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Project Delivered: Large K-12 HVAC Modernization Project Complete

Our Sheet Metal, Plumbing and Piping field teams have completed their work on the massive Long Beach Unified School District’s Lakewood High School HVAC modernization project.

The project – which began last summer – required our teams to move across multiple buildings at the site while school was in session to upgrade facilities, equipment and systems to bring cool air to warm classrooms under the direction of General Contracting partner McCarthy Building Companies.

The work was completed as part of the District’s $1.1 billion school bond and campus modernization program. Xcel Mechanical teams engaged in similar work at LBUSD’s Burcham Elementary and Keller Middle schools.

Expertise Helps Drive Strategic LAX Projects

Xcel Mechanical continues to play an increasingly critical role in the $14 billion Capital Improvement Program at LAX – considered the largest public works program in the history of the City of Los Angeles.

Our company’s Engineering, Project Management and Field Teams are working under two separate contract awards as part of LAX’s Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP). The goal of the program is to integrate existing LAX Terminals with the soon-to-be-constructed Automated People Mover (APM) system.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) awarded Austin Commercial a $336.5 million contract to design and build three ‘terminal cores’ as part of the LAMP Program. The terminal cores will consist of new and upgraded facilities that will be built in key locations around the terminal area to provide staircases, escalators, elevators and walkways that will connect LAX’s terminals with the new APM.

Austin Commercial released two terminal core packages in late summer. Our company generated competitive proposals for both, winning the larger of the two— the “Tom Bradley International Terminal Cores & APM Interface”, a contract to design and then build both the Mechanical and Plumbing scopes. Last Spring new General Contracting partner Hensel Phelps our company the American Airlines 4.5 Terminal Core Project.

Both contact awards were the result of strategic business pursuits that built upon the solid resume of our veteran LAX Project Management and Field Teams, said company President Kevin Michel.

“These were targeted business pursuits that required demonstrated Proof of Performance at LAX, and a total team effort. Now it’s up to all of us to deliver to our new clients.”

Xcel Mechanical’s Response to COVID-19

National, state and local agencies have deemed most work in the construction industry as ‘essential’ to our country’s infrastructure and economy. We join our colleagues in the AEC community in an all-out effort to balance keeping our people safe and getting the work done.

To that end, Xcel Mechanical Systems has put in place a variety of protective measures to ensure the health and safety of our field employees, our office employees, our project partners, and customers. Measures that include:

  • Disseminated CDC guidelines designed to generate awareness, answer key questions, and to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 at home, school and in the workplace
  • Disseminated OSHA guidelines on preparing workplaces and jobsites for COVID-19
  • Encouraged all employees to practice healthy respiratory hygiene
  • Implemented strict enforcement of stay-home-when-sick policy
  • Implemented morning health screenings of all employees
  • Implemented comprehensive Telework program under which all office employees now work remotely
  • Increased routine jobsite visits and safety checks by our Safety Team  
  • Working to ensure routine disinfectant wipe-down efforts where our employees work
  • Eliminated non-essential visits to the office by our subcontractors and suppliers
  • Eliminated non-essential work travel and attendance at conferences, shows and training
  • Postponed all company events
  • Eliminated large meetings in the office. Limited offsite face-to-face meetings.

During normal operations, safety is the most important thing we do – whether on our jobsites or in the office. But during this unprecedented period, it is even more critical that our focus on day-to-day operational safety is heightened.

Our Operations and Safety teams are taking a personal approach to the CDC guidelines; visiting our jobsites and educating our teams on preventive hygiene measures for themselves and for the equipment and tools they use each day. And our field team leaders continue to place significant emphasis on social distancing and the 6-feet separation rule.

We are actively monitoring this evolving situation and will continue to comply with all CDC government requirements to do our part in looking for new ways to protect our project teams and their families from the spread of COVID-19. 

We are committed to staying on top of each new development and to being as proactive as possible in the effort to keep our teams and our communities healthy.

Our Field Leaders Get It – Leadership by Example to Get the Jobs Done

Gardena, CA — With each new sizable project win comes the all-important question — who will manage the work? It’s a mission-critical question for both the office and the field.

“Our union craftsmen are the best in the industry. In fact, I routinely have clients call to request our Project Foremen by name,” said Jason Gordon, Vice President of Operations for Xcel Mechanical Systems.

“And because of our continued growth we have many new faces in our ranks. As a result, the role of the Field Foreman has become increasingly critical,” Gordon said.

“The Foreman is arguably the most important person on the project,” said Angelo Snedeger, Xcel Mechanical’s Sheet Metal Superintendent. “Take any job; they’re at the center of it. They’re out there every day with boots on the ground, dealing directly with the General Contractor’s onsite team, their own Project Manager, their own Superintendent, and other trades that are working onsite. Plus, they’re responsible for the overall safety of the jobsite, managing their own guys, and making sure the job has the needed equipment and tools. It’s an overarching responsibility for sure.”

Xcel Mechanical Piping Superintendent Wes Whittle concurred, emphasizing the mentorship opportunity and role that most Foreman understand and embrace.
“They’re the coaches of our future,” Whittle said. “They are turning out guys who are going to be here in 10 years. And, if those guys are here in 10 years, it’s because of their Foreman. I’m one of those guys. I was a first-year apprentice right here at Xcel. I had a good Foreman and that’s why I’m here now. Take that coaching. Utilize it. Be part of the team. Go the extra mile. That will go far with us. With the growth we’re experiencing, we need good guys. They are our future.”

Xcel Mechanical Systems Recognized as Safest Mechanical and Plumbing Contractor in the U.S.

GARDENA, CA — Xcel Mechanical Systems was recognized by an industry-leading trade association and one of the nation’s largest insurance carriers on Wednesday as the safest commercial mechanical and plumbing contractor in the United States in the 100,000 to 250,000 hours-worked category.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) represents more than 2,600 union contracting companies nationwide. CNA is the eighth largest U.S. commercial property and casualty insurance company. On Wednesday, MCAA President Greg Fuller recognized the Gardena, CA design-build firm with the MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Award.

“There is nothing more important to anyone in this room than the safety and health of the people who work at our companies,” Fuller told a room filled with an estimated 2,000 industry representatives who attended the awards show, held this week during MCAA’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. “The winners of this award have truly excellent safety programs and should be proud of their accomplishments.”

“Xcel Mechanical Systems now belongs to an elite group of contractors nationwide,” said Peter Chaney, MCAA’s Director of Safety and Health. “These companies have made a profound commitment to programs that are achieving measurable results and are keeping their employees and project partners safe.”

Kevin Michel, president of Gardena, CA-based Xcel Mechanical Systems, said winning MCAA’s top safety award marks a significant milestone in the company’s 20-year history. “Our employees work in high-risk environments, and so their safety is a huge priority for us,” Michel said.

“A good safety program starts with teamwork, accountability, and personal responsibility,” he said. “And so, this award represents the diligence of our entire company. It really is the most important thing that we do. And the best part is, our people are going home to their families at night.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.

Xcel Mechanical Systems is an award-winning engineering and construction firm specializing in commercial HVAC, plumbing and process piping systems. Building owners, property managers and general contractors trust us to deliver cost-effective solutions that make their buildings more comfortable, energy efficient and easier to manage. Now entering our 20th year in business, Xcel Mechanical’s client list includes global aerospace firms, large metropolitan hospitals, major research universities, Fortune 500 companies, and all manner of mid-sized companies. Based in Gardena, CA, Xcel Mechanical is one of the largest mechanical and plumbing contractors in California, and one of the safest in the United States. Please visit: www.xcelmech.com

We’re hiring! Project Manager Needed for HVAC, Plumbing and Piping Projects

Gardena, CA – Xcel Mechanical Systems is entering a period of sustained growth and has an immediate opening a Project Manager, working under the under the supervision of our Director of Operations. The right candidate will join our company as it enters its 20th-year in business; a time in which Xcel Mechanical is being recognized as one of the largest mechanical contractors on California and one of the safest operating in the United States. The topline goal of this position: Oversee project planning, scheduling, budgeting and implementation for HVAC, Plumbing and Process Piping projects ranging in size from $50,000 – $10 million at assigned job sites across the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. For more information, please check out our Careers page.

We’re Hiring! Safety Representative Needed for Palmdale Jobsites

Xcel Mechanical Systems is entering a period of sustained growth and has an immediate opening at its Palmdale, CA jobsites for an entry-level Safety Representative, working under the under the supervision of the company’s Safety Director. The right candidate will join our company as it enters its 20th-year in business, and during a time in which Xcel Mechanical is being recognized as one of the safest mechanical contractors operating in the United States. The topline goal of this position is to help keep a good thing going by implementing and monitoring the company’s existing standards, processes, communications, training and related safety systems to ensure that designated project sites remain injury-free environments. For more information, please visit our Careers page.

 

Company’s Top Safety Officer Attends National Safety Director’s Conference

San Diego, CA — Xcel Mechanical Systems continues to build its case as one of the safest mechanical contractors in the nation, and in the process, sent the company’s top safety official here to network and collaborate with peers and thought leaders during the industry’s top safety conference.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) serves the unique needs of approximately 2,600 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service.

The MCAA 2018 Safety Directors’ Conference provided world class, industry-specific safety and health education opportunities for 225 officers representing large and small union mechanical contractors from across the United States.

“The speakers were excellent, the conference was informative, and the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who work tirelessly to keep their employees safe was invaluable,” said Steve Prisk, company safety director.

“We all know that our employees work in high-risk environments, so as safety directors we face big challenges in achieving our daily goal, which is for our people to return home safe each night,” Prisk said. “During this conference, we were able to share our experiences and perspective with, and gain valuable insight from, our colleagues. “The embers are stoked. I leave this conference with great ideas and will begin implementing them upon my return.”

Topic experts from around the country presented sixteen educational sessions throughout the three-day conference. The conference’s keynote presenter, Neil Pasricha, is a New York Times best-selling author of five books including The Happiness Equation, which debuted at #1 on the international bestseller list last year and is still there today.

Other educational topics included safe bolting practices, power tool safety technology, working safely around manganese, workplace violence prevention and protection, and much more.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is an award-winning engineering and construction firm specializing in commercial and industrial HVAC, plumbing, and process piping systems. Xcel Mechanical was founded in 1998, is headquartered in Gardena, CA, and is now entering its 20th year in business as a full-service union mechanical contractor with a client list that includes global aerospace firms, large metropolitan hospitals, major research universities and Fortune 500 companies. Our project scopes include New Construction, Retrofits, Tenant Improvements, Preventative Maintenance, and Emergency Services. Our Project Delivery methods include Pre-Construction Consulting, Design Assist, Design Build, and Plan & Spec Construction. Building owners, property managers, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

 

About MCAA

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) serves the unique needs of approximately 2,600 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service. We do this by providing our members with high-quality educational materials and programs to help them attain the highest level of managerial and technical expertise. MCAA includes the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Manufacturer/Supplier Council, the Mechanical Contracting Education and Research Foundation and the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau. For more information, visit: https://www.mcaa.org/

Xcel Mechanical Employees Bring Holiday Cheer to Neighborhood Kids

GARDENA, CA — Giving back to the local community was the theme of Xcel Mechanical’s 2017 Holiday Toy Drive as employees here partnered with the Gardena Police Department and the Gardena Police Officer’s Association to put a sled-full of donated gifts and toys into the hands of underprivileged children from across the company’s host city.

To the delight of our employees, Santa’s Sleigh arrived at the company’s headquarters on December 13 to collect several over-sized boxes filled with unwrapped gifts collected during the company’s annual holiday toy drive. Later that evening, Xcel Mechanical elves helped Santa and other community volunteers distribute the toys to local boys and girls at nearby Amestoy Elementary School.

“We’re so happy to have the employees of Xcel Mechanical join our team, because it’s so important that local businesses get involved in this very important, community-wide effort,” said Detective Luis Villanueva, School Resources Officer for the Gardena Police Department. “Your employees should know that for some of these kids, these will be the only toys they get for Christmas.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.

Xcel Mechanical Systems is an award-winning engineering and construction firm specializing in commercial and industrial HVAC, plumbing, and process piping systems. Xcel Mechanical was founded in 1998, is headquartered in Gardena, CA, and is now entering its 20th year in business as a full-service union mechanical contractor with a client list that includes global aerospace firms, large metropolitan hospitals, major research universities and Fortune 500 companies. Our project scopes include New Construction, Retrofits, Tennant Improvements, Preventative Maintenance, and Emergency Services. Our Project Delivery methods include Pre-Construction Consulting, Design Assist, Design Build, and Plan & Spec Construction. Building owners, property managers, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Safety First: Xcel Mechanical Posts Record Low EMR

Gardena, CA — Fewer than 12-percent of companies that participated in a recent national survey of mechanical contractors reported a key safety indicator score of 0.60 or lower, firmly establishing Xcel Mechanical’s new 0.55 Experience Modification Rate (EMR) as one of the lowest of any mechanical contractor in the nation.

This year’s findings were published in the 2017 SMACNA Safety Profile / Safety Excellence Awards Program, prepared for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association by the Construction Labor Research Council.

A key finding in the report: The average reported EMR was 0.81, up slightly from the prior year’s survey average EMR of 0.79, and significantly higher than Xcel Mechanical’s 0.55.

In the construction industry, a contractor’s EMR can have a profound impact upon business. Insurance carriers use EMR rates to gauge past cost of injuries and future chances of risk. A lower EMR rate means lower worker’s compensation insurance premiums charged to the contractor. Lower insurance costs result in lower total overhead for the business, enabling the contractor to be more competitive in the project bidding process.

But while the industry average ticked up, Xcel Mechanical’s EMR decreased from 0.59 in 2016 to 0.55 this year.

To celebrate and recognize the accomplishment, Xcel Mechanical President Kevin Michel hosted a company-wide luncheon at the firm’s Gardena, CA headquarters. In addition to a catered lunch, each employee in attendance was given a $50 bill and a $5 bill, to commemorate the company’s all-time low EMR of 0.55.

“This doesn’t mean we start going the other way to get bigger bills,” he said.  “But seriously, what you have accomplished this year – and over the previous three years – is extraordinary. It means a lot to the company. And it means a lot to me.”

Company Safety Director Steve Prisk said that when he started out 2017, “our EMR was already so low that the goal, really, was just to hold the line. But then it went down again this year,” he said. “It points directly to the absolute diligence of our employees. I’m blown away at the ability of our crews to keep themselves safe, and to keep our company on this extraordinary path.”

“In one sentence, it says a lot about the company,” said John Post, a longtime construction industry insurance expert and consultant. “It’s a great distinguishing characteristic of different companies within the same industry. Not only is their EMR one of the lowest I’ve seen in their industry, it’s one of the lowest I’ve ever seen, period. It’s truly remarkable.”

Post credits Mr. Michel with the decision to move Prisk into the position, and the job Prisk has done since becoming safety director. “You’re talking about a guy with the highest integrity, character, work ethic, loyalty you’ll find anywhere,” Post said.

“He really, deeply cares about the employees. And because he’s a field guy, he gets it. He’s been out there. He’s done the work. The employees respect that, and they’re obviously responding to the message.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.

Xcel Mechanical Systems is an award-winning engineering and construction firm specializing in commercial and industrial HVAC, plumbing, and process piping systems. Xcel Mechanical was founded in 1998, is headquartered in Gardena, CA, and is now entering its 20th year in business as a full-service union mechanical contractor with a client list that includes global aerospace firms, large metropolitan hospitals, major research universities and Fortune 500 companies. Our project scopes include New Construction, Retrofits, Tennant Improvements, Preventative Maintenance, and Emergency Services. Our Project Delivery methods include Pre-Construction Consulting, Design Assist, Design Build, and Plan & Spec Construction. Building owners, property managers, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com