Mark StevensHealth care projects have more regulations than commercial projects. Also, health care projects are more technically complicated and have tighter schedules, thus hiring a construction management team with experience in these projects is key for success

Q: How has the improving economy affected your company?

The improving economy has fueled the growth of Stevens Construction by 56 percent in 2012, 41 percent in 2013 and an estimated 93 percent in 2014, year over year. This growth has landed us on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America for the past two years and helped us earn Contractor of the Year for the fourth year from the Lee Building Industry Association.

Q: List five tips for budgeting a commercial build-out or renovation.

• Hire a professional construction manager who brings years of experience not only in building similar projects, but actually specializes in pre-construction, estimating, scheduling and permitting to eliminate any surprises in budget and schedule.
• Ensure the construction manager and design team are working together to develop a preliminary plan and scope of work that can be accurately budgeted.
• Consider all the development costs involved, not just the hard construction costs.
• Add a contingency to all the anticipated costs.
• Have the construction manager and/or design team set up a pre-application meeting with the building department to clarify what special requirements may be required for the project.

Q:How do you see the construction industry evolving in the next five years?

Construction has become a technical and automated business that will continue to emerge. We will continue to see developments in automation and prefabrication that will enable us to construct buildings more efficiently. However, regulations will continue to get more stringent causing an increase in costs.

Q:What new and interesting products have you started to use or plan to incorporate into projects?

Every project we build is unique. Therefore, we approach each and every project seeking ways to improve quality, add time saving techniques and save money. For example, we assisted the design team in choosing a tilt-wall structural system for Landmark Hospital, an 86,676-square-foot, 50-bed hospital we’re currently building in Naples. This has saved the client thousands of dollars and weeks in construction duration.

Mark Stevens
• Career: Mark Stevens has served as president of Stevens Construction since its inception in 2003. His responsibilities include overseeing business development and management of the company’s projects throughout the company’s three offices in Fort Myers, Tampa and Orlando.
• Age: 47
• Family: Fiancee Nicole Laquis; three kids Riley Stevens (16), Morgan Stevens (14), Hunter Stevens (12)
• Birthplace: Connersville, Ind.; moved to SWFL in 1974
• Education: Bachelor of Science, Building Construction, University of Florida 1990
• Awards and Recognition: This year Stevens Construction Inc. earned five awards at the Lee Building Industry Association Industry Awards, including the highest honor of Contractor of the Year. Stevens Construction has earned 31 Summit Awards since the program began in 2006, including Contractor of the Year in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2007. Stevens Construction also has earned 14 Aurora Awards, which honor the best in construction in a 12-state region.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between building for the health care industry and building for commercial businesses?