PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
kyle project engineer

Behind the Build: Interview with Kyle Hlebak, Project Engineer

Why are you a part of the construction industry? Maybe your parents were also builders. Perhaps you want to look up that shiny new skyscraper in your city and say “I built that.” Maybe you’re just doing the best you can to support and provide a better life for your family. There are countless reasons why we build, but in large part, these stories are left untold.

On our blog, we hope to start telling the stories of our industry in a regular series, “Behind the Build.” Each week, we’ll be sharing stories from all walks of construction life from boots on the ground, owners, project managers and more. This week, we spoke with Kyle Hlebak a Project Engineer and former architectural designer. Kyle works for Snavely Building Company, an Ohio-based integrated construction and real estate development firm. Below, he shares how he ended up in construction 9 years ago and how technology has played a role in helping him to solve issues on the job.

What first got you into construction?

I’ve been in the building industry for around 9 years now. I switched from Architectural Design after getting a taste of working and observing in the field on a $100M multi-use historical preservation hotel and apartment complex for which I came in 5th place in PlanGrid’s Axe Contest.

Why do you continue to build today?

There is a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing I had a hand in providing safe and quality buildings for people to enjoy, live in and visit.

If it contributes to the environment and a sustainable future in the building industry, it makes it all worthwhile.

What do you love most about the industry?

The constant opportunity to expand my knowledge of skills and trades and be able to carry these over into my everyday life. Whether it be having a personal connection and being able to recommend a vendor or contractor to a friend or family member in need, or physically being able to provide help myself due to something I have learned in the industry, it feels good to be able to provide for others and give back. I truly believe the construction industry requires one to know and learn a little bit about everything, and being able to use that knowledge to help others is a rewarding feeling.

Which project are you most proud of and why?

The ongoing multi-family and multi-use complex, The Quarter, at which I am currently working on through my employer, Snavely Building Company. Being the first job that I have played a significant role in, this project has truly given me a sense of accomplishment every day and opened the doors to understand some of the ins-and-outs of construction.

What’s the most frustrating part of your job?

I spend the most time at work problem solving and resolving design conflicts. Not being able to have my eyes and ears in all aspects of the project, but knowing that I am working with a dependable and dedicated team provides a reassuring feeling.

What do you want to share with the next generation of builders?

Work in the field before and during school.

Get your hands dirty and learn to appreciate the hard working labor specific trades. Listen to and respect the seasoned veterans, there’s a reason they have been in the game as long as they have.

How has technology changed the way you work in construction?

Technology allows for a more instantaneous and user-friendly relay of information, making it faster and easier than ever for direction to be delivered.

How do benefit the most from PlanGrid?

While working as an architectural designer, I was introduced to PlanGrid from a construction project manager who used it as a punch list item with a previous company. PlanGrid presents a quick and easy platform for people of all backgrounds and knowledge levels to understand and navigate. It is a very interactive interface that promotes cooperative efforts and engages contractors to work together to get the job done the right way.

What’s your favorite PlanGrid feature?

The punch list feature as it can be used to clearly present the location and issue, and allows all users to interact from remote points on resolving issues.

Share Your Story, Join a Community

There are countless amazing stories of what drives the construction community to build. If you want to tell your story, fill out our interest form and you could be the next face of “Behind the Build.”

Further Reading:  Behind the Build: Interview with Brian Binkley, Director of Design, Gephart Electric

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