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WHJ introduces you to two local professionals who contribute their specialized expertise to home building in Montana.

As HVAC systems have become more complicated and sophisticated, the need for specialists with technical backgrounds has become essential. Harvey’s introduces the building industry to a key member of their team, mechanical engineer Ryan Sullivan.

For Josh Charles, joy is seeing family and friends gather for recreation, active play, and fun at the neighborhood court. He has turned his passion and construction industry background into a business with Full Court Athletics.

Shop Talk- Bozeman-Big Sky Harvey's Engineering Team

“Working with other like-minded companies that are willing to try new things and push the envelope are the kind of relationships that Harvey’s wants to build.”
–Ryan Sullivan, Harvey’s Engineering

Harvey’s Engineering

Ryan Sullivan, PE

Harvey’s identified the need to better streamline the construction process by being involved earlier in the building design process and providing more in-house resources to team with architects and contractors. They recruited Ryan Sullivan, an MSU engineering graduate, to head an engineering department. The result is a better understanding of cutting-edge technology, more streamlined installation of mechanical systems, better communication among players, and more energy-efficient homes.

What services do you offer?

Harvey’s is a vertically integrated mechanical engineering and construction company. We offer services for the full life cycle of a building, from design and engineering to HVAC, hydronics, and plumbing installation as well as custom sheetmetal fabrication, oxygen systems, and service.

What is your professional background?

My dad has worked his whole life as a general contractor, so upon graduating from Montana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I looked for a way to get involved in the construction industry. I was fortunate to find CTA Architects and Engineers and started as an engineer-in-training. After working there for five years and obtaining my Professional Engineer’s license, I made the move to Harvey’s.

How do you see your field changing in 5 to 10 years?

The construction industry has seen the least amount of technological progress compared to other industries in the last 30 years. I believe the construction industry will start adapting practices more similar to the manufacturing industry. This will include a large amount of prefabrication and standardization in order to reduce costs, timelines, and errors.

I also see more projects going the design-build route instead of the traditional design-bid-build route. All the research shows design-build provides a better product at a lower cost—all within a shorter time frame.
Describe your process. How do you work with clients?
Our process revolves around handling the full life cycle of the building. By being involved in each step of the process (design, construction, and service), we are motivated to make the job for the next discipline easier. Communication among our departments is paramount to understanding the difficulties each of us faces. In the end this means a better building that is higher performing, costs less, and ultimately makes the owner more happy.

I am constantly pushing to get involved in the design process as early as possible. The traditional approach is that an engineer doesn’t get involved until the architect is nearly finished with the design. This leaves limited opportunities for the engineer to influence the architecture. Mechanical and plumbing systems are a requirement for every building, so it doesn’t make sense to try and force them in at the end of a project. If all parties can communicate early on in the design phase, everyone’s needs can be accommodated easier and cheaper which results in a better overall project and result for the owner.

What is the most exciting new product or development in your field?

The adoption of virtual and augmented reality technologies is coming soon. This will entirely redefine how we go about designing and constructing buildings. Imagine being able to design in a 3D virtual reality as well as view the virtual modeled overlaid with the real world. In the field, you could see exactly where every hole needs to be drilled as well as the location for each piece of duct or pipe.

What are your current challenges?

Our biggest challenge is finding partners that share in our vision and want to progress the industry forward. Working with other like-minded companies that are willing to try new things and push the envelope are the kind of relationships that we want to build. With the current rate of technological change, if you aren’t being progressive, you are going to be left in the dust.

Shop Talk- Bozeman-Big Sky Harvey's Engineering

Shop Talk- Bozeman-Big Sky Josh Charles Snapsports of Montana

“I love seeing the reaction of kids and parents when they come home to their new gym or court. I get to smile with them and maybe even shoot a basket.”

––Josh Charles, owner, Full Court Athletics / Snapsports of Montana

Full Court Athletics/ Snapsports of Montana

Josh Charles, owner

As part of a multi-generation family-owned sports construction business, Josh Charles continues the tradition by designing and building athletic game courts where families and friends can gather, play, and stay active. Hands-on and personally involved in every project, Josh starts by getting to know each client’s family and their interests before tailoring an indoor gym or outdoor court to their specific needs. The result is
a space that will bring families and neighborhoods together for years to come.

What services do you offer?

Snapsports of Montana is a Bozeman-based custom indoor gym and outdoor game court contractor offering everything from sports surface design and construction to hoops, scoreboards, and more.

What is your professional background?

I’m a third-generation family-owned sports contractor. You can say building active family fun is in my blood. I’ve personally worked on hundreds of residential and commercial projects of all sizes and won a few awards in the process.

Describe your process. How do you work with clients?

We start by learning about the customer’s family. We learn the age range along with what sports they’re interested in to help design an indoor gym or outdoor court to fit their needs. Once we have a direction we can share with them past projects to help narrow down their dream and create specifications to make their project as individual as they are.

What do you offer that is unique?

Our overall business is unique. We’re very specific in what we offer. As soon as our job trailers arrive, we start to turn heads and create a buzz of excitement. Ultimately what sets us apart is my extensive history in the sports building industry. This is something I grew up doing. I’ve seen the industry change and we have changed with it. I’m proud to leave each project with our name attached.

What inspires you?

I love seeing the reaction of kids and parents when they come home to their new gym or court. The smiles, laughs, and simple excitement they all exude are amazing. I can almost see new memories being created the minute they get home. I get to smile with them and maybe even shoot a basket.

What sets you apart from others in the industry?

My experience and passion for each job is evident, whether it’s a small half-court project or a full-size gym. My father and grandfather helped me understand that customers are number one. So I run our business with not What words do people use to describe your work?

We’ve heard everything from a young child saying “this is awesome” to adults simply sharing that they’re “overwhelmingly satisfied.” Ultimately the words “Thank You” simply shows us that the customer is happy and You work with so many families…what’s something you feel they have in common?

I feel that they’re truly excited when we arrive. They’re making their home the go-to place for their kids, friends, and family. They simply want to keep everyone active while being safe and learning many life lessons Have you worked with anyone famous?

The simple answer is yes. We’re always amazed at how many neat people call Montana home. Some are full-time residents while others come here for their vacation homes. They’re often some of the most excited clients and appreciative of our specialty craft. Like everyone, they too ask, “How do you paint the three-point lines so perfectly?” I still laugh at that and usually tell them, “Sorry, that’s a trade secret.”

Shop Talk- Bozeman-Big Sky Full Court Athletics/ Snapsports of Montana