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Focus - Keeping you insulated

image Henry Schmueckle, President, Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing Inc., San Antonio, TX

SAN ANTONIO - Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing (AIWP) was established in 1982 and currently has eleven offices in seven states performing all types of insulation, spray fireproofing, waterproofing, fire stop, spray foam and spray insulation on signature projects across the southeast and Midwest regions of the United States.

 

 

 

How would you describe the state of the construction industry in general terms? 
    The construction industry is currently healthy and provides great opportunity. We are still in the early innings of this cycle.
 
Due to the state of the construction industry, has there been an increase or a decrease in business?

    We have experienced an increase in business over the past several years.
 
Do you see an increase in the number of outside contractors coming into the area?
    General contractors have been branching out and servicing a larger geographic area, followed by some subcontractors following their customer base as well.

How has this increase affected Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing and how AIWP conducts business?
    The expansion of our business has required Alpha to have stronger procedures and processes in place.
   
What are the “hot button” issues in the insulation & waterproofing industry?

    The “hot buttons” for the insulation and waterproofing industry is staying educated on the building codes.  Air barrier, life safety and insulation requirements have been rapidly changing over the past few years.

How do you stay up-to-date in your industry?
    We stay up-to-date with changes in our industry by participating in various trade organizations.  We also do extensive training with our manufacturing partners.

What are the major changes in the construction industry relating to the type of work you do?
    The major change in the construction industry over the last 10 years has been the emphasis on safety. All aspects of safety have gone up tremendously from PPE, certified training, overall awareness and jobsite enforcement. We welcome this change and it has only made the industry stronger across the board.
 
What is the most significant challenge the insulation & waterproofing industry faces?  Labor shortages?  Cost Increases?
    The most significant challenge facing Alpha is an aging workforce and the ability to attract and retain a younger workforce.
 
How is Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing dealing with these challenges?
    Alpha has created a cloud-based training program that is available to all employees. The Alpha U can be used to train new employees or be used as a
preparatory tool before scopes of work begin on projects. We have developed in-house training videos to address how to install the scopes of work we perform. Alpha has a fulltime staff constantly
addressing these training issues.

What advice would you give to a young person who wants to work in your industry?
    My advice to a young person wanting to work in the industry is to get a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management; any of the outstanding universities offering this specific type program is a good start.

What are the cost increases related to the insulation & waterproofing industry?
    Over the last five years, there has  been a dramatic increase in wages and benefits.  We have experienced an increase in materials, but the labor issues far outweigh the material issues.
 
What are the rewards of the insulation & waterproofing industry?
    The industry is rewarding because it provides great opportunity for personal advancement if you have the “right stuff.” In addition, it is rewarding to pass signature projects you have been a part of and knowing you’ve played an important role in developing the city.
 
What are the keys to success in the insulation & waterproofing industry?
    The keys to success are attention to detail and rewarding your employees.  -cmw


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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net