Dave Osburn believed concrete work could be a cut above. His eponymous firm, Osburn Contractors, proves him right every day.
When he launched his specialty business in 1992, Dave Osburn knew something was missing in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial construction market: a concrete company with an uncompromising quality and safety mandate. It was a niche worth filling. By taking control of every aspect of the work, shouldering the risk, and taking personal responsibility for job outcomes, Osburn built a turnkey concrete operation unrivaled in North Texas.
“He started out with nothing but entrepreneurial spirit, and built an enterprise that’s alive, well, and worth $250 million plus,” said Daniel Harris, COO of Osburn Contractors. Today the company is one of the country’s most respected builders of big box industrial structures, complex multi-story tilt-wall buildings, and large scale paving projects.
Turnkey form, placement, and finish solutions for the vertical construction market are provided through Osburn Contractors. Full service trucking and pumping needs are offered through Osburn Trucking and Osburn Pumping. The trucking and pumping operations support not only Osburn’s teams but also the needs of outside firms that require for-hire services.
“We have about 1,500 tradespeople,” Harris said. “We perform all aspects of our concrete work from forming through finishing. When the job calls for it, we produce our own ready mix with our local batch plants. Our approach is different from other concrete companies because we control what we offer to our clients, and despite our size we operate as a small family company. We put a whole lot of focus and emphasis on having the right people in the right places.”
Osburn’s value-added collaborative approach kicks in before an ounce of concrete is mixed. VP of Operations Kolby May explained, “When we bring our expertise to the table as subcontractors, we review architectural, structural, plumbing, and mechanical drawings, on and on, to make sure the designs in the building will fit together structurally and the foundation is solid. If we go below or above ground, how does that tie together? On the technical side, you get into mix designs, rebar, tonnages, add mixtures—it gets very technical. Quality control is a huge piece of what we do, from reviewing drawings to working in the field.
“There are different sets of crews for different applications. Field engineering makes sure the building is laid out correctly. Carpenters come to form it out, and there are individual teams for rebar and finishing,” he stressed.
Osburn takes the academic approach to quality, based in the science and technicality of the medium, and adds what Harris calls a “huge element of artistry.” Finishing is a particularly artful process, whose perfect outcome rests on a blend of technical acuity and ingrained sense of how the live material actually sets up. “There are craftspeople who are like sculptors. They know what the mix should feel like, what it smells like, how it looks at very specific steps.”
Particularly mind-blowing are the sheer volumes of the pours Osburn undertakes. “We might have the same 20 or 30 workers placing between 60,000 and 100,000 square feet of concrete on the same job. It’s a huge undertaking and every foot has to be right. It’s tremendously challenging. As a company, from HR and marketing to the field, we love challenges. That’s why we’re drawn to this work.”
Building Significance Through Safety
The safety half of Dave Osburn’s equation for success is equally thorough. “Because we are a turnkey operation, we do nearly everything in house. That allows us to bring craftspeople onboard and put them through intense and detailed training from the start of their first day,” May said. Expectations are aligned and a high bar for performance is set in a training program in Osburn’s 20-acre compound in Garland, Texas. In the field, workers receive contingency training to ensure all certifications are in place and project specifics are studied, understood, and properly executed.
As VP of Human Resources Maria Alvillar put it, “Our mission is to ensure that all of our employees work in safe environments. We set up expectations from the beginning and hold our safety team accountable, and our train-the-trainer program is highly qualified.”
Harris added, “We build significance into our peoples’ lives. If you can't build that significance, you can’t keep them safe. That's our ticket to play, if you will: Our teams are integrated across the board and focus on ensuring that our folks get to work safe, get home safe, and develop habits that make them safer in all aspects of their lives.”
A typical project for Osburn is complex and extensive, such as the 17-story Virgin Hotel complex in the Dallas design district. In 17 weeks, Osburn created 341,000 square feet of structure. A recent undertaking at DFW International Airport smashed speed records; in 42 days Osburn completed over 1.5 million square feet of concrete structure. “We partnered with Peinado Construction, a company we’re always happy to work with,” Harris noted. Three hundred workers were on the job 24/6, and the effort was completed with zero accidents.
“That project sums up the nature of our team and the challenges we like to accept,” he said. “We finished our work three weeks ahead of schedule, and the rest of our team was high-fiving and super excited—but Andy Thigpen, our VP of Construction was a little upset because he thought he could do it four days faster had there not been a couple of obstacles in the way. He didn't know when he would get another chance to build another building that big, that fast. That's the nature of our team, having the opportunity to do things that other people haven't done or haven't been willing to try.”
One of Osburn’s core principles is simply “we over me.” According to Harris, “Everyone in this company—from top to bottom—believes in putting the good of the people that are working to our left and right over the good for ourselves. It's an easy thing to say but it's a harder thing to do, and we see it done every day. In the field or in the office, you see people holding each other accountable. It's a beautiful thing.” Beautiful work done in a beautiful way, just as Dave Osburn envisioned. Now that’s a niche worth filling.
We are a versatile, experienced, quality, schedule and customer focused concrete subcontractor. The Osburn brand promise focuses on assuring your success with project knowledge and a project plan. We prioritize early attention to detail in support of this promise. The benefits to our customers and projects are complete and accurate estimates, increased productivity plus proactive and versatile solutions.
Our construction capabilities range from flat work, tilt-wall, paving and site concrete to foundation elements, vertical structure, elevated superstructure and specialty concrete placements. We can provide full, turn-key concrete construction services as well as flexible scopes of work tailored to meet our customer's specific needs on each project. In addition, we can leverage our growing trucking and pumping services for improved production and efficiency as well as mobile batch plant solutions on project specific applications to enhance overall service. With our own equipment, we are able to provide flexibility, meet tight schedules and ensure the quality of our contribution to any project.
We are based in the DFW metroplex and work throughout Central Texas, North Texas, portions of Oklahoma, and other regional locations as opportunities align with our services and capabilities.
2333 S Jupiter Rd.
Garland, TX 75041
Telephone 972 205 9086