Norca Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Corp.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Eric Colby
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
For 42 years Norca Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Corp. (Norca) has been trucking around south Florida, delivering complete residential and commercial air conditioning service and mechanical contracting. Norca’s on-time, friendly, respectful and professional technicians have grown the company’s reputation over the years and set the bar high for complete HVAC, as well as 24/7 emergency service and maintenance.
“The difference with Norca is that our crews are proactive in construction, looking ahead to foresee potential problems and we only have one grade of work and that’s excellent,” ensures Bruce Nordhagen, vice president of Norca. “Sometimes we have to pass on jobs because people want us to cut corners and that’s just something we refuse to do.”
Based in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., Norca has been setting this standard since Manuel Rodriguez incorporated the company in 1972. “Norca stands for Nora and Carmen, Manuel’s two daughters,” reveals Nordhagen, who joined the company after marrying into the family. “I married Nora, the oldest daughter, and joined the company shortly after its inception in 1974. I did an apprenticeship and training programs and also worked in the field, working my way up over the years.”
Sticking it out through service
Before the recession hit south Florida, Norca was running 150-member crews throughout major metropolitans, such as Miami. “We’re now at about 45 technicians,” notes Nordhagen. “But the company has managed to hang on to a sizable market share even through leaner times with little new construction.”
Nordhagen explains that the company began ramping up Norca’s service end, actually doubling it. “It was about going back into our database and pulling up customer lists and coming back to them with an affordable maintenance quote,” he details.
Several years later, Nordhagen says the new construction market is finally picking back up. “There’s a lot of work going on in Miami,” he shares. “We currently have about a $12 million backlog and we’re hoping to sign a couple of $8 million contracts over the next eight months, so things are optimistic.”
While Norca serves both residential and commercial customers of all shapes and sizes, lately on the maintenance side, Nordhagen says new commercial construction best suits the company’s capabilities. “The majority of our volume is new commercial construction – high-rise condos and office buildings, hotels and more,” he adds. “We frequently work under larger general contractors, self-performing 90 percent of our work. This is a relationship-based business so working well with general contractors and other subcontractors across the board gets us far.”
Better working relationships and a trusty reputation have landed Norca some of the hottest spots in Miami. “Our largest A/C job to-date was $13 million for the 70-story Icon-Brickell condominium, which at the time of construction was the largest condo development in the Southeast,” shares Nordhagen. “The building houses the Viceroy Hotel, a prestigious Miami landmark.”
In another high-profile contract, Norca completed the complete HVAC at the Sunny Isles Beach Trump Towers. “We did all three buildings simultaneously,” notes Nordhagen. “We also worked on the Ibis residence for the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.”
While the majority of the company’s work encompasses south Florida, Norca has traveled out of state in the past for the right working relationship. “In 2009 we did a job in North Carolina for a general contractor developer company that Norca had a lot of reoccurring work with,” details Nordhagen. “We just finished up the last job and we are going to close the North Carolina office as more work comes back to south Florida.”
Even through the recession, Norca’s maintenance crews and 24/7 emergency service trucks kept moving. “Through the downturn, keeping our bonding capabilities was a challenge, but we started ramping up the service end of the business, doubling it to combat the lack of new construction,” explains Nordhagen. “Another attractive aspect of Norca, as opposed to other HVAC companies, is our 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. We’ll fix many things, even if it’s not our fault, because that’s just how we operate.”
Now that the new construction heat is back on in Miami and other parts of south Florida, Nordhagen says he’s confident the company can get back up to prerecession volume. “We’re on pace to hit $20 million in volume this year,” he shares. “We’ve done it before, even hitting $30 million in the peak before the recession, so there’s a great possibility that’s coming again soon.”
Norca Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Corp. has been keeping the cool for more than four decades, delivering reliable, on-time, professional service commercial and residential clients alike can count on.
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