Talking Topgolf and CSULB’s First Living Building Challenge
McCarthy Construction has one goal: to be the best builder in America. The company started in 1864 when Irish immigrant Timothy McCarthy began building barns and farmhouses in Michigan. Today, McCarthy Construction is a multi-award-winning top commercial builder with numerous projects across the country, including right here in Southern California.
In the latest podcast episode of The Rebuild SoCal Zone, guest Paul Erb, Executive Vice President and Office Leader for McCarthy Construction’s Southern California Region, chats with Rebuild SoCal Partnership’s Carol Church about their SoCal projects, what they bring to the community, and more.
Going ‘fore’ it!
After “teeing off” construction in April, plans have moved forward with a new Topgolf project on the Pacific Coast Highway in El Segundo. The facility is the first of its kind in the Los Angeles area. Much more than a 9-hole golf course, it will be a full entertainment destination for corporate events and family gatherings. When complete, it will also include more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, a full-service restaurant, rooftop terrace, and more. Erb describes it as a “passion project” for McCarthy Construction.
“It’s been no secret that golf has been part of the business industry for a really, really long time. It’s a way individuals get together and build comradery and there’s team building out on the golf course,” says Erb. “It’s also an inclusive environment for families; it’s family fun. You want to go out and have dinner and you can mix it with an activity . . . that makes golf that much more accessible to everybody and that’s going to translate to positives in the business community.”
A first for CSULB
It’s been three decades since California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) constructed a new dormitory. The university tapped McCarthy Building Companies, one of the nation’s top 20 green builders, for the Parkside North Housing because this project is not just another dorm. While it will have 476 beds, study rooms, kitchens, courtyards, and common areas to make it a home away from home for students, the facility is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum dormitory and a LEED Platinum administration building with the Living Building Challenge component.
The first of its kind on the CSULB campus, the Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous green building certification program and sustainable design framework. It’s built to function as cleanly and efficiently as a flower in the environment.
“That campus is thinking big and bold and ambitious about what they want to do in terms of sustainability. They want to be a completely net zero campus by 2030, which is incredibly ambitious but achievable. And the buildings that we’re out there building now are at the forefront of that movement,” said Erb.
Jobs and community
The Topgolf project brings more than fun to the community. It will create approximately 500 permanent jobs, most of which will be full-time positions with benefits. It is also estimated that the venue will pull in $1 million to $2 million annually for the City of El Segundo. “It’s really just a win-win for everyone involved,” says Erb.
During the podcast, Church and Erb also discuss careers for women in the construction industry. “To be successful in this business, you need a high level of emotional intelligence and you need to be able to have those soft skills and work through issues and problem solve,” Erb explained as he says women bring these to the table. He notes that “as we look to the future to what the construction industry needs to be,” it’s a balance of men and women and “a well-balanced thought process to how we approach all of our projects.”
Working in construction is much more than just shovels. For example, engineering, architecture, graphic design, and marketing are all important roles within the industry. Erb says, “The great thing about the construction industry is that we actually build something . . . I look back on all the wonderful buildings that I’ve had, the opportunities that I’ve been a part of, and all the wonderful teams I’ve had the opportunity to work with. . . It’s just such a proud feeling that we’ve had such an impact on our community in such a positive way. I would encourage anyone out there — man or woman — if they’re considering getting into construction, pay McCarthy a visit and check out some of the really cool stuff that we do.”
Click here to listen now to the full conversation with Paul Erb of McCarthy Construction, and find other past episodes of The Rebuild SoCal Zone podcast.
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