After a half-century of success in the building enclosure consulting business, Heitmann and Associates Inc. (HAI) is taking a well-earned break Monday.

Jack and Glenn Heitmann

HAI is celebrating its 50-year “golden anniversary” today, and president and CEO Glenn Heitmann gave staff the day off “to reflect our accomplishments thus far and celebrate in our own special way.” Other surprises, he says, are in the works for the upcoming year.

From the Beginning

Heitmann’s father, Jack Heitmann, started the company in 1966. In its first decade, HAI focused primarily on high-rise construction and custom glass curtainwall design, which Jack Heitmann enjoyed the most.

Over the years, it expanded to cover all aspects of the building enclosure and now works on buildings of all sizes in every sector except single-family residential and industrial. HAI provides expertise to each phase of the design and construction process, including engineering and drafting.

“Most projects have a multiplicity of materials, systems and components that make up the skin, as well as a multiplicity of trades,” says Glenn Heitmann. “Where they all come together seems to be the real challenge today, which was not necessarily the case in the earlier years.”

Heitmann works on buildings of all sizes in every sector except single-family residential and industrial.

Heitmann says HAI views its position in the project similar to where a baton is passed in a relay.

“We’re there during all of those transitions—from the design, to the engineering, to the construction—to make sure it is smooth and that each part is successful,” he says. “…We really want the same thing most people want on project: to walk away at the end with sense of pride and accomplishment, to know you brought added-value in a meaningful way.”

In for the Long Haul

The company remains based in St. Louis, where it was founded, but also has offices in Pasadena, Calif., and New York City. HAI works on projects throughout the U.S. and in the past has covered the international market.

A key to HAI’s success, like most companies, has been the longevity and development of its now 30 employees.

“As a company, we care about each other,” says Heitmann. “We have senior people who have been with us for a very long time—a group of very talented engineers, architects and consultants who have really grown in their knowledge.”

That knowledge has been gained from decades of experience in the field. “Tremendous value and wisdom has been garnered as a result of investigating post-construction problems,” says Heitmann. “We’ve seen many after-the-fact screw-ups and try to be proactive with our clients in how we can avoid those.”

“We’re there during all of those transitions—from the design, to the engineering, to the construction—to make sure it is smooth and that each part is successful.”–Glenn Heitmann

A Family Affair

Heitmann, who is a partner in the business with his brother in law, Jimmy Pool, has been with the company for 32 years and became its owner 20 years ago. He credits his father for building and passing on a successful legacy, noting that his dad Jack got completely out of the business upon retirement.

“He gave us a great foundation, and when he was ready to move on and enjoy personal time, he didn’t look back,” says Heitmann.

He also recognizes the many members of the industry his business has worked with and continues to work with.

“We are appreciative of the individuals and companies who have found our services to be of added value to their teams and projects,” he says. “We look forward to the next 50 years.”