Founded in 1919, Pinner Construction has been providing high-quality and exceedingly sustainable facilities that contribute to the development of the local communities of Southern California for close to 100 years. As the company transitions from a family-owned business under the leadership of Mr. Dirk Griffin, CEO, he spoke to Construction in Focus about his plans for the company and maintaining its success.
With its well-established foothold in Southern California, Pinner Construction has evolved to become an all-encompassing company covering a variety of construction needs using the latest strategies and technologies. Headquartered in Anaheim, California, the company has a robust portfolio of projects throughout the region.
“We have the ability to work collaboratively and innovatively with clients and subcontractors,” says Justin Davis, who serves as President of Business Development at Pinner. “We have the knowledge and expertise to provide cost containment, savings and innovative strategies to complete projects quickly.”
These strategies include utilizing delivery methods such as design-build, construction management and best value approaches to accelerate and streamline the construction process. These methods of construction create an expedited project delivery process whereby Pinner minimizes client risk associated with cost escalations, change orders and delays. Pinner’s early involvement allows the company to match the specific project needs with the specialized capabilities of Pinner’s many design and subcontractor partners. Due to this unique approach, Pinner can successfully complete a wide range of projects.
Another tool Pinner Construction has successfully used is Building Information Modeling (BIM), which is the development and use of a computer software model to simulate the construction and operation of a completed build. The BIM models are data-driven, object-oriented three dimensional representations of a constructed facility which can be extracted and analyzed to solve problems prior to construction. All project team members share the model in real time, providing everyone the information they need to efficiently construct the project.
Pinner Construction’s portfolio of Construction Management services is an exciting area of growth. “What sets us apart from many of our competitors is that Pinner is an active general contractor. As a result, our Construction Management clients reap the benefits of our highly qualified field staff and our experience as a builder,” says Davis.
Pinner Construction’s team of experienced professionals is thoroughly involved with a project from inception to close-out. Pinner takes pride in utilizing local, small and disadvantaged businesses in their operations. Further, Pinner has specific action plans on each project to utilize local residents to assist in constructing the project. The firm has received many awards in recognition of its community outreach efforts.
Maintaining cutting edge strategies for construction has been a part of Pinner’s ever-evolving history since it started as Arthur Thomas Pinner Construction Company in 1919. Starting with small-scale operations in brick and stone, the company eventually expanded throughout the 1920s and evolved into a full-scale general contracting operation with capabilities in all aspects of residential and commercial construction. Pinner Construction grew during the post-World War II economic boom as millions of people moved to Southern California during those years. With the increase in population, Arthur Pinner recognized the demand for new housing, schools, hospitals, and factories, and embraced the values of quality workmanship and a commitment to the bustling Southern California construction industry. The present name, Pinner Construction Co., Inc., was adopted in 1956 after Arthur’s son Jack assumed leadership, starting the tradition of family ownership and operation that lasted until recently when Mr. Griffin took the helm at the company in January 2017 after working there as the Chief Financial Officer for nearly two decades.
The company has completed a range of projects throughout Southern California, from educational institutions to senior center facilities. One recent example was the completion of the largest classroom building for a community college in California. The Los Angeles Community College District’s East LA Student Success & Retention Center is a five-story, 136,000 square foot building featuring tutoring and computer labs, classrooms, offices, language labs, and common spaces. The build unites six previously-dispersed departments with a cohesive building design. Pinner designed the building with sustainable, environmentally friendly features including bio-swales, pervious paving, motorized windows, chilled beams for efficient heating and cooling, radiant in-floor heating, rainwater harvesting, lighting control and solar shading, and the project attained LEED Gold from the USGBC.
Another construction project that demonstrates Pinner’s commitment to quality and sustainability was the redevelopment of Fremont High School in Los Angeles. This project consisted of demolishing and replacing the existing facilities, modernizing the main school building and gymnasium, constructing a new two-story kitchen-cafeteria/library building, and a new fully automatic fire alarm system. While the client was aiming to obtain Silver LEED certification, Pinner successfully delivered a Gold rating for the project.
Pinner Construction is also designing and constructing a senior citizens’ center in the city of Inglewood, CA. The 35,000 square foot facility is under construction in the heart of the city’s business district and it will be available for enjoyment in late 2017. The facility features a kitchen, exercise facilities, communal gathering spaces and social services for residents of Inglewood and the neighboring communities of Hawthorne and Lennox.
An example of an ongoing significant project involves the construction of a new 36,000 square foot central kitchen facility and partial remodeling of seven existing satellite kitchens located in five separate buildings at Patton State Hospital near San Bernardino. Special features include new food service equipment, high-capacity food storage racks, large refrigerator and freezer walk-ins, and loading docks with dock levelers and overhead coiling doors.
For high quality construction projects such as these and others in its portfolio, Pinner has been recognized by the broader industry. In 2015, the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) honored the company with an Award of Excellence for an outstanding architecture and design project that significantly enhances the Los Angeles community’s urban environment. This 75,000 square foot Harbor College Science Complex features administrative offices, outdoor learning spaces, flexible classrooms, science laboratories, lecture halls and a science court. The project’s sustainable features include daylighting, natural ventilation, solar panels and utilization of thermal mass as a means of temperature stabilization. The project was designed for a carbon neutral status with a 54 percent reduction in water usage and a 43 percent reduction in energy consumption. This project achieved a LEED Platinum rating.
“Our successful project portfolio is a result of Pinner Construction’s relationships with our design / subcontractor team members and customers over the years, along with extensive training of the company’s staff,” says Davis.
“We rely on our standards of transparency and collaboration,” Griffin says. “We’re striving to continue to be a company that builds relationships. We’re in it for the long haul, fostering those relationships and developing additional builds for our clients. We have a dynamic, robust culture and as we continue to grow, we are engaging employees every way possible in our strategy moving forward,” he says.
“We provide in-house training on safety, cost control and savings,” says Griffin. “We also have lunch and learn sessions with staff members and bring in industry experts to improve policy and procedures. We also encourage employees to continue their education through the Design-Build Institute of America, OSHA safety classes, and LEED training from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).”
As the years have gone on, Pinner Construction has enjoyed consistent work, and is well positioned for the volatility of the Southern California economy. “Now, there is an abundance of work and there is a high demand for qualified, skilled workers at all levels,” Davis explains, something that the industry as a whole is experiencing. “We are mitigating that by retaining our employees, promoting vertical growth and continuing to develop relationships with subcontractors.”
As Pinner Construction evolves under the leadership of Mr. Griffin, the company is currently refreshing its brand to reflect its transition from a family-owned company. “Pinner is turning 100 years old in a few years,” Griffin says. “Not too many public works contractors in California have been around for 100 years.”
As Pinner Construction approaches this milestone, adhering to the principles that have kept the company successful is of the utmost importance. “Maintaining our origin as a builder and preserving our subcontractor relationships has been a key element of our success and these principles will continue to be of utmost importance into the future,” shares Griffin.
“Tenured executive leadership is in place and we are now investing into our company with promotion of key employees and implementation of cutting edge technologies. These technologies will provide the necessary tools for efficiency and growth of all staff members,” Davis says. “We are excited about the opportunity to continue our growth and deliver well-built facilities that we can all be proud of.”