Case Studies

The Kastle Group

Ohio firm offers a broad range of electrical, solar and technological services

For more than 90 years, the Kastle name has stood for comprehensive electrical contracting services with unsurpassed dependability. Today The Kastle Group remains on the leading edge of services supporting the distribution and consumption of electricity and digital data. With four distinct divisions that are dedicated to electrical system installation, ongoing maintenance, high-speed data structured cabling systems and renewable and green energy systems, Kastle serves customers throughout the Midwest.The Kastle Group

The four divisions of Kastle consist of: Kastle Electric, which provides major electrical project design, engineering and installation; Kastle Plus, which performs general and specialized services supporting optimum system performance; Kastle Technologies, which provides high-speed data, video and fiber optic cabling systems; and Kastle Solar, which focuses on solar-based energy system design, installation, service, maintenance and administrative service.

“We’re one of the smaller contractors in the area,” says Andy Stuhlmiller, owner of Kastle. “We’re one of the larger service firms though with some specialty services.” Kastle performs a fair amount of industrial work with instrumentation. The company has completed a broad range of projects from solar projects, which the company has integrated from beginning to end, to structured cabling and fiber optic jobs. “We touch on a lot of different things,” he adds.

Adapting to the industry

Located in Dayton, Ohio, Kastle has been able to adapt to market shifts and diversify its services to achieve a level of success that honors the tradition and history of the company. Implementing instrumentation and design-build projects has enabled the company to be involved with some major progressive projects.

As a company utilizing the Construction Wireman/Construction Electrician (CW/CE) program, Stuhlmiller finds it to be effective and would advise anyone to take advantage of the opportunity. “Out of our electrical workforce we always have a minimum of four or five,” he says. “We do a lot of service work so we don’t utilize them as much as some other firms do. It is certainly effective though. It helps us keep our rates down to a competitive level. “

Stuhlmiller says that the CW/CE program benefits the entire industry due to the talent that it brings in. “It really brings in some of the best,” he adds. “We have brought some guys in through the program who have just worked out wonderfully.”

Kastle Technologies

Kastle Technologies, a division of The Kastle Group, was formed in July 1998 to meet the technology demands of the group’s installed base and major account prospects. Kastle Technologies is headquartered in greater Cincinnati, with branch offices located in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, and a client service center located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Kastle Technologies division contracts direct with end users, general contractors and large technology providers to design, install, certify, maintain and warranty structured cabling systems (SCS) for high speed data, video, voice, security, CCTV, CATV and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

With developed engineers, project managers, lead installers and installers, Kastle Technologies maintains a strong core group of its design and installation team. “We have signed a national tele-data agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW),” says Lyman Smith, president of Kastle Technologies. “This agreement is a continuation of our nearly 90-year mutually beneficial relationship with the IBEW.”

Kastle Technologies was recently involved in a large-scale project with the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at the Ohio State University Medical Center. At 1.1 million square feet, the facility is the third largest cancer hospital in the U.S. The project included six interventional radiology suites, seven linear accelerators for radiation therapy, 50,000 feet of single-mode fiber, more than 15,000 category 6 cables and 370 Verizon Cellular DAS antennas.

Applying the technology

Five years ago, Kastle established its solar division and brought Mark Wiley on board to grow and develop the department. Wiley’s financial background and managerial experience was a great fit to develop the new line of business. Kastles’ resources are a comparative advantage in the photovoltaic (PV) industry. “We don’t just put solar panels in,” says Stuhlmiller, “We get the investors together, design them and sell them. We do it all.”

In June 2015, Kastle Solar completed a project for the Cincinnati Police Station. The job was a net-zero project largely due to the solar panels that Kastle installed. Kastle installed a 330-kilowatt system, which included 1,100 solar panels designed by Kastle. The net-zero design aspect of the system was engineered in such a way that the PV system produces as much power as the building consumes annually, which amounts to approximately 400 megawatt hours per year.

The Cincinnati Police Station was a new construction project where Kastle was able to utilize its design-build services. “We started by identifying the amount of kilowatt hours we needed to accomplish and that’s how we put the project together,” says Wiley. “Most of the solar panels were installed on the rooftop but we also constructed a parking canopy.”

Kastle worked in conjunction with the general contractor while the building was under construction. The company designed the electrical system from the beginning of the project and coordinated it with the mechanical system inside the facility and completed the installation. “It was a huge success,” says Wiley. “We got the system turned on ahead of schedule prior to the opening of the building. It was a big win for us. We are very excited to be a part of a net-zero design such as this. We expect this trend to continue; builders and developers will realize that for a reasonable premium they can incorporate this system into the design and heavily reduce their carbon footprint.”

Kastle was also recently involved in a project with Adams County school systems. The job involved the installation of a 530-kilowatt system that was connected to five different metered locations. The multiple locations included North Adams High School, West Union High School, West Union Elementary School, and the Adams County Career and Technical Center. The system installed included a combination of ground-mounted and roof-mounted panels.

A challenge presented to Kastle on this project was when the company went in with a driven-pile design for the foundation and hit bedrock 3 feet underground. “We had to redesign the foundation on the fly and submit it back to the state for permitting,” recalls Wiley. “We were able to get the foundation design reapplied through the state and kept the project going at the same time. The project was still completed by the target date, which was before school started.”

The renewable, distributed power production market is changing at an accelerating pace. This includes the fact that solar power systems continue to become much more cost-effective. “Our current means of getting power to our homes and businesses was designed by Thomas Edison,” says Wiley. “We have to transition to be able to take advantage of technology and become much more efficient than we were 150 years ago. We can now produce, store and consume electrical power on-site without having to transmit over vast distances. This emerging market presents an intriguing opportunity for Kastle as we adjust to take a high-quality, leadership role in Ohio.”

Working collaboratively with property owners, general contractors, architects, manufacturers and service companies, Kastle is able to overcome challenges and deliver complete, efficient and reliable results. The Kastle Group is committed to keeping pace with the communities it serves, the needs of its customers and the opportunities that energy technology makes possible for the future.

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Spring 2018



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