2017 Colorado Stormwater Excellence Program Award

Pictured left to right are: Michael Gifford, President and CEO, AGC Colorado, Wes Grant, Sterling Steed, David Fiore, and Marilyn Hensel, Fiore & Sons and Nathan Moore, CDPHE.

Fiore & Sons, Inc. was honored at the AGC Breakfast with the Board to receive the 2017 Colorado Stormwater Excellence Program Award and the 2017 Construction Health and Safety Excellence (CHASE) Award at the Blue Level.  The Fiore employee family is thrilled to receive these acknowledgements for their dedication and commitment to health, safety and the environment.

Fiore & Sons Win STEP Award

Denver, CO May 22, 2018

The Associated Builders and Contractors Rocky Mountain Chapter (ABCRMC) hosted a Safety Conference & Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at the Sheraton Denver West to educate members and recognize those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to safety. The event celebrated collective efforts towards safety and education in the construction industry.

Read Full Article (.pdf)

Fiore & Sons Inc. Expands Corporate Office to New Location

Denver, CO, January 3, 2018 — Fiore & Sons, Inc., a pioneer heavy civil contractor in Colorado providing a wide range of civil contracting and management services, has announced their corporate office expansion to 80 East 62nd Avenue, Suite 101, Denver, CO.  The Operations, Maintenance and Transportation Departments will remain at 730 W. 62nd Avenue, Denver, CO.

Larry Fiore, Jr. (Butch), President said, “We’re excited to announce the recent expansion of our corporate office.  As a third generation family-owned organization, we take great pride in our thriving legacy that dates back to the inception of the organization by our grandfather, Ed Fiore, in 1959.  Our expansion allows for the continuation of over 58 years of continual operations with the same and intact family-owned business model. We take immense pride in our tradition of delivering consistent and professional services to our customers and the marketplace.”

Of historical significance is Fiore’s move to the former ‘Home of Wonder Bread’ site, a legacy property in the Welby area, a long established Italian-immigrant farming community.  The corporate offices, doubling in size, have been completely refurbished to accommodate a growing staff and there are plans to re-lease the entire warehouse space.  The original, prominent neon signs are being repaired to a fully functional state to honor the distinctive history of this legendary property.  “We’re excited to keep this iconic facility in use for the new home of the Fiore corporate offices, says Fiore.”

Fiore & Sons, Inc. offers the most complete range of civil contracting and heavy equipment services to property owners and developers in the Rocky Mountain region and surrounding areas. With a continuing focus on quality and safety, Fiore & Sons, Inc. maintains the highest level of services and scheduling.  We do construction down to the ground and from the ground down with services that include civil construction management, earthwork, demolition, site utilities, structural excavation, trucking, overlot and finish grading and environmental services.

A Legacy Move to a Legacy Location – The Fiore Story

Eddie Fiore

It’s 1959…and Eddie Fiore has an idea. Some called him brave. Others called him foolish. The son of Italian immigrants, working from his home office on a piece of land that his parents homesteaded in 1936, Eddie launched Eddie Fiore Trucking…with only 1 truck. Determined and gritty, little did he know that his vision and doggedness would create a Legacy that is known today as Fiore & Sons, Inc.

That wasn’t all however, because in 1972, son Larry, a hardworking, dedicated, family man, with his wife Diane and four sons, Mike, Tony, Larry Jr. (Butch) and David, his “sidekicks” who were destined to be future leaders in the organization, endeavored to take the business to a new alltime high by “entering” the bid market. A major paradigm shift and risky but calculated, this new and exciting business model laid the groundwork for the unprecedented growth of Fiore & Sons, Inc. that we see today.

With over 275 employees, 300 pieces of equipment, and the recipient of admirable awards for safety and service, Fiore & Sons, Inc. is today a pioneer heavy civil contractor in Colorado, providing a wide range of civil contracting and management services.

 

Fiore & Sons Inc. impressive equipment and operations today.

Offering the most complete range of civil contracting and heavy equipment services to property owners and developers in the Rocky Mountain region and surrounding areas, Fiore & Sons, Inc. maintains the highest level of service and scheduling with a continuous focus on quality and safety.

 

Fiore & Sons Inc. impressive equipment and operations today.

Like the “Fiore Family” likes to say, “we do construction down to the ground and from the ground down” with services that include civil construction management, earthwork, demolition, site utilities, structural excavation, trucking, overlot, finish grading and environmental services.

Recently announced, Fiore’s corporate offices expanded to 80 East 62nd Avenue, Denver, Colorado. The Operations, Maintenance and Transportation Departments remain at 730 W. 62nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80216. Larry Fiore, Jr. (Butch), President recently said, “We’re excited to announce the expansion of our corporate office. As a third generation family-owned organization, we take great pride in our thriving legacy that dates back to the inception of the organization by our grandfather, Ed Fiore, in 1959. Our expansion allows for the continuation of over 58 years of continual operations with the same and intact family-owned business model. We take immense pride in our tradition of delivering consistent and professional services to our customers and the marketplace.”

Of historical significance is Fiore’s move to the former ‘Home of Wonder Bread’ site, a Legacy property in the Welby area, a long established Italian-immigrant farming community. The corporate offices, doubling in size, have been completely refurbished to accommodate a growing staff and there are plans to re-lease the entire warehouse space. The original, prominent neon signs are being repaired to a fully functional state that honors the distinctive history of this legendary property.

“We’re excited to keep this iconic facility in use for the new home of the Fiore Corporate Offices, says Fiore.”

Fiore & Sons Inc. new corporate location.

The second major office expansion of Fiore & Sons, Inc. since 1959 when Eddie Fiore set his sights on the future of his lineage and of an heirloom organization he loved so well, we have affectionately come to understand the historic intersection between the Fiores, a Legacy family and “Home of Wonder Bread”, a Legacy location and that’s the “greatest thing since sliced bread.”

The Construction Partnership

The Construction Partnership

By David Fiore

Every construction project involves partnerships.  Not the legal partnerships that we might be accustomed to, but daily partnerships that involve companies, communities, regulators and PEOPLE working together to make a complex set of systems come together to become a beautiful piece of work.  I’ve long been concerned that our industry approaches these relationships as adversarial situations that must be overcome in order to be successful.  Building owners far too often treat our General Contractors with mistrust expecting to be overcharged and mistreated.  GC’s in turn treat Subcontractors and suppliers with the same disregard and expectation of the negative.  There is a common practice of gamesmanship equivalent of playing poker rather than working for the same goal – BUILD AN AMAZING, QUALITY PRODUCT FOR A REASONABLE PRICE and allow all parties involved to make a reasonable profit.  Sadly, we have come to expect that every project involves one or more parties winning at one or more parties’ expense.

I don’t believe it has to be that way – in fact, I KNOW it doesn’t have to be that way.  The most successful projects I have been involved in have had everyone working together as a team to ensure that everyone was accountable to each other and worked to find mutually beneficial solutions.  Added work or unforeseen conditions were treated as real and acceptable cost impacts.  Schedule conflicts were negotiated and worked out.  Change orders were approved with little consternation because they were reasonably priced.  The original contract didn’t contain gaping holes in scope because the Prime Contractor insured they provided a full and accurate bid.  When the project starts out on the right footing (kind of like our buildings) the rest of the project can go smoothly.  I’ve seen it work the right way and I question why ANY of us in the construction industry would accept doing work any differently.  Sadly, the answer is “because ABC Contractor is willing to do it” and we need the work.  Do we really need to work that badly that we are willing to work for a loss, compromise our quality, not pay our bills or miss our performance deadlines?  If the answer is YES, then you are on your way out of business anyway so cut your losses now – with that standard it’s only a matter of time.

We damage the overall industry when we allow projects to proceed with short scopes, unreasonable schedules or low price contracts that are created with known unreasonable performance expectations.  We’ve all seen them.  Contractor or Subcontractor X comes in with a bid that is 10% lower on price claiming that they can meet the expedited schedule and will guarantee no change orders.  We know it’s too good to be true, but we ask them – “are you sure you have all of this covered” and we write up the contract.  Then somehow, we are surprised when they aren’t showing up, asking for change orders, not paying the bills and having mechanic’s liens filed against our project.  That doesn’t sound like success to me.  Interestingly, most of us got into this industry and have moved up in this industry because of our ability to fight it out and end up on top so we believe that’s what it takes to succeed.  The belief is if you try to partner with contractors you will find yourself on the losing side because Construction is more like a UFC Fight than a Yoga studio.  Sadly, it has been that way and following a UFC fight, both parties are bloodied and hurt, but one party has clearly one, but both parties question whether they want to do that ever again.  At the Yoga studio virtually everyone leaves feeling fulfilled and ready to do it again tomorrow.

Expect more out of your relationships with your Owners, Contractors, Subcontractors and Vendors.  Collaborate.  Ask for sharing of ideas on how to manage costs.  Pre-select your project team based on a combination of trust, financial stability, capability and willingness to collaborate.  You will that your projects will result in overall shorter build cycles, cheaper prices and better quality because you will have a team of people focused on mutual success.  Long term there is no such thing as win/lose in this business.  If you are an owner that believes you can build quality projects with that model you will find a marginal success rate – buildings may get built inexpensively, but schedule or quality with falter.  If you are a GC that believes you can profit off the ignorance of your Subcontractors you will eventually be left with uncompleted contracts, poor work quality, mechanics liens, etc.  If you are a sub that expects your suppliers to provide lower cost product with better service you will eventually get left short of supplies and missed schedules or cost overruns.

My goal as a construction business owner is to find owners, clients and vendors that value partnership – that understand the relationship between quality, schedule and price.  It’s shameful to watch the games.  It’s sad to watch the lies and deceit we share with one another because we don’t believe that we all have something to gain by working together.  We can do better as an industry and we can all be successful.

 

The Successful Use of Excavation Models in the Layout, Management, Scheduling & Safety Planning of Pipe-Open Trenching

The Successful Use of Excavation Models in the Layout, Management, Scheduling & Safety Planning of Pipe-Open Trenching

By Tony Fiore, Fiore & Sons, Inc.

The $2.5 million Open Pipe Trenching project for Hewlett Packard Company in Colorado Springs, CO. was nothing short of exceptional for its innovation, quality and functionality of design.  The tenacity of Fiore & Son’s project team and leadership of Hewlett Packard’s team was profoundly important to the success of this complex open trench project.

The original design of the project remained essentially unchanged with the exception of minor adjustments in pipe elevations and routing due to underground issues.  The design team work very closely with the City of Colorado Springs to keep the project moving forward during various project discoveries.

The most revolutionary project achievement occurred during construction as the result of using excavation models in the layout, management, scheduling, and safety planning by the integrated project and owner teams that ensured a well-executed, successful project.

This new sanitary sewer project was comprised of 3,700 LF of new 12” sewer over rough mountainous terrain at elevations ranging from 15’ to 40’ excavated depth.  Preliminarily, excavated material was expected to be hard to very hard sandstone which as the project progressed was found to be arduous.  Half of the route was crossed with numerous utilities including a high power electrical duct, fibre optics, high pressure gas, water mains, and the existing sanitary sewer which was to remain uninterrupted.  It was discovered in 3D modeling and field investigation that several of these utilities had been improperly mapped.

Resolution of these initial challenges gave rise to the necessity of the team to create success through innovation, increased safety measures, heightened pre-planning efforts, and the purposeful use of technology.

The project began with Fiore & Sons, Inc. potholing all the existing utility locations to determine the depth and accuracy of the existing mapping.  As it was, numerous mapping errors were discovered which drove the need for a new “plan of attack”.  As resolution, Fiore & Sons, Inc. created a 3D CAD model that identified the actual location of existing utilities and how they impacted the planned excavations.

An existing electrical duct bank was identified at a miss-mapped location on site which required the design of a sophisticated, permanent shoring system. Working in cooperation with Hewlett and Classic Consulting Engineers, Fiore & Sons, Inc. assisted in the planning and pricing of the new shoring system and provided a 3D CAD design of the entire excavation plan, showing removal of overburden soils to a depth of 16’ above the proposed pipe elevation. This pre-planned attack triggered a two-week delay which later saved the project several weeks.

Completion of this critical task allowed Fiore & Sons, Inc. to create a remarkably safe working environment by using 16’ trench boxes in lieu of managing much deeper and heavier trench shoring systems.  As much as 24 feet of existing earth was removed in some locations.

Pre-planning of the entire dig also allowed Fiore to run a heavy over lot scraper crew directly in front of, and behind, the utility trench crew.  This allowed overburden soils to be removed which created a safer work bench for the utility crew.  These same soils were then carried around and behind the utility crew to be used in the restoration of the grade.

As the project progressed, several elevation errors and unknown utility crossings were encountered. Classic Consulting, Civil Engineers, worked closely with the City of Colorado Springs to approve minor changes and modifications, sometimes within 48 hours, to keep the project moving forward and uninterrupted.  This teamwork was a major contributor to the projects on-time completion despite the up-front 2-week delay.

Safety is #1 and under normal conditions Fiore & Sons, Inc. would keep heavy earthmoving crews a considerable distance from any utility operations for protection from collision or operator errors.  In order to make this job successful however, Fiore & Sons, Inc. coordinated the two crew types working in close proximity to each other using pre-planned excavations and haul routes.

A two-week schedule was maintained on a regular basis that identified stations and milestones for each crew during each week of construction.  As evidenced by this committed coordination, there were no collisions or near misses.  In addition, excavation slopes were pre-designed in the 3D CAD model, allowing engineers to review the deep excavation slopes and approve the design in advance of the work, contributing to overall safety and efficiency.

Using 3D CAD technology for excavation plans allowed the Owner and Consultants full awareness of excavation complexities and coordination that contributed to making critically important, informed decisions. The client wasn’t caught unaware of the scale of excavation, management of excess materials or storage piles, and construction traffic flow.  The Fiore & Sons, Inc. team was commended by both the Owner and Consultant numerous times for how they were alerted to project complexities, thus eliminating unpleasant surprises.

3D CADD also indicated equipment flow and stockpiling plans that were clear and fully anticipated.  Two additional examples of Fiore & Son’s innovative processes:  1) The excavation plan allowed Hewlett Packard to plan their business traffic, neighbor relations, and City relations in a highly collaborative and communicative way so that everyone was kept up to date and well-informed. 2)  At several stations, the hard sandstone conditions essentially disabled trench excavation with typical excavating equipment.  Fiore & Sons, Inc. engineered and assembled a single toothed ripper mounted on a 400 series excavator to overcome this issue.  The single tooth was used to break sandstone and keep the project moving without delay.

Construction quality, craftsmanship and management were inherently responsible for the successful completion of this project and the clear understanding of crew flow allowed all work to be paced in such a way that was not rushed, despite the undue burden to “make up time”.  All project work was managed and supervised, allowing each trade to provide the best product allowable.  The project was completed ahead of schedule.

 

 

Construction Safety – Statistics or Performance

Construction Safety – Statistics or Performance

By David Fiore

Those of us in the Construction industry have seen the trend in safety toward accountability for our safety programs.  We are now more than ever held accountable by our customers to have detailed safety programs that make safety a priority and have safety statistics to back it up.  We continually see the published statistics of contractors that have worked 500,000+ man hours without a recordable incident or RIR of 0.5.  These statistics are published like a badge of honor that cannot be blemished.   Unfortunately, our Employees carry that badge as a covert threat that they are not to be the one to break the “ZERO” injury performance.  Our focus on the statistics and draconian responses to incidents more often results in a culture of statistical management, re-classification of incidents, lack of reporting and other measures that are counter- productive to creating a truly safe work environment defined as an environment that is actually absent of injury and/or property damage.

The example goes like this:

Company Y displays signs and communications around “Safety First”, “1 million man hours without a recordable injury”.  Everywhere you turn the message is clear – “we don’t get injured at Company Y”.  Employee X cuts his finger severely enough that it likely requires stitches, but Employee X is concerned about destroying such a long standing record for something as small as a cut finger. He gets a rag and some tape and tapes it up or he tells his Supervisor he has to leave for the day (as the supervisor sees the blood dripping) and the “wink-wink” – no injury happened on my watch today, my employee had to leave for a personal matter event just occurred.  The Supervisor certainly doesn’t want to be the one to be responsible for breaking the golden record.   So the statistic goes on and stands until an incident occurs that just can’t be shifted outside – a workplace death or serious injury that gets on the news.

Or let’s say the Employee and Supervisor are bold enough to report the incident triggering the dreaded Corporate investigation, Safety Roundtable, Etc….  Employee X and his supervisor get to face a virtual Congressional inquiry that ensures that the employee and his supervisor will never want to go through that experience again.  The focus of the inquiry is on the Employee and Supervisor’s role in the injury and rarely focuses on how Corporate allowed a work environment that could result in such an injury.  Not to mention, once the Corporate review has identified that it is the employee and supervisor are the problem, they don’t have to worry about doing any work to fix the problem.  The final result is two employees that will do everything they can not to report another injury which filters to every direct co-worker of that employee and every direct report for that supervisor.

So, under this scenario, which I will contend is closer to the truth for most companies, we are developing a culture of ignorance and avoidance of safety.  The culture has to be one of recognition and reward for actual safe actions not meaningless and manipulated statistics.  At my company we are working hard to develop this culture – it’s a work in progress, but I do believe my crews have a much stronger understanding of what is safe and what is not AND they know it has nothing to do with a set of statistics – it has everything to do with their awareness and how they behave.

A safety culture is not created through statistics or investigations.  A safety culture is created through the regular recognition and avoidance of the workplace risks.  This requires training employees daily to recognize unforeseen risks and behave appropriately to avoid the known risks.  A safety culture is being aware of what can go wrong in any given situation.  Employees must be encouraged to recognize and report anomalies to the system.  They have to have a continued heightened awareness of risk.  If we approach our job sites with an understanding that they ARE DANGEROUS environments and that things can and will go wrong we will do a better job of creating a truly safe environment.   When we see an unplanned action or identify an unexpected hazard we must stop, communicate and repair the unplanned hazard to ensure ongoing safe performance of the job site.

I propose that a true safety culture is one that drives a focus on 3R’s Recognition, Reporting and Repair of hazardous conditions, and hazardous behavior.  The valuable statistic to track is how many 3R’s occur on a daily basis and more is better than less. In an inherently dangerous environment there are hazards staring each of us in the face daily.  It’s unacceptable to me that any employee can state that no hazards existed that day – because they were either not trained to identify them, not paying attention or don’t care.  Instead, the industry typical standard safety reports show a safe job site because no one got injured or nothing got damaged.  Our safety inspections show perfect scores because we don’t want to stir up any issues or a dreaded investigation.  Fiore crews are encouraged to identify at least (1) one safety observation or hazard recognition per day and are rewarded for that effort.  The bigger the hazard the greater the reward.  I get excited when my crews report 2 – 3 hazard observations during their day.  That tells me they are focused on safety rather than ignorant to the hazards that flow around them all day.  I will never say that we are perfect as I know we are far from it, but I encourage Contractors to look at safety differently.  Stop managing statistics and start managing safety.