Case Studies

ICOM Mechanical Inc.

The Contractor That Helped Create Silicon Valley

When the high-tech firms that occupy Silicon Valley need a new facility, they can’t just turn to any mechanical contractor to construct their buildings. They need a host of specialized facilities, such as cleanrooms – areas where outside pollutants are strictly regulated. When in the need of such specialized, highly technical and extremely sensitive environments, these firms turn to ICOM Mechanical Inc. because of its proven track record in building precise projects that meet clients needs.

ICOM, founded in 1981 by CEO Donald G. Isaacson, is located in San Jose, Calif., right in the heart of Silicon Valley, and has been providing technology communities, as well as industrial, commercial and government enterprises, with a single source for the highest level of products and services for three decades. The company started as a small HVAC installation and repair firm, but has grown into one of the region’s most dynamic mechanical and building contractors. The firm’s 100 employees helped pioneer the concept of design-build in Silicon Valley and provide clients with an impressive array of highly efficient services, including sheet metal fabrication, turnkey services, and the full range of mechanical contractor services, certifications, preventative maintenance, and energy efficiency services.

Decades of Experience

The firm is one of the nation’s premier design-build companies for cleanrooms. ICOM has been building and remodeling cleanrooms for over 30 years and have expertise in all types, from standard gasketed t-bar ceiling systems to full track gel grid systems. The firm has a vast amount of experience building these facilities customized to all manner of purposes, from semiconductor plants to FDA regulated aseptic pharmaceutical cleanrooms.

Because of ICOM’s extensive experience in this sector, the firm has passed all of the qualifications to receive authorization by the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) to test and certify cleanrooms. ICOM has also received official certification from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to test biological safety cabinets. If a biological safety cabinet is found to be not functioning correctly, the team at ICOM can troubleshoot and repair the situation; the firm is listed as an authorized repair contractor on very major biological safety cabinet’s manufacturer’s website.

The firm’s work designing, fabricating and installing entire systems can be found all over Northern California, but Isaacson is especially proud of the work his firm completed under particularly strict circumstances. “About 10 years ago, we were approached by a new start-up to build a facility from the ground up on a very accelerated time schedule. We had that $70 million facility completed in only seven months,” he recalls.

ICOM’s outstanding service, achieved through providing employees with a stimulating, secure work environment, has won accolades from numerous clients, who appreciate both the cost-effective construction and extended troubleshooting, emergency repairs or ongoing maintenance programs. Bill Kikvee, Engineering Manager with Advanced Pressure Technology, had this to say about his company’s experience with ICOM:

“ICOM Mechanical has been serving AP Tech since the mid ’90s. We sent the project out to bid to various companies. ICOM’s presentation was simple yet concise. They presented solutions. Ever since then, ICOM has been our choice for cleanrooms, equipment installation and maintenance. We have found all of ICOM’s personnel from office staff to field techs to be professional, knowledgeable, and willing to take on all of the challenges we have presented. ICOM’s response to emergency situations when down time is critical is especially impressive.”

Aggressive Restructuring

ICOM’s knowledgeable engineers, technicians and service personnel remain the foremost providers of leading edge building and maintenance services, thanks in part to the firm’s quick adoption of the latest innovations in construction and project management technology, such as 3D AutoCAD, building information modeling (BIM), and TSI integrated budgeting, design, and estimating software. However, no one has been immune to the recent industry slowdown.

Because the economic slowdown has been especially difficult in California, Isaacson has been focused on reviewing the company’s overhead and is aggressively cutting costs where he can to ensure that the company stays viable. As it says in the company’s posted corporate creed, “… in order for our company to continue and flourish we must operate profitably. Our financial stability demands that we maintain high levels of productivity and efficiency.”

Isaacson believes ICOM has made the strategic maneuvers to remain on the path established by this doctrine, explaining, “No one’s building new factories right now, so we’ve been focusing on the routine work until things improve. Every day it gets a little better, and in two years we’ll be back to where we want to be.”

Reinforcing ICOM’s ability to maintain and grow its market share is the firm’s commitment to incorporating bleeding edge techniques and technologies. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] certification, which has been a catch-phrase in the industry lately, is no stranger at ICOM. The firm has been designing energy-efficient systems since ICOM’s inception, so the firm is full aware of the requirements to get a project LEED points. ICOM has LEED Accredited Professionals on staff to help clients achieve their desired level of LEED certification.

With over three decades of experience and a stellar track record of outstanding projects from hospitals and universities to city buildings, and from packaging plants to sophisticated biotech and pharmaceutical facilities, Donald G. Isaacson and ICOM Mechanical Inc. are well positioned to shine for another 30 years.

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Spring 2018



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