Atlanta Structural Concrete Co.

When Atlanta Structural Concrete Co. takes on a project, it lives up to its promises. “We are a full-service specialty contractor and almost at all costs do what we say we’re going to do upfront,” Vice President and General Manager Pete Needham declares.

Buchanan, Ga.-based Atlanta Structural provides high performance structural and architectural precast, prestressed concrete solutions to clients in the southeastern United States. “We’re geographically ideally located to hit the entire Southeast,” Needham says. “From the Carolinas to Tennessee to Alabama and Florida, we can touch each one of those states in a major way.”

Atlanta Structural started operations in 1958 as LEAP Structure Concrete, a joint venture between LEAP Associates and Bristol Steel and Ironworks. “It changed the name to Atlanta Structural a couple years later when it was owned solely by Bristol,” Needham explains.

Bristol owned the company until 1994, when it was taken over by former President Clyde Poovey, who had been with the company for more than 30 years. “He was basically our patriarch,” Needham recalls, noting that Poovey initially partnered with, and then eventually sold the company to EnCon United Co., a specialty contractor focused on engineered concrete products based in Denver.

Today, Atlanta Structural specializes in structural and architectural precast. Precast concrete is a versatile, efficient and resilient material that will allow owners, architects and engineers to achieve the desired look and feel of the building desired. “If designers have an opportunity that might work in precast, especially in the schematics stage, we want to be contacted,” EnCon’s Executive Vice President Bob McCormack says. “Our professionals will be more than happy to help with preliminary design assistance to advise if precast is a good solution for the structure.” 

Product Partners

Atlanta Structural’s success is due to its strong relationships with contractors, architects and engineers, Needham says. This has allowed the firm to have much repeat business.

“We have some general contractors in the multifamily market that we do a lot of projects with, year in and year out,” he says, noting that Atlanta Structural nurtures this loyalty through strong service and keeping promises.

“Providing responsive pre-construction services and quality products is something we’re always focused on,” Needham says. 

Its vendors also play an important part, including Kemco Systems, a steam generator provider. “We just recently purchased two brand-new steam generators to replace ones that we’ve had for years and years,” he says. “They helped us specify and install the equipment to achieve a much more efficient steam operation.”

Atlanta Structural benefits from its status as a member of the EnCon United family of companies. EnCon Design supports Atlanta Structural by providing preliminary design assistance as well as full service precast design and engineering services. 

EnCon operates several precast-related companies around the country and coordinates resources and best practices to position Atlanta Structural for growth.     

Staffing Up

Atlanta Structural is seeing strong business in the multifamily and industrial sector, Needham says. “Predominantly for us, providing cost-effective parking decks for apartment complexes and industrial wall panels are fueling our growth,” he says. 

The cities of Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn., are booming with multifamily work. “That is right in our wheelhouse,” Needham says. “Precast decks are our specialty and we have creative ways to handle structural, lateral and gravity loads even on unique footprints.” 

Athletic Construction

Atlanta Structural has a broad project portfolio that includes the Metter K-8 gymnasium in Metter, Ga. The 15,000-square-foot facility was designed to be an ideal spot for physical education classes, sports team venues and community events.

The company provided 170 stadium riser seating sections, which it completed over a 10-day period. 

“It was a small- sized project, but it turned out very well,” Needham recalls. “The precast was a perfect complement to the gymnasium.”

Atlanta Structural’s sports projects also include work for Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta. The renovation of the stadium integrated structural precast products into the facilities to reconstruct the stadium’s seating, and added restrooms, concession areas, athletic offices and a press box. 

“They used a triple precast concrete riser for the seating area,” Needham notes, adding that the stadium is used by four high schools in Atlanta.

That’s A Wrap

Atlanta Structural’s projects also include Pine Street Flats in Nashville, which consists of seven levels of parking with 584 spaces adjacent to apartments and retail stores. The LEED-certified structure contains 540 pieces of precast concrete components, including double tees, beams, columns and wall panels. 

The structure is known as “a wrap job,” Needham says. “Basically, in high-density areas such as Nashville, they put the parking deck in the middle of the apartments and wrap them around the deck. 

“Precast is ideally suited for that because typically the parking deck needs to go up first,” he continues. “One of the major advantages of precast concrete is the speed of construction.” 

Total Precast

The company also contributed to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Village in Columbia, S.C., a four-story student-housing dormitory. Needham notes that Atlanta Structural utilized insulated precast concrete panels, columns and beams.

“It was a total precast building,” he continues. “The thermally efficient insulated panels had a brick form liner accent on the lower part of the panel. The combination of brick accents and precast allowed for an attractive and cost-effective solution for this project.” 

The Whistlebury Walk apartment project in Athens, Ga., presented an opportunity for a precast podium solution, Needham says. “They wanted to expand and put in more units, and they needed additional parking,” he recalls. 

“The project consisted of providing an elevated precast podium above which apartments were built,” he recalls. “The speed of the precast podium construction allowed the developer to open the project sooner than other methods of construction.” 

A Quality Culture

Needham is a longtime veteran of Atlanta Structural and takes pride in the company’s hard work. “I joined the company 21 years ago,” he recalls, noting Poovey strived to maintain a “quality-focused family-oriented” environment at the company.

“We have many employees that have been here for 20-plus years,” he explains. “I would say that probably 75 percent of our workforce has been with us for 10 years or longer.”

He praises his team, including Vice President of Sales Ricky Kannarney. “Ricky has a number of outstanding trusted relationships with contractors, architects and engineers. These strong relationships create the opportunity for future work,” Needham says.

Needham, adds that he, along with Kannarney and Project Manager and Chief Estimator Keith Jackson, all see their projects through from proposal to completion. “One point of contact with the customer from start to finish has served the customer and Atlanta Structural very well.”

Needham predicts controlled growth ahead for Atlanta Structural with a lot of attention in the multifamily, industrial and heavy industrial food-processing markets in the Southeast region. 

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