Rydalch Electric Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Frank Rydalch, president of Rydalch Electric Inc. (REI), says keeping a promise and foraging a trusted relationship goes a long way in his line of work. “One of the biggest indicators of our success when we finish a job is when we’ve built a good relationship with the general contractor and the owner,” he shares. “When you perform and do what you’re supposed to do it goes a long way toward getting another job and building future relationships.”
REI has been forming trusted relationships since 1995 by delivering quality-assured electrical contracting with a focus on commercial, industrial and design-build projects. “Before REI my brothers Robert, Clyde and I worked for my uncle’s company, Wasatch Electric [Wasatch],” recalls Rydalch. “When Wasatch was acquired by a national company, we decided we wanted to do it on our own again. Bob, Clyde and I founded REI and we’ve remained a family-owned company ever since.”
REI is based in Salt Lake City where the team is able to serve customers throughout Utah and into Wyoming and Idaho. “We’ve completed jobs in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Sun Valley, Idaho,” notes Rydalch. “We currently have about 110 employees, which is a little lower than a few years ago before the recession, but we’re comfortable with that number. We’re large enough to do larger projects and yet small enough to be able to react quickly to our customers and market conditions.”
The type of growth REI focuses on is from within. “We don’t go out of our way to hire from other contractors because we like to build from within,” explains Rydalch. “We’re fortunate to have the next generation of family members filling more and more positions. We have great, young electricians we bring up through the ranks, including a labor superintendent and we train them in-house. That’s how I did it and how my brothers did, as well.”
Supporting the Tech Industry Boom
REI has landed a spot on some of the most notable projects in the region in recent years, including eBay Inc.’s (eBay), one of the most renowned global tech companies, new Draper Campus. As Utah attracts more tech-savvy companies by offering a business-friendly environment, multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art buildings are taking shape.
eBay has decided to call Draper, Utah, its new corporate home. The 36-acre, two building campus was designed by the San Francisco office of architecture and engineering firm SmithGroupJJR and constructed by Okland Construction, also a Salt Lake City-based company.
Due to the team’s notable work, REI won a spot on the high-profile project as the lead electrical contractor on the design-assist project. The site consists of the main office, or marketplace, a three-story, 188,835-square-foot facility with an open-office environment, 37 conference rooms and other support spaces. The second structure on the campus is the single-story community building. At 52,260 square feet, this building features a 400-seat, high-tech auditorium, six large training rooms, a 300-seat dining area, a gym, coffee bar and gift shop.
Designed to accommodate eBay’s growing employee population of 1,800 professionals, employee well-being and energy efficiency were paramount in the design. In a statement to Utah Construction & Design, Von Seetharaman, head of Global Design & Construction at eBay, declares that the building was conformed to meet a minimum LEED Gold certification.
“It’s essential for all employees to have views of the exterior with copious amounts of daylight entering the building,” Seetharaman explains. “The site features a highly efficient curtain wall system that includes VUW-1-50 low-w coated insulated glass with low interior and exterior light reflectance properties, offering great visibility from both the inside and outside.”
“eBay is one of the most significant design-build projects we have ever completed,” reveals Rydalch. Despite a tough timeline and a variety of trades working simultaneously, construction and electrical outfits of both buildings were completed in just 11 months.
The REI team has completed a range of other challenging projects in the past year. “We were also involved in phase one and two of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah,” notes Rydalch. “We’re also busy with a good amount of data center work, most recently at the Xactware Corporate Office & Data Center.”
REI can also add military work to its extensive resume. “We just completed the F-22 Radar facility at Hill Air Force Base, working hand-in-hand with the Army Corps of Engineers,” says Rydalch. “It can be a challenge to work around military specifications.”
Although REI has had plenty of work lately, Rydalch admits the bidding process has been the most competitive he’s seen. “We’ve had to tighten our belt and lower overhead because the competition on jobs is pretty fierce,” he says. “There are more and more electrical contractors to bid against and it makes it harder on union contractors, because of the health and retirement benefits we pay all our employees.”
Fortunately, REI has the support of organizations such as the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The company is a proud member of NECA’s Intermountain Chapter.
As REI looks forward to its 20-year anniversary coming up in the next two years, Rydalch says the company continues to build trusted relationships through family ownership. “We’re beginning to phase in some of the younger generation,” adds Rydalch. “We have 10 owners now and they’re all family.” Since 1995 Rydalch Electric Inc. has based business on the simple concepts of keeping a promise and making a connection.
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