The Jewel in the Crown

Emerald Construction Corp.
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Operating out of its headquarters in Dania Beach in Florida’s Broward County Emerald Construction is dedicated to all customers and knows its markets. Emerald’s highly skilled and dedicated team of masons, carpenters, shell and concrete experts allows the company to provide the best value for the dollar in an array of markets.
Fast approaching twenty years in business, Florida-based Emerald Construction continues to grow under the leadership of its founders: President Gilda Pereda and Vice President Mark Humbles. Unlike many other construction firms in this male-dominated industry, Emerald Construction is a female-spearheaded company. Its staff of approximately 150 bring decades of firsthand construction industry experience to the demanding south Florida marketplace.

Since it was established in 1996, Emerald Construction has expanded considerably, due mostly to demand from satisfied clients for additional construction services. Decades upon decades of cumulative building experience and industry know-how allowed the company to easily increase its service range. Company project managers supervise jobs in markets that include commercial (retail, office, interiors), educational (K-12, colleges / universities), residential (custom homes, additions / interiors), shell construction, masonry, municipal and healthcare.

Emerald continues to experience considerable growth and the need for masonry and shell work is steady. While some larger firms look to Emerald to work with them on a subcontractor level, the company is already at the point where it is a full, prime general contractor offering construction management and concrete shell services.

“We are not taking on any more work than necessary, because of a fast turnaround on growth and projects,” comments Director of Marketing and Business Development Denise A. Castro. She adds that the company’s director of construction, Ramiro Gamez on the general contracting side has created a lot of private investment relationships, adding to the company growth.

Emerald’s financial capacities allow the company to take on projects as large as $30 million dollars but can scale down cost to perform projects under a $1 million dollars as well. “Since we self-perform about eighty percent of our work, we are able to control the market price,” says Gamez. “And since we have about 150 people on staff, we man power to handle our projects without relying on outside contractors when needed.”

Offering professional quality work, experience and value to each and every project, Emerald Construction often works with clients from conception. The company specializes in design-build, partnering with several architectural and building firms in the area. Combining these aspects with performing its own work has resulted in great success for Emerald, along with considerable amounts of repeat business from satisfied customers.

“When we talk to our clients and they want to cross-reference the kind of prices they are getting for hard bids in the market, we can see if they are getting overpriced or if our values are comparable to the competition’s numbers,” says Gamez. “A lot of the work here in Florida is built to code, especially for hurricane purposes, for example. Since we specialize in concrete, we know the ins and outs, and when we put numbers together and go after projects, we feel pretty confident that we are giving the client one hundred percent transparency and delivering one hundred percent of the job.”

By combining veteran builders with experienced management executives, the company completes projects on time, on budget and to total client satisfaction, no matter how intricate or challenging the job. Its dedicated employees are committed to safety and the highest standards possible. To achieve this, the company focuses on the hiring a particular type of employee, someone who is not only skilled, but a right fit for Emerald.

“We look for go-getters, people with a positive mindset and workers with a critical eye –particularly for construction,” comments President, Gilda Pereda. “Since we self-perform a lot of the work, we take on a lot of liability, so we make sure that we have a very rigorous safety and health program for all our working sites. So we look for people who are very focused and pay attention to rules and regulations, as we are striving to have zero accidents and liabilities on every project site.”

Emerald Construction has received considerable praise for its work over the years and is the proud recipient of numerous awards, including several from ABC (Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.), for excellence in construction on a number of projects, including The Colonnade. Located in the heart of Miami, The Colonnade is a ten-storey, multi-use residential-condominium/retail fast track masonry project, completed on an accelerated schedule.

The company is known for working with several educational institutions, including Florida’s private Catholic university: Barry University. Emerald’s projects for Barry – one of the largest Catholic universities in the Southeast – include La Voie, the home of Barry’s legal department, which was transformed by the company during a complete interior renovation to include handcrafted millwork and oak floors, creating an upscale, executive feel to the space. For the Broad Auditorium, a theater located within the university, Emerald painstakingly guided and completely reconstructed the space with commercial bathrooms incorporating hand-chiseling techniques to maintain the original concrete texturing of the walls. Water-saving automatic plumbing fixtures were incorporated and the surfaces adorned with mosaic tile.

Among the company’s many retail projects is the First East Savings Bank. Emerald created the contemporary, two-storey reinforced masonry structure with tremendous attention to detail. The project boasts Indiana limestone caps atop curvilinear walls and an oversized limestone canopy cantilevering off the main entry walls. The project called for a seamless integration of limestone and ground face block veneers.

Coral Landing, another retail construction and structural renovation project of an existing tilt wall 60,000 square foot building saw the company remove tilt wall panels and replace them with a conventional shell to better fit the new layout of the building. To carry the load during the new construction phase, Emerald provided shoring and bracing to the structures existing tilt wall panels and roof deck.

At present, the company is also working on projects with the Sunrise Community of South Florida and the multifamily project with the city of Hallandale Beach which is set for completion in January of 2016.

A great believer in minority hiring, the company focuses on creating community benefit plans within the minority business enterprise training program. This results in workers going through extensive training, improving their English, acquiring skill sets and having thirty hours of Occupational Health and Safety Association (OSHA) training. “Basically, we give them the tools to be successful on the job when they work under superintendents and project managers,” says Castro.

Gilda Pereda was a communications major who took on a great deal of public relations work prior to forming Emerald. Much of her passion for giving back to the community comes from these experiences. The company donates a significant portion of its annual returns to charities such as UNICEF and Autism Speaks. In addition, the company supports a number of college not-for-profit programs and is a large advocate of investing in educational programs for children. “It comes down to never forgetting about the little guy when you’ve grown to become the big guy,” says Pereda.

“When Gilda Pereda formed the company, she realized small business enterprises were left out of a lot of great opportunities when the construction boom came out,” says Castro. “And when she took over for the general contracting side, she made sure to rebrand the company, so that minority businesses – and all the consultants that we partner with – have the opportunity to grow and to be successful.”



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