North Country Mechanical Insulators
For more than 25 years, North Country Mechanical Insulators (NCMI) has been providing commercial and industrial insulation services throughout the state of Vermont as well as New Hampshire. The company has established a niche market in the Northeast as it specializes in working with mechanical contractors to install insulation to HVAC and plumbing systems. “We insulate anything that involves the heating and cooling of a building as well as water delivery,” says Jason Barron, owner of NCMI. Founded in 1988 by Barron’s father James, the transition in ownership was completed in April 2015.
A multiservice company
In addition to insulation services, NCMI also performs energy appraisals to offer insight into potential heat loss and greenhouse gas emissions, which conserves energy and saves money for clients. As a certified insulation energy appraiser, Barron targets building owners and facility engineers to identify areas of cost savings by installing a properly designed and installed mechanical insulation system. “One-half of our energy audits are focused on the financial aspect of a project,” Barron explains. “The other half is calculating the pollutants that we prevent from entering the atmosphere by installing that system.”
NCMI was recently involved in the construction of a new state-of-the-art health laboratory in Colchester, Vermont. The 47,844- square-foot facility will be used by public health workers in conjunction with researchers from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. “This was a triumphant project for us because it was the first time we ever worked on a job of that nature,” says Barron.
The company also completed a project at Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont. Jay Peak is a four-season resort that in addition to skiing, features a year-round indoor water park, ice arena and, championship golf course. While the Jay Peak and Vermont Health Lab projects presented new challenges for NCMI, Barron says that the work was rewarding for networking purposes. “We established a lot of new relationships with general and mechanical contractors,” says Barron. “We have since leveraged those new relationships into other work.”
The solid relationships that NCMI has created can be attributed to the company’s ability to deliver a quality job within budget and schedule. “On the larger projects such as Jay Peak and the health lab, our work consists of about nine months to a year,” says Barron. “We have to work in conjunction with the other contractors on the job so it’s very important that we keep our time line.” The company has also found advantages in purchasing insulation in bulk as opposed to buying the product as needed. “It’s more cost efficient that way and we have it on hand at all times,.” Barron adds.
A trusted team
Barron began working at NCMI when it was still his father’s business at the age of 13. During the summer he would work in the warehouse and once he was in high school, Barron would venture out into the field to learn the trade. While in college he began estimating and joined the company full time in 2002.
When his father retired in 2008, Barron took over management of the company just as the economy sunk into a recession. Taking over the company at a relatively young age presented many learning opportunities for him. “I learned to focus on the quality of jobs rather than volume,” says Barron. “We got through the economic downturn because of the great employees that we have who constantly complete jobs under budget.” By keeping nose to the grindstone, NCMI was able to not only survive the recession but thrive as well. During that period the company grew from eight full-time employees to 16.
The ability to keep costs down and complete jobs under budget is one of the top priorities for NCMI. To aid in this process, the company utilizes Sage 100 Contractor, which is software that manages everything from accounting and payroll to job costing and inventory. “By using this program we are able to determine where our budget is at during any stage of a job,” says Barron. “If we are halfway through a project but have used 60 percent of our budget, then we can determine what we need to do to get back on track and come in under budget. At the same time if we’re halfway through and have only used 40 percent of our budget we can discover what we’re doing right on that job and translate it to other projects.”
Barron says that his favorite aspect of what he does is seeing the company grow as a small family business. “We have employees who have been here longer than I have,” says Barron. I go to work every day to continue to grow the business and provide a great place to work for my employees.”
NCMI has established itself as the go-to company when it comes to mechanical insulation in Vermont and western New Hampshire. North Country Mechanical Insulators will remain a company that delivers a quality product and service on time and within budget.
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