Editorial: 08.18.2020

Kurt Dulle Thrives on Fast-Paced MEP Civil and Utility Work

kurt dulle
Kurt Dulle is used to measuring projects in days or weeks rather than months or years.  

As director of Castle’s MEP civil group, he leads a six-person team that works directly with mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors on a range of fast-paced MEP civil and site utility projects.

“We run a lot of smaller volume jobs through our group,” says Dulle, who has managed the team since 2016. “A small project might have a two-week lifespan from the time we get the invite to the time it's completely built out and billed.”

Building client relationships is a key aspect of Dulle’s job. “It’s a very relationship-based business,” he says. “You drink beer with these guys, you become friends with them and build trust.”

Dulle began his Castle career in 2001 after spending a dozen years as a laborer, estimator and project manager at J.H. Berra Construction Co. “Castle was about six years old and mostly doing small MEP-type excavation projects,” recalls Dulle, whose previous experience helped the company expand into sewer work. To boost Castle’s in-house expertise, he earned a master drainlayer license in St. Louis county and city as well as St. Charles county and city.

In 2003, Dulle left Castle to work at Budrovich Excavating & Contracting, then rejoined Castle as project manager in 2013. “I think I had reached my growth potential at Budrovich, and I knew that Castle was growing exponentially,” says Dulle. “I was also excited to work with Mike Myers (former Castle vice president of operations) again.”

Since returning to Castle, he’s continued to expand the company’s MEP project experience.

“Although some of the basics haven’t changed since I was here in 2001, we are much more sophisticated. We successfully execute bigger projects consistently, and we’ve built a broader base of client relationships that we are dedicated to serving,” he says. “We own a bigger fleet with large-capacity excavators and specialty machines like our directional boring rig that allow us to tackle complex projects, fast-paced schedules and tough locations. New technologies make us more efficient throughout the project and help us to mitigate risk. Plus, we have knowledgeable crews who really know how to put the work in place. All of this allows us to provide our clients with value and high-quality service.”

Within Dulle’s group, individuals serve dual roles as both estimators and project managers. “It’s an eat-what-you-kill scenario where you bid the job, you run it, you bill it and you close it out,” he says.

Castle’s commitment to MEP civil work is uncommon in the construction industry. “There are jack-of-all-trades companies and other companies that don't mess with this type of work, but there are very few that have a dedicated group of MEP professionals who specialize in these projects,” he says.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dulle and his team have relied on videoconferencing to conduct daily activities such as bid reviews and strategy meetings. Despite the learning curve involved in this shift, they haven’t missed a beat. “I think we've gotten into a rhythm,” he says. “In fact, we’re just as busy now—if not busier—than before.”

And as Castle continues expanding in Omaha, Dulle has been devoting more time to supporting the company’s growing team there. “Omaha is on the rise and it’s exciting,” he says. “We've picked up quite a bit of substantial work there.”

The father of a 20-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son, Dulle enjoys spending his leisure time at his Lake of the Ozarks condo. “Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m either working, taking care of the house and kids, or at the lake,” he says.


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