A Better Way to Build
A History of the Pankow Companies
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Purdue University Press
List of Illustrations
Here’s how to succeed in business—the Pankow way, with lessons for any innovative entrepreneur. Business historian Michael Adamson tells the Pankow story and spotlights its impact on the construction industry—an impact that lives on through the founder’s generous philanthropy and his outstanding ability to innovate. ...
This is a book about the restoration of the master builder to the commercial building site. As a sponsored project, it is written as the story of one firm, but one that delivered large commercial projects in ways that have helped to redefine the role of the general contractor. ...
List of Abbreviations
The hallmarks of the Pankow companies have been the deployment of designbuild methodology to deliver singular commercial projects, combined with innovations in job site automation, generally associated with, but not limited to, concrete as a building material. But Charlie Pankow was neither the first contractor to utilize design-build in the twentieth century ...
Chapter 1: Kiewit Days
In America, the relationship between the engineer and business has been a close one. Said Alexander C. Humphreys, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, a century ago: “Self-evident should be the truth of the proposition that the engineer ought to be a man of business.”1 ...
Chapter 2: Executing Design-Build, 1963–1971
Unlike the founders of Hewlett-Packard, Charlie Pankow did not establish his company in a garage. But one had to walk through the garage of his Altadena, California, home to get to the basement, where he set up shop not more than 10 miles to the west of his former Kiewit office. ...
Chapter 3: Pankow in Hawaii, 1965–1984
In May 1967, at the end of Charles Pankow, Inc.’s (CPI’s) first project in Hawaii, an office building for the James Campbell Estate, Charlie Pankow flew to Honolulu to meet with George Hutton for a final briefing on what had been a difficult engagement. So the story goes, Hutton asked Pankow what he wanted him to do next. ...
Chapter 4: Pankow on the Mainland, 1972–1984
After he joined the firm as a project sponsor in 1972, Dean Stephan rarely saw Charlie Pankow. Indeed, it seemed to him as if the company ran itself: “We were maybe like a platoon in the Marines. We were a very small group, very tight knit, all working for each other and covering each other’s back, and we really didn’t have a colonel around telling us what to do. ...
Chapter 5: Reorganization, Growth, and Recession, 1984–1991
As Charles Pankow, Inc. (CPI), neared its twentieth anniversary, Charlie Pankow pondered its corporate structure. Together, he, George Hutton, and Russ Osterman owned some 85 percent of the company’s stock. It was prohibitively expensive to acquire any ownership position, as the book value of the firm had increased appreciably over two decades. ...
Chapter 6: Promoting Design-Build and Funding Concrete Construction Research
This chapter steps aside from the chronological framework of the narrative to consider the diffusion of design-build and the role that Charlie Pankow and his firm played in spreading the practice. As design-build and certain concrete construction techniques were intertwined in Charlie Pankow’s construction program, ...
Chapter 7: Adapting to Market Change, 1991–2004
Well before the construction industry began to recover from the deep recession of the early 1990s, it was unclear whether the business model that had sustained Charlie Pankow’s company for almost three decades would enable it to thrive when the economy rebounded, much less survive the next downturn. The founder had no doubt that it could. ...
Free of the contract provisions, minimum fees, and other constraints embedded in the founder’s business model, Charles Pankow Builders was able to compete on equal footing in the commercial segment of the industry during the frenzied boom that peaked in the spring of 2006. Indeed, the favorable market helped the company adjust to life without its founder. ...
Charlie Pankow assembled a capable group of self-starters in a building division within the Los Angeles District of Peter Kiewit Sons’. Under his leadership, they became experts in concrete construction, and, as contractors, willing and able to assume sole responsibility for project execution under a building team configuration that became known as design-build. ...
Appendix A: Major Projects Completed on the Mainland, 1963–2004, and in Hawaii after the Retirement of George Hutton, 1992–2004
Appendix B: Projects Completed in Hawaii under George Hutton
Appendix C: The Pankow Companies: Innovations, Adaptations, and Tweaks
List of Archival Collections
Page Count: 460
Publication Year: 2013
OCLC Number: 867739494
MUSE Marc Record: Download for A Better Way to Build