In the Trenches With the HGC Utilities Team

From installation of water and plumbing to energy and telecommunications, utility construction, while critical to the completion of a project, can be one of the most overlooked phases of site-development. At HGC, our specialized utilities team is simultaneously one of our biggest resource groups and one of our most understated departments. This group works with precision in the trenches each day, however, with every successful installation, their work is quickly covered … and hopefully never seen again.

Utilities Past & Present. 

HGC previously subcontracted 100% of its utility work until 2010 when Scott Cassell, now General Superintendent, joined the team. Cassell, a veteran of the construction industry, brought with him a vast knowledge of utilities. His arrival to HGC was the start of a new era for the company, one that has allowed us to expand into a more comprehensive turnkey site developer for our clients and partners.

Along with his skills and knowledge of the business, Cassell established an attitude of teamwork and brotherhood that has been vital to the development and sustainment of HGC’s in-house utilities group. This philosophy has been a common thread for the last twelve years and has resulted in thriving teammates and repeatedly satisfied clients.

Fast forward to 2022, HGC has grown exponentially and merged with several local companies, including Charlotte-based Mills & Rea, that brought with it even more expertise and exceptional teammates. This continued growth has allowed us to perform more in-house capabilities to become the most trusted site developer in the Carolinas.

“Watching this group evolve since I came onboard, I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve. As we continue to grow, we have not lost what is core to our team –our commitment to being the best for each other and for our clients. I am confident we will continue to develop and am excited about the future of utilities at HGC!” – Utilities General Superintendent, Scott Cassell

The leadership within our utility group is unmatched within our industry. They have set the standard for these teammates and consistently lead by example. They manage all aspects of our projects from daily personnel jobsite assignments to equipment and materials logistics. But they don‘t stop there! It is not uncommon to see our leaders doing what it takes down in the trenches, helping to lay pipe, providing hands-on training to the team or running equipment. There are few companies where you will see the leaders in a trench with a shovel working side by side with a crew, but that is the standard at HGC.

The Dream Team.

Our utility group, comprised of 26 in-house crews, is responsible for the installation of sewers, storm drains, and water lines on all our projects. On average, each crew’s goal is to lay approximately 500 feet of pipe each week!

HGC's in-house crews laying pipe at a project.

A full utility crew consists of six teammates – all equally critical to the success of their work:

Included in the 26 utility crews are the Punch Crews. Punch Crews are the last utility teammates on the site and execute any final adjustments needed to ensure the site is complete and up to HGC’s standard. Whether it’s adjusting a sewer grate or doublechecking the site specifications, this crew travels to multiple sites on a daily basis and is always willing to go the extra mile for their team.

Our utilities crews are highly diverse, with each teammate bringing a variety of skills and experience to the job. The nature of their tasks means long hours in the ground, swinging pipes that can weigh more than one ton over their heads and working in trenches, that if not dug properly can be dangerous or fatal. These extreme work environments require trust, dependability, and constant communication between teammates. The bond each crew forms during the lifetime of a project creates a family-like atmosphere that has proven to be paramount to the success of this entire group.

“We could not be the best without each and every one of our hardworking teammates. They are what makes our group unique and the reason we can offer such high-quality work to our clients. I have learned so much from them over the past few months and look forward to seeing how we can continue to transform this business.” – Utilities Leader, Jeff Byrum

One of our utility crews plots their next move!

What’s Next?

As this team sets its sights on the future, the priority for HGC’s utility group is to continue producing each task to the highest quality while strategically planning for their growth. This highly adaptive resource group is willing to do what it takes to be the most effective partner to our clients. They can always be trusted to run their jobsites safely while delivering productive results … and that will never change!

We are extremely proud to have these teammates at HGC! With every foot of pipe laid and every structure built, our in-house utilities group is just another reason why we are able to maintain that Best is Standard.