Raising the Bar
J.M. Pereira & Sons, Inc. pours excellence into everything
“Safety first, excellence and integrity always.” This motto reflects the key values of a team aspiring to be the No. 1 choice for customers in the field of concrete construction. This vision for J.M. Pereira & Sons, Inc., nearing 50 years in operation, is catapulting the family-owned business to new heights as it continues to evolve its services and capabilities.
“Our team members are passionate about what we do and dedicated to being safe and as efficient as possible on every project,” says Project Manager/Estimator Michael Pereira, the grandson of Founder Jose Pereira and son of President Carl Pereira. “Our priority is to do things the right way—from going the extra mile to meet our customers’ needs, to providing our employees with the support and resources to perform their work with excellence.”
A Strong Family Foundation
J.M. Pereira & Sons was founded as a sole proprietorship in 1972 by Jose, a Portuguese immigrant who came from a family with a rich masonry heritage. In pursuit of the American Dream, he moved his wife and children to Philadelphia, where he opened a concrete subcontracting business catering to small homebuilders in the region. His three sons—Carl, Rui and Tony—grew up around the business, eventually becoming President, Vice President and Controller, respectively. (While Tony is no longer with the company, other members of the Pereira family have since joined the ranks.) The family operation grew quickly, and by the time it became incorporated in 1980, it had expanded into commercial and light industrial work as well as other territories.
Commitment to Safety
A dedicated safety committee was established in 2005, marking another major milestone in the company’s history. “We are very safety conscious,” Michael confirms. “Our safety committee includes members from every division of the company, who all work together to establish new safety procedures, facilitate training and ensure compliance.”
Safety Manager/Account Manager Patrick Morrison leads the companywide safety meetings each month and conducts toolbox talks out in the field. In his experience, one of the best ways to prevent mishaps and injuries is to use top-of-the-line tools and equipment—and be consistent with the selections. “Uniformity is important,” he adds. “Rather than working with a hodgepodge of tools and equipment, we stick with the same trusted brands so that our people know exactly how things function and what to expect.”
Having competent, responsible people on the job is another essential safety practice at J.M. Pereira & Sons. “At a minimum, every employee in our company has completed OSHA 10-hour training, and our supervisors in the field have OSHA 30-hour training. We do everything possible to ensure our team has the knowledge and skills to stay safe and protected,” Patrick says.
Delivering Top-Notch Service
Today, the main offices of J.M. Pereira & Sons are located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. “We have a solid group of reliable workers, many of which are cross-trained in the work that we do,” Michael says. The team performs jobs across the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
In addition to concrete pumping and aggregate placement, the firm specializes in excavation work, footings, poured concrete walls, block walls, flatwork, foundation waterproofing and cementitious floor underlayment systems.
An extensive fleet of heavy equipment and trucks provide the means to perform jobs of all size, scope and scale. From boom pumps, line pumps and stone slingers to dozers, dump trucks and more—the company has the essentials to stay productive and the versatility to overcome any access issues on job sites.
Patrick shares a few specific equipment examples. “Our company owns six Soil King stone spreaders for aggregate placement and three Zim-Mixer trucks, which have been customized for our gypsum-mixing process. We also have five Putzmeister Telebelt trucks that we use for concrete pours—there’s nobody in our region that has more than two Telebelts,” he says.
Embracing technology offers yet another avenue to deliver enhanced services to customers. The use of automatic lasers to set elevations, customized computer-aided design (CAD) software and robotic surveying equipment are a few of the progressive solutions that give J.M. Pereira & Sons an edge over the competition.
To network and stay abreast of industry best practices, the firm is also a member of multiple trade associations. These include Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., the American Concrete Pavement Association, the Concrete Foundations Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the American Concrete Institute, and the Home Builders Association of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.
Superior Flooring Results
J.M. Pereira & Sons has persistently expanded its capabilities to meet the diverse needs of its clients. In the past decade, this focus on continuous advancement led the team to begin installing cementitious gypsum floor underlayments. The product of choice is Levelrock, a high-performing system manufactured by USG Corporation, a global market leader in gypsum products and other building materials.
Levelrock is specially engineered to meet stringent UL fire ratings and reduce sound transmission between rooms, and is commonly used in conjunction with radiant-heat flooring systems. It is available in a range of compressive strengths, with samples manufacturer-tested on every installation to monitor the strength of each batch. There are also additional sound-reduction products that can be used in conjunction with the Levelrock system, allowing the concrete experts at J.M. Pereira & Sons to design the right solution for any project.
When it comes to poured gypsum products, the team’s level of ingenuity really sets the bar for high-quality standards. In fact, the company’s unique systems and proprietary processes for mixing and delivering gypsum flooring may be unmatched on the East Coast, according to Patrick. He notes that J.M. Pereira & Sons’ mixer trucks are designed specifically for USG’s Levelrock product.
“We are always looking at different ways to enhance our operations through technology,” Michael comments. “The old way of doing gypsum floors was very strenuous, backbreaking labor; we wanted to streamline the process and make everything automated. By creating these trucks, we are now able to automate our mix, which decreases our labor and increases our efficiency.” In addition, the company developed a unique mixing method that virtually eliminates silica and dust from the process, which supports a cleaner work environment.
“Our equipment and methods also improve quality control,” Patrick chimes in. “We have the superior product and the superior piece of equipment to install it, to get the quality that a customer would want.”
On gypsum flooring projects, J.M. Pereira & Sons’ average daily job capacity is 30,000 square feet; however, the concrete contractor has the resources and capacity to pour 90,000+ square feet per day when needed. “Gypsum is very intricate once you start pouring it,” explains Michael, detailing how the fast-drying mixture starts to solidify soon after pumping operations cease. “Once that stuff starts mixing and we start pumping, we do not stop.”
He continues, “We even provide our own ‘approved’ sand for the gypsum mixture, which is filtered and cleaned by the sand quarry and contains the exact, fine aggregate that we need to do the job right. We regularly send samples to USG in Baltimore for further quality-assurance purposes, which helps to reduce waste and cleanup efforts later on.” Typically, around 500 tons of gypsum and sand are stored at the company’s headquarters location, where a 90-ton gypsum powder silo is also replenished on a daily basis.
The Levelrock system, which contains recycled gypsum, also has sustainability advantages. “This product can be a cost-effective alternative to meet ‘green’ requirements for reusable building materials,” Michael explains. “Sustainable building materials are becoming increasingly important in the construction industry; Levelrock is an easy way to stay in step without re-tooling the building process.”
“Gypsum is very intricate once you start pouring it. Once that stuff starts mixing and we start pumping, we do not stop.” Michael Pereira, Project Manager/Estimator, J.M. Pereira & Sons, Inc.
Contractor of Choice
The company’s project portfolio is bursting at the seams with concrete jobs across a range of markets—including residential, municipal, health care, education, retail, hospitality, stadiums/arenas, industrial/manufacturing and transportation infrastructure.
When asked to list some of the company’s recent work, Patrick offers several examples. The first is Signature Place, a 492-unit luxury apartment community in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, built by IMC Construction. “We did all the concrete work—approximately 8,150 cubic yards—and also provided around 387,000 square feet of gypsum flooring underlayment,” Patrick states.
J.M. Pereira & Sons is currently providing concrete services on three other major New Jersey projects. They include the Scudder Falls Bridge replacement in Ewing, the I-295/I-76/Route 42 interchange modernization in Camden County, and the new Haddon Pointe luxury apartment community in Pennsauken.
Patrick shares a few construction highlights. “On the Scudder Falls Bridge project, we are providing services for two other contractors—Trumbull Corporation and Aspen Landscaping Contracting, Inc. Recently, our team placed 10,000 cubic yards of amended soils at a drainage retention basin, completing the task in the span of six days at a pace averaging 50 loads of soil per day,” he says. “For the I-295/I-76/Route 42 interchange project, we’ve subcontracted for multiple contractors across most of the construction phases. And with the Haddon Pointe job for Delco Development, we’re doing all the concrete placement work (about 3,200 cubic yards’ worth) and providing gypsum flooring underlayment services (just under 180,000 square feet across 10 buildings).”
Earlier this year, the firm contributed its expertise on a large, demanding job for Carson Concrete Corporation. Workers placed over 6,000 cubic yards of concrete in just over 13 hours at the site of a future 48-story high-rise called The Laurel, which is destined to become the tallest condominium tower in Philadelphia’s Center City neighborhood.
J.M. Pereira & Sons has received numerous accolades from customers and industry partners for consistently doing great work. One memorable example is an Outstanding Tradesman Award for its performance at the Jacksonville Station apartments in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The award, presented in 2018, was given by the general contracting/construction management team of J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc. and Iron Hill Construction Management.
“We provided the gypsum flooring for that new development and succeeded in meeting the project team’s fast-paced schedule—and sometimes even accelerated it— through the use of our high- performing equipment and efficient processes,” Michael says. Patrick concurs, adding, “If standard mixing machines had been used on this project, it would have taken more than double the amount of time. Other contractors in our region would not have been able to handle such an aggressive schedule.”
Excellence—the Pereira Way
J.M. Pereira & Sons has evolved in countless ways over the course of its 48 years in operation. What has remained constant, however, is a steadfast focus on taking care of people—including those in the local community.
“Participating in projects that benefit the greater community is something that goes beyond merely winning a bid. These intrinsically rewarding experiences bring us pride and satisfaction for a job well done as we help those in the community who need it most,” Michael says. The team’s community-oriented work includes projects for Habitat for Humanity, Homes For Our Troops, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Building up the next generation of construction talent is another priority for the leaders of J.M. Pereira & Sons. “We’ve partnered with Bucks County Technical High School to offer an internship program in order to help younger generations get excited about careers in construction,” Michael shares. These paid internships usually last up to six months, and afterward J.M. Pereira & Sons will usually extend full-time employment opportunities to individuals who show promise and passion for the industry. “We’ve hired several individuals from this program already,” Patrick adds.
From diversifying services, to investing in leading-edge equipment and technology, to expanding into new territories, to supporting local communities, to building up the talent pipeline—the future-focused team at J.M. Pereira & Sons is always looking for opportunities to make things better. Because that’s the Pereira way to be truly excellent.