High Concrete doubles down on concrete façade industry

Ioannis Pashakis//July 18, 2019

High Concrete doubles down on concrete façade industry

Ioannis Pashakis//July 18, 2019

High Concrete Group LLC leaders and community officials break ground on a manufacturing revitalization at its headquarters production facility in East Cocalico Township. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

A multimillion dollar update to High Concrete Group LLC’s largest production plant will set the company to become a market leader in the precast architectural façade industry, the group’s executives said.

High Concrete broke ground Wednesday on a project that will shift the company’s production of structural precast concrete for stadiums and parking garages to the smaller of two manufacturing buildings at its 140-acre facility in East Cocalico Township.

The $8 million project will allow High Concrete to overhaul operations of its largest plant as the company puts a stronger emphasis on creating precast architectural concrete used for structural and decorative building façades.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2020.

Market research by High Concrete has uncovered plenty of potential customers in the architectural precast market not yet tapped into, according to John Seroky, president of High Concrete Group.

“We realized there was an opportunity to be a market leader in precast and we felt that there was pent-up demand,” he said. “The market is interested in a company that can provide sophisticated designs with resilient, energy-efficient buildings.”

High Concrete is recognized worldwide for its structural precast buildings, largely due to its reputation for parking garages, Seroky said. On the architectural precast end of the business, the company also built façades for the new Statue of Liberty Museum in New York in May of this year and the 1200 Intrepid office building in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The larger of the two plants at the East Cocalico Township facility will focus solely on creating architectural precast with new equipment, such as concrete batching systems, and between 50 and 70 new employees.

The newly renovated plant is designed to have a reduced carbon footprint. To lower the plant’s effect on the environment, the company plans to limit its use of concrete mixture trucks and halve its use of process water in the cement process.

Seroky said the plant has also added features, such as additional automation, and less processes that take place outside, in order to continue to improve working conditions.

“We base our business on the High Companies philosophy: We are going to build trustworthy relationships and we will be innovative leaders,” he said. “We are addressing our customer’s needs, respecting our coworkers by improving their working conditions and being good stewards by reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our process water. It allows us to be innovative leaders.”

High Concrete expects the facility’s focus on architectural precast to bring in an additional $50 million per year in revenue. The company is an affiliate of East Lampeter Township-based High Industries Inc. which reported 2018 revenue of $495.8 million.

Despite the new emphasis on architectural precast façades, Seroky said High Concrete plans to remain an industry leader in structural parking garage work.

The project will also give High Concrete the chance to make improvements at the facility where the structural concrete processes will move. While the plant focused on structural precast concrete is smaller, the company will be incorporating methods to better use the plant’s space and equipment.

“We aren’t reducing our capacity. We are at or above what we did before,” Seroky said. “The assets were there and we have figured out how to better utilize them.”