Where Construction First Means Building the Right Relationship

Written by Pauline Müller

Finding a technologically advanced partner is key to modern design-build projects. Mowery of Pennsylvania brings expertise to the entire spectrum of construction projects, from preplanning to completion, all the while, keeping strong personal relationships at the forefront.

The clearest examples of Mowery’s abilities lie in its recent growth – especially considering that its completed projects came to an already impressive $2 billion in 2016. In the past year, the Pennsylvania-based construction giant improved its revenue by around 60 percent and topped its previous best revenue year by a whopping 40 percent, reaching revenues of nearly $200 million.

It was a tremendous achievement by any benchmark. Naturally, with that much on its plate, it was not just Mowery’s field teams that had to expand to handle additional work. The design team has also grown substantially. Clients now benefit from the services of an in-house lead architect; a civil engineer; a structural engineer; a mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) coordinator as well as two computer-aided drafting (CAD) professionals.

Changing the landscape
Owner and president, David L. Cross, told us more about the dynamic enterprise that is changing the construction landscape in its region. The company works within an estimated four-hour radius of its offices in Mechanicsburg and York. In addition to Pennsylvania, it serves the Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia with its specialized skills in design-build, reconstruction services, construction management, and special projects where challenges of size, design, or construction demands go beyond the norm.

The company’s services are mostly called on by frequent builders. These, of course, are usually well-seasoned professionals who hold Mowery’s capacity for combining technology with value, speed, and meticulous communication in high esteem. Among the distinguished clientele are national developers, regional healthcare providers, colleges, universities, senior living communities, and automotive dealerships – to mention a few.

Partnership and passion
For this industry leader, good partnerships are fostered through great relationships. From David L. Cross’s comments it’s clear that Mowery takes genuine pride in standing by its word and its work.

“We look out for [our clients’] best interests, advise them, and make every dollar count. We plan ahead, eliminate surprises and try to make the construction process as painless as possible. We really focus on fostering a partnership with our clients.” David says.

The company is divided into two main areas: pre-construction, which deals with design & estimating, and construction, where planning and execution come together. Technology plays a definitive part in the smooth execution of what the company values most – clear communication, transparency, and efficiency. Easy access to data adds another layer to its dynamic service bouquet – one much appreciated by tech-savvy collaborators and clients.

Original values
Quality has always been in Mowery’s veins. Its founder, Raymond S. Mowery, started the company with his brother Clarence in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1925. Raymond was famously a stickler for timelines. He also believed in building relationships and treating every project as if he was building it for himself. The Mowery team has kept these values alive for three generations, passing on the torch to David in 2017.

David joined as president in 2015, continuing the succession process when he took over from Don Mowery, who had steered the company for 33 years. “I fell in love with the people, the company, our clients and how we do business. It’s been a perfect fit from my first day on the job,” he says.

David is set on keeping the original culture intact while introducing fresh ideas to keep the company moving. For him, Mowery is about its people, and he sees care for their wellbeing and personal growth as a big part of his stewardship. The approach is proving successful, attracting bright new minds and keeping the company’s existing talent – and its clientele – safely intact.

Mowery’s main executive team is made up of seven leaders, each responsible for a single department. The group leads primarily by setting a solid example of work ethic and accountability, passing on the attitude to its team of 75 professionals, roughly half of whom are stationed in the field. The team is home to several qualified engineers, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professionals, certified healthcare contractors, and other experts.

To ensure a steady influx of fresh creativity, the Mowery team likes to hire young talent straight out of college, shaping its young professionals into ideal Mowery contributors through mentorship and hands-on application in the field.

Developing greatness
Weekly meetings mean that metrics are carefully tracked, arising issues quickly solved, and progress diligently planned. As with everything Mowery does, this is a company which sure is doing construction right. With business streaming in, it was awarded the honor of being named one of Central Pennsylvania’s fastest expanding companies in 2017 and 2019.

And the awards don’t end there. It has received multiple recognitions from the Associated Builders and Contractors for Excellence In Construction and Safety.

Then, of course, there was a pivotal moment in 2005 when it reached $1 billion in completed work. More recently there was great excitement about the completion of the Presbyterian Senior Living building project in Windy Hill II, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. This project was built according to Passive House Design standards, also known as Passivhaus.

This German concept from the 1980s is based on regulating interior temperature by maintaining – as far as possible – a sealed living space formed from energy efficient materials that regulate the unit’s optimum temperature. This method has been refined and increasingly implemented in recent years due to its reduced heating and cooling costs, as well as its gentler impact on the planet.

Some interesting features of this project include triple-pane windows by INTUS Windows, as well as an air and water barrier that prevents air from escaping the building. Some top-performance HVAC equipment and low thermal-conductivity insulation were installed to complete the temperature regulation system.

Quality and exceptional service delivery are not Mowery’s only concern, however. The company is as committed to its local communities as it is to its clients, with its staff supporting over 40 charitable organizations. The company provides numerous community-based organizations such as The Salvation Army, The Humane Society of Harrisburg, Central Penn Youth Ballet, United Way, and others with generous funding and other resources.

Technology flows
To continue to grow and be of service means to adapt to change as an inevitable part of life and business. With new technology flowing into every aspect of construction, keeping up is not negotiable for the Mowery team. The company is already entirely cloud-based, offering its clients real-time access to certain job sites with the help of live cameras, while the progress of other projects is updated every 24 hours.

Drones are also used to document projects and update records on a routine basis. “Our building-information modeling (BIM) capabilities enable us to plan, prefabricate and eliminate issues ahead of time. Our clients need to bring their projects to market with velocity and without errors,” says David.

In answering this call for modernity, Mowery’s view on what’s to come has crystallized. “Our vision for the company’s future is to become a place that people are flocking to. To work at, to work with… Because we do things right, we are ahead of the curve, we are smart and we embrace people working together,” says David.

True to his word, Mowery is on a winning streak once more, heading for its coveted $209 million revenue mark. To get there, a number of potentially very high-growth markets have been identified. As it happens, the team sees itself as the leader in all of these and it is leveraging this sweet spot through emphasis on its capabilities, development, and growth.

While it may be boom time at Mowery, its leadership is wise enough to know that steady growth and steadily increasing profitability will always win the race against flash-in-the-pan results. For this reason, Mowery remains laser-focused on offering the most superb customer experience possible and will be doing so for many decades to come.



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