Meet R&M: Senior Special Inspector Lenny Peirce

October 17, 2017

Meet Lenny Peirce! A member of the R&M team since 1990, Lenny is an experienced Special Inspector and Materials Technician with more than 35 years of laboratory and large commercial project experience. He has experience inspecting structural construction operations for many major contractors and engineers on a variety of projects, including schools, universities, dormitories, high-rise buildings, municipal buildings, correctional facilities and bridges. Lenny is also experienced in a wide variety of testing and inspection procedures, including laboratory and field soils analysis, concrete, asphalt concrete, welds and steel, ranging from ground-level borings to final completion.

Lenny is currently performing special inspections for the construction of Alaska Airlines New Anchorage Hangar. The new 110,000 SF maintenance hangar will be able to house two 737’s side-by-side, and have support spaces of approximately 105,000 SF. He is also responsible for inspections and materials testing on several Snow Removal Equipment Building (SREB) projects under an architectural and engineering services term agreement with (DOT&PF) Statewide Public Facilities.

Why special inspections?

Like many occupations, I kind of fell into the field of special inspections. It started when I got a job doing basic carpentry at a sign fabrication factory after a semester of college. A while later, I took a job with my brother who was a residential contractor. When work slowed, an opportunity as an inspector on the east coast presented itself, and they were willing to train. I started in New York in 1983 and performed inspections on numerous Tri-State area buildings, some as high as 51 stories tall.

I still hold my American Concrete Institute (ACI) certification from 1987, which I have maintained to this day. I continued work as an inspector in Manhattan until it went bankrupt in 1990. I moved back to Anchorage and joined R&M – and haven’t looked back since.

What’s your favorite/most memorable project you’ve worked on?

The Anchorage Fish Hatchery project is definitely one of the most memorable R&M projects I’ve performed special inspections on. It was a very complex and technical project, but the great working relationship with the contractor’s crew made the process efficient and enjoyable. The Hatchery is one of the largest and newest in the nation.

Lenny performing inspections on the ANC Airport Concourse C project (2000-2005).

What was the most unusual or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

The ANC Airport Concourse C Retrofit and Seismic Upgrades was probably the hardest project I’ve ever worked on. I was the primary inspector for this project that ended up having more than 3,000 RFI’s and more than 250 structural Design Memos after all phases were completed. The constant updating of project documents and detailing kept me on my toes. The project lasted for five years, and I was still working 10 to 12 hour days up until the very end.

Why R&M?

NYC went bankrupt in 1990, resulting in many layoffs in the industry. I put in my notice and moved to Anchorage (my original birth place) in June of 1990. R&M picked me up the first day I sent out my resume. In 2002, R&M employees (including myself) purchased the company from one of the founders, Jim Rooney. Today, I am one of the original shareholders still working at R&M.

If you could switch your job with anyone else in R&M, whose job would you want?

Frank Rast (prior R&Mer, engineer and friend). Not because he’s an engineer, but more so as a senior member of the firm’s leadership. I respected his black and white approach and solutions throughout the years, and his ‘non-political’ attitude.

Are you from Alaska? What do you like about this state?

I was born in 1959 in Anchorage, spent my first six months in an Army tent in Cooper Landing. Shortly afterwards, my family homesteaded on a farm in Sterling. After the 1964 earthquake, the family relocated to Anchorage where my father supervised the rebuilding of the damaged underground mechanical systems throughout Anchorage for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

I’ve always enjoy the great outdoors and everything this beautiful state has to offer.

Lenny (second one on the left) and his band – Load Warriors – in 1986/1987.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?

I’m an avid fisherman and like to spend time on land I own near the Kenai River. I enjoy off-road ATV riding, exploring and shooting. I enjoy twisting wrenches on my ATVs, motorcycles and my muscle car (69 El Camino). I also enjoy good hard physical work with an axe and chainsaw.

I have two kids, a daughter who is currently a pharmaceutical technician working on her RN degree, and a son who is attending UAA on his way to be a “rocket scientist” (for real!).

People would be surprised if they knew:

I use to be a lead singer in a grunge rock band…

Lenny holds the following certifications:ICBO since MOA Special Inspections Inception (1992); ICBO Reinforced Concrete; ICBO Structural Masonry; ICBO Spray-applied Fireproofing; IBC Reinforced Concrete; IBC Structural Masonry; IBC Spray-Applied Fireproofing; IBC Soils; ACI Certification (1987); PCI Prestress Levels I and II; NICET Soils; Troxler Densometer Certified; MOA Certified; Soils, Piles, Reinforced Concrete, Structural Masonry, Fireproofing and Structural Anchors.