PPC Air Conditioning Inc.
- Written by: Camila Osorno
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
PPC Air Conditioning Inc. (PPC) was founded in 1992, but it builds upon a history extending back to 1973 when sister company Plumbing, Piping and Construction Inc. was established. Together the companies provide a comprehensive and thorough understanding of plumbing, process piping and HVAC services along with building information modeling (BIM) services informed by extensive experience in delivering LEED projects. It is PPC’s team work ethic and passion for problem solving that upholds the company at the forefront of the mechanical contracting industry and succeeding on projects where others dare not tread.
“We’re really focused on making decisions for the long-term needs of our customers,” asserts Craig Zimmerman, senior vice president and managing partner of PPC. “We’re more focused on having a long-term relationship with our clients and not just one job, which is why we take customer service and customer satisfaction very seriously.”
PPC is based out of Cypress, Calif., where over 150 union affiliated employees meet the needs of both PPC and its sister company, supported by an office of roughly 20 professionals.
PPC follows in the footsteps of its sister company by working with clients in commercial, institutional, high-tech and public-sector markets to develop end-to-end solutions. The company got its feet wet early on in the aerospace and defense market sector. However, in recent years PPC has branched out with projects in healthcare, higher education and nondefense related public works where the company’s specialized expertise results in mechanical systems as high in performance as in sustainability.
Full Steam Ahead
“If there’s a challenging project, it kind of has our name on it,” jokes Zimmerman. But, truth be told, the company has extensive expertise in highly specialized HVAC systems complete with building automation systems using highly sophisticated chilled beam, radiant heating systems and sustainable energy. In fact, the company continually invests in the education and professional advancement of its employees to stay ahead of the technology and environmental curve in anticipation of changing client needs. PPC uses its in-house talent to handle many of the smaller aspects of its work like ensuring proper filtration and indoor air quality standards to be sure projects comply with the latest LEED rating system requirements.
And the proof of PPC’s extra effort is evident in the array of projects the PPC team has been fortunate enough to wrap up in recent years. The company was selected to provide its process piping, plumbing and HVAC services to California Institute of Technology’s (Caltech) Linde + Robinson Laboratory for Global Environmental Science in Pasadena, Calif. The building was originally constructed in 1932 to help build the Palomar Observatory’s Hale telescope.
The school’s astronomy and astrophysics department have since relocated across the street to the new state-of-the-art Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. The building houses a 1:10 scale model of the Palomar Telescope’s dome as well as a coelostat solar telescope dome and solar shaft.
In appropriating the space for new laboratory usage the solar shaft was repurposed to supply the building with additional sunlight and reduce the need for artificial lighting. PPC supplied over $7.5 million in work to the building’s biggest mechanical systems, which are often amongst the largest contributors to the LEED rating system. The building uses solar thermal hot water systems, an energy consumption monitoring system and a thermal water storage tank that holds chilled water in the solar telescope’s below-grade shaft for use by the building’s radiant cooling system.
A Tradition of Satisfied Customers
“These were really cutting-edge mechanical systems and we’re proud to have contributed to such a historical building at Caltech,” adds Zimmerman. In total, the building uses one-sixth of the energy required to power comparable laboratory facilities; the team was able to achieve LEED Platinum on the project, instead of an anticipated LEED Gold certification.
PPC also made headlines, and history, for the team’s work on the Water + Life Museum complex in Hemet, Calif., which became the first LEED Platinum-certified museum when completed in 2008 and was selected as an AIA award winner for Los Angeles that same year. The museum’s location in harsh desert country presented a challenge in that HVAC systems would need to be able to remain efficient despite the area’s extreme daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. PPC provided its expertise on a central boiler and chiller plant as well as the individual air handling systems in each building and the inclusion of a building management and monitoring system.
Opportunity looms large for PPC in the next few years as the team has already lined up a project with Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, Calif., for which PPC will construct a new central heating and cooling plant. PPC celebrates its 20-year anniversary in summer 2012, and even though celebrations may only involve a cake at lunchtime, the team continues to deliver results worthy of celebrating. It will ultimately be the team’s drive to continually evolve and pursue the latest in green building technologies that ensures PPC Air Conditioning Inc. sticks around to celebrate another 20 years.
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