Building Trust Out of Fabric and Steel

Greenfield Contractors
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

For Lucas Young, building relationships is as important as providing customers with quality structures.

That’s the way it has been since he founded Greenfield Contractors in the summer of 2011. “Good client relationships are very important for us,” he says, “and the only way to maintain those relationships is to understand their needs, provide solutions that fit those needs, and do so in a professional manner.”

Providing fabric structures, metal buildings, and grain bins, Greenfield serves customers in industries such as agriculture, industrial, mining, sport and recreation, municipal, and transportation. Greenfield Contractors supplies high-quality alternatives to traditional industrial buildings, from small storage sheds to massive fabric or metal structures measuring thousands of square feet.

Single-stop convenience
Unlike some others in the industry, Young and his team at Greenfield work with property owners every step of the way on their building journey. From the concept to the construction process to completion and handover, all aspects—including design, budgeting, scheduling, construction, site cleanup, final inspection, and warranty—are handled with the utmost professionalism. No detail is too small or too large.

“The first thing we do is meet with the customer and work together to get a drawing to confirm what they want,” explains Young. “That way, we know what the customer wants and we can provide an accurate estimate.”

Once the design is established, Greenfield moves into the quoting phase for the building itself, concrete work, and other trades. Working with trusted partners for the concrete portion of the project, Greenfield performs its own building installation.

“We are a general contractor,” says Young. “So if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I want you to build a building, but I’m too busy to do much: you get the permit, do the earthwork, build the building, and hand me the keys when it’s done,’ we can do that.”

Flexible and open to all client needs, when customers do want to take a hands-on approach, Greenfield is happy to handle just the building and the concrete work. In either case, clients benefit from the company’s commitment to quality, decades of combined experience, transparency, and accountability from start to finish.

Founded on experience
Long before earning his degree in mechanical engineering, Lucas helped his father on construction projects with everything from work around the house to erecting pole barns, setting trusses, drywalling, and replacing windows. No stranger to the construction industry, he later worked for another general contractor. Immersing himself in the business, he handled everything from sales to project management and marketing. In time, he became inspired to establish his own company.

“I finally realized there was no secret recipe,” he says. “I could easily do what I was doing for them, or I could do it on my own.” Greenfield’s sole owner for years, he eventually brought a partner into the business. “As we grow, having other owners involved gives it long-term stability.”

With years of experience in the building sector, Greenfield is skilled at advising customers on the structure that best satisfies their needs. Although clients often come to the company with a particular building type in mind, a conversation will sometimes see them change their minds from steel to fabric, or vice versa. In one case, a client decided on steel instead of fabric for a large structure measuring 160 by 130 feet and 46 feet to the eaves.

Whether fabric or steel, Greenfield provides customers with a breadth of building styles and sizes to meet every need. The company’s smallest fabric structure measures 16 by 20 feet while its largest fabric structure is a massive 200 feet wide by approximately 500 feet long. “The small one was for a salt storage building, and the large one for grain,” Young shares.

To date, Greenfield’s smallest steel building measures 40 by 40 feet, and the largest 160 by 250 feet. At present, the company is quoting on a 500-foot-long building with a height of 46 feet. Steel buildings require a concrete base, as do some large fabric structures.

Depending on structure size and type, assembly times vary. Buildings are made to order, and the entire process, from ordering to completion, can take from a month to over a year, depending on size.

At Greenfield Contractors, all projects are handled with the utmost concern for the safety of staff, customers, and contractors. All staff members at the start of their employment take a 10-hour OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training course. All OSHA standards are followed and enforced at Greenfield, and workers must wear harnesses when they are on lifts. “We have strong feelings about safety, and make sure everybody gets home safely at night,” says Young.

Fabric or steel?
Knowing which materials are best suited to which applications, Greenfield offers customers a variety of building types. These include round/arch profiles, gable profiles, and high-top profiles. Fabric allows plenty of natural light to penetrate and is ideal for corrosive environments—for instance, when housing salt, fertilizer, manure, or livestock.

When ordering, clients have the option of fire-retardant or non-fire-retardant fabric. In other cases, steel buildings may be a better choice, especially for manufacturing purposes or a heated shop space. “That’s where steel frame buildings do a lot better,” says Young.

With either option, Greenfield is known in the industry for the quality of its buildings and its outstanding warranties. All fabric structures come with a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty, which includes coverage for corrosive environments. Metal buildings are backed by a 25-year manufacturer’s limited warranty for galvalume panels and a minimum 30-year finish limited warranty for painted metal panels. In some cases, customers can choose a warranty of up to 40 years on metal structures.

They’ve got you covered
From a company that started as a small shop, with Lucas doing the physical labor and his wife handling accounting, Greenfield Contractors has grown to a staff of about 40, with locations in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. Primarily creating grain bins in the early years and moving on to fabric-covered buildings a decade ago, Greenfield recently “re-branched” out into grain bins and steel frame buildings, and its own steel building crew.

“We recently bought 15 acres across the road from where we are now, and are planning to develop that for the next phase of our company, with a bigger office and bigger shop,” says Young of the company, which is nearly booked up with work through the end of the year.

“We see ourselves growing the number of locations and serving a larger geographical region,” he says. “The project sizes keep increasing considerably, so we see a lot of growth, focus, and continuing to be a recognized employer in the communities we are in.”

AUTHOR

CURRENT EDITION

Storm in a Teacup

Read Our Current Issue

PAST EDITIONS

Food for Thought

June 2024

A Living Underwater Laboratory

May 2024

Achieving Equity Through Sustainability

April 2024

More Past Editions

Cover Story

Featured Articles