CCI Mechanical, Inc. based in Salt Lake City, is a full-service design-build mechanical contractor that provides its own in-house design, engineering and construction as well as service and automation. They pursue projects in primarily commercial and industrial markets, focusing on privately funded work in the state of Utah and surrounding states in the Intermountain region. The union contractor employs 240 people — 60 office workers and 175 field employees, including plumbers, pipefitters, welders, sheet metal workers, HVAC service technicians, and controls/automation technicians.
Dave Katsanevas, vice president of Construction, has been with CCI for 31 years. Prior to that, Katsanevas worked for a process equipment manufacturer in Salt Lake City. He was there for 10 years before CCI recruited him to manage their purchasing and logistics operations. After five years in his initial role, he spent 11 years in project management on commercial and industrial applications, followed by management of service operations for the next 14 years. Currently, he oversees all construction operations, which includes project management, warehouse and logistics, as well as CCI’s piping and sheet metal shops.
Beyond-the-book commitment to service and safety
Katsanevas attributes CCI’s tight grasp around success to the culmination of lesson-learning and unique perspectives.
“We strive everyday to maintain our position in our market as the premier Design-Build mechanical contractor,” Katsanevas said. “We’re focused on sharing our knowledge and lessons learned with our customers, offering them responsible solutions and going well beyond their expectations. These lessons learned are also applied to design-assist projects or complex mechanical systems designed by outside consultants where we can add value through our expertise with constructability analysis and scheduling.”
CCI’s main goal is to integrate practical solutions that best match each customer. They utilizes employees’ experience as well as forward-thinking in order to meet customer needs at all stages of a facility’s design and construction. It is nurturing the individual client relationship that builds CCI’s base of long-term learning.
Katsanevas commented, “The long-term goal is to continue to serve that customer. As they grow, we grow.”
At the forefront of CCI, maybe even before the customer, is a by-the-book commitment to safety, which has exceeded industry standards. CCI has a full-time safety director who adheres to the strict protocol so that all employees can work without fear of hazard. The company finished 2015 without a single, recordable incident in the construction group. They’re approaching 2 million man hours without a lost time incident, and their current EMR rate is 0.68.
“Safety is a very important part of our business and is something we take pride in. We are focused on driving our safety efforts from the top down. All of our meetings, whether they be in the field or the office, begin with a brief safety share just to keep that front and center,” Katsanevas said.
CCI recently completed a large project in downtown Salt Lake City. This project, City Creek Center, is a mixed use development with an open-air shopping center covering two city blocks that was part of a $1 billion revitalization of downtown. In addition to complex mechanical systems, CCI installed over 200,000 lineal feet of snowmelt and radiant floor tubing.
The group is also in the process of another phase of expansion of the Oracle Data Center. CCI completed the center’s original installation and continues to be involved with its expansion. CCI completed the center’s 235,000 sq. ft. facility and continues to be involved with its expansion. They also completed Design-Build projects for Park City Film Studio; Petzel Distribution Headquarters, the manufacturer of climbing equipment; Merit Medical, a medical device manufacturer that included Class 100,000 and Class 10,000 clean rooms; and Hope Lodge, a center for individuals undergoing cancer treatment for the American Cancer Society.
Outreach and education
CCI places a lot of attention on outreach, which includes community colleges, interactive educational fairs with elementary schools, and speaking with students and counselors at the junior high and high school levels. They company aims to educate the next generation on all of the opportunities in the industry.
“We want these students to know there are alternatives to college to earn a good living where learning a trade and becoming a skilled craftsman will ensure a productive and rewarding career. The bottom line is that we need to grow our own as well as guide those who are already in the industry,” Katsanevas said.
Katsanevas continued, “The most surprising feedback is that most people are unaware of the opportunities available and what we do in our business. They don’t realize that once you gain these skills and become a journeyman of a trade, your employment opportunities and benefits are really good. Once you’ve gone through the program, you’re immediately employable and put to work.”
CCI also focuses a lot of support for industry apprenticeship schools that operate in collaboration with local union contractors and Sheet Metal Local Union 312 that trains sheet metal workers and UA Local 140 that helps train plumbers, pipe fitters and HVAC service technicians. These schools are five-year programs that students attend while working full-time in their desired trade.
CCI is active in some of the top industry groups including: Mechanical Contractors’ Association of America (MCAA), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). Being a part of a company invested in continuous learning, Katsanevas speaks highly of CCI’s membership benefits to all the above organizations.
“We actively participate in all these groups with company executives and managers assuming leadership roles in many of these organizations,” Katsanevas said.
Katsanevas touched on the more recent outreach NAWIC has been able to provide for some of CCI’s women in construction.
“NAWIC has been a great organization for some of our women within the company. They do a lot of community outreach and promote opportunities and growth for women in our industry,” Katsanevas noted. “I think the growth of women has been increasing slowly, but surely. We have women in engineering and mid-level management, and we’re interested in continuing to promote these opportunities.”
All CCI employees — men and women — follow tracks that are uniquely designed to meet their career interests. Each year, they meet with executive staff to gauge where they are in their own personal development stages.
“Each employee has a personal development plan that is independent of a performance appraisal. We talk about training and career paths they’re interested in, and what we can do to work together to help them achieve their goals. It helps us as executives understand how to get these people on the right path doing something they’re passionate about,” Katsanevas said.
CCI already has their hand in what is to be a busy, yet profitable 2016.
“We are currently under contract to complete approximately 1.3 million square feet of commercial office space. Our industrial market is also booming with contracts in place for multiple scheduled shutdowns at the HEXCEL Corporation and the fabrication of 40 stainless steel drill bay manifold skids for Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation,” Katsanevas said. "We have a pretty strong backlog of good design-build work through the end of 2017. The challenge is to manage those schedules and the manpower needed to deliver the level of quality service that’s expected of us and that our clients deserve."