As in years past, W&C profiles one of our Top 50 Contractors as a complementary piece to the annual list. It is with great interest and pleasure that we focus on HRTLND Companies, a subcontractor that installs metal framing, insulation, drywall, acoustical solutions, EIFS, plaster, painting, wallcovering, rainscreen systems, exterior claddings, window treatments, door frames and hardware.
This year, the company celebrates its 20-year anniversary. After two decades, HRTLND employs 150 people and has two offices—one in Des Moines, the other in Cedar Rapids.
“I would say our specialty is responding to emergency or difficult situations quickly,” says COO Scott Turczynski. “We have four Special Projects vans where a craftsman can do certain jobs from start to finish easily. For example, on a Friday, we had a client have a sprinkler pipe break. We mitigated flooring, ceiling and walls and were ready for paint the following Monday. It is this ability to be nimble and be there for our clients when they need us that strengthens our relationships with our customers.”
He says another specialty the company is known for is its “prefab state of mind,” where the company continues to pursue ways to save labor on job sites by prefabricating pieces at its warehouse to be easily and quickly installed on the site.
Turczynski started working with a wall and ceiling contractor directly after graduating from Iowa State University, with a degree in Construction Engineering. After working there for eight years, HRTLND was conceived and founded by him, Scott Bleich and Kim Pullen.
“HRTLND has realized tremendous growth in both revenue and product offerings over these years,” says Cody Woiwood, project manager at HRTLND. “One of our core values is a ‘can-do’ attitude towards projects—a commitment to identify innovative services and solutions not offered by others, or those that we can provide at a lower cost due to our service efficiencies. Leaning into this core value is only to going to continue to bring more growth to the company in the future.”
The Bottom Line
Turczynski, when asked how business for the company is right now, reports that margins are tight despite the opportunities out there. “We all know construction is crazy right now and there are many opportunities to bid, but not all of it is advantageous to us,” he says. “HRTLND brings value through innovation and service-focused work, which does not always the equal lowest bid. Workforce is still a challenge, and we recognize we can only take on so much work, to provide the level of service we—and our customers—expect.”
According to Turczynski, the company has closely been monitoring what types of projects are open for bidding and according to him, there has been an increase in warehouse-type projects and a decrease in office and retail. He says the company continues to see many opportunities for future growth.
“Currently we are at a record backlog – the most ever experienced in our 20 years of service and as opportunities continue to present themselves, we will pursue them for the continued health of our company,” Turczynski says.
With the company just becoming an ESOP, HRTLND is working on a communication plan to help employees and owners understand the value and to share this commitment to the HRTLND family with its colleagues, partners and community. The company is presently working to have a designated prefab warehouse and additional storage space in the next three years, along with potential expansion of its corporate office in Des Moines. With its expansion to Cedar Rapids, the contractor is discovering more opportunities and will continue to explore other regions where HRTLND can bring value and services to those communities.
Project: Des Moines University – New Campus
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Architect: RDG Planning & Design
General Contractor: Turner Construction
Recently, HRTLND was contracted to work on Des Moines University’s new campus. Set across 88 acres of the West Des Moines Innovation Corridor, Des Moines University's ground-up campus establishes a destination for students, faculty, staff and others of the university. The project will include four buildings with various programs including academic, office, student support services, recreation and operations support services. The building square footage will total approximately 350,000 square feet in the construction’s first phase.
The campus will include flexible environments that allow for didactic, active learning and small group work. Learning studios and laboratories will be technology-rich while simulated health care environments will reflect those of modern care facilities, providing learners with a safe environment in which to practice patient care.
Wellness and recreation facilities will allow students, faculty and staff to stay active and healthy. An integrated student clinic will provide access to care for students to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle and a private student counseling suite will ensure students have access to mental health care. The campus will also feature a mix of open and enclosed collaboration spaces that converge in the heart of the campus.
The entire campus has also been designed with the ability to grow and evolve over time. Flexibility will allow the university to respond to future needs in health care and health care education.
The campus is expected to open next year, just in time for the school’s 125th anniversary.
The scope of the project for HRTLND included interior framing, insulation, drywall, acoustical ceiling tile, and specialty products (metal ceiling panels, metal interior wall panels, acoustical baffles, and acoustical wall panels).
The architect designed the walls to extend from finished floor to deck to meet a high acoustical sound rating, which would prevent disruptive noises from one classroom to another while maximizing the space for each room. This was accomplished by the wall types (i.e., sizes, insulation, and layers of rock) and in some rooms was aided by the specialty items that would be fixed to the wall, such as acoustical wall panels. Ceilings were designed to aid in the prevention of the acoustical leakage while providing ease of access to service MEP, if required, that is running above the ceiling and providing different visuals.
“The most interesting aspect of this project has been the drive and push for a project to utilize material that had the lowest impact to the environment,” says Woiwood. “This did not come easily but through proper submittal procedures and QA/QC. The project and team has done a great job in minimizing the impact that this project has on the environment.
“The most challenging aspect of this project would be the logistics, materials/products being limited and on back order, items coming from overseas with port issues and to top it off, a ‘just-in-time’ delivery work site,” Woiwood continues. “It has been a shifting target to keep the proper flow rate of material being deliver to the site for it to be utilized. Items that were not used would need to be properly stored off-site, thus creating a constant verification material usage by week’s end and adjusting as needed.”
- Acoufelt Acoustical Panels and Acoustical Wall Panels
- CertainTeed Architectural Acoustical Panels
- ClarkDietrich Metal Studs, Drywall Accessories/Framing
- Conwed Acoustical Wall Panels
- Lindner Metal Ceiling panels (drop and slide as well as a custom fabricated ceiling)
- Marino\WARE Metal Studs
- Rigidized Metals (Metal) Interior Wall Panels
- USG Acoustical Ceiling Tiles
- USG/Kinetics Acoustical Ceiling Quiet Tiles