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Xcel Mechanical Begins Work on Cal Poly Pomona’s New Student Services Building

CAL POLY POMONA – General construction is underway on a gleaming new Student Services Building in the center of campus here, allowing Xcel Mechanical engineering and field teams to begin the transition from mechanical Design-Assist to Plan & Spec subcontractor.

“It’s proximity to existing student services functions and its key location to the core of campus is why [this site] was chosen,” said Dan Johnson, director of Facilities Design & Construction, and the school’s website. “This is where people come to campus, so it has to be a relatively prominent location.”

The new $78 million project will look much different than the building it is replacing, school officials said. The airy 138,000-square-foot structure will feature two buildings – one three stories and the other two – under one billowing roof. It will have several design features that are in step with the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Xcel Mechanical’s Project Management, Engineering, Field Operations, Fabrication Shops, Field and project administrative teams are all gearing-up to support this high-profile project, just as other major projects in this key vertical market near completion.

The company’s Design-Build work is nearly complete at UCLA’s Mo Austin Basketball Practice facility is nearly complete, as is the company’s major retrofit and renovation work at the historic Horace Mann School in the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Meanwhile, new projects at California State University Northridge, the University of California Irvine, and the Los Angeles Community College District will continue as scheduled.

“We perform work on the largest college campuses in Los Angeles. Each one is unique, and all have different requirements,” said Bill Balch, Xcel Mechanical project manager.

“Our engineering and office teams assemble incredible construction and logistics plans. And our union craftsmen are the best in the industry. In fact, I routinely have clients call to request our project foremen by name.”

The new Cal Poly Pomona Student Services building is expected to be completed in Fall 2018.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical, plumbing and piping engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, property managers, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Time to Recognize! Meet Our “10-Year Club”

GARDENA, CA — On April 7, Xcel Mechanical hosted a special company-wide picnic to recognize an extraordinary group of project managers, superintendents, foremen, sheet metal workers, plumbers, pipefitters, estimators and office staff who have signed on a decade or more ago, and continue to drive our company forward.

It is with great appreciation that we recognize Xcel Mechanical’s “10-Year Club”; a committed group whose experience, talents and perseverance have set a terrific example for our entire company to follow. We recognize that with great people comes great success.

Pictured, Back Row: Bernard Johnson, Tim Brown, Sean Brown, Robert “Keith” Kennedy, Jason Gordon, Jef Moreland, Rob Malicki, Kevin Michel, Bill Balch, Anthony Savedra. Middle Row: Dave Hastings, Alex Molina, Frank Borbon, Ivan Esparza, Tony Ceron, Kyle Stangeland, Scott Burson, James Williams, Ray Adams, Kevin White (hidden), Rudy Ballesteros. Front Row: Joven Aguas, Steve Prisk, Eddie Mares, Malou Laureano, Silvia Topete, Andrew Angon, Danny Gomez, Richard Gomez. Not pictured: Angelo Snedeger.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical, plumbing and piping engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, property managers, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Xcel Mechanical’s Safety Program Gains Statewide and National Recognition

GARDENA, CA — Xcel Mechanical’s Safety Program captured both state and national industry awards in recent weeks after evaluators at both trade organizations reviewed our Company’s ultra-low 2016 incidents and injury occurrence reports.

At the state level, Xcel Mechanical won the “CAL SMACNA Safety Award for an Outstanding Safety Record in 2016”. CAL SMACNA is a statewide trade association representing more than 600 sheet metal and air conditioning contractors who employ more than 25,000 union employees and administrative personnel throughout California.

Xcel Mechanical President Kevin Michel presided over the trade organization’s 51st Annual Convention, held April 19-22 in Santa Barbara, CA. In one of his final official acts before completing his one-year term as the organization’s 50th President, Mr. Michel accepted the award on behalf of our Company. He then bestowed the same award to about a dozen peers representing companies from across the state.

At the national level, Xcel Mechanical won the “MCAA Safety Excellence – Certification of Commendation for a Lost Workday Cases Incidence Rate of Zero in 2016”. MCAA serves the unique needs of approximately 2,600 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service, and includes the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Manufacturer/Supplier Council, the Mechanical Contracting Education and Research Foundation and the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau.

“The most important thing is that our employees are going home safe to their families and loved ones each night,” said Steve Prisk, company safety director. “But clearly we are developing a Safety Culture that continues to gain traction internally, and now recognition across our industry,” Prisk said. “This obviously puts what we’re doing here into a much bigger pond.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical, plumbing and piping engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, property managers, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Xcel Mechanical Project Team Honored by General Contracting Partner PCL Construction

WESTWOOD, CA — Xcel Mechanical’s UCLA CHS South Tower Seismic Renovation Team was recognized recently as the top performing subcontracting team on the jobsite by strategic general contracting partner PCL Construction.

The PCL report rated our project team in 14 applicable categories ranging from safety and schedule performance to jobsite organization, clean-up and attitude.

“Deliverables is a grading tool to hold each subcontractor accountable to achieve the standards of excellence we strive for regarding our HSE program,” said PCL program coordinator Nathaniel Gomera, in an email distributed to all project subcontractors, and to PCL officials.

“The goal is to achieve a score of 90%. Congratulations to the Xcel team for achieving a score of 94% for the month of February!”

Xcel Mechanical Plumbing Foreman Hector Serrano applauded his team’s every-day approach to safety, quality, and craftsmanship.

“These subcontractor audits are an eye-opener for sure,” Serrano said. “It’s one of those things where you bring the right approach, attitude and work ethic each day, and your practice becomes your routine,” he said. “At times you don’t even realize it because you’re living it. But then something like this comes out. It’s pretty cool.”

Both Serrano and “UCLA Seismic” PM Joe Camacho said they are fortunate to have the support of a broad and talented Xcel Mechanical team onsite and in the office, and a collaborative PCL project team. “It has definitely been a team effort,” said Camacho.

“It has been a demanding project with regard to procedure and paperwork, but the GC’s project team has been professional and collaborative throughout, and that makes a big difference,” Camacho said.

“When the GC’s team is on point, it helps the entire project move forward more smoothly. We all benefit as a result,” he said.

“The goal now is to leverage this hard-earned, well-deserved respect and win more projects.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Xcel Mechanical’s Ultra-Low EMR Rating Stands Tall in National Safety Survey

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fewer than 15-percent of contractors who participated in a recent national survey reported a key safety indicator score equal to or less than 0.59, further establishing Xcel Mechanical as one of the safest mechanical contractors in the industry, reports Steve Prisk, company safety director.

The findings were published in the 2016 SMACNA Safety Profile / Safety Excellence Awards Program, prepared for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association by the Construction Labor Research Council.

Among the report’s findings: The average number of reported injury or illness incidents, otherwise known as OSHA Incidence Rate, was 2.42—the lowest rate ever reported for the safety program. The average reported Experience Modification Rate (EMR) was .78, slightly lower than last year and the lowest rate in the past decade.

Xcel Mechanical’s EMR Rate of 0.59 is significantly lower than the reported average, “and points to increased awareness, a company-wide culture of safety reflected in our programs and practices, and extreme diligence on the part of our employees,” Prisk said.

In the construction industry, a contractor’s EMR can have a profound impact upon business. Insurance carriers use EMR rates to gauge past cost of injuries and future chances of risk.

A lower EMR rate means lower worker’s compensation insurance premiums charged to the contractor. Lower insurance costs means lower total overhead for the business, enabling the contractor to be more competitive in the bidding process.

“Most importantly, Xcel People are going home to their families each night. That’s really what our safety programs are all about,” Prisk said.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Project Delivered: New Qantas LAX Hangar the Largest of its Kind in North America

LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT— Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, were among the local and international dignitaries who attend today’s Grand Opening of the new Qantas Hangar at LAX.

Safe to say the new hangar is a big deal.

The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft, and this new hangar is now North America’s largest A380 maintenance hangar, airline officials said. Xcel Mechanical Systems provided the HVAC, Plumbing and Piping solutions for the $30 million facility.

The hangar is 480 feet by 370 feet and 12 stories tall, big enough to accommodate and service up to four passenger jets simultaneously. In addition to aircraft maintenance, the airline will relocate its Los Angeles-based commercial business team into new office space designed into the new facility.

“The project was released under a General Contractor that we hadn’t done a lot of work with, so we were excited to land it, and to begin developing a relationship with a new industry partner,” said Juan Zelada, Xcel Mechanical project manager.

“We worked closely with the GC and the site team to help bring the design drawings forward before construction got underway. And then, we were able to take a lead on site to keep the project moving. Our field foremen did an excellent job managing their teams through to project delivery, and helped our company deliver this high-profile project.”

Qantas officials said the hangar becomes the only facility in the U.S. designed specifically to hold the behemoth plane, and touted the project as signaling the airline’s commitment to Los Angeles as well as to travelers making long-haul flights between the U.S. and Australia.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said that while Australia will always be the carrier’s primary maintenance location, “LAX is our next biggest transit point so we’re pleased to now have a facility that reflects that.”

Qantas flies 40 flights per week between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia. Joyce said the new hangar will make maintenance 20% more efficient because it allows more planes to fit in the facility at the same time.
Joyce said that Qantas also plans to rent out the facility to other carriers at LAX. Air France, British Airways, China Southern, Asiana, Emirates and Korean Air also fly the massive A380 jet for long-haul flights from LAX.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Xcel Mechanical Named 6th-largest Mechanical and Plumbing Contractor in California

SACRAMENTO, CA — California’s leading construction industry trade journal identified Xcel Mechanical Systems as Golden State’s 6th-largest mechanical and plumbing contractor, and 32nd-largest specialty contractor overall.

The rankings, published in the Dec. 5 edition of ENR California, compared 2015 company revenues submitted by the state’s top contracting firms.

Last October, ENR-California’s parent publication – Engineering News-Record – listed Xcel Mechanical Systems as the 93rd-largest mechanical contractor in the United States.

Also last year, Contractor Magazine listed Xcel Mechanical as the state’s nation’s 81st-largest mechanical contractor.

“These rankings are a testament to our ability to thrive and to grow in a competitive marketplace,” said Kevin Michel, president of Xcel Mechanical Systems. “And it clearly points to our company’s ability to consistently deliver on our promise of quality and value. “We value our clients, and appreciate the long-lasting relationships we have built with key industry partners. It’s all part of our success story.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Xcel Mechanical’s Kevin Michel Introduced as CAL SMACNA’s 50th President

CARLSBAD, CA – The California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (CAL SMACNA) introduced as its 50th president Kevin Michel of Xcel Mechanical Systems during the organizations four-day annual convention, which concluded here Saturday night.

CAL SMACNA is a non-profit statewide trade association representing more than 600 sheet metal and air conditioning contractors who employ more than 25,000 union employees and administrative personnel throughout the state. The organization focuses on legislative and regulatory advocacy programs and services for its members.

Mr. Michel, who celebrates his 50th birthday this week, has grown Gardena, CA-based Xcel Mechanical Systems into one of Southern California’s most respected commercial and industrial HVAC, Plumbing and Piping contractors since co-founding the business in 1998.

“The 50th anniversary of a great association. It’s 50th convention. And I’m the 50th president on my 50th birthday. And those are just the first 200 reasons why I’m so happy you’ve chosen me,” said Mr. Michel.

“This is an honor, and I’m excited to serve,” he said. “I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas with my fellow contractors and chapter executives, and to us working together on the opportunities and challenges ahead. We work in a great industry with great people. This is going to be a great year.”

Mr. Michel is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) and has worked in the commercial and industrial HVAC, Plumbing, and Piping industry for more than 25 years. He graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering before relocating to Southern California to take a job with Meadows Mechanical. There he worked for Ed Banks, who served CAL SMACNA for many years and in whose memory the organization created the Edward G. Banks Award for exemplary service to the association.

“Ed was more than an employer; he was a mentor and a teacher,” Mr. Michel said. “He helped me grow and develop. He taught me a lot about hard work, character, inner strength and common sense. I will always be grateful for that experience.”

Within a year of his arrival at Meadows Mechanical, Mr. Michel was promoted to lead the company’s engineering department. And not long after, with the help and encouragement of his peers and others across the industry, Mr. Michel co-founded Xcel Mechanical Systems.

As president of Xcel Mechanical, he oversees all company operations. He relies on the diligence, professionalism and project know-how of his seasoned team of project managers, engineers, and administrative unit heads to continue steering the company through customer project execution and overall company growth.

“We have been so busy since we began that I haven’t taken enough time to pause, look back and take stock of how lucky I am to run a successful business and have a loving family,” Mr. Michel said. “However, a night like tonight allows that opportunity.”

In addition to his own service, Mr. Michel encourages his senior managers and field teams to take full advantage of the training and service opportunities that local, state and national professional associations provide for their members.

“I always thought I was too busy to join SMACNA, but I didn’t realize this association would make me a better businessman and a better person. To sit on the Board of the Los Angeles Chapter – and later the CAL SMACNA Board – has proven to be one of the best career decisions I have made. Most of the time the other members are my competitors, but all of the time they are truly great friends. I know I can pick up the phone at any time and get great advice from the friendships I have developed here.”

Xcel Mechanical’s operations manager, Scott Burson, is on the Board of Directors of the California Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association, and on the Finance Committee of the Apprentice and Journeyman Training Trust Fund.

“These associations provide opportunities to have a presence, and to get involved,” Mr. Burson said. “We respect our industry. We bring value. And we’re in this to help more people than just ourselves. This is a great night for Kevin. And it’s a great night for CAL SMACNA.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is recognized across Southern California as an industry leader in commercial and industrial mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Data Center, and LEED Construction sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

About CAL SMACNA
California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (CAL SMACNA) is a non-profit statewide trade association representing over 600 sheet metal and air conditioning contractors who employ more than 25,000 union employees and administrative personnel throughout California. These contractors perform commercial and residential heating, ventilating, and air conditioning; architectural and industrial sheet metal; as well as stainless steel kitchen equipment, manufacturing, testing and balancing, siding and decking. Their range of work is from public works to private commercial and residential projects. Our mission is to provide legislative and regulatory advocacy and program services. For more information, please visit: http://www.cal-smacna.org/

2016 AHR Expo Draws Record Number of Attendees

Orlando, Fla. – The 2016 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), held January 25-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., welcomed a record 60,926 registered attendees to what show organizers have billed as the world’s largest HVACR marketplace.

Despite winter storm havoc, canceled flights across the U.S. and travel bans in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the 2016 AHR Expo welcomed tens of thousands of contractors and engineers, OEMs, distributors and plant managers from all facets of the global HVACR industry, event officials said.

The final Expo report says 469,540 square feet of exhibit space – the equivalent of about 20 football fields spanning Florida’s largest convention center – was occupied by 18,254 exhibitor personnel representing 2,063 exhibiting companies, presenting to an estimated 42,672 attendees, according to the show’s management company, International Exposition Company.

The event’s global appeal was underscored by the 3,570 international exhibiting personnel representing 561 international companies and 3,570 exhibiting personnel. Overall, an estimated 9,410 international attendees were present during the three-day even, officials said.

“A lot goes into making this show such a valued platform for today’s professionals to come together,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company.

Many exhibiting companies, including Beloit, Wisc.-based Regal Beloit America, Inc., which develops systems for converting power into motion in climate solutions and other market applications, returned as well-seasoned AHR Expo participants.

“Regal has been exhibiting at AHR Expo for well over 30 years, and I’ve been coming for 16 of those years in various roles,” said Heather Scaggs-Richardson, marketing communications manager. “It’s the premier event for HVACR professionals, and one of the few places to see what’s happening, live and in person, in our ever-changing industry.”

Others agreed.

“Efficiency is a major buzzword on everyone’s minds these days,” said Anthony Quinn, key accounts manager at Danfoss. “A lot of people are having to redesign systems to meet newly imposed standards. Coming to AHR Expo allows us to scope out what other companies are offering and receive in-person reactions to the solutions we propose. Our new product line meets all of ASHRAE’s new standards, but we want to know what we can be doing even better.”

Attendees also had the option of engaging in a full schedule of educational programs, including a mix of exhibitors’ new product and technology presentations, ASHRAE Learning Institute courses, certification exams, PM Live seminars and many free programs offered by endorsing associations and other groups.

“If you have any sort of need in the HVACR industry, AHR Expo is the place to be, but the educational aspect of this show is truly invaluable,” said Juliet Pagliaro Herman, Johnson Controls’ director of service marketing for systems and services, North America. “I don’t see why someone would come to this show and not partake in the array of seminars offered. They’re something I look forward to each year.”

Another show highlight: Tuesday afternoon’s presentation of the 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, and the official announcement of Aeroseal’s duct sealing technology as the 2016 Product of the Year winner, drawing a standing room only crowd. Companies in ten product categories – building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools & instruments, and ventilation – also received awards.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is one of Southern California’s recognized industry leaders in large-scale mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective, dependable solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Data Center, Government, Commercial, and Entertainment sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com

Xcel Mechanical Engineers Completing Design Phase of UCLA Hoops Practice Facility

GARDENA, CA – Xcel Mechanical engineeers are wrapping up the all-important design phase of the new Mo Ostin Basketball Center at UCLA, a strategic Design-Build project that will highlight the respected Southern California mechanical contractor’s combined strengths in design and construction.

The new state-of-the-art training and practice facility will be home to the university’s storied men’s and women’s basketball programs. The new two-story, 35,700 square-foot building will include on its ground floor practice gyms, locker rooms and player’s lounges for both teams; a training area and film room; cardio and equipment storage areas; and a public lobby. The second floor will include a weight room; coaches’ conference rooms; staff offices and lockers; and a laundry room.

Mechanical equipment will be located in the basement.

Xcel Mechanical was awarded the HVAC portion of the project. “It’s Design-Build slated for LEED Gold status, and both are in the front of our minds,” said project engineer Joe Camacho. “It is imperative that we design with both a constructability and budget mindset. It’s about balancing superior design with cost and energy savings that can be passed through to the owner.”

Another strong performance will continue to lead to more projects of similar size and scope across Southern California, said Kevin Michel, president of Xcel Mechanical. “We continue to build an impressive resume in the Education sector, and this project provides another opportunity to deliver unique value to a very important client.”

The project rejoins Xcel Mechanical with general contracting partner PCL Construction Services. Industry-leading trade publication Engineering News and Record – California recognized both firms with its prestigious “Award of Merit 2013” for their work on the UCLA Pauley Pavilion Renovation and Expansion Project.

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is one of Southern California’s recognized industry leaders in large-scale mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Data Center, Government, Commercial, and Entertainment sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com