Adaptability is often stressed as a must have quality for every company in today’s competitive and dynamic market landscape. But the ability to quickly respond to the changing needs and develop new standards and innovative technologies for the industry is a quality only few have.
For Skyline, a New York-based Engineering firm, innovation is in its DNA. Since its inception came in 2010 in response to the New York City’s adoption of the International Building Code (IBC) which introduced special inspections and special inspection agencies. As one of the first special inspection agencies, the company came up with new ideas and formats for inspection. Matthew M. Wavro, Founder and CEO of Skyline, says, “I started the company because special inspections were new to NYC, and there were few agencies ready to meet the inspection needs of the city.” He adds, “The department of Buildings does not provide templates and prototypes, so I created all my own report formats, proposal formats, and other tools from scratch.”
The growth of the company has been steady and impressive. Growing organically, Skyline went from a one-man show providing MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumping) inspection to 12 employees providing an all-inclusive inspection services, including structural steel and concrete inspections in the first year. Today, Skyline has over 60 employees providing services in four divisions: Inspection, Design, Commissioning and Material Testing laboratory. Wavro says, “We can now provide services to clients from pre-design, through construction, quality assurance, inspections, commissioning and testing, through completion.”
Introducing new Innovations for Inspection Agencies
Standardized protocols and formats for inspection agencies are still fairly limited. Wavro takes this limitation as an opportunity to lead the sector by introducing new innovations, technologies, and methods. The company is fully accredited as a class 1 agency in almost every available category in NYC. With a strong commitment to build the most efficient, organized, state of the art inspection agency, Skyline is leading the field in ensuring the safety and standard quality of construction.
The company developed ‘pickles’ which is a Pre-inspection Checklists (PICL). It is a discipline-specific document that calls out for the required information before inspection, during inspection, and when to contact for inspections. Another useful tool of the company is the Status CAP, which is a brief status of each inspection item identifying any non-conformances or additional information required to close a project. It received positive feedback within the sector as a reliable tool in facilitating a close out.
In addition, Skyline has a proprietary cloud-based inspection software that is customizable for specific use including codes, checklists, and status reports. Another cloud-based innovation is the concrete testing laboratory that instantaneously organizes field data, scheduling, pickups, and strength testing results. It tests all concrete, masonry, grout, soils, spray fireproofing, and other materials used in the construction to ensure that they meet the standards and requirements outlined in the NYC Building Code.
There are many engineering firms that are providing special inspections, but none to the level that Skyline provides. Many MEP firms provide mechanical inspections, but not structural. Many structural design firms provide structural inspections, but they do not have a concrete testing laboratory. Skyline is unique in that we can provide all levels of inspections, material testing, and commissioning required by the NYC energy conservation code.
Delivering the Benefit of Cost and Time
All the inspectors of the company are cross qualified within their sectors. This is a huge advantage for the clients in terms of cost and time as an inspector can provide multiple inspections within the same day. For example, a structural inspector is qualified to perform welding, bolting, spray fireproofing, concrete, and masonry inspection within the same day.
The designing services and other offerings of the company is further strengthened by the acquisition of MEP design firm, Rodkin Cardinale Consulting Engineers, as it has access to design professionals in all sectors. “Our inspectors are familiar with the engineering concepts behind the designs, and understand when a field change to a design is a serious issue or simply a coordination exercise,” explains Wavro. He adds, “We cross train our inspectors and design professionals via lunch and learns, training seminars, trade shows, and organizational meetings.”
Construction is unpredictable; last-minute emergency inspections are common. Skyline is staffed with professionals to quickly respond to the needs of the clients in all fields of civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire, and material testing. “We pride ourselves on being extremely responsive to our clients' needs from the proposal phase through closeout,” says Wavro. With a track record of consistently providing reliable, quality analysis service in construction, the company has become a trusted provider in the field.
The future of the company looks bright as it continues to expand all its divisions under the leadership of Wavro who is a veteran in design, inspections, and testing. The testing laboratory of the company continues to expand to include nuclear gauge testing which will allow testing services for soils and asphalt. Wavro says, “This will be a first step into the new sector of bridges, roads, and tunnels.”With strong design capabilities, Wavro sees room for expansion into other sectors such as structural design, energy consulting, and sustainability. He says, “We plan to grow all divisions of the firm as we strive to become a full service engineering, inspections, and testing company”