Central Broward Construction
CBC takes pride in providing comprehensive, quality concrete masonry.
By Staci Davidson, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing
Central Broward Construction (CBC) is one of the larger masonry contractors in south Florida, a fact of which President Justin Lord is quite proud. But its size is not the company’s only selling point, Lord stresses. As much as he is proud of the company’s growth, he also highlights the fact that CBC’s staff is full of long-term employees, and as dedicated as CBC is to delivering quality to its customers, it also is committed to continually supporting the masonry industry and its local community.
“Our motto is ‘built to stand the test of time,’” Lord explains. “That says it all – we try to give our clients the best possible product in the most efficient manner we are capable of. That is how we always work.”
And that approach has served CBC well throughout its many years in business. Lord’s grandfather, Atwood K. Lord, founded Lord Masonry in the late 1960s with his brothers as a union contractor. During the economic downturn in the 1970s, Atwood Lord bought out his partners, and in 1975, Kenneth I. Lord, Justin’s father, graduated from the University of Florida to launch Central Broward Construction. CBC was established as a private, non-union contractor, and when Florida became a right-to-work state, the Lords shut down Lord Masonry to focus on CBC. Kenneth Lord ran CBC until his untimely passing in 2005.
“I’ve been working in the company since I was 10,” Justin Lord explains. “I started by sweeping floors and learning the mechanics on the big machines. As I got older, I went out into the field and labored, and went through an apprenticeship to learn to lay block. I also learned estimating and project management at Auburn University. I supervised in the field while I was in college, and when I graduated I got my general contractor’s license. I went back to the company and worked as a project estimator, and then I took over when my father passed when I was 24. I took over a multimillion-dollar company at age 24 and continued to build it up.”
Since then, the company has gone from 50 employees to more than 200 employees, and Lord takes pride in the operation’s ongoing growth. “In the past three to four years, we have almost doubled in size each year,” he says. “We are a very close-knit company, and when the company does well, our employees do well. I am dedicated to treating everyone with fairness because I want them to know I am as loyal to them as they are to us.”
Lord attributes CBC’s ongoing growth to its strong reputation in the south Florida market. Serving primarily the Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, CBC serves the residential, commercial, government and healthcare markets. The company is dedicated to being a full-service masonry contractor, supplying all of the labor, material and equipment necessary for its projects. This ensures better control and well-executed work, and its extensive digital capabilities allows CBC to transition easily between the office and the field.
CBC is dedicated to training, certifying and educating its workers to ensure clients consistently receive the highest-quality service. The company does not sub out any of its work, and even owns and operates all of its delivery trucks with CBC-trained drivers. It also owns and operates its own heavy-duty off-road forklifts, large pumps, mason-specific scaffolding, mortar mixers and block buggies.
Additionally, CBC has a large fleet of pickup trucks for its foremen, guaranteeing the proper labor, hand tools and equipment arrive to its jobs on time. The company maintains its equipment in-house with two full-time mechanics.
“We try to keep our employees as W2s, so we control 100 percent of the labor,” Lord explains. “We seldom if ever sub out work. We own all of our equipment because we don’t want to have to depend on the rental market for machines or scaffolding – that helps with our schedules and costs. We also deliver all of our materials with our own drivers and trucks, because we really like being able to control all aspects of our business.”
CBC contributed its masonry expertise to the Terminal 4 expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Its work was part of a $450 million project to enhance the terminal’s concourse, aircraft apron and increase the number of gates from 10 to 14. The concourse is increasing in size from 60,000 square feet to 490,000 square feet.
Another major project for the company has been Brightline, also known as All Aboard Florida, a plan from Florida East Coast Industries to provide passenger rail service between south and central Florida, potentially expanding to Tampa and Jacksonville. Stations are currently in the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and Brightline plans to have a south terminal at Orlando International Airport.
“We are very dedicated to serving the commercial, high-rise, hospitality, healthcare and government markets,” Lord says. “On the All Aboard Florida projects, we received craftsmanship awards for our concrete work. On Terminal Four at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, we received a craftsmanship award for the exposed winter white ground-face block we installed.”
On the Brightline project, CBC worked alongside Coast to Coast Forms, which was recognized with a craftsmanship award for its work. The two companies have been working together for years, and Lord purchased Coast to Coast in January 2017, combining the firm’s concrete and masonry expertise with that of CBC.
Coast to Coast Founder Dave Hutchins has been a licensed general contractor since 1974, giving him more than 54 years of experience specializing in concrete form work. The company was founded in 1990 with a focus on having a core of skilled professionals who could deliver high-quality construction at a competitive price. Coast to Coast was one of the first in south Florida to use post-tension cable and aluminum flying forms, and it worked with other form contractors to develop numerous forming systems and update safety practices.
Coast to Coast specializes in concrete shell work and serves the same tri-county area that CBC does. It offers concrete and masonry structures, post tensioning, cast-in-place, red iron, structural excavation and backfill, foundations, concrete pumping and finishing, construction management, rebar installation, horizontal and vertical forming systems, and structural steel. It was Coast to Coast’s dedication to quality work and treating clients well that led to a successful acquisition.
“Dave Hutchins has been running concrete companies for 50 years,” Lord says. “He worked with my father to provide block and concrete on many projects, and that relationship really helped the acquisition.”
Commitment to Community
Lord takes pride in CBC’s ongoing growth and continued strength in the south Florida market, but he cares just as much about the strength of the masonry industry and the development of the next-generation workforce. CBC is a founding member of the Masonry Association of South Florida (MAF), and Lord has served as vice president, as well as president of the association’s southeast chapter. He’s currently a member of the group’s board of directors, but also serves on the Masonry Education Foundation, which focuses on education and apprenticeship opportunities.
Lord worked closely with MAF to develop the Concrete Masonry Education Act, which was signed into law in June 2014 by Governor Rick Scott. This created the Concrete Masonry Education Council, and Scott appointed Lord as the council’s vice chair in 2014. Lord still serves on the executive and finance committees of the council, which strives to maximize and enhance the profession of skilled masonry in Florida through public/private jobs training and public masonry education programs. Additionally, CBC has been a member of the Construction Association of South Florida for 30 years, as well as a number of other construction and masonry organizations.
“I really believe in the longevity of the trade,” Lord says. “With the Masonry Association of South Florida, we can give back to individuals looking for alternative means of gainful employment, but we also increase the market’s amount of skilled labor.
CBC works closely with HANDY [Helping Advance and Nurture the Development of Youth] and the local Boys & Girls Club to give our youth another option from a four-year degree.
“Masonry has very lucrative positions available and we want more people to know about them,” he continues. “We just recently teamed up with HANDY on the apprenticeship program to show them masonry and concrete work.”
CBC works with MAF and Atlantic Vocational Tech to offer a masonry apprenticeship. Offered to individuals who “pride themselves in their artistic capabilities and who wish to earn a good living while performing their craft,” the company’s apprenticeship abides by state-registered standards and has an earn-while-you-learn structure.
The three-year program offers lessons on the job and in a classroom, and is the first step in becoming a journeyman mason. Students can work for a mason contractor at the entry level immediately after graduation or progress to a post-secondary school for additional training.
“I think it’s important to work at a higher level in the state on these issues,” Lord says. “With the Concrete Masonry Education Council, we try to push the dollars in the right direction to continue funding the apprenticeship programs.”
In addition, Lord continues, “we also teach people in-house, too. Every Tuesday we have a journeyman or foreman at our home shop stay a couple of hours after work – if anyone is interested, we teach them. With a ‘see one, do one, teach one’ process, we’ve found that on-the-job learning is really the best.”
CBC aims to continue its current pace of growth, and Lord is confident in its ability to do so because he and his family have been in the industry so long, the company’s reputation is key in securing work. Additionally, CBC’s dedication to offering a comprehensive suite of services provides clients with the knowledge that its work will be performed with quality.
“We’ve really stuck to our traditions of being a full-service masonry contractor,” Lord says. “We pump all of our cells in house and use our own pump crews – we are a 100 percent, full-service mason contractor. When you hire us, you have full coverage of worker’s comp, insurance and everything. We are a one-stop shop on the masonry aspect of the project.
“With Coast to Coast, we are working to get them vertically integrated like CBC, but we still have to rent a few things and sub some things out,” he adds. “That is more traditional on the concrete side, but we are hiring good employees and great supervisors to mirror what CBC does.”
The company’s plan is to focus on the south Florida market, while also expanding throughout the rest of the state. Lord believes all of this is possible with the quality team he has.
“Keeping up my family business is important,” he says. “I took over the company at age 24 and then managed our way through a recession, but I am very proud of being able to continue on the family tradition and still be a high-level contractor while keeping our reputation intact. We are fully integrated and our growth is good. Our team members are really great, but we’re always looking for more talent to join both of our teams.”
SIDEBAR – Core Purpose
Central Broward’s motto is “built to stand the test of time.” It honors that focus with a mission statement and a strong set of values. Its mission: “We will give the most efficient service of which we are capable. Rendering the fullest possible quantity, and the best possible quality of service in the capacity of mason and form contractors.”
SIDEBAR – Core Values
• “We believe in successful partnerships with our work family and business partners.”
• “We believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.”
• “We believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.”
• “We believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.”
• “We believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid.”
• “We believe in safety and the safe return home to our families.”