Exceeding the standards in construction since 1968
The firm’s slogan is ‘Defining the Skyline’ and it is quite appropriate. After completing a majority of the new buildings in Cleveland and Toledo, the Columbus office of OCP Contractors is now steadily growing in popularity with owners, architects and general Contractors.
With a local workforce of approximately 90 tradespeople, and 400 more statewide, the firm can handle projects of any size. Boasting an unblemished record of on-time and on-budget delivery, the Columbus office continues to satisfy a growing client list in central and southern Ohio.
Meet the Innovators
When it comes time to bid a project, OCP Contractors is now capable of self-performing multiple Division 6 through Division 10 specialties; including structural and light gauge metal studs, fireproofing, spray foam insulation, panelization, ACM panels, drywall, insulation, acoustical ceilings, toilet partitions, doors, frames and hardware.
Ensuring the management team is equipped for maximum productivity, sales and supervisory people are equipped with iPads, Plan Grid, and backed up by an Oracle-powered comprehensive software package.
“In-house, we utilize just about every technology possible to make sure we serve our clients better. We use AutoCAD, Revit, BIM, Rhino, and we’ve even added Total Station where all components can be laid out on X, Y and Z coordinates. When we see the door crack, we push it open,” explains OCP President, Ed Sellers.
50 Years of Success
Ohio Ceiling & Partitions was founded in 1968 in Toledo. In 1995, as the company’s capabilities expanded, the name was changed to OCP Contractors. In 2004, an office was opened in Cleveland and quickly set the firm on a path of exponential growth.
Building upon its success, the firm expanded into the Columbus market in 2009, seeking mid to large residential, commercial and industrial projects. Located at 370 North Eureka Avenue in Columbus, this office brings the same wealth of expertise to its local market.
OCP’s impressive project portfolio consists of award-winning projects such as the AC Marriott in Dublin, OH.
Now celebrating its 50th year in business, the company’s desire to be the absolute best choice is even stronger as it expands across the state.
Columbus as a New Market
“Based on the size of the market, Columbus was a logical location for our third off ice,” explains Director of Operations, Clark Townsend. “In addition, many of the company’s customers in Toledo and Cleveland, also had offices or were thinking of expanding to the Columbus market.”
It’s all about timing, and the time was right to move into Columbus. A former Columbus-based interior systems contractor was winding down operations. Both his inventory and location became available. Purchasing both, OCP was able to begin business immediately in this newest location.
Multiple projects were completed shortly thereafter including: Bob Evans Headquarters, St. Paul the Apostle Church, and Ohio University Athens Student Housing.
As Columbus matured over the past decade, OCP has seen both an expansion of customers and competition in the market. “One of the big changes over the years has been the interest from customers in both our prefabrication and panelization capabilities,” says Townsend.
Reflecting on the past nine years, General Manager, Brian Stone also sees a marked increase in vertical development. “The emphasis now is vertical. Look around and you’ll see so many more 25 and 30-floor towers rising over the landscape.”
Since the opening of the Columbus office, the firm has averaged 30 new projects each year. This past year alone, they contracted $20-million worth of work.
Major Projects Completed
Possibly most recognizable to Columbus residents are three of OCP Contractors larger projects.
The 10-story, mixed-use Beatty Building in the booming South High Street area was an example of OCP bringing innovative solutions to the owner, enabling quicker completion on a tight site. Working with Lifestyle Communities (the general contractor) and David B. Meleca Architects, OCP proposed a cold-formed steel framing system manufactured by All Steel Mid-Rise for the exterior framing of the building. By compressing the time needed to enclose the building, interior trades were able to start work sooner.
After construction was well underway, the owner wanted to make changes to the upper two floors. Thanks to OCP’s flexibility, the change was accommodated without impacting the schedule of the project.
In addition to the exterior framing of the building, OCP also installed the drywall, interior partitions and acoustical ceilings.
On the Hollywood Casino – Columbus, OCP wasn’t challenged by the intricate soffited ceiling system thanks to their experience with prefabrication. With precisely cut and assembled sections, the soffits, with drywall attached, were hoisted into place, perfectly aligned, just as the architect envisioned it.
OCP also completed all exterior insulation and finish as well as metal framing, drywall and acoustical ceilings in the interior.
Corna-Kokosing selected OCP to perform framing, drywall, insulation, and acoustical ceilings on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Faculty Office Building. This 163,000-square-foot facility consists of six stories above ground and two stories below.
Located at the southeast corner of Livingston Avenue and Parsons Avenue, the site was a typical tight, urban site in Columbus with no additional area to stock materials outside. Just-in-time delivery scheduling required materials to be delivered and received only as needed. For the “Top-Ten-Rated” Nationwide Children’s Hospital system, OCP Contractors was a logical choice.
Service to Their Customers
Some projects, more than others, allow OCP Contractors to utilize their unique talents to serve and benefit their customers.
On the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin, completed in 2017, OCP helped create a premier Marriott location overlooking the Scioto River. Here, OCP Contractors was part of the design team, utilizing its in-house expertise with building information modeling (BIM). The computer modeling enabled integration of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems into the panel fabrication, enabling the construction crews to complete more than 1,000 square-feet of interior space each day.
For the exterior, OCP proposed the use of light-gauge steel bearing panels combined with a proprietary T44 flooring system by All Steel Mid-Rise for the building. Utilizing the Hilti Total Station layout system, they would be able to layout the project precisely in all three dimensions.
Cambered joists were used for the floors, allowing the building to be erected without shoring. Floor joists and metal decking were arranged and bundled off-site. They were then delivered in sequence, such that they could be placed directly in the appropriate bays by the crane operator and a crew of just two other men. This minimized handling by the trades involved and was one of the key features in accelerating the installation.
In addition, structural steel was incorporated into the demising walls, where non-welded connections sped up the installation of the distinctive ‘S’-shaped, glass facade curtain wall facing Riverside Drive.
OCP also helped create a unique fall-protection system, which along with their other suggestions, resulted in completion of the project four weeks ahead of schedule.
At the same time, OCP was completing the Huntington Gateway Center for Gilbane Building Company. Designed by the architectural firm Integrated Design Group, this is the 210,000-square-foot, $18-million home of Huntington Bank’s new operations center. Formerly, home to a Meijer grocery store, it now serves as the base of operations for a projected 1,400 Huntington employees.
The space would be the new home for many employees being relocated from across Columbus; so, to coordinate all the moves, the completion schedule was of ultimate importance.
Huntington wanted to portray their leadership not only in banking, but in creating dynamic workspaces for their employees. Plans called for not only open collaboration areas and dining facilities, but also mediation rooms, physical fitness areas and child care areas with nursing rooms. Furthermore, Huntington partnered with the Central Ohio Transit Authority and equipped the facility with a CMAX Bus Rapid Transit hub.
To obtain maximum use of natural light throughout the cavernous space, the floor area was laid out into separate ‘neighborhoods” depending on the associated job functions. Adding to the complexity, partitions mimicked the Huntington logo, forming honeycomb-shape spaces with six sides. With the fluid design of the hallways, a significant portion of the floorplan required precision attention to detail.
When asked to comment on the complexity of the project, OCP Project Foreman James Dean stated that, “This project featured many complications in design such as suspended ceiling structures, and even tedious angles throughout the hallways that had to be laid out by hand. Despite unique design details and a compressed schedule, the team at OCP did an outstanding job of completing the work on time, while also exceeding expectations.”
“OCP Contractors has been a trusted partner to our team for a number of years, and have helped us on some of our most important and high profile construction projects in Ohio,” says Kyle Sellers, Manager of Strategic Development for Gilbane. “The dedication to their craft is evident in the work they do, whether it is in the skill of their field personnel or the expertise of their pre-construction team in the office. There is a reason they have been in business for 50 years; they go out of their way to make sure their clients are satisfied, and they deliver a finished product that exceeds their expectations.” (Kyle is no relation to Ed Sellers of OCP.)
Sometimes, the weather can be the make-or-break criterion in the success of a project. Such wasn’t the case however with the 100,000-square-foot Upper Arlington Medical Office Building designed Andrews Architects, Inc. and built by Gilbane Construction. Located in the Kingsdale neighborhood, the building is occupied by Ohio State University’s new Wexner outpatient care center.
Despite the winter of 2015-2016, OCP weathered the extremes, completing this $3.2-million contract in just six months – which was two months ahead of schedule. Their scope included exteriors, air barriers, and interiors; including doors, frames and hardware.
Driving around today, one might see OCP’s most recent work on both exteriors and interiors at the 65,000-square-foot Topgolf entertainment center in Polaris or the ‘world’s first crowdfunded craft beer hotel,’ the BrewDog’s DogHouse Hotel in Canal Winchester, Ohio. As an enticement to guests, the hotel features beer coolers in each shower (seriously) and craft beer spa treatments. Utilizing All-Steel’s Timberless-44 floor system and wall panels, the hotel’s shell was erected in a mere 18 days. Off-site prefabrication enabled the panels to come to the site and be immediately placed, despite the cold winter weather. Both projects opened in the fall of 2018.
Valued Employees – Not Just Words
Where too many contractors claim, “our employees are our biggest asset,” OCP puts them to shame with its training, benefit plans and open book policy.
“Everyone has a reputation, and our employee’s reputations drive our firm’s reputation,” philosophizes Sellers. “The other thing that we stress is openness and honesty. We keep exact records for all our projects, from budgeting through construction, enabling us to easily submit to costs verifications whenever requested.”
The same policy of openness and honesty is shared with OCP foremen on each project, so everyone knows exactly how many hours are budgeted for the work and how soon each component must be completed.
Since its inception, OCP has provided outstanding opportunities to their supervisory staff, both in the office and in the field. While other companies fear training their employees will make them easy targets for their competitors, OCP offers their people the best training available, like sending them to the Carpenter’s International Training Center in Las Vegas.
“We also take our people to various manufacturer’s training centers to learn about and experience new products before they are working with them on a project,” says General Superintendent Jay Waltz, “Many times, our vendors come to us and present “lunch-and-learn’ sessions when they are ready to roll out new products.”
“One of the more recent learning opportunities we had was with Armstrong, where we were shown its ShortSpan drywall ceiling framing system,” says Stone. “We were then able to use it on the Trautman Residential Tower project, which accelerated the layout and installation of the drywall corridor ceilings.”
“That was just another of many examples where we took advantage of new technology provided by the manufacturers, applied it to an appropriate project in the field, and recognized significant savings,” adds Stone.
Another area that is essential for all employees is their safety training. “We send all our employees through the OSHA 30 program, not just our supervisors,” explains Waltz. “We also send all our foremen for Safety Trained Supervisor Construction (STSC) training to help them ensure a safe work environment on all our projects.”
“We have a high-performance culture that allows our employees to thrive,” explains Matt Townsend. “Safety is first not only on our job sites but also in everything that we do. Our culture centers around life balance along with an aggression to win. We have an answer to the issue or problem at hand rather than a ‘no’. Training is ongoing, and we push innovation. We work hard and play hard.”
OCP fosters an environment where employees know they are valued. Whether it’s an appreciation dinner, a holiday party or a foreman’s fishing trip, managers make sure to take time and convey recognition for jobs well done. They liken it to a family environment where everyone has an integral role.
“I think most of our people enjoy that there is not that severe intensity level within the firm. When we hire people to do specific work, we know that they have earned that position,” says Stone. “And, from there, we let them do their job, with support as needed, each managing their individual projects as they see fit.”
“When we set up a job,” explains Clark Townsend, “we open up our actual bid and go through a very detailed scope review with each of our foremen. They know exactly what we have budgeted for each division of work and we are very transparent with them. We’re not hiding anything from them and they know exactly how much time they have to get the job done. At the end of the project we always review the results, pointing out what we feel went well and what could have been improved. If there was something that went awry, we’ll pinpoint it for improvement next time, but we never dwell on it."
Talented Employees Create Award-Worthy Projects
Most recently, OCP Contractors was presented the 2017 American General Contractors (AGC) Build Ohio Specialty Award for their craftsmanship on the AC Hotel by Marriott – Columbus Dublin.
Just about every year, OCP Contractors can be found in that small list of contractors with projects among the finalists in various award nominations.
One of the firm’s first recognitions came early with the Craftsman of the Year awarded to Nick Clark who lead the team doing intricate ceilings and archways on St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westerville.
In-House Growth Expands Capabilities in Columbus
2013 would become a historic year for OCP as they began their prefabricated component system, enabling much of the field work to be preassembled before being delivered to the jobsite.
Working in controlled conditions, they can have a team of carpenters in the shop precisely cutting and preassembling much of their material. They can make whatever multi-repetitious item is needed for the project. From there, the prefabbed units are delivered directly the installation site and can be immediately installed.
The prefab process offers numerous advantages to the project and ultimately to the owner. Each part is perfectly cut with unique precision equipment, ensuring that when installed, all components will perfectly align. Prefabbing also saves space in the laydown areas on site and there is no scrap littering the site. It makes the site a safer work environment and eliminates the waste that typically needs to be picked up and hauled away at completion.
Perceiving further opportunities, the firm expanded once again in 2015, adding a certified spray insulation group. This gives OCP the opportunity to create a continuous insulation system over the exterior sheathing, creating a great air barrier and lowering owners’ operating costs.
Their capabilities now cover a majority of all specialties from CSI Division 6 through Division 10.
“OCP is constantly pushing new technology,” says Matt Townsend, CEO of OCP. “In 2017 alone, we implemented a new ERP, production tracking technology and increased our push state-wide into greater opportunities in prefabrication. Additionally, we are increasing our use of robotic layout, consistent use of tablet software on our projects and new technology in our prefab operations. We also continue to grow our use of BIM not only in precon but also internally to provide greater project coordination. Implementing greater use of technology within OCP has greatly helped our growth.”
“OCP is very entrepreneurial and we are willing to take risks into new opportunities and expand our capabilities,” adds Matt. “We believe it is ok to have a few mini failures to ultimately reach greater success and lessons learned. There is a willingness at OCP to try new things and to do business better. Expansion is always on the horizon geographically and through a diversified range of work scope.”
Contractor of Choice
One of the many reasons OCP has been successful over the past 50 years is that they commit to continually push to be the best at managing project schedules and always work to beat the project end date.
While they will look at any project, they tend to shy away from small renovation projects under 15,000 square feet. Larger projects, especially those where they can complete multiple exterior and interior specialties, allow them to bring all parts of the company together for maximum pricing advantage and operational efficiency.
“We love the opportunities to help on design-assist projects, or where we can implement information strategy planning (ISP) early on in the process,” says Stone. “That’s where we can help with things like BIM modeling, bringing maximum value to the planning phase. Add that to our large workforce and our record of always bringing projects in on schedule, and we feel there are a number of good reasons to partner with OCP Contractors.”
“While we aren’t the largest contractor in town, we do like to think we are the most advanced when it comes to estimating and budgeting. We are always looking at new software solutions for estimating, helping us deliver the best bid in the shortest time,” adds Clark Townsend.
For all they’ve accomplished in the past nine years, the Columbus office of OCP Contractors is certainly one of fastest growing specialty contractors in mid- Ohio, renowned for both pre-construction services and speed of completion.
“We like to use as our tagline, ‘Contractor of Choice’,” says Sellers. “But, you can’t use that as a tagline if you don’t measure up, so that’s what we are always striving for.”