Oltmans Construction Completes Fontana Facility

December 1, 2008
Oltmans Construction Completes Fontana Facility

WHITTIER – To the casual observer, Door Components Inc.’s new $11 million corporate headquarters might appear a little skewed.

But that’s intentional.

With a facade that mimics the famed “Leaning Tower of Pisa,” the 93,183-square-foot building at 7980 Redwood Ave. is intended to display the company’s cutting edge products while also advancing seismic stability and energy efficiency.

The core and shell of the new headquarters was designed by HPA Inc. of Irvine. But the tricky task of building the structure went to Whittier-based Oltmans Construction Inc.

“It was a lot more labor intensive for our carpenters,” Oltmans Project Manager Darin Lee explained. “Some of the panels are not just flat panes – they’re three-dimensional in some areas.”

Lee said the project was made more difficult because the company’s signature stainless steel door and window frames were integrated into the building’s design.

“They wanted the door and window frames everywhere,” he said. “The ones on the outside were cast into the concrete panels, so trying to protect the stainless steel was a lot of work because that kind of finish doesn’t do well with scratches. You can’t go back and touch it up like you would with paint.”

Luckily, it all came together.

Bob Briggs, president of privately-held Door Components, said Oltmans exceeded his expectations.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “The building makes a statement about our company’s cutting edge. This is critical because we are a service company providing products customized to our clients needs. Bringing our entire operation under one roof also enhances this goal.”

Door Components, which makes hollow metal doors and frames along with stainless steel door frames and window frames, has already moved into the new building.

The new headquarters is located on a five-acre parcel of land just east of Interstate 15 and north of Interstate 10.

The facility employs about 160 workers.

Oltmans’ portfolio includes everything from warehouse/distribution centers and build-to-suit projects to manufacturing and industrial processing facilities and business parks.

Lee said business has slowed significantly in recent months as the nation’s construction industry has taken heavy hits.

“A lot of the backlog we had on the books has disappeared and financing went away,” he said. “And anything to do with spec buildings … that’s gone. There’s a ton of inventory out there and no financing, so no one is doing any kind of projects relative to what it was before. It’s vanished.”

Byron Pinckert, a principal of HPA, said the Door Components building also establishes new ground in the use of the concrete tilt-up method.

WLC of Rancho Cucamonga designed the building’s interior spaces.

“Concrete tilt-up construction has long been preferred for low-rise buildings in California,” Pinckert said. “It’s cost effective, flexible, durable and fares well in periodic tremors of earthquake country. The shakes of earthquake country are the inspiration for a new twist on the venerable concrete tilt-up building reflected in the Door Components headquarters.”

By Kevin Smith, Staff Writer – Pasadena Star News