HBD Construction Inc.
HBD Construction Inc. continues its founders’ more than 95-year tradition of project diversity.
By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
Shortly after Horace B. Deal founded H.B. Deal & Company Inc., in 1922, the company became known in the St. Louis market for taking on a wide variety of projects. These included building monuments and memorial buildings, churches, schools, hospitals, industrial plants, commercials structures and housing projects.
During World War II, the company shifted its emphasis entirely to building projects for the U.S. Government. Its efforts were recognized when the War Department awarded it the Army-Navy E Award, its highest recognition, in July 1943. Although the award was given in connection with a particular project – the Ozark Ordnance Works – it also recognized the company’s entire body of work.
Following Deal’s retirement, his sons Bill and Clarence renamed it H.B. Deal Construction Inc., and ran the company until their retirement in 1978. Three longtime employees – Daniel O’Keefe Jr., Russell Shilt and Melvin Schaefer – took it over, renaming it H.B.D. Contracting Inc. In 2004, the company again changed hands and names, when current President Michael Perry and partners Brian Kowert and Daniel O’Keefe III took over and rechristened it HBD Construction Inc. Today, Perry owns and operates the company with Kowert and his son, Brian Kowert Jr.
Now in its 96th year in business, HBD Construction continues the legacies of its previous owners while creating its own path. “I think our core values have certainly helped us last as long as we have,” Perry says. “We’ve carried on the lessons that were learned by from the Deal family, which include maintaining a manageable size and hiring good people who tend to stay with the company just as my partner and I, and the people who come before us, have.”
HBD Construction also continues its founders’ legacy of having capabilities across a wide range of project types. The company’s experience includes work in the residential, retail, energy, entertainment, hospitality, education, industrial/office, restaurant and religious sectors.
“We have always, and still continue to this day to be very diverse,” Perry says. “We have successfully completed a wide range of projects in nearly every field and industry.”
The company’s recent projects include work on Gathering Methodist Church, one of only a few new churches to be built within St. Louis city limits in recent years. HBD started construction on the one-story, 25,000-square-foot church in fall 2017 and will complete the structure this summer.
Located on a former used car lot, Gathering Methodist Church will feature multiple sloping roofs and a metal-clad building exterior with insulated metal panels. Concrete removed from the lot was broken up and recycled for use in the building’s foundation, reducing waste on the site, Perry notes.
HBD will break ground in July on a two-story, 83,000-square-foot medical office building in Quincy, Ill., for Blessing Hospital System. The state-of-the-art building will include high-end electrical and mechanical infrastructure and house brand-new radiology and laboratory equipment. The project is anticipated to last 16 months.
The exterior skin of the building will include a rainscreen wrap, which dissipates and drains water. This is the first time HBD has used a rainscreen wrap on a project of this size, Perry notes.
HBD’s other ongoing projects include its second senior living project for Springfield, Mo.-based developer O’Reilly Development Co. In March, the contractor began work on the Boulevard at Wentzville in Wentzville, Mo., which consists of two buildings containing a total of 137 living units and 140,000 square feet. Work will conclude next spring.
The project closely follows completion last fall of the Boulevard at St. Charles in St. Charles, Mo., a 196,000-square-foot, five-building complex with 174 total units. Work on that project lasted 15 months, Perry says.
Both Boulevard senior living complexes house independent, assisted and memory care units. The St. Charles project is built on a small lot and required the use of exterior retaining walls and tight staging areas, while the Wentzville site contains a large amount of rock, he adds.
O’Reilly Development is just one of the company’s many repeat clients. HBD in April 2019 will finish work on a renovation and addition to the United Bank of Union in Union, Mo. The company has completed several projects on the bank’s behalf in recent years, Perry notes.
The latest bank project involves building a two-story, 15,000-square-foot addition and renovating 16,000 existing square feet of the building, all while it remains in operation. The company is following a detailed phasing plan and coordinating excavation efforts with local utilities, he adds.
Dierbergs Markets is another long-standing HBD client. The company has built many stores for the supermarket chain during the past 14 years and is currently working on two store renovation projects. “We have repeat clients because we service them well and bring their projects in on budget and on schedule,” Perry says.
HBD continues to improve its services by regularly investing in new technology, tools and equipment. This includes implementing new project management software as well as well communication tools for its field personnel. These investments will further bolster its already well-equipped construction teams, Perry notes.
“Our greatest strength is our people in the field. We have excellent, trained union craftsmen who have come up though the trades and know how a building goes together,” he adds. “We know we can rely on them, as well as our excellent project management staff, to help us deliver the ultimate end product to our customers.”