- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Caitlin Mugford
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
For more than a century, Hyde-Stone Mechanical (HSM) has lived and breathed complete HVAC service and construction. Now entering its 121st year in business, the New York-based union contractor has been building comfort since 1893. “HSM now has three locations in Watertown, Potsdam and Plattsburg, N.Y.,” shares Chris Stone, second-generation vice president of HSM. “We are a commercial and industrial HVAC, plumbing, temperature controls and refrigeration contractor with a complete 24/7 service department and 20 service technicians.”
HSM has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1893 when George H. Hyde established the company. “HSM originated in Watertown and was passed onto Charlie Hyde, George’s grandson,” recalls Stone. “My father went to work for HSM in 1979 and purchased the company in 1985. Charlie passed away a few years ago at 93 years old, but the Hyde name remains part of our identity.”
Today, HSM has professionals with experience across the board in all facets of thermodynamics and heat transfer, as well as equipment solutions and design. “Our projects range anywhere from $1,000 to $3 million and we’re known for our plan-spec and design-build capabilities,” adds Stone. “We have a diversified in-house network of employees; one is currently working on his PE license and others are striving for LEED certification.”
Coupling construction and supportive service
HSM’s professionals understand that today’s building owner needs to balance comfort with high energy costs, so efficiency is key from initial design and construction all the way through planned maintenance. “On the construction side, we’re constantly bidding and estimating projects,” says Stone. “My forte is in the design-build area. When a customer wants a new facility or an addition, we’ll put the design together, perform construction and installation and continuously service the system, as well.”
Once a system is in place, the company’s customer service department, which is one of the strongest and most experienced in northern New York, steps in. Service agreements help customers maintain the efficiency and reliability of equipment while minimizing downtime, repair bills. From full 24/7 monitoring to maintenance, service calls, inspection and reports, HSM has it covered.
HSM’s service teams specialize in everything, including chillers and boilers, pumping systems, cooling towers and water treatment, air handling systems, controls and automation, air balancing, mechanical controls, back flow prevention and testing, as well as thermal imaging of motors, compressors and buildings.
Staying on the cutting edge
According to Stone, having an in-house service force is one thing, but delivering the fastest, most reliable service is another matter, one that’s taken a great deal of investment on HSM’s part. “All of our service techs have iPads that communicate back to our accounting and software system,” he reveals. “This is probably the single biggest technology upgrade we have done to really improve our service. Also, all of our vans have GPS, which allows me and my project managers to track our crews and it has reduced our fuel consumption.”
HSM’s timely, effective delivery has earned the company contracts with a range of commercial, institutional and government clients. “We’re currently working on a large project at the Fort Drum Army base,” notes Stone. “Our crew is putting in a large computer cooling system for Fort Drum’s incoming $1.8 million missile defense system. In fact, it’s such a highly technical project that the owner flew our project manager, along with the general contractor and electrician, to Alaska to see a similar facility before starting the project.”
The company has also frequented Clarkson University, spending summers delivering dormitory projects on tight timelines. “Over the last couple of years, HSM has completed about $6 million worth of renovations and additions for the university,” says Stone. “We’re not allowed in until May 12, after graduation, and we need to be done by Aug. 12. We have some real innovative superintendents running these jobs and HSM has received letters from the general contractor commending us for our work. The university is extremely happy, as well.”
Paying it forward
Not only does HSM turnover timely projects for institutional clients, the company is also doing its part to give back and further opportunities for the next generation to move into the HVAC field with scholarship programs and the development of the Hyde-Stone Foundation. “Unfortunately, there are less and less young people entering this industry; it’s becoming a tough trade to find employees,” adds Stone. “When we find talent, we take people under our wing and train them, offering them all of the tools to grow.”
Stone goes on to note that the company set up the Hyde-Stone Foundation in 2012 through the Northern New York Community Foundation, which dates back to 1929. “We wanted to help local organizations and people in our community that have helped us grow and prosper for the last 121 years,” Stone continues. The funding goes directly to area students, allowing more young adults to attend college.
“Every year, we meet and decide who we are going to give money to,” explains Stone. “In the past, the Hyde-Stone Foundation has donated to eight food banks and $25,000 to the Urban Mission to feed and clothe the poor. We’ve also donated to universities, hospitals and the YMCA, the only difference now is everything goes through the foundation.”
Stone says paying it forward is a family tradition, one that his father started many years ago. Stone’s father was also a member of the New York Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) in the 1970s. “We re-entered PHCC a few years ago and it’s been a huge help on our service side,” says Stone. “The information on the PHCC site is invaluable and I frequently direct my project managers to the webinars and resources offered by the association.”
After 121 years, Hyde-Stone Mechanical is staying connected, in the industry and the community, furthering a trusted family name that’s been delivering the best of complete HVAC construction and service since 1893.
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