Andrew Pino: Onward + Upward

insight

Andrew Pino: Onward + Upward

Dec 3, 2020

The DAVIS logo was created with the onward + upward ethos in mind. It is both our legacy and our vision for the future. We're interviewing 20 people in '20 to find out what onward + upward means to them (along with some other interesting details you might not pick up on at the jobsite). Keep up with this series to get more insight into the DAVIS team!

Meet Andrew Pino, Project Manager.

Andrew helps our Base Buidling team lead some of the most complex construction projects in the D.C. area. We sat down with Andrew (over a phone call) to talk about his project experience, his life's journey from South Korea to several American states, and more. Keep reading to learn more about him!

LIFE AT DAVIS

So, how long have you been at DAVIS?
You could say ten years? Not continuously, though. I had three summer internships from 2010-2012 before starting full-time in 2013.

Three internships, all with DAVIS?
Yeah. I got a good variety of experiences, though. My first summer, I was at Woodgrove High School in Loudoun County, a Base-Building project. In 2011, I worked with a few different Interiors projects. Then in my third summer, I was back in Base-Building, and I got to watch excavations at 5601 Fishers Lane in Rockville. So, I met a lot of different people and got a good picture of what working at a General Contractor was like.

How did you get interested in construction?
I was first interested in residentail architecture, and I took some courses for that in high school, like blueprint-drafting. I realized, though, that my artistic skills weren't the greatest, so being a designer wasn't in the cards. It worked out, though, because I found Architectural Engineering at Penn State, and I got to take some design courses while focusing on AE. 

What has your time at DAVIS been like so far?
It's been interesting and challenging. I've only been on three projects in seven years--from the start of 2016 until now, I've been working at 2020/2050 M St.

I know that project is a particularly complex one.
There are 3 phases within the project that have taken us four-and-a-half years to finish, so it has been a marathon. We demolished CBS DC's existing structure, built out six floors, and constructed a brand new trophy office building.

It's an incredible project. What were the keys to success?
We built strong relationships with the client, Tishman Speyer, and the full design team. We basically entered a marriage with them for five years, and you have to work together if you want to be successful. We also planned out the project as far as 2 or 3 years ahead at times. Planning was so important. There was a period where CBS physically moved all their equipment from their old building to the new facility, all while maintaining their programs that run 24/7. That can't happen without planning.

The new office building, 2050 M St, was a big accomplishment. Its finishes are very high-end, and the curved curtainwall without vertical mullions is something DC has never seen. It's a Class-A trophy office building to the fullest. COVID-19 extended our timeline a bit, but we're almost complete.

How do you approach a project the DAVIS way?
DAVIS is the client's contractor, and with this project and all our others, we create lasting relationships. Our strength at DAVIS is that we're fair to everyone across the board, from the client to the architect to subcontractors. You have to keep that mentality in mind throughout the process. When you connect with your partners, you get a better product.

You've been at DAVIS since your internships. What's been the biggest factor in you staying with us?
That mentality of treating others fair is how I've always liked to conduct business. I've also been on very interesting projects here, so I've been able to personally stay engaged. These last seven years have flown by.

GETTING TO KNOW ANDREW

What would you do if you weren't in construction?
If construction didn't work out, I could've seen myself doing something involving outer space--or, on the opposite side, the deep sea. The intrigue of the unknown would have brought me to one of those two things. 

Where did you work before DAVIS?
I worked at an ice cream shop for a couople of summers in high school, and I worked at an amusement park in New Hampshire, where I grew up.

You went to Penn State, though, and you're from New Hampshire.
Yeah, so I've got an interesting family story. My dad was in the Air Force, so I was actually born in Seoul, South Korea. We moved to Florida soon after, then again to Illinois, and then we actually lived in Burke, Virginia, for a while. From 5th grade on, I lived in New Hampshire.

My parents both grew up in New England, and they met at Penn State, and I was just brought up in that cult. My sisters and I all followed suit and went there--it's a great school, so it all worked out.

What's something people don't know about you?
Another guy at DAVIS, Brian LaChance, got me into Disc Golf. It's a really involved sport, and it's growing quickly, but still uncommon. If you've never tried it before, I think you should.

Are you able to keep yourself busy in 2020?
I've got a year-old daughter at home now, and she's definitely kept us busy. Maybe more than we would like sometimes. 

What does Onward + Upward mean to you?
It means we need to continue to refine the process and overall approach to construction, and avoid being heind the times. The industry's notorious for being old-school in a lot of ways, and some of that makes sense. But, from software to logistics, we should continue to improve our methods over time, and not get stuck in our ways.