Case Studies

Kinetics Mechanical Service Inc.

Celebrating 15 Years of Diverse Service

The year 2013 marks Kinetics Mechanical Service Inc.‘s (KMS) 15-year anniversary in the building and development industry. The California-based company specializes in design construction, as well as service and maintenance of mechanical systems with a record of service representing over $200 million in the HVAC industry.

“Our niche is really in mechanical contracting for commercial and nonresidential projects,” says Steve Sabo, CFO of KMS since 2001. “We pride ourselves in finding innovative and cost-saving solutions for our clients’ needs that our competitors are unable to provide.”

Ralph Dorotinsky and Craig Kirk founded KMS in 1997. The pair, both licensed mechanical engineers and entrepreneurs, blended years of industry knowledge and motivation to build an organization the duo believed in. With a combined 50 years in the business, Ralph and Craig launched the dream of owning their own company and putting their design-build expertise to work. “The company moved into our new facilities in Livermore, Calif., from the original site in Santa Clara, Calif., in 2006 to better center ourselves in our expanding markets,” explains Ralph.

From the company’s current home base in Livermore, KMS reaches about a 100-mile radius serving northern and central portions of California. KMS employs 12 to 15 office personnel along with 75 field employees in order to get each job done, right.

Smart Service

KMS recognizes today’s facility construction and maintenance demands that contractors and service providers bring sound resources and expertise in value-engineering, design assistance, field installation, shop fabrication, project management and troubleshooting. According to Ralph, there is an increasing need for all of these services in one. Of course, KMS delivers.

The company offers design-build engineering, procurement and expediting of equipment and materials, building automated design controls and interface, certified start-up and commissioning, new construction and tenant improvements and refrigeration piping, process piping and plumbing. The service list is relatively limitless at KMS. The company provides a range of energy-efficient solutions, as well from energy-management retrofits to air and water balancing to environmentally safe chemical treatments and air pollution control.

KMS operates as a partner with clients, and not just a builder. The team ensures each client that they are not alone in the process; KMS is there every step of the way. The company conducts both scheduled and 24-hour emergency service calls and equipment monitoring, as well. At KMS, putting the customer first is a top priority, no matter the size or scope of the project.

KMS operates as a union shop, self-performing the majority of work on a project. KMS teams with tried and proven subcontractors that also value providing high-quality service and putting the client first. Working with the same subcontractors on a regular basis allows KMS to develop and maintain solid partnerships.

Partnering with Prada and the Public

KMS has worked with some big-name clients. In 2008 the company began design-build work for the Prada store in downtown San Francisco, Calif. During the first phase, the KMS crew met with Prada to discuss the scope of project and how to meet functionality requirements.

The immense store needed an effective way to control temperature, factoring in the heat load produced by display lighting fixtures. KMS was also required to account for the electrical capacity needed to support the display lights throughout the building. This process involved many revised layouts of the building and the expertise of the KMS team. Conceptual time, drafting and installation of equipment were the major components for the Prada affair.

KMS installed a complete HVAC system using 3-D CAD design drawings to coordinate with other trades for equipment design and layout. Working in the downtown area presented challenges with transporting equipment in and out of the city, along with the high ceilings in the store complicating airflow patterns. In the end the company overcame all obstacles and produced a final design that met the client’s requirements and functional performance. Needless to say, pleasing Prada is a feat in itself.

Although KMS often works with private clients, the company is also involved in the public sector. In 2010 KMS designed and installed an HVAC and plumbing system at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory’s 70,000-square foot building renovation project, coupled with a state-of-the-art energy center that KMS assembled, started and commissioned. KMS has done other high-tech general-purpose laboratories and research facilities projects at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in Berkeley, Calif.

KMS was responsible for providing Building Information Modeling (BIM) as the lead coordinator furnishing leadership and finding solutions to fit all the building system in a constructible 3-D model. The unusual HVAC process piping, plumbing, exhaust systems in the laboratory and the placement of the HVAC provided some uncertainties and challenges for the design construction team.

KMS translated the 3-D models and created prefabricated systems that were installed with high productivity and with quicker facility turnover for clients. The installation crews coordinated with engineers to ensure the system was adequate and could fit into tight spaces, even before it is installed. Through several revisions, careful planning and industry-leading experience, the KMS team was able to shorten the schedule and to provide a valuable learning arena for the many college interns employed.

KMS credits it union trade professionals for the ability to take the design concepts and bring problem solving solutions to reality. “Without their real craftsmanship, we could not provide the top-notch mechanical, and architectural services to our clients,” says Ralph. “There are not too many things we can’t do in cooperation with our trade people.”

With a record of quality work and diverse services, Sabo believes KMS will remain busy throughout 2013. “We have a nice backlog going into this year,” explains Sabo. “The economy has caused more of that work to be public, but … it’s work.” Kinetics Mechanical Service Inc. continues to provide both private and public clients, big and small, with invaluable services and solutions.

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