Just as a confident person is said to have deep inner resources, Hayward Baker—a premier global geotechnical construction firm—can claim the same, with thousands of experienced professionals linked together by the company’s intranet, providing a platform for sharing perspectives to the benefit of its many clients.
“It really is an amazing resource,” according to James D. Hussin, a company director. “I can send out a query concerning a project we’re working on here in the States, and within minutes I’ll receive input from my colleagues around the world who have experienced similar challenges. That’s just one of the benefits we enjoy as a member of the Keller Group.”
Launched in 1946 as a small utility construction company in California by the company’s namesake, it was his son, Wallace Hayward Baker, who led its growth to international prominence. “After earning his doctorate in geotechnical engineering from Northwestern University, he went to work for an engineering company in Spain that introduced him to ground treatment,” Hussin explains. “He then brought what he’d learned back to the company his father had founded, branching out into the tunneling industry and working on projects such as the metro tunnels in Washington, D.C. He was really the one responsible for establishing our identity as the premier specialty geotechnical foundation company.”
Among the services it offers are foundation support and rehabilitation, settlement control, structural support, site improvement, soil and slope stabilization, underpinning, excavation shoring, earth retention, seismic stabilization, and ground water control.
By the time the wind industry began to surface in the United States, Hayward Baker was so widely acknowledged as the expert in foundation systems that its entry into the market was basically an organic process. “Geotechnical engineers working on wind projects began contacting us to provide input on the reports they were preparing, and we’ve always been more than willing to share our knowledge and expertise,” Hussin says. “So we’d consider load factors and soil conditions and help them arrive at the most efficient and economical solution, which is our goal in working with our wind customers to this day.”
Quite often those customers are wind-farm owners, or the engineers they’ve hired, who are seeking approaches to foundation design that will bolster the project’s economic feasibility. “Building a safe and reliable foundation economically is very important to the owners,” he says, “and they need to be certain it’s going to perform properly before proceeding with development of the project. The years of experience we bring to the table, along with our work on wind projects around the world, allows them to do so with confidence.”
Having spent some 25 years with the company, beginning as a design engineer and eventually working his way up to chief engineer, Hussin now operates at the corporate level, meeting with wind-farm owners, engineers, and contractors throughout North America to answer questions, ascertain their needs, and make sure they are being met. “Having been involved with every aspect of our business, I understand our services extremely well and share that knowledge with our customers, especially on projects that are a little more challenging or out of the ordinary,” he says. “We see the U.S. wind industry as a very large growth market, and we’re in a position to support that growth by offering our creative, problem-solving skills and foundation construction resources to wind-industry professionals.”
With its roots in the American construction industry, bolstered by its affiliation with the international Keller Group, Hayward Baker steers its clients toward success in a singular way. “Our culture of sharing information internally makes for a very synergistic group,” Hussin says, “and it results in major benefits for our customers.”
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