A History of Integrity and Project Success

E.W. Howell
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

For over 120 years, E.W. Howell has built a reputation for quality, excellence and integrity in the New York building community…
Founded in 1891, E.W. Howell is a well established General Construction and Construction Management firm with offices in Manhattan and on Long Island, serving a diverse market of clients, both public and private.

E.W. Howell began as a partnership between Brown and Howell, building notable homes for well recognized names such as Guggenheim, Hutton and Pratt on the north shore of Nassau County, Long Island. Howell eventually bought Brown out of the company and over time E.W. Howell evolved from being primarily an estate builder to serving the commercial and institutional construction markets.

Moving away from residential construction and into the commercial construction industry post-depression, E.W. Howell continued to grow to become one of the most prominent construction firms in New York, serving the metropolitan region, the five boroughs, all of Long Island including Nassau and Suffolk Counties, North Jersey, Western Connecticut and the Lower Hudson Valley.

From 1997 to the present, under the leadership of President Howard Rowland and his partners, E.W. Howell has increased its volume of work from less than $100 million to over $350 million annually, securing its biggest contract to date, the Stony Brook Hospital Medical and Research Translation (MART) Building. This project includes a new hospital tower and research facility, contracts worth almost $300 million.

Specializing in ‘at risk’ projects, E.W. Howell and its team of professionals are able to envision innovative solutions to achieve success across a diverse range of projects. E.W. Howell is dedicated to its clients from project commencement to conclusion, ensuring that a constant flow of communication is maintained with clients every step of the way, from the initial planning stages to ribbon cutting.

The firm’s portfolio includes clients and projects in the corporate, retail, education, government, cultural, hospitality and healthcare sectors, and the team has enjoyed great success, with a number of awards for work in each category. Notable builds include the Smithsonian’s Carnegie Mansion project (Cooper-Hewitt Museum), The Spence School, as well as the Suffolk County Correctional Facility project, to name a few.

As the company’s website states, “Our mission is to provide the highest level of construction quality, competitive pricing and on time performance through unparalleled customer service and teamwork. We seek to provide satisfaction to our clients, challenge and fulfillment to our staff, profitability to our shareholders, while conducting all of our actions with the highest level of integrity.”

Acknowledging the unique characteristics and project-specific goals and challenges it faces, E.W. Howell draws on its 120 plus years of experience, time-proven methods and procedures, and innovative problem-solving professionals to adapt to any situation or environment in order to get the job done right for its clients.

E.W. Howell’s flexible approach to contracts offers clients peace of mind at every step of the construction process. From pre-construction to construction services, the firm ensures its top-level professionals are an active part of the process, providing the necessary support in supervising site mobility, safety, constructability, phasing, and scheduling. From design management to project scheduling, project estimates, value engineering, logistics planning and bid procurement, E.W. Howell enjoys access to a loyal network of qualified subcontractors across every trade, helping the team to develop highly competitive and cohesive bids and offer all its clients consistent, quality output.

With the organizational goals of maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and integrity, ensuring that all clients become repeat clients, and challenging and motivating staff to uphold these commitments to quality, E.W. Howell has enjoyed growth and profitability, Meanwhile, the company continues to build its reputation, what President Howard Rowland describes as being “the little big guy” in the industry.

As “the little big guy,” E.W. Howell brings, “a level of service and personal touch into a project that the larger contractors don’t and the smaller contractors can’t on the scale that we do,” shares Rowland, adding that the personal connection that is developed with clients is the reason the firm is consistently ranked as one of the Top 15 companies in its regional market in terms of revenue.

Ranked in the Top 25 Construction Firms by revenue by Crain’s New York, E.W. Howell has been a contender for many years, in addition to ranking as one of ENR New York’s Top Contractors, as well as making ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list. Other notable awards include the Long Island Business News 2015 Real Estate & Development Award for the Stony Brook MART project, and the Commercial Builder of the Year.

As to what differentiates E.W. Howell from the pack, Rowland shares that, “I think it’s our diversity. We touch almost every functional market in non-residential building construction,” continuing to highlight the importance of the personal connection E.W. Howell makes with its clients.

“We are a corporation but again we work hard to retain the personal connection both amongst our employees and with our clients,” says Rowland. E.W. Howell’s Project Executives oversee and coordinate the efforts of the Project Team to ensure success and accountability in terms of costs and personnel, providing clients with world-class service.

Project Managers act as the primary liaison between the client, the design team and the implementation forces to uphold cost and schedule controls, change management and required project documentation. Superintendents provide supervision, coordinating construction activities on site each day, ensuring quality control, safety and security on site. The company executives, project management teams, estimating staff, accounting, human resources, and operations departments work out of E.W. Howell’s Long Island headquarters and operate under a strong system of centralized management to provide clients with executive oversight and the necessary administrative support.

Understanding that a company is only as good as the employees that support it, E.W. Howell takes great pride in its people, ensuring that employees share in the enthusiasm and philosophy of the company. “We hire for the long term,” Rowland explains. “We hire people that are not just technically astute but people we think share our values.”

E.W. Howell provides employees with a stimulating environment from which passions can grow. As a company, it recognizes and rewards integrity, expertise, problem solving, and individual growth and accomplishment, fostering the development of its greatest resource, its professional workforce. “We will promote from within,” Rowland shares. “We help educate and give experience to younger guys out of local colleges and that’s how we have built our successful employee base, local recruitment and development.” E.W. Howell’s management team, craftspeople and administrative staff are all committed to the highest quality of service and workmanship.

In addition to a supportive and nurturing environment for employees, Rowland takes great pride in knowing each of his employees by name, recognizing them all and ensuring that both he and his managers are present and available to field employee questions and concerns, be it of a technical, business or personal nature.

Speaking to the open lines of communication that E.W. Howell works to maintain both with clients and employees, Rowland explains, “It’s a big family and it’s just how the company operated when I came here and I’ve worked to maintain it since.” Indeed, many of E.W. Howell’s employees have tenures of ten years or greater.

In addition to its commitment to employees, clients and the projects it undertakes, there is also a strong sense of philanthropy at E.W. Howell. In 2011, E.W. Howell was one of five firms nationally to receive the Associated General Contractors of America’s AGC in the Community Award which recognizes the more innovative, successful, community-minded contractors and projects. Examples of E.W. Howell’s charitable contributions include its efforts on the project to build the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) at the Pat and Mary Bagnato Place for Kids, an establishment dedicated to child victims of abuse, as well as the Peshkur House build for the family of Grace Peshkur, a little girl with a rare skin disease who required assistance with accessibility and constant care.

E.W. Howell also helps the local construction community through its annual Benefit for a Friend program. Since 2003, E.W. Howell has sponsored a golf outing which is designed to help construction families in need, having raised and distributed upwards of $100 000 annually. E.W. Howell supports a number of charities in order to do its part and to give back to the communities it serves.

As the company has found success, E.W. Howell’s capacities continue to grow. Moving forward, E.W. Howell is looking to forge an even stronger presence, fully taking advantage of the untapped parts of the private New York City construction market. The firm will also be reinforcing its brand and marketing its strengths and proven experience as a General Contracting and Construction Management leader.

E.W. Howell undertakes projects in every facet of construction, including interiors, meeting and exceeding its clients’ expectations. Just as its website states, E.W. Howell has constructed more than buildings; the team has built a legacy that continues today, with a strong focus on the future growth and prosperity of the company, delivering timely, cost-effective, quality building solutions.



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