The exterior of Hach Co.'s expansion in Loveland. Swinerton Builders was the general contractor on the $25 million project. BizWest/Doug Storum.

Hach sues three involved in $21M building project

LOVELAND — Hach Co. has sued Swinerton Builders Inc., CTL Thompson Inc., and George Butler Associates Inc. in Larimer County District Court alleging that design and construction defects in a building at its site are affecting two other structures at its Loveland campus.

Hach makes analytical and other products to test water quality

The lawsuit involves its global headquarters at 5600 Lindbergh Drive, at the corner Lindbergh forms with Earhart Road. The property is west of Byrd Drive and Interstate 25, north of Kitty Hawk Drive, near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

It’s next door to a Hines Interests LP industrial complex of 188,000 square feet, under development.

Hach’s 43 acres is valued at $38.3 million, according to the Larimer County Assessor. Documents there show three large buildings on the site. One of 151,000 square feet was built in 1978. A second, added in 1998 is 66,000 square feet. The third, built in 2017, is 98,000 square feet.

The third building’s use includes “a research laboratory, testing sensitive instruments used to measure water quality, and workspaces for teams of engineers and others,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges “numerous and substantial construction defects including buckled floors, bent and deflected support joists, broken and displaced windows, cracked and deflected drywall” in that newest building that are also affecting the other two.

It said Hach has suffered damages and the defects “are attributable to acts and omissions” of defendants in “failing to exercise due diligence and care in providing professional services to Hach.” The lawsuit said the defendants variously pledged to work skillfully, with diligence and care, to “the highest standards” and without defects. It said defendants knew of expansive soils, to which the lawsuit attributes some damage.

CTL Thompson, based in Denver, was the geotechnical engineer on the project, the lawsuit said. George Butler Associates does business as GBA and was the architect. It’s based in Kansas and has its Colorado offices in Broomfield. Swinerton, based in California with Colorado offices in Arvada, was the builder.

CTL has offices in three states and six Colorado offices including one in Fort Collins, its website said.

The lawsuit said plans for a third building began in July 2014. In October 2014 and May and August of 2015, it contracted with the defendants for the work. Construction began in August 2016 and finished in October 2017.

The new building cost about $25 million to build and equip. A Loveland Reporter-Herald article on the groundbreaking said Hach Co. received $1 million in incentives from Loveland, Larimer County, state economic development funds and a private development fund toward its costs. The city covered 70% of the $1 million, including fee waivers, the article said. At the time, 750 people were employed in Loveland with 50 more working in Fort Collins.

Kitty Hach-Darrow spoke at the groundbreaking and the opening of the facility the next year. Also at the opening were Danaher’s then-CEO Tom Joyce, a former president of Hach; Hach President Kevin Klau; and then-Congressman Jared Polis, who had begun his campaign for Colorado governor.

The Hach company “observed movements of the first-floor slab and related structural elements in certain areas” of the new building in early 2018, the lawsuit said.

It alleges negligence, breach of contract and warranty, and other claims. It asks for damages but doesn’t specify an amount, seeking to “recover all resulting damages in an amount to be determined at trial.”

Attempts to contact Swinerton in Arvada, GBA in Kansas and Hach Co. in Loveland weren’t immediately successful. A message left for Paul Maes, whose LinkedIn profile said he heads GBA’s work in Colorado and adds a Fort Collins location for him, wasn’t returned.

Hach Co.’s attorneys are Jonathon Bergman and Michael Richardson of Denver law firm Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. Bergman, reached by phone, declined comment.

Shawn Fitzhugh, listed at CTL Thompson’s website as a principal engineer and manager of field services, via email declined comment.

Hach was founded in 1947 in Ames, Iowa, by Clifford Hach and Kathryn “Kitty” Hach-Darrow as Hach Chemical Co. It went public in 1968 and moved to Loveland in the late 1970s. Hach maintains some facilities in Iowa and has overseas locations. Kitty Hach-Darrow, a philanthropist, small plane pilot, and local Loveland luminary died at age 97 in June 2020.

Hach is a unit of Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) in Washington, D.C., with annual revenue of $28 billion. Danaher makes medical and industrial products for diagnostics, life sciences and environmental firms. It bought Hach in 1999 for $325 million in stock, according to a chemical industry trade journal. Hach has made acquisitions under Danaher ownership, and its products are in use in 100 counties, its website said. As of about 2018 Hach had $1.5 billion in revenue, according to the website.

The Larimer County District Court case Hach Co. v. Swinerton Builders Inc., CTL Thompson Inc., and George Butler Associates Inc. is 2021CV30836.

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LOVELAND — Hach Co. has sued Swinerton Builders Inc., CTL Thompson Inc., and George Butler Associates Inc. in Larimer County District Court alleging that design and construction defects in a building at its site are affecting two other structures at its Loveland campus.

Hach makes analytical and other products to test water quality

The lawsuit involves its global headquarters at 5600 Lindbergh Drive, at the corner Lindbergh forms with Earhart Road. The property is west of Byrd Drive and Interstate 25, north of Kitty Hawk Drive, near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

It’s next door to a Hines Interests LP industrial complex of 188,000 square feet, under development.

Hach’s 43 acres is valued at $38.3 million, according to the Larimer County Assessor. Documents there show three large buildings on the site. One of 151,000 square feet was built in 1978. A second, added in 1998 is 66,000 square feet. The third, built in 2017, is 98,000 square feet.

The third building’s use includes “a research laboratory, testing sensitive instruments used to measure water quality, and workspaces for teams of engineers and others,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges “numerous and substantial construction defects including buckled floors, bent and deflected support joists, broken and displaced windows, cracked and deflected drywall” in that newest building that are also affecting the other two.

It said Hach has suffered damages and the defects “are attributable to acts and omissions” of defendants in “failing to exercise due diligence and care in providing professional services to Hach.” The lawsuit said…