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April 30, 2015

Survey: Howard S. Wright

Image from LMN Architects [enlarge]
Howard S. Wright has started a 21-story office for Trammell Crow Co. in the Denny Triangle. The tower is in the center.

Specialty: Commercial, high-tech, health care, justice, multifamily housing, aviation

Management: Dan Peyovich, Washington division president

Founded: 1885

Local office: Seattle

2014 revenues: $3.9 billion company-wide

Projected 2015 revenues: $4.6 billion company-wide

Current projects: Harrison Medical Center expansion, Silverdale; King County Children and Family Justice Center, Seattle; 1007 Stewart St. office building, Seattle

Howard S. Wright’s Dan Peyovich weighed in on the popularity of his office’s wellness room and the company’s acquisition by construction giant Balfour Beatty.

Q: Which market sector is most active for you right now?

A: We have a great mix of ground-up office, health care, interior projects and public work. This diverse portfolio gives our people more choices in which to learn and grow, and provides our clients with teams who leverage diverse experience for the best solutions.

Q: Is there a sector that’s due to slow down or pick up?

A: We don’t foresee drastic movement in any of these markets in the near term.

Q: Are there parts of your business you’re looking to expand?

A: With our diversified portfolio, we are looking for gradual growth across all of our major sectors.

Q: How many employees do you have? Will that change over the next year or two?

A: About 100 salaried staff. We’ve grown around 10 percent over the past year and are projecting growth of around 10 percent again this year.

Q: What’s new since being acquired by Balfour Beatty in 2011?

A: It’s been fantastic for our people and our business. As a Balfour Beatty company, we are able to provide our people opportunities that didn’t exist before. Whether it’s a new role scaling innovation, opportunities in different locations, or enhanced local opportunities as a result of leveraging our national portfolio and clients, we continue to challenge and support our people in both their personal and professional development.

On the business side, we provide our clients with national services and expertise to suit their needs, and can leverage our entire company to bring the right experts to the right projects.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you’re facing now?

A: Design and construction in Seattle are getting busy quickly. This limits subcontractor capacity for new projects and also manpower from both a staff and craft perspective.

The biggest challenge continues to be finding quality talent at all of these levels. We are spending significant time with universities and local trade organizations on recruiting people into construction, both in the field and office — still, we foresee a significant gap between need and talent available in the coming years.

Q: Your new Seattle headquarters has a wellness room where employees can unwind. Which gets more use, the pingpong table or the Xboxes?

A: It’s a tie! Our people use the pingpong table constantly, but families use the Xboxes the most. On an afternoon you might find someone’s children in playing Xbox when a spouse had to drop them off to go somewhere.

We love having the energy in the office, and easing our people’s day everywhere we can. We’ve recently upgraded the wellness room to include yoga through CorePower Yoga, and boxing training with the addition of a heavy bag — it’s a blast!

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