At C.W. Driver, A Legacy Built to Last
C.W. Driver is on a mission to build better communities and lives together. The Southern California builder provides general contracting, construction management and design-build services throughout the American West. In 2020, the company earned an Orchid from the San Diego Architectural Foundation for its design-build collaboration with the architectural firm The Miller Hull Partnership, an SDAF partner.
The companies joined forces on the East County Office and Archive in Santee, creating a beautiful design-build project for the County of San Diego. It’s one that brought to life an inspiring vision.
The finished product is a testament to the power of the right team, says C.W. Driver Project Executive Andy Feth. The joy of collaborating on an Orchid-winning project has much to do with the excellence of design that comes into the process, he adds.
“You’re trying to create something attractive that the client can see themselves in, something that suits their needs,” Feth says. “But there are also constraints, because there’s a budget that you can never lose sight of. We can design something great, but costs may be limiting. So we have to work as a team and continually check things against the budget.”
Feth has worked for C.W. Driver for 12 years. As Project Executive, he shepherds various phases of C.W. Driver projects, managing them as early as the pursuit phase and through preconstruction and construction. He describes himself as “the common thread” that ensures the company stays on track with both the design and budget. If he has a soft spot for design-build projects, it’s because they’re so conducive to teamwork.
“They’re perfect in bringing collaboration to life and helping the team stay in sync step by step,” Feth says. “We’re constantly checking back against the available budget, meeting and providing cost feedback to the architect. Design-build is an efficient way for design and construction teams to work together and make a positive impact.
Over the last 100 years, C.W. Driver has continued to build upon its good name as it builds better communities. With projects in education, civic and cultural, retail, commercial office, multifamily, and senior living, the company strives to construct buildings that enhance people’s lives and sense of belonging.
By engaging in four library projects in the County of San Diego alone, for example, C.W. Driver has taken pride in how its developments affect San Diego neighborhoods. “The library of today is a community gathering spot, so it’s nice to be able to finish something and take pride in the benefit that the community will gain from it,” Feth says. “It’s certainly gratifying.”
C.W. Driver not only earned an Orchid for its collaboration with Miller Hull, but the company also helped sponsor this year’s awards. The annual gala, celebrating excellence in San Diego design, was a good fit for C.W. Driver. The company chooses its projects carefully, always guided by a desire to work for people and businesses who are respected in the industry.
“Being able to produce something that’s tangible and contributes to a great environment or community in the way that quality architecture and design do is meaningful,” Feth says. “Being able to drive by a development knowing you were part of it certainly feels rewarding.”
Photos courtesy C.W. Driver Companies