“What’s common about our body of work is a commitment to structural and material honesty and an emphasis on bold and seamless connections between interior and exterior architecture,” Rohde says.

The firm’s UNM Cancer Center won ENR’s Best of the Best 2010 award in health care.

Aggregate Industries, Southwest Region

Mega-mergers create heavy-highway giant

Founded in 1858, this U.K.-based construction and building materials firm only recently became a Nevada contracting colossus. The company acquired Southern Nevada Paving in 2003, then a year later bought Frehner Construction Co., Nevada’s largest transportation contractor at the time. The firm owns several quarries, including the 530-acre Sloan Mountain site with 650 million tons of limestone reserves, plus a dozen asphalt hot-plants, six gravel-crushing operations and hundreds of trucks and equipment.

“While economists predict a sluggish construction outlook in 2011, we are equipped to weather the storm due to our integrated contracting and materials approach,” says Aggregate vice president Sean Stewart.