General Sheet Metal Works Inc.
- Written by: Camila Osorno
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
General Sheet Metal Works Inc. (GSMW) officially incorporated in 1972, but the company’s roots stretch back to 1932. GSMW is based in Clackamas, Ore., from which it provides a mix of metal fabrication, design-build, architectural and HVAC specialties. GSMW consistently takes pride in quality craftsmanship and maintaining a balance between technical capabilities and personalized service, and has therefore established a well-respected reputation over the past 80 years.
“I always say that we don’t want to be the biggest,” adds Carol Duncan, president and second-generation owner of GSMW. “We strive to be the best.” GSMW combines the capabilities of an HVAC and sheet metal specialty company with the talents of experienced architectural and engineering firms. These capabilities enable the team to serve as a primary dry side mechanical, an architectural metal contractor or fabrication of all types of sheet metal components.
GSMW employs an in-house team of experienced professionals to fabricate duct work, metal roofing, flashing, siding, radius track and/or ornamental metal as well as louvers and vents. GSMW is also very experienced with installing specialty products and materials from other manufacturers, including FRP, plastic and coated metal, ducting metal, and fiberglass panel and roofing systems.
Duncan has been with the company for over 30 years and has helped steer GSMW’s recent return to its roots. “When I started we offered both HVAC and architectural design services,” says Duncan. Roughly 25 years ago GSMW shifted away from the architectural component of the company, but an opportunity to bring on some outstanding architectural talent led GSMW to bring it back five years ago as the needs of the industry and the company’s target markets evolved. GSMW regularly works across the greater Pacific Northwest and as far away as Alaska with a new focus to include more projects in the burgeoning healthcare market.
GSMW’s stability and attention to each client’s needs set it apart from the competition. Growth opportunities have come and gone, but GSMW has maintained a close-knit staff of professionals over the years to ensure that the company’s standard of quality is always in focus.
The company was also one of the early adopters of AutoCAD and 3-D building information modeling (BIM) software, which helps GSMW identify job-stopping conflicts early in the planning stages of the project. GSMW recently acted as the lead coordination manager on the extensive remodeling of a hospital; the digital modeling not only allowed GSMW to collaborate with other subcontractors on the project for sequencing of work and better scheduling controls, but increased both the fabrication and installation efficiencies and provided the owner the best value possible. The extra technology ensures the GSMW team will fabricate sheet metal components with accurate precision and economical use of materials, resulting in less waste.
GSMW believes that the true sign of a quality product is that it can also be produced in the safest manner possible. The company is a four-year-certified member of OSHA’s Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which requires members to display exemplary safety and health management programs. Businesses must be certified through an extensive process and are exempt from OSHA’s programmed work-site inspections so long as the company’s SHARP certification is valid. Currently only 12 Oregon construction companies have obtained this certification
The emphasis on safety is just one of many reasons GSMW has been able to diversify successfully over the years, but the company has also prioritized projects with an eye for collaborative efforts, lean project delivery methods and sustainability. GSMW most recently completed work on two drill rigs that were built in the Portland, Ore., area, then disassembled and loaded on barges headed to the North Slope of Alaska. Currently GSMW is installing architectural sheet metal and fabricating duct work at the Edith Green Federal Building in Portland, a very high-profile and technically challenging project.
GSMW also participated in the construction of the new Center for Health & Healing at Oregon Health & Science University, installing the core and shell duct work and equipment. The center is located in Portland’s South Waterfront neighborhood at the foot of the city’s aerial tram, and was the first medical and research facility to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
This was not the first time GSMW participated in a precedence setting LEED-certified project, the team also provided its expertise to the extensive renovation at the First Regiment Armory Annex, commonly known as the Portland Armory. The building became the first performing arts venue, as well as the first LEED Platinum-certified building on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006, providing an example of synergistic historic preservation and sustainability efforts.
Backed by over 80 years of experience, the GSMW team is poised to continue building upon its strong foundation of quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, but it will also be the company’s eye for innovation and diverse expertise that will cement General Sheet Metal Works Inc.’s place as a leader of sustainability and smart design.
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