Designed Equipment Corporation was founded in Chicago in August of 1966 by Leon Zygmun. Over the first 40 years, DEC grew from a small startup local scaffold supplier in the Chicagoland area to a prominent Midwest seller, renter, and installer of complex engineered scaffold systems.
Within five years, DEC had captured a significant market share in the pipe and suspended scaffold business in the Chicago area. The company began to design, fabricate, and manufacture customized specialty items that broadened its range. DEC originally started in the scaffolding business, and as technology developed, they expanded into powered suspended scaffold (swing stages).
In 1986 Leon Zygmun acquired Hi-Lo Climbers, a leader in suspended scaffolding or powered swing stages. This acquisition allowed DEC to consolidate manufacturing in Chicago and become a prominent national player in suspended scaffolding or powered swing stages across the US.
Over the first 40 years, DEC successfully won large scaffolding contracts on significant new buildings, including First National Bank (Now Chase Bank), IBM, Standard Oil (AON), Water Tower Place, and O’Hare Control Tower. These successful projects lead to customers requesting DEC’s expertise in other cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Miami, and San Diego.
In April of 2007, Jeff Hughart acquired DEC and took it to a new level. Significant investment in inventory, manufacturing, and engineering allowed the company to grow significantly, tripling in size despite a substantial downturn in the industry during the Great Recession.
DEC participated in many significant new construction projects requiring complex scaffolding and engineering challenges during the next decade, including the RUSH Hospital, One Museum, O’Hare SW Control Tower, Block 37 New Tower, and McCormick Marriott Marque. Major façade and interior rehab projects include Chicago City Hall and multiple annual projects across Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Archdiocese Churches, and various Universities (Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul, and the University of Chicago).
In 2019 DEC was sold to Jacob Bergstresser, who has a career in construction and running projects at heights. DEC continues its heritage of working on complicated access projects in the Chicago market with ongoing projects such as VISTA, NEMA, and O’Hare. As DEC continues to grow, we have begun to inject new product lines such as Layher systems scaffold into our fleet; DEC looks to be the comprehensive scaffold provider for the Chicagoland market.