Since its inception in 1937, HITT Contracting has grown to become an award-winning general contractor performing a wide range of quality construction work from coast to coast. With 1,000+ team members, they are one of the 50 largest general contractors in the nation. HITT attributes their success to the relationships they’ve formed with clients, partners, and subcontractors. They may operate from 10 locations nationwide, but HITT has one singular motivation: to elevate the business of building.
New building technologies, materials, and approaches have the potential to change the future of construction. However, the industry has traditionally been slow to accept them. Never content to settle for “it’s always been done that way,” HITT Contracting is committed to the evolution of the construction industry. To showcase their leadership and vision for the future, they wanted to create a facility that could show industry members, partners, and customers what is possible—now and for the future. Both the building and the activities inside would embrace sustainability, collaboration, and well-being—all to drive innovation and bring new learning and solutions to all their partners and stakeholders. Thus, Co|Lab was born.
HITT Contracting is committed to a circular economy, and the new Co|Lab building takes them to the leading edge of sustainable design and construction. Built using practices they would like to see advanced in the industry, HITT chose to start with mass-timber construction, which uses bonded structural wood connected by mechanical fasteners. The building is just as strong as those framed with steel or concrete, but also easy to disassemble and completely reuse when no longer needed. Recycled materials and finishes are used throughout the building, and solar panels produce more than enough energy for the facility's needs. There are even electric vehicle charging stations for employees and visitors.
As an advocate for materials transparency and well-being, HITT also made sure that everything in the Co|Lab building is free from chemicals known to be harmful to people and the environment. This was painstakingly achieved through collaborative partnerships with Haworth and our R&D and sustainability teams, as well as other project team members and product/materials suppliers.
As soon as you walk in the door, you can see how the Co|Lab building got its name. The co-working space was strategically designed to be open and shared to promote the collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas essential to innovation. There are no assigned workstations. Instead, Co|Lab offers offers variety and choice with spaces for any workstyle or activity—from individual work to small-group collaboration. There are indoor and outdoor social spaces with comfortable lounge seating, as well as a large community table and kitchenette bar. And a large conference room provides dedicated space for special events, meetings, training, and continuing education for building professionals. Lockers offer secure storage for personal items for anyone visiting or working at Co|Lab.
The majority of Co|Lab houses space for hands-on collaborative experimentation. Partnering with other industry innovators, HITT tests new construction materials, approaches, and technologies in their “maker bays.” Here, mockups can be created to research and test potential building solutions for customers going forward—from sustainable bricks and biocontainment construction, to 3D modelling and new wiring options to reduce energy usage. This collaborative approach maximizes idea sharing between suppliers, subcontractors, architects, designers, and other building professionals and promotes innovation to lead the industry forward.
The Co|Lab building is a physical testament to the fact that the construction industry can promote a circular economy and be innovative. It sets the standard for what is possible in sustainable building and design practices. More importantly, the collaborative, hands-on activities going on inside the building push the boundaries every day in testing and sharing new products, approaches, and technologies. With Co|Lab, HITT Contracting has firmly positioned the company as leader in elevating the business of building, engaging the next generation of builders, and driving change and innovation in the industry.