Menu
  • © 2021 Bush Construction
  • Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm

News image

Resources

Meet the Team: Ryan Welborn

Ryan pictured with his wife and three little girls

Continuing our “Meet the Team” series, we’re kicking off this week profiling Ryan Welborn, Director of Construction. Ryan is a highly respected problem-solving machine with a sense of humor and a genuine love for his family.

Where do you live?

Orion, IL

What do you do at Bush Construction? 

I manage projects under construction and provide guidance/support to fellow associates who are managing projects of their own.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work? 

My father.  If you work hard, more often than not, good things will happen.

How do you prefer to start your day? 

I like to start really early in the morning before the family gets up with a cup of coffee organizing for the day to come.  By the time they are awake, I have typically caught up on the random things from the previous day and can spend time focusing on getting them ready for school and daycare.

How do you prefer to end your day? 

Hanging out with my wife and three little girls.

Bush Construction Interns: Where Are They Now?

Internships have the ability to make a lasting impact on both the student and the employer. While we may not stay in touch with all interns that have participated in our program, we have and will continue to remain strong supporters. Today is National Intern Day and we thought it would be fun to provide you with a “where are they now” update!

Jake Storjohann | 2015

I was an intern back in 2015, I worked with Ryan Welborn and the crew at the Davenport Fire Department. Since my internship, I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a construction management degree and accepted a job at Allied Construction Services as an estimator/project manager. I’ve enjoyed my time at Allied, it’s been very challenging and rewarding.

Evan Spurgetis | 2016

I interned at Bush Construction the summer after my sophomore year in undergrad (2016). The summer after my junior year I interned at Larson Engineering in their St. Louis office and worked there part-time throughout my senior year as well. After graduating from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2018, they hired me full-time. I worked in their St. Louis office for one year. I then transferred to the New York City office in the summer of 2019 where I have been for the past two years.

Jacob Rockey | 2017

I graduated from Iowa State University in December 2019 and currently work for Beck Group in Dallas, Texas. My project experience since interning at Bush started with building Dickies Sports Arena in Fort Worth. I am currently working as a Project Engineer on a Hospitality Center at American Airlines Headquarters as well as working on the preconstruction/construction for a project on the University of Texas at Arlington’s Campus. I loved my experience at Bush Construction and learned a lot working under Ryan Welborn. He helped jumpstart my passion for building!

Courtney McClaine | 2018

After interning at Bush Construction, I graduated in May 2020 with a B.S. in Construction Management from the University of Northern Iowa. I am currently at Streamline Architecture and Artisans as a Design Intern – however, I do a lot as a Project Manager for our Artisans team and a Marketing Coordinator for our coffee shop, Iron + Grain. This fall, I will be attending Kirkwood Community College in their Interior Design + Architecture program. I am really grateful for my time at Bush Construction and in the construction industry in general because it will help me in my future career as an Interior Designer.

Kyle Jecks | 2019

I interned at Bush Construction the second semester of my senior year at North Scott High School through the summer leading up to my first year at Iowa State University. It was an awesome experience!

This summer I have been interning at Power Construction in Chicago, IL. The project I’ve been working is One Chicago, which is a $500M development set to be the sixth tallest building in Chicago upon completion early next year. My time working on this project and living in the city has been wonderful—a life-changing experience!

I am heading into my junior year at ISU and absolutely love the atmosphere and culture. I’m involved with American General Contractors, the ASC commercial team competition, playing trumpet in the band, and extra roles I have taken on as a resident assistant. I like to stay busy and there are plenty of great opportunities to do so!

The Cause and Effect of Construction Material Shortages and Price Increases

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) published its latest Construction Inflation Alert that offers insight on the most recent construction material shortages and price increases. There’s a lot to unpack in the edition, so we’ve highlighted some of the most important key points for you.

Seismic Pricing Fluctuations

This isn’t the first time that the construction industry has faced rapid material shortages and increased costs. In 2004, materials rose from 3.6% to 10.0% and “remained above a 5% annual rate for a total of 31 months, before subsiding to a 3.2% rate in October 2006.” Other dramatic increases came in 2008 and 2017, however, COVID-19, natural disasters, and transportation issues have caused the most significant disruptions.

From May 2020 to May 2021, the price of:

  • materials and services used in construction skyrocketed 24.3%.
  • lumber and plywood rose 111%.
  • steel mill products climbed 76%.

While some material prices have come down since mid-May, they are still higher than what prices were a year ago.

If Only Construction Projects Were Like Buying a Car

When you buy a car, the cost to build it is already factored into the total price. In construction, the cost of work isn’t realized until after material purchases are made or the work is completed. This presents a huge risk to commercial general contractors and business owners, especially when large material price increases happen after committing to a project.

If you are an owner considering a new build, addition, or renovation, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • reserve funds for additions or modifications to your project’s scope of work to mitigate risk. This can be accomplished through an owner contingency fund.
  • ask your GC about an early procurement strategy for materials such as structural steel, reinforcing, and roofing.
  • be mindful of oil prices as oil and its by-products are used in manufacturing steel, PVC pipe, roofing material, and more. When oil prices go up, so do materials and the cost to transport them.

While we cannot control the global supply chain, we can ensure your experience remains positive through open, honest, and transparent communication. Our team strives to keep clients informed of fluctuations in pricing due to forces beyond our control.

If you have any questions on how today’s pricing fluctuations might impact your project, feel free to contact us using the form below.

To read AGC’s report, click here.

Meet the Team | Leslie Wells, Senior Project Coordinator

Leslie pictured with her husband, Mike, and son, Graham.

If you’ve worked with Leslie you know that one of her many strengths is providing clear and concise communication. Her high-energy, organized, and go-getter personality makes her a valuable asset to all of her project teams.

Leslie has been one of Bush Construction’s biggest cheerleaders, from leading our daily stretch and flex to assisting in any number of our philanthropic efforts. She joined the team in 2016 as a project coordinator and was recently promoted to a senior project coordinator.

What do you do at Bush Construction? 

I am the Senior Project Coordinator and am responsible for:

  • issuing and tracking contracts.
  • spinning up projects in our project management software.
  • leading the closeout process for projects that I am the PC on.
  • managing team members’ schedules.
  • assisting with cost tracking (create/issue/track sub and owner change orders).
  • managing our project coordinator/preconstruction coordinator department.
  • collaborating across multiple project teams to ensure successful project outcomes.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

I am currently working on studying for the Construction Industry Technician course through NAWIC.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

I first prioritize my day then knock out tasks that will take the least amount of time first, and go from there.  Headphones – they are also necessary some days!

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?

I am proud to say that before coming to work for Bush Construction I had minimal knowledge of the construction industry. I have been able to be successful and gain so much knowledge working here thanks to a team that welcomes diverse opinions and provides opportunities for growth.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I don’t have a lot of spare time, but when I do I enjoy being outside and anything that involves being with our friends, family, and their kids.

Where do you live?

My husband, Mike, and our son, Graham, currently live in Davenport where we are both from. We recently purchased a property in Blue Grass, Iowa, and are in the beginning stages of building our forever home!

 

Meet the Team | Wayne Gordon, Director of Preconstruction

Wayne Gordon Family
Wayne pictured with his wife, Jenny, and their beautiful children Audrina, Kinzie, Callen, Laikynn, Colson

Wayne is the perfect mix of calm and collected. He joined Bush Construction in 2009 as a Project Engineer and quickly moved up to Project Manager. He’s been an integral member of our estimating and now preconstruction department. As the new director of preconstruction, Wayne oversees our preconstruction services including estimating, budgeting, procurement, constructability reviews, business development, and coordination of the preconstruction phase. Outside of work, Wayne is an involved husband, father, and community member.

What do you do at Bush Construction?

Director of Preconstruction

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

My Dad

What was your first job?

Working on the family farm, where we raised hogs, corn, and soybeans

Where do you live?

In the country, near DeWitt, Iowa

What’s your favorite holiday?

Christmas

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Movie night with my family

 

Meet the Team | Chuck Geyer, Superintendent II

Chuck Geyer, Bush Construction Superintendent II
Chuck Geyer, Bush Construction Superintendent II

How many times have you said, “it’s nice to put a name with a face?” This week we’re launching a Meet the Team series so you can get to know our growing team of construction experts. From the field to the office, our team wears many hats and is dedicated to providing customers with a great construction experience.

This year Chuck Geyer was promoted to Superintendent II. Chuck has been a valued team member since 2014 and has done an excellent job of cultivating relationships with project owners. Additionally, Chuck is a leader who gets things done the right way, the first time.

What do you do at Bush Construction? 

Project Superintendent responsible for the daily coordination of trades in the execution of building construction, while working to ensure the project is completed in accordance with the project design, budget, and schedule.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

Communication. People seem more productive when they are informed. Ensuring that every trade knows what is to be done in order for them to complete their task, and what they need to complete for the following trade to complete their task is an important key.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

I’ve tried to pick up something from everyone I meet. Sometimes it’s a positive influence, and sometimes it’s something you want to sure you don’t do. Both are important.

How do you prefer to start your day?

With coffee and silence. I like to get up early and get to the job before anyone else. Coffee is the easy part, silence is not.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 

My wife, Kelly, and I like to golf as much as possible when the weather permits. We have been married for 10 years this December.

Michael Johnson Promoted to Chief Operating Officer

Michael Johnson, Chief Operating Officer

Bush Construction announced today Michael Johnson will transition to a new role as Chief Operating Officer. Johnson will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies that deliver unmatched customer and employee experiences and attract new business opportunities. In addition, Johnson will help lead the company’s business operations, including sales and marketing, construction, design, and real estate development.

In his prior role as Director of Integrated Design and Technology, Johnson was responsible for leading the Bush Construction design department. An architect by trade, Johnson has been deeply involved with guiding the company’s overall technology and innovation strategy for the past seven years.

“Michael has played an important role in developing valuable operational strategies that have impacted many parts of our company, and he has done it largely behind the scenes,” said A.J. Loss, Bush Construction’s President/CEO. “Michael’s breadth of experience, people-first mentality, and drive for operational excellence will continue to turn great ideas into positive results. I’m excited for him in this new role.”

“At Bush Construction, we have a team of many talented and driven people,” said Johnson. “I look forward to the opportunity to work toward a strong future with each one of them, and to do it in a much greater capacity than I have been able to before. Together, our team will continue to make an impact on our built environment in the Quad-City area and beyond and provide relationship-driven customer service.”

Michael Patterson of the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and COVID-19

We had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Patterson, President and CEO of Mississippi Valley Surgery Center (MVSC), in a recent podcast. Our conversation with Michael uncovered so many new discoveries, including COVID-19 procedures MVSC has implemented to ensure the health, safety and well-being of its patients and staff, how software has sped the intake process and the rise in popularity of ambulatory surgery centers.

MVSC’s Response to COVID-19

MVSC’s Medical Plaza encompasses two surgery centers – an endoscopy center and a surgery center. MVSC’s initial response to COVID-19 was to close the endoscopy center for two months and only perform urgent surgeries at the surgery center. Like most healthcare providers, gaining access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and responding to staff concerns about treating patients in a COVID environment were top priorities.

In addition, MVSC immediately adopted new screening and surgical procedures to increase the safety of its patients and staff, including:

  • testing all patients for COVID prior to surgery. If a patient tests positive, they wait 30 days from when they were first tested before undergoing surgery.
  • scheduling urgent surgeries at the end of the day. This happens when a patient requires surgery without delay, but there isn’t enough time to test the patient and receive results before surgery.
  • modifying their waiting room to reduce the number of people standing in line to check-in. All patients, staff, providers, and reps now enter through a dedicated room where they are screened for temperature, complete a questionnaire, and a patients’ pulse ox is taken.
  • restricting visitors unless the patient is a minor. If the patient is a minor, only one visitor can accompany the patient in the facility.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

MVSC is physician-driven, which means patients must consult their doctor before scheduling their procedure. While MVSC is operating five days a week, patients have been choosing to wait longer to make an appointment with their provider as they are more cautious about scheduling elective surgeries. As a result, MVSC has experienced a downturn in the volume of surgeries performed.

On the upside, MVSC’s patient satisfaction scores are rising. MVSC staff believe this increase is due to their ability to spend more time on their patients and less time accommodating family members. However, to ensure a patient’s loved ones are informed of their progress through surgery, MVSC launched an application that allows approved individuals to receive a consistent stream of updates.

Technology has also changed the pre-op process. Before COVID, patients would typically visit MVSC’s facility before the day of surgery. The patient would then have the option to either complete a pre-op health history form online or with a nurse in-person.  Most preferred to answer questions in-person. Now, utilization of the online form is over 60% (up from 20%). As a result, MVSC is spending more time on the phone educating patients about what they can expect leading up to their surgery, how the day of their procedure will go and all the COVID safety measures the facility has implemented.

The Rise of Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Advancements in both surgical and pharmacological technology have allowed ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) like MVSC to perform advanced procedures in an outpatient setting. For example, total joint surgeries that were once done in a hospital and required a multiple-day stay can now be performed in an ASC, and the patient can go home within a 24-hour period. Another industry trend has been to transition cardiology from the traditional hospital setting to an ASC. With a complete cath lab onsite, MVSC can perform these procedures at their complex.

Convenience and cost savings are additional benefits to patients. At the MVSC, patients can park and be just steps away from the front door without having to navigate through a complex hospital facility. And while hospitals are vital to the nation’s healthcare, Medicare reimburses ASCs 50% of the amount a hospital receives for performing the same procedure. A study conducted by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association found that ASCs save employers and consumers tens of billions of dollars a year.

Preparing for the Future

To accommodate for innovations in healthcare, MVSC has made significant transformations to its complex. For example, bay areas that were once wide open are now private recovery rooms. MVSC also modernized the flow of its buildings to maximize the efficiency of its staff and the patient flow. Bush Construction has had the honor of being involved in several of these projects.

About Mississippi Valley Surgery Center

Mississippi Valley Surgery Center was founded in 1996 by a group of physicians and has grown exponentially into one of the preeminent surgery centers in the Midwest. Currently, MVSC is the only advanced certified AAAHC Orthopedic and Spine ambulatory surgery center in the state of Iowa. MVSC specialties include orthopedics, ENT, gastroenterology, pain, ophthalmology, cataract surgeries, plastic surgery, general surgery and more.

Bush Construction Selected as Varco Pruden Builder

We’re pleased to announce Varco Pruden (VP) Buildings, a world leader in steel systems construction, recognizes Bush Construction as an authorized builder. As one of only two VP builders in our region, this new partnership provides us with exclusive building opportunities and discounted pricing.

“We are excited about the partnership with VP and all the possibilities it will bring to our customers,” said Jerod Engler, Senior Vice President at Bush Construction. “Our team will be able to design and price buildings in-house, speeding response times and increasing our cost-competitiveness of pre-engineered steel building solutions.”

Bush Construction will have exclusive access to VP Command, a proprietary design, engineering, estimating, and ordering program utilized by VP builders. VP Command reduces both estimating and design time and accurately details building structures.

About Varco Pruden

Since 1948, VP has been a world leader in pre-engineered steel building systems.

  • Specializes in pre-engineered buildings ranging in size from 1,200 –1 million sq ft.
  • Has a network of manufacturing and service centers located across the country.
  • Partners with 1,000+ independent, authorized VP builders like Bush Construction.

The Pros and Cons of the Construction Manager as Constructor Delivery Method

Continuing our journey of defining the four most common construction delivery methods, today we’re talking about all things Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc). This method is also referred to as Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR).  This delivery method could be defined as “the silver bullet” delivery method because it’s incredibly versatile and can be used by almost any owner. There is one exception. CMc is not allowed as a delivery method for public works projects – think public schools, police stations, etc. – in 3 of the 50 US states.

The Pros of Construction Manager as Constructor

This delivery method provides an array of benefits to an owner, including:

  • The freedom to select the contractor with whom they want to work.
  • The perspective of both the designer (architect) and contractor during the preconstruction phase.
  • The advantage of receiving accurate cost opinions and project timelines based on current market conditions.
  • The ability to fast-track their project.

It’s sometimes advantageous for an owner to fast-track their project when their construction timeline is very tight. While their building’s design may not yet be fully completed, some aspects of construction can begin. For example, an owner and designer may still be selecting windows; however, since the foundation has already been designed, the contractor can break ground and start work.

Another benefit of this delivery method is that, as the design process progresses, the CM can offer constructability reviews. Let’s take a medical center for example. An MRI machine needs to be placed in the basement; however, the building’s existing doors aren’t wide enough for the equipment to safely fit through them. After speaking with the equipment provider and understanding how many pieces the machine can be broken down into, the contractor will offer several options to get the equipment into the space, from opening a wall, to going through a window, or even leaving open an entire face of the building in order to install the machine before completing the facade. If each of these scenarios aren’t considered when developing the drawings, the cost to install the machine could result in a significant increase to the owner and could delay the project.

The Cons of Construction Manager as Constructor

Some owners may be uncomfortable selecting a contractor before the design is complete because they don’t yet have a firm understanding of the total cost of their project.

Typically, an owner who is considering hiring a construction manager (CM) at the same time as their designer will ask the CM to identify their construction management fee. This fee is often a percentage of the overall cost of the work. What’s important for the owner to understand is that the CM will deliver this cost of work in an open book accounting format. For example, once the design is complete, the CM will obtain quotes from trade contractors like electricians, carpenters, etc. Then, the CM will present these quotes to the owner and they will then work collaboratively to select the best team for the project.  The CM fee is then applied to the cost of the work and the total project costs are known.  So, while the total cost of the project may not be known when the contractor is selected, the owner has the early expertise of the CM to ensure the project’s costs are competitive and help achieve the desired project budget.

Timing is Critical When Selecting a Construction Manager as Constructor

The sooner an owner selects a designer and CM, the better. The most significant benefit of this delivery method is the ability to have a clearly defined scope of work created collaboratively during the design process with the owner, designer, and CM.

If an owner waits to hire a CM until the drawings are partially complete, the owner loses the benefit of the contractor’s expertise during the early design phases.  These early design phases are when the CM has the greatest ability to ensure the owner’s budget is aligned with the intended design.  When the budget and design are aligned, costly redesign and design phase schedule delays can be avoided.

How NOT to select a Construction Manager as Constructor

In some cases, the owner may want to select a CM based on a firm fixed price for a project that is only partially designed.  We have witnessed several cases where this approach was not in the owner’s long-term best interest.  One of these cases was an automobile dealership. We were one of three CMs being considered and were the only one with past dealership experience. Because the drawings were incomplete, our proposal listed all the aspects of the project we knew would be needed but weren’t specifically identified in the drawings.  These additional scope items increased our overall cost of the project and we were not selected.   Ultimately, the owner selected a contractor without dealership experience who “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” At the end of the project, the selected contractor provided all features the owner needed, but at a significantly greater cost to the owner and with a longer design and construction timeline.

The fee-based approach mentioned above has proven to be the best way for an owner to select a CM.

Owners Best Suited for this Delivery Method

Owners that tend to favor the CMc delivery method are those with complex projects, need to meet a demanding construction schedule or are adding onto or renovating their occupied facility. We recently finished a CMc delivery method project for a private higher education client that included renovating their existing 38,000 SF building and constructing a 16,000 SF new addition. Another project currently underway is a church renovation and addition. While the facility isn’t fully occupied during the weekdays, by Sunday mornings we must ensure the building is clean and the flow of traffic is safe for Sunday parishioners.

Learn More

We recently published a podcast on the CMc delivery method. To hear more real-world use cases, tune into the episode here. In addition, follow our blog series on the construction delivery methods:

 

Have an inquiry?
Contact us.