An Ecosystem of Services and Solutions
BW Construction quickly makes name in public, private sectors by putting clients first
Developed from a deep commitment to the clients and communities it serves, BW Construction has made a name for itself in the public and private sectors. A full- service real estate development and construction management firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, the company has bid and won impressive accounts by building solid relationships and bringing teams together to make an impact in the region—all after just a few years in business.
Troy Woodruff and Brad Battin are the majority owners of RQAW, an architecture and engineering company established in 1953. RQAW is a sister company of BW Construction. Their road to owning the firm was a journey that seemed serendipitously designed.
“Meeting Brad was a unique situation,” Troy says, reflecting on his days as an elected official. “I was voted into the Indiana General Assembly in 2004 and Brad was an intern while I was there. Spring forward a decade, and I was at the Indiana Department of Transportation, and Brad and I had stayed in touch. When I left state government, and after my ‘cooling off’ period, Brad and I bought the company. A year later, we opened BW Construction to expand into construction and help feed our architecture department with private work.”
“We put our clients first and foremost,” Troy adds. “When we look at vertical construction within the public sector, we see a lot of needs and not much money. We try to marry innovation and cost savings to help local government meet their needs. Our biggest base of work is in the public sector—jails, police and fire stations, as well as government centers and garages.”
Vision Curates Talent
At its highest potential, talent is an extension of vision. From the outset, BW Construction’s vision has been to provide innovative solutions to clients from concept to construction. In the process, Troy and Brad recruited a well-respected construction leader, Dustin Frye, to bring together a talented, close-knit and passionate team focused on seamless construction execution and strategic collaboration.
“Our team has a lot of history in the industry and experience we bring to the table,” Director of Construction Services Dustin Frye says. Dustin has helped develop a culture that is customer-centric and solutions-oriented. While leading the team, Dustin is also heavily involved on the front end of projects in that he puts estimates together, creates budgets and collaborates with clients on concepts. “We’re problem solvers and we know what each job takes and what our clients need, and we want to be the solution makers to help them solve their problems. We have design and construction teams that work closely together, and we can look at all construction projects from a designer’s or architect’s perspective, sidestepping typical industry battles. We’ve been able to get past that normal perception of animosity between architect and contractor and work together to make each other better and to make our clients more successful.”
Clients can choose from a la carte services that fully integrate design, construction and financing. Dustin says there’s no need to go outside of BW Construction’s ecosystem of services, which means flexibility, quality, expediency, expertise and peace of mind are part of each project.
Making a Team Work
Great teams are hard to come by, so Dustin had his work cut out for him. But with more than 15 years of experience in construction, he has made authentic and long-standing connections among the crews and subcontractors he worked with over time.
“You have to communicate well, be open and honest, to develop trust,” Dustin says. “We consider ourselves an open book. Troy’s background is government, and Brad came from that workspace as well, so public clients know that we have people who have been in their shoes and understand their problems. This understanding has helped us develop client trust.”
Dustin knows that the right talent and work experience are essential to creating quality work and sustaining relationships. Most of all, he knows that relationships matter. He realized early on that how you treat people and how willing you are to communicate and be a part of the solution are directly correlated to how the work gets done. He established strong ties with subcontractors and made sure they felt like family and that they knew they were essential to the project. This development and reinforcement of trust and talent defines the culture of BW Construction.
“We’ve created a culture by making this a fun place to work where you can grow in your career,” Dustin says. “People start to hear about those things and they want to be part of it. The biggest recruiting tool anyone should have is their people, and we’ve found good people.”
One of the solutions the company has been able to offer clients is public-private financing for public clients. BW Construction navigates through the strict rules and funding ceilings for public entities.
“We use a build-operate-transfer (BOT) methodology,” explains Dustin. BOT is a form of project financing, where a private entity receives a commitment from the public sector to finance, design, construct, own and operate a facility as stated in the contract. “A public entity can hire a private entity to design its project, finance it, operate it and turn it over to the county after completion. From there, they make lease payments or roll it into bond later, which gives the public entity the ultimate flexibility on projects,” Dustin says. “We’ve become the experts on that, and it’s getting used more and more. We recently completed construction on one of the largest BOT projects in the state of Indiana—the Delaware County Justice Center’s new jail in Muncie. We took all the risk from the county during construction as the developer, architect and construction manager.”
The Delaware County Justice Center was a long journey for Dustin and his team—one packed full of collaboration and problem-solving. They worked with county commissioners and county council, the sheriff and his team, the judges and court administrator, department heads who were impacted by the project, finance partners and attorneys. The process was detailed and multilayered. Clear communication, organization, and management of expectations were essential throughout each phase of the project.
“I’ve led that entire process with lots of help from Troy and Brad and others in the architectural and marketing departments,” Dustin says. “It takes an army to get a project of that magnitude done. All of these projects take a lot of time and energy before you put a shovel in the ground. All the teams have to pull on the same side of the rope. The collaboration can be fun, and it’s often what really makes it all worth it.”
“Delaware County’s existing facility was out of compliance, over capacity, and they had no bonding capacity. They felt like they needed more options,” Troy adds.
“We came in and said there’s another process we can offer. We developed a private finance solution to solve their needs. We refurbished a vacant school and turned it into a jail and justice center. It’s proof of how we help our clients get things done while working with the resources they have available.”
Diversity of Service
BW Construction has also developed a nimble and lean team that can scale to skillfully handle a variety of projects. Success is determined by the realization of the project and through the process of working with a team focused on a common goal. Brad, Troy and Dustin have created a team inspired to move with the same intent, in the same direction, building trust with clients and identifying solutions that speak to public and private interests.
This company is holistically positioned to thrive on the talent of its people, the strength of its relationships and the diversity of its services to meet the present and future needs of infrastructure and construction throughout the region.