H&R Mechanical Contractors Inc.: Celebrating 20 Years of First-class Quality
- Written by: H&R Mechanical Contractors Inc.: Celebrating 20 Years of First-class Quality
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The team at H&R Mechanical Contractors Inc. (H&R) doesn’t mind being called old-fashioned. In fact, H&R takes pride in keeping a straightforward approach based on teamwork to deliver first-class work, on time and as safely as possible, period. H&R’s philosophy is a welcome foil to the company’s extensive expertise in a wide breadth of highly specialized areas. Together, H&R team members push one another to make every job better than the previous one, building a legacy of long-term client relationships.
Martin Hudson and Larry Ross founded H&R in 1992 in order to provide facility maintenance services to the nearby Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant in Georgetown, Ky. The company grew gradually, but strongly, and the owners quickly realized that H&R would need to secure additional financial and intellectual capital to keep up. “I came on first as a consultant to help secure a line of credit,” says Chuck Walter, president of H&R. “By 1996 I joined H&R full time and by 2000 I had bought the company.”
H&R continued to focus primarily on the automotive market for the majority of its history. Over time the company folded in new talent and new specialties to support the growth of its clients, supported by its Georgetown fabrication facility. H&R provides installation, fabrication and maintenance for both plumbing and piping systems. The team’s piping capabilities include process piping, medical gas piping, steam and condensate piping, double containment piping for chemical industries, sanitary stainless steel piping, and gas and fuel piping. As a result, H&R has a loyal following of clients on both sides of the industrial-commercial market sector divide.
Even as the economic downturn hit Kentucky, H&R managed to maintain a healthy volume of work by shifting its focus toward the most active market sectors. The company put its technical prowess to the test by emphasizing the advantages of its in-house fabrication capabilities, which enables the team to deliver a complete and uniquely tailored solution to the client. The fabrication facilities also enable H&R to get a head start on a project by beginning fabrication of the necessary mechanical components well ahead of installation in a controlled environment, which ensures that every component meets strict quality and safety standards.
“We’re also a union-affiliated contractor, so we have the ability to work pretty much anywhere in the country with the guarantee that we can find the best experienced professionals for the job locally,” adds Walter. The bulk of H&R’s work has traditionally been concentrated within Kentucky and the surrounding states, but the company has ventured as far west as San Antonio, Texas, and as far south as Georgia and Louisiana in the past.
Walter attests that H&R still has plenty of room to grow. “We have always felt the customer is not only entitled to get exactly what they want, we’re obligated to make sure it’s a first-class installation,” he says. Throughout the downturn H&R has stuck to its principles and focused on working strategically with a network of trusted, experienced subcontractors to secure work without sacrificing a strong reputation. Simply put, H&R aims to assemble bids with piercing precision where the objective is to avoid change orders.
The efforts seem to have paid off and H&R actually managed to land one of its largest contracts to date in 2009 for Eastern Kentucky University. “The new science building is the largest individual mechanical contract we have ever had,” reinforces Walter. The university pegged the total cost of construction for the building at $64 million, with H&R’s contract accounting for $16.5 million, according to Walter. The project is part of the university’s larger plan to expand its facilities as the science departments continue to grow, and Kentucky-based architecture firm Omni Architects supplied a design that is as technically advanced as it is sustainability-oriented.
Ground was broken on the new building in late 2009. The new center will allow the university to accommodate a growing number of baccalaureate students, who are required to take at least two science courses as part of the university’s core curriculum. In fact, the university allocated $1.2 million for the purchase of brand new laboratory equipment.
The project included successfully sorting and separating over 1 million pounds of waste from the construction site, 31 percent of which went to be reused as clean fill on site. The building’s exterior combines brick, zinc panels and concrete that have all been sourced from manufacturers within 500 miles of the site.
Additionally, H&R has expanded its portfolio with projects for food and beverage producers, biotechnology companies and a handful of public agencies, such as the Georgetown Police Department. “I think we’ll be shifting back toward the industrial market in the next few years and work to establish some partnerships with major mechanical equipment suppliers,” muses Walter.
As H&R makes the change the company’s diverse technical expertise and ability to travel anywhere for work will ensure it continues to support the national expansion of all of its clients. This boost will give the H&R Mechanical Contractors Inc. team plenty of reasons to celebrate 20 years of excellence.
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