Valiant – Wilhelm Partnership – A new Force to be reckoned with in the construction industry
Valiant Construction is relative newcomer in the construction industry. Established in 2009 as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, Valiant is quickly making its mark in the Midwest with several federal construction projects now under its belt. Valiant President Patrick Broderick, knows the value of strategic alliances and has worked with F.A. Wilhelm Construction on a number of projects, developing a successful partnership built on the strengths of both companies.
Broderick said that having disabled veteran-owned status allows his company to bid on federal contracts that aren’t open to the general public. “We like working with Wilhelm and often invite them to bid on these contracts with us,” he said.
“Wilhelm is easy to work with and the company has a lot of resources,” Broderick said. “They’re also able to handle very complex projects.” He explained that Wilhelm’s ability to provide construction management in addition to self-performing a lot of the work reduces the complexities that come with having to contract with several different companies to complete a project. In addition to construction management, Broderick said that the Wilhelm services Valiant uses the most is its concrete and steel work.
From a business perspective, the Valiant-Wilhelm partnership has been mutually beneficial. Valiant’s status as a disabled veteran-owned business makes it highly competitive for federally funded construction projects, and partnering with Valiant has allowed Wilhelm to more fully extend its reach into this market. In turn, Wilhelm has also helped Valiant become more competitive for large corporate projects. “Large companies have veteran and small business goals as well as diversity goals they like to meet, Broderick said, “We feel more comfortable going to those bigger companies with someone we trust.”
In addition to making Valiant more competitive for corporate projects, Broderick said his company’s partnership with Wilhelm has been beneficial in other ways, too. “We’re still a pretty young company, and Wilhelm has been around a long time. It’s good to work with a company like that to emulate its practices.” Broderick added, “Even their high-level guys are accessible. I always feel comfortable calling on them when I need to.”
Valiant and Wilhelm have worked together on the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio and are currently working together on the Indianapolis, Indiana VA Hospital parking garage extension. The first project Valiant and Wilhelm partnered on was the historic Gene Snyder Federal Courthouse in Louisville, Kentucky.
The current work on the courthouse project is actually the second of two projects Wilhelm and Valiant teamed up on.
The first project involved reinforcing the first floor roof in the lightwell of the building in preparation for building a new courtroom on the second floor. A lightwell is an old architectural feature – an open area in the middle of a building designed to bring natural light to the interior rooms on the lower floors. The lightwell in the Gene Snyder Courthouse was open from the top of the six-floor building down to the first-floor roof, upon which the new courtroom would be built.
Working alongside TTV Architects, the Architect of Record, Valiant managed the construction needed to reinforce the roof while Wilhelm completed the structural steel work. When it came time to build the courtroom, Wilhelm was there to provide construction management services and concrete services.
According to Wilhelm Project Manager Aaron Tague, working with a historic building is always challenging – and this one is no different.
Leaks were a chief concern with the first project. Tague said that leaks are usually not an issue because most construction projects work from the ground up. However, the new courtroom was being built on an existing roof open to the elements. In order to install the new, structural steel roof, the team had to remove the existing roof taking great care to prevent leaks and working very quickly to fix any they found along the way.
The second project had its own set of challenges. To build the new courtroom atop the newly-reinforced roof, the Wilhelm-Valiant team first had to move a large boiler exhaust fan off of the first floor roof and onto a new platform constructed on the second floor. The Snyder building encompasses an entire city block and the team, working in the middle of that space, had to use much larger crane than would normally have been needed. Maneuvering such a large piece of equipment on a narrow city street wasn’t easy.
Tague said that despite these challenges, Valiant and Wilhelm were able to make both projects successful. He credits good teamwork and mutual respect for each company’s expertise. “It’s a compliment to Wilhelm that Valiant trusts us in areas where we have a lot of experience.”
Broderick said the Gene Snyder Courthouse project will be completed by the end of August, two months ahead of schedule. Finishing ahead of time is not unusual when working with Wilhelm, he said, “We’re both mindful of the schedule, and our companies work very well together.”
Tague agreed saying that Valiant and Wilhelm make a great team, “We’re proud to work with Valiant on projects like this. The more successful Valiant is the more successful Wilhelm is.”
Architects Rendering Copyrighted Material by TTV Architects, Inc.