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Supreme Orthopedics Wins Best Medical Office Project Award

Supreme Orthopedics project win NAIOP
Baltimore, MD

We are pleased to announce that Supreme Orthopedics has won the award for Best Medical Office with NAIOP Maryland. Held on December 18, 2020, in a virtual ceremony, the bi-annual Awards of Excellence program celebrates and recognizes the innovative achievements of regional commercial real estate developers, as well as the companies and professionals that service this industry in Maryland.

Located in the innovation district off Gateway Drive in Columbia, MD, Supreme Orthopedics is a 18,000 sf state-of-the-art medical office that includes administrative space, a wet lab, and a BioSkills Training Center. In another successful partnership with The Verve Partnership, the facility houses experienced, industrious technical consultants specializing in the distribution, training, and support of orthopedic surgery.

This project involved a complete demolition with a new fit-out to accommodate the company’s operations. Renovations consisted of a full kitchen, community area, training room, lab with vacuum pumps, lab prep areas, and inventory storage. Before the project got started, the team took the time to truly understand how Supreme Ortho’s space would function and align with their business goals. The focus was spent on how the employees, surgeons, clients, and visitors would interact in the spaces for all to be successful.

Read more about the project.

Taking It to the Skies

Drone footage Brightview Columbia

By Project Solutions Manager Ralph Kreider and Project Engineer Carlos Zuluaga

While still an emergent technology, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, have made their way into the construction industry and are here to stay. Today’s drones pack a big punch, helping our jobsites streamline project documentation, reducing safety and quality control concerns, and increasing stakeholder engagement while demonstrating a high return on investment. To determine if a drone is right for the project, one must first evaluate what types of results will be delivered, the cost of implementation, the right equipment to use, and overall best practices. Many of our projects have decided to fully embrace this technology by purchasing a dedicated drone to be used for generating maps and 3D models, leveraging
data from aerial point clouds, and creating contour maps.


Drones are capable of easily, rapidly, and cost-effectively capturing aerial imagery. To drive greater awareness of this proven technology on Harkins projects, we delve into five benefits of drones:

  • Real-time imaging: A picture is worth a thousand words! Project stakeholders, especially during COVID-19, have been thrilled to see progress photos of their projects. This is a fantastic way to cost-effectively share weekly or monthly progress reports.
  • Overall job perspective: The aerial view gives the team a different, valuable perspective. Our team can view a high-resolution drone map and quickly catch or anticipate any site access issues, potential drainage problems, or threats to health and safety.
  • Progress monitoring: It is challenging to capture photos week after week with the same view, location, or altitude. Drones solve this problem with easy to repeat flights each week so that progress photos and reports always look consistent and capture key information needed.
  • Progress payments: With the ability to track progress on definable features of work such as concrete footings, slab, groundwork, retaining walls, utilities, and framing, our team can quantify work in place for billing.
  • Improved communication: Communication is everything on a jobsite. With so many different types of contractors coming in and out, site condition changes, weather changes, and more, it becomes vital to keep an eye on the big picture.

Drone transition photos

Drones have quickly become a must-have tool in the construction industry. Whether your jobsite already has a drone, or you are just beginning to consider the idea, drones can help increase the efficiency of workflow, increase productivity, and create a more informed, collaborative team experience.

Coping With Material Shortages

By Project Executive Casey Hughes and Vice President of Preconstruction Omar Black

The pandemic has created countless challenges for the construction industry. One of the difficulties affecting contractors across the country is the disruption of the supply chain. The ripple effect of material delays and shortages is impacting projects today and will continue to do so. Upstream supply chain shortages of raw materials, coupled with manufacturers struggling to support factory production rates due to staffing restrictions, have created an all-time low supply of new products. During this material shortage, demand has simultaneously surged. Housing starts continue to trend upwards, low-interest rates have incentivized large purchases, and diminished inventory levels are creating a backlog of orders.

While every day brings a new challenge, trades that are facing the current market shift include:

Dealing with material shortages during covid-19

Harkins is focused on implementing creative solutions to mitigate project impacts in a variety of ways, including:

  • Early Project Involvement: Harkins’ early involvement in the project allows us to obtain materials with long lead times well before they are needed, in lieu of just-in-time contracting. By partnering with the design team, we are able to help specify products and designs that are readily available or work together to find alternative materials to ensure that disruptions are minimized.
  • Advanced Management of Supply Chain: Historically, Harkins has always emphasized effective supply chain management on our projects. In our current environment, this focus has intensified even further. By monitoring our buyout schedules, long lead time logs, material control logs, and 90-day schedules, we have been successful in receiving the necessary materials and products by the scheduled dates.
  • Strong Relationships: Harkins has been leveraging our 55-year history and relationships with our clients, design teams, key trade partners, suppliers, and vendors to ensure that we are receiving the most up-to-date information about materials. This team collaboration is essential to formulating the most appropriate mitigation strategy.
  • Investigating Creative Storage Solutions & Buying Arrangements: Harkins is working with our owners and design teams on accelerated submittals and, in some cases, expedited shipping. Other arrangements, such as buying materials and storing them before they are needed, are also in consideration.

We will continue to monitor the market trends that our industry is facing, and Harkins will adapt accordingly. If you have any questions about how Harkins can help with material concerns, please reach out to Project Executive Casey Hughes at chughes@harkinsbuilders.com.

Harkins Celebrates Groundbreaking of Habitat House

Harkins Builders shoveling dirt into a pile with the recipients of the house.
Baltimore, MD

On Friday, October 15, 2020, Harkins attended the groundbreaking of a home in the North Baltimore neighborhood of Woodbourne-McCabe that will be built for long-time community partner Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake.

Harkins President & CEO Gary Garofalo and Project Manager Walt Whitlow were joined by Habitat Chesapeake CEO Mike Posko and staff, community leaders, and the soon to be homeowners for this ceremonial event.

Mike Posko quote Harkins and Habitat groundbreaking of home

Located at 504 McCabe Avenue in the Greater Govans community, the single-family home will include three-bedrooms, two bathrooms, and is on track to be completed in the Spring of 2021. The project launch represents Habitat Chesapeake’s dedication to the neighborhood, which began in 2012 with its commitment to renovating a projected 21 homes by 2020. The work in Woodbourne-McCabe will be one of three areas of emphasis in the coming years. Other areas of focus include up to 16 homes in the East Baltimore neighborhood of Milton-Montford, Belair-Edison, and 27 new homes in homes in Orchard Ridge, located in Northeast Baltimore.

Groundbreaking photos.

Mike Mallow Promoted to Senior Vice President

Picture of Mike Mallow, senior vice president of multi-family group
Columbia, MD

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Mike Mallow to Senior Vice President of the Multifamily Group.  In this role, Mike will have executive oversight of the group’s Market Rate, Affordable, Senior Living, and Renovation divisions, with each of the vice presidents of those divisions reporting to him.

In January 2021, he will also celebrate his 40th Anniversary as a Harkins employee, a journey that began in 1981 when he was hired as a laborer. Mike has been instrumental in expanding Harkins’ opportunities and market share, especially in the Northern Virginia and DC area. Mike became a site manager in 1997 and was promoted to Project Manager in 2005. His promotion to Division Manager in 2014 enabled Harkins to focus on new business opportunities, and since the end of 2015 Mike has been doing an outstanding job as Vice President of our Multifamily Market Rate Division.

Gary quote

​​​​​​​Please join us in congratulating Mike and wishing him continued success in his new role.


The Need for Thermal Cameras is Heating Up

Thermal camera imaging showing the temperature of a woman wearing a surgical mask.

By Network Manager Chris Thomas

As we begin to find our way back to a new normal, the safety and wellbeing of our team members and trade partners continue to be our priority. While returning to fully staffed jobsites and offices will not happen overnight, a great deal of care must be taken to keep our team members and trade partners safe each step of the way.

One such step we have taken has been the installation of thermal imaging cameras on our jobsites, along with our Columbia HQ and Northeast office. Harkins evaluated a variety of thermal imaging options and chose the Fotric 226b camera. Fotric is known for producing a high-quality camera that has become the standard for many construction companies across the country. The device utilizes an intelligent temperature calibration algorithm that automatically collects facial temperatures from different scenarios for self-learning. It adjusts the alarm threshold in real-time by adapting to changes in ambient temperature which helps prevent false positives from fluctuations in morning and evening temperatures.

These cameras employ facial recognition to detect elevated or abnormal body temperatures of up to ten people at a time from up to ten feet away. A built-in detection module uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically lock onto faces in the camera’s view for temperature measurement. It is also able to shield non-facial sources of high temperatures, such as a hot cup of coffee.

In addition to the camera, a laptop with the Fotric WLIR software is required. This software automatically counts the number of screened personnel, as well as the number of abnormal body temperature detections. Pictures of every screened person are saved on the laptop for later evaluation.

As a result of this new protocol, Harkins created a new position called Temperature Screener/Site Sanitizer. This person closely monitors each of the cameras that have been deployed to our jobsites and offices and is responsible for wiping down high-touch surfaces. Screeners are trained to use the software and protocols for handling personnel that trigger the alarm. This technology has enabled our teams to minimize exposure on our jobsites
and our offices to reduce potential contamination of COVID-19.

The thermal imaging cameras are just one important tool that we are utilizing to keep everyone safe as we continue steering our company back towards the life that we all remember from the not-so-distant past. We will continue to evaluate other options as necessary to uphold the high standards we are accustomed to.

Homes at Fountain Green Tops Out

Homes at Fountain Green team standing in front of topped out buildings
Bel Air, MD

On Monday, September 21st, Harkins celebrated the topping out of Homes at Fountain Green with a catered boxed lunch from Panera Bread.

This new affordable 72-unit community will consist of three three-story wood frame garden-style apartment buildings across 10 acres. The apartments will be made up of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, including five Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) units and two units for those with hearing and visual impairments. Kitchens will feature granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. All ground-level apartments will have patios with doors to the exterior, along with a traditional entrance from the breezeway.

The building’s exterior will be comprised of stone veneer, fiber cement siding and paneling, vinyl siding in breezeways, and pitched shingle roofs. There will be a 3,000 sf community building offering a variety of amenities for residents, including a fitness area, computer room, a lounge, and a great room with a kitchenette. A covered porch will overlook a large common green area, playground, and fenced-in dog park. The property will offer ample surface parking.

Topping Out Photos

Taking Steps for a Safer Tomorrow

Construction Safety Week 2020: Taking Steps for a Safer Tomorrow

By Project Controls Executive Russell Tipton

At Harkins, safety is the primary component of our growth, success, and well-being. We are committed to maintaining a progressive and proactive awareness of occupational and public safety in all phases of our operations. This commitment is not only exemplified by a comprehensive safety and loss control program, but it is also constantly reviewed, modified, and accentuated to be fully effective.

Harkins President and CEO Gary Garofalo initiated bi-annual safety training for all of our field personnel. These training sessions provide continuing safety education for all of our field staff, help keep us focused on the hazards we face on our job sites daily, and provides an opportunity for our field staff to share their safety knowledge, ideas, and lessons learned.

The training session topics for the next year will be centered around OSHA’s Focus Four: Fall Protection, Electrical, Struck By, and Caught-In or -Between. The majority of construction accidents can be traced back to one of these four areas of concern. With consideration taken for project coverage, Harkins field teams have been divided into three groups, and each of these groups will attend a four-hour safety training session twice per year.

We are dedicated to ensuring a safe and injury-free working environment and believe that there is no better place to put our resources than in training our people towards achieving that goal. As a result, we have expanded our safety program to include the following:

  • Safety orientation and OSHA 10 training for all new hires
  • OSHA 30 training for all field personnel
  • Bi-annual Harkins safety training
  • Silica safety training
  • First aid/CPR training
  • Toolbox talks
  • AHA training
  • Safety inspections conducted by our site teams using a 99-point checklist
  • Preconstruction meetings held with trade partners to review and plan upcoming scope and operations to ensure safe execution of work
  • Quarterly safety stand-downs on our jobsites and our offices

Harkins Named Excellence in Construction & Real Estate Honoree

Image that reads The Daily Record 2020: Excellence In Construction & Real Estate
Baltimore, MD

The Daily Record has selected Harkins to receive the 2020 Excellence in Construction & Real Estate Award.

Established in 2019, Excellence in Construction & Real Estate awards celebrate the individuals and companies who are changing the landscape of Maryland through design, construction, project management, innovation and more. These individuals and organizations are creating jobs, building healthy spaces, helping families and companies achieve their dreams, and leading the way toward growth and prosperity for the community.

The Construction category recognizes architects, developers, engineers, general contractors, historic preservation, interior design, LEED-certified projects, projects of the year for both nonprofit and profit organizations and lifetime achievement. Real Estate categories are commercial real estate agent, rising star, and lifetime achievement. Harkins was selected for its professional achievement and impact on the state of Maryland.

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner quote

Winners will be celebrated and honored virtually on November 9th through video storytelling. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in the program with their congratulations using social media platforms from their home or office.

Full list of honorees.

President’s Message: Construction Safety Week 2020

Construction Safety Week 2020

Beginning today and continuing throughout the week of September 14-18th, Harkins is proudly celebrating National Construction Safety Week 2020. Each day that we step onto a jobsite, we know what’s on the line: our work, our reputation, and most importantly, the lives of each employee and trade partner on-site. Construction Safety Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the promise that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that our people can return home safely.

At Harkins, we exist to improve people’s lives in our marketplace, in our communities, and in our company. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has translated to protecting the health, safety and livelihoods of our employees and trade partners like never before, mitigating or reducing operational and financial risks to the company, delivering on our commitments to our clients, and continuing construction operations on essential buildings to support the regions and the communities in which we serve.

In an effort to protect the health and safety of those on our jobsites, we have implemented a variety of safety protocols, guidelines, and measures to help keep our employees and trade partners safe. This has included using thermal imaging cameras to take the temperatures of groups of people in real-time while they are walking through an entrance point, integrating new safety practices such as social distancing and increasing signage, and employing additional cleaning stations and disinfecting measures around our projects.

I am very appreciative of all of our employees, trade partners, clients, and design professionals for helping to make and keep our projects as safe as possible. I am confident that our company will come out the other side even more dynamic and resilient than ever before.

Gary's signature