By: Jayme Cook – HVACR Today
Pioneering change isn’t easy—but someone’s got to do it. In the ever-evolving HVACR market, Phoenix-based Midstate Mechanical seems to be a fast-paced locomotion of change.
Founded in 1986, Midstate Mechanical’s mission has been to be a leader in the commercial mechanical industry and construction community, devoting its management resources to insure safety, high quality and on-time construction services, striving to achieve the highest level of perfection and to exceed all expectations. Now, Midstate Mechanical has managed to exceed even their own expectations with the implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM).
“BIM is basically building a building in three dimensional format before beginning construction,” said vice president Jon Haug. “BIM has been the big talk of the industry for the past three to five years. We get to look at the building beforehand and it’s changing the market.”
Though the BIM concept has been used in the automotive industry and other sects of assembly-oriented design for several years, virtual marketing is a fairly new concept in the HVAC universe. The digitally generated plans of a building allow clients to see the design well ahead of construction, also potentially pinpointing problems before they occur.
“We’re able to show clients how we can save them cost, time and efficiency in applying this technology,” said Lisa McFate, marketing manager.
Midstate didn’t stop with just the BIM implementation. After seeing the benefits of such technological programs, they designed an entire new method of presenting project plans.
“We do a presentation where we draw a building in a virtual world using a 3-D method on computers,” said Haug. “The system we utilize involves Computer-aided Drafting (CAD) and Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM). When we’re done drawing a job in virtual design, all all of our production, everything now, is housed in the virtual model and can be downloaded automatically to the manufacturer and also sent out to our field. Instead of a normal set of plans, we’re giving them a production drawing, a set of directions that shows the assembly, piece by piece.”
Midstate puts such faith in BIM technology that in December of last year, they moved to a new building designed to be technologically compatible to their needs.
“Basically, the new facility has allowed us to expand with our growth,” said Haug. “We have training rooms and areas facilitated to internal and external training. It holds our manufacturing equipment, as well.”
“We have a huge conference room with a flat panel screen where we can put up a virtual design and walk our clients through a virtual building,” adds McFate. “We didn’t really have that capability before. We’ve incorporated a lot of nice technology features into our new building.”
Another aspect of Midstate’s plans for the future is to develop more ‘green’ conscious options for the industry. With LEED promoting green-friendly projects, more and more contractors are seriously considering environment-friendly construction but concerned about the cost of change.
“When anything is new,” said Haug, “it is expensive until it levels off but there’s some pretty creative energy efficient things you can do to keep construction costs down. One of the biggest problems we face is trying to control costs and sometimes you have to be inventive.”
It’s no question that Midstate is moving forward in leaps and bounds but can the industry keep up with them? Haug is confident that the progress is natural and inevitable.
For a company so focused on progress, what does the future hold for Midstate Mechanical?
“We try to stay ahead of the curve and we’re still rolling pretty good. The technologies we’ve incorporated in our company have allowed us to maintain (our success) and we are looking to expand both locally and beyond.”
With such impressive technological integrations and a new building with which to reflect them, Midstate Mechanical’s direction is full-speed ahead.