Gardiner: Focusing on Ways to Save on Energy Costs
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Gardiner recently celebrated 50 years of being a high-performance building partner in the Solon, Ohio, area. Gardiner is a full-service HVAC, energy services and professional services company serving northeastern Ohio’s commercial, industrial and institutional facilities, engineers and mechanical contractors. In addition, Gardiner is a provider of HVAC systems, mechanical equipment, building automation and controls systems, energy services, intelligent control services, boilers, parts and HVAC industry training.
Founded in 1962 by Bill Gardiner, the company began as a Trane HVAC systems supplier. However, as the business and market grew, additional services and solutions were added to address Gardiner’s clients’ needs. According to Bob Case, current president of Gardiner, the array of services provided by the company is what has kept Gardiner thriving through the years.
Case started working for the company in 1973 after completing the Trane HVAC certification process. He was one of 13 employees at the time. Gardiner now has a staff of 211 employees to meet the needs of its clients. According to Case, many of the company’s staff have worked for Gardiner between 20 and 30 years.
As Gardiner expanded services, the need for staffing has also increased. One thing the company has focused on over the years is providing cooperative and internship programs to reach out to younger generations. “We’ve started these co-op programs and internship programs to bring in new people into the industry,” says Case. “We’ve been blessed to keep our long-term associates with their wealth of knowledge and expertise. Now we have a mix that blends new people who have innovate ideas with the industry experience and tradition of our long-term staff.”
Money in the Bank
Blending today’s technology with extensive experience gives Gardiner the cutting edge to stay ahead of its competitors in today’s market. Market demand has proved that companies are continuously looking for ways to save money. One way to keep money in the bank is addressing energy consumption. Gardiner has added a number of new products recently to focus on energy saving.
“It’s exciting,” says Case. “We’ve been able to do something good for the environment that stimulates economy and allows us to grow in times when a lot of people are not having the success that we are.”
It is also very rewarding for the company to hear back from its clients who report significant savings after Gardiner provides a new system or tweaks an existing system. According to Case, clients have reported up to a 50-percent slash in the overall energy bill.
Case reports that sometimes it is a smaller project that can lead to a larger job. With one client, he recalls going in and optimizing a system’s controls, which yielded significant energy savings. “We have a local candy manufacturer as a client, and we entered into a shared savings agreement with them,” explains Case. Through the shared savings agreement and additional systems and equipment optimization, the client experienced a huge savings in utilities and operating costs. This allowed the client to invest the saved money right back into the business, while working with Gardiner on additional projects and initiatives. The agreement has turned into a complete overhaul of the company’s systems, which Gardiner has been working on for two years. “It’s very gratifying for us to help a manufacturer stay in northeast Ohio and have the facility improved,” says Case.
Other projects Gardiner has focused on include work for larger companies headquartered in northeast Ohio, industrial facilities, healthcare systems, local municipalities and projects to boost energy efficiency in K-12 schools and higher education campuses. Gardiner has a network of engineers, architects and mechanical contractors the company partners with on projects. Electrical, sheet metal and piping subcontractors help Gardiner get a system installed and running, and Gardiner helps supply, manage and service the systems and equipment.
Solid Foundation for the Future
Over the past 50 years, Gardiner has evolved from selling Trane HVAC systems to a being a client’s high-performance building partner by offering high-performance building systems and solutions. In celebration of Gardiner’s 50-year anniversary, the company has rebranded itself to better fit the market as it is today. “We had to overcome a paradigm shift that we’re not just selling equipment,” says Case.
Gardiner has become known as a leader in energy services in Ohio. The company’s dedication to energy savings for its clients has played a major role in its success. “The cost of energy, the availability of it, how efficiently you use it is a key thing,” says Case. “That’s how we’ve positioned ourselves to help our clients. I see energy getting more and more important.”
Case still sees the overall economy as struggling. In his perspective, many businesses are apprehensive about the future and are reluctant to invest. For that reason, the company views client and associate relationships as extremely important. “We have grown by creating relationships with clients, understanding how to best meet their needs,” says Case. Fostering those relationships will help Gardiner maintain its status as a leader in the industry for years to come.
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