When Bob Stiens came to work at TP Mechanical almost 3 years ago, the company saw an opportunity to grow in the Design Build market. “Bill Riddle had approached me to come on board to develop the design build market here at TP Mechanical,” said Stiens. Within the first two and a half years, the Design Build sector of the company has been very successful, securing projects for commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, residence halls, multi-family housing buildings and schools.
Stiens began his career at the young age of 15, installing and servicing HVAC systems. Later, he attended technical college to seek a degree in air conditioning technology. “While in college and being exposed to the many facets of the industry, I decided to follow my enthusiasm for designing systems,” he said. He was hired by a contractor as a draftsman, at about the time Design Build was taking off in the Cincinnati market. At that time, before computers were used, drawings were still done by hand. “I still have all my old drafting tools to draw with,” Stiens said. He also learned to run loads, design systems and estimate—skills he is still using forty-three years later.
“Most all of my training (in the HVAC industry) has been through hands on life experiences, manufacturer’s seminars and introductions to new products that they introduce,” said Stiens. “Keeping ahead of your competitors and introducing those ideas to customers is what helps us successfully secure projects.”
One of the first plumbing design build projects under Stiens direction was at a tissue manufacturing plant in Circleville, Ohio, where TP Mechanical designed and installed the plumbing systems on the 1.4 million square foot facility. “With a team effort of the Columbus estimators, operations, and our professional engineer, who educated me about the plumbing systems I was able to sell the project” he explained.
Another big win for the TP Design Build team came with a renovation for the Tri-Health Corporate Headquarters in the Baldwin 200 Building. This project involved renovating eight out of twelve floors in the building. Many challenges were met due to the existing building occupied spaces, limited floor heights as well as client-desired architectural features. TP Mechanical worked with James Hunt Construction to successfully install all new AHU’s, ductwork, VAV boxes, registers and piping.
For Stiens, the challenges are one of the things he enjoys most about Design Build. “It’s all part of the process and finding the best solution,” he said. He enjoys the creativity of the process and affirms that to be an exceptional Design Build engineer, you have to be creative, diligent, honest and have good customer relationships – all characteristics of the current TP Mechanical Design Build team. “Many more exciting opportunities await us in the future as we grow the Design Build market segment of the TP Mechanical business,” Stiens said.