- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Caitlin Mugford
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
The Nurisso family has been in the mechanical contracting business for more than 100 years. Charles “Noury” Nurisso established Broadway Plumbing in 1949, alongside sons Norman, Lawrence and Charles Nurisso. Together, the family established a strong market presence in San Francisco and eventually branched into full-service mechanical work.
In 1971, the business incorporated as Broadway Mechanical-Contractors Inc. (BMC) after Norman’s son, Robert, took over as CEO. Today, Robert’s sons, Fred and Ken Nurisso, CEO and president, respectively, operate the business.
The brothers each bring decades of experience in both mechanical work and finance to the table. Over the years, the Nurisso family has remained committed to the growth of the business, the local community and the mechanical industry in general. BMC operates on a strong foundation of innovation, quality and efficiency to turn around complex projects for some of the Bay Area’s largest developers, general contractors and property owners.
With more than 200 employees, BMC operates from a headquarters in Oakland, as well as three satellite offices in San Francisco. The large team self-performs an estimated 90 percent of its work, a major component in cost management and quality control. Customers throughout the region have come to rely on the business for leading performance on high-volume plumbing, piping and HVAC contracts. BMC’s design, fabrication, installation and maintenance capabilities exceed expectations in San Francisco’s competitive commercial market.
BMC is currently working on the Transbay Block 6 project, one of the major projects included in the Transbay redevelopment area in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. The three-tower, 32-story building will be one of the largest apartment complexes in the area once it is complete.
“There is a lot of new large infrastructure going on in the Transbay Corridor,” Fred explains. “We are doing the plumbing and HVAC on this particular project. The contract is design-build, so our team is designing, stamping and installing the systems. We are performing everything in-house.”
The large project has been exciting for the BMC crew, but it has also come with unique challenges. “The owner is out of Chicago,” Fred notes. “This is the company’s first foray into the San Francisco market. Managing long distance has been tough and there were a tremendous amount of changes we went through before locking down the model. Making changes on the fly makes it hard to design a building in real time.” The project is approximately 25 percent done and will wrap over the next few years.
Another recent project is 535 Mission, where the team has been working on a premium Class A office space between First and Second on Mission Street in San Francisco. “This is another prime South of Market location,” says Fred. The project is a state-of the-art building, and BMC’s component is a design-build plumbing and HVAC contract.
“There are some very progressive systems involved,” he continues. “Within the last five months, the owner secured Trulia as a main core tenant on five to eight floors. The 27-story office building has two separate mechanical floors containing all the equipment. This is a very technologically challenging site on a small footprint. Occupants wanted to be able to climate control the building in various zones, so we split it into two halves. We hooked up massive chillers, cooling equipment and air handlers in the building during the course of construction. Each chiller takes up a whole room, with the air handling units taking half a floor. We loaded all the equipment using cranes and logistic delivery was a challenge. There is also a building automation plant that offers tremendous computerization with all our mechanical systems, and integration has been a challenge.”
BMC has a solid hold on the San Francisco market, particularly working on complex high-rise projects. “We have been here since the late 1940s,” Fred notes. “My dad got his cut in the high rise commercial market, and his forte is really multi-story residential and commercial work. We have been at the forefront of prefabrication for the last 40 or more years. A few years ago, we hosted a national prefabrication conference. We are recognized at the top of the class for fabrication.”
These capabilities and experience are what sets BMC furthest apart from competitors. The team is able to perform diverse and challenging projects efficiently, adding value for clients while meeting specifications and budgets. The company has a steady backlog and is currently undergoing aggressive growth.
“We have absolutely exploded in the last few years,” Fred notes. “We went from 45 employees up to over 300 at our peak, including our engineers, detailers, finance and administrators in the office and our staff in the field, such as project managers and technicians. A lot of that is economy-driven. Our market is strong and there are a lot of new buildings going up in San Francisco.”
In the next few years, Fred foresees more of the same. BMC is experiencing steady organic growth. Internally, the team is looking to diversify, as well. Fred and Ken are considering the addition of a fire protection division. Adding more services would allow the company to serve as even more of a turnkey resource for the large national contractors the team caters to.
Wherever this pattern of growth takes BMC, Fred and Ken want to maintain control over efficiency and quality. “One thing that is great about being a family business is that we don’t have the red tape to go through,” Fred explains. “I don’t have to talk to anyone about making decisions except my brother.” The small business structure meets large contractor resources at just the right point. With a high level of service and a broad range of capabilities, Broadway Mechanical-Contractors Inc. will continue to deliver high-performance plumbing and HVAC contracts in San Francisco and the Greater Bay area for years to come.
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