Founded in Altadena, California in 1963, Charles Pankow’s vision for his new company was shaped on the fundamental belief: Because the builder controls the scope, quality, schedule and cost of a project,they are in the best position to help the owner know these factors in advance. This is the basic principle of “Thinking Beyond the Building,” established from the outset. To Charles J. Pankow, the concept of understanding the owner’s goals and needs before even beginning a design made complete sense. When a client had a problem getting something built, they called Charles Pankow. Where other contractors would walk away, it was his nature to jump in and figure it out. “It can’t be built” was music to his ears.
As a result of that mindset, Pankow used design-build before it was called that. From the beginning, the company believed in establishing trust with a client and working together as a true team every step of the way. That culture served as the genesis for the development of design-build at Pankow and in the industry. Pankow was a founding member of the Design Build Institute of America, serving on the first committee of six members that established the organization which today holds a worldwide influence on the best practices for design build and integrated project delivery.
In addition to the collaborative mindset, Charles Pankow left a few other cultural legacies that continue through today. Like Charles Pankow with his civil engineering degree from Purdue, Pankow continues the tradition of deploying management staff with technical engineering backgrounds. To this day it is a key component in our ability to be a knowledgeable, active participant in the development and design process and to discover and analyze the best solutions. Last but not least, Charles Pankow took to building naturally, growing up with a father who was a builder. We remain one of the few general contractors who perform a substantial portion of work with our own forces, gaining a depth of hands-on experience and understanding far beyond administration. What Charles Pankow envisioned – Pankow engineers working side-by-side with every member of the project team; creating high value solutions that exceed the owner’s functional, aesthetic and quality goals – it’s our history and our reality.