A Recap of Our 2019 Celebration Banquet

TP Mechanical’s annual Celebration Banquet was held on May 10, 2019 at Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio. The event is open to the entire company and this year an impressive 215 employees, family members and guests attended, including 15 members of the leadership team.

The banquet was held Friday evening and included a cocktail hour, dinner and recognition ceremony. Guest speaker Scott Sloan, of the Scott Sloan Show on 700 WLW Cincinnati News Radio, talked about the importance of trade professions and having a career with a purpose. Afterward, TP recognized all apprentices, instructors, employees celebrating years of service milestones, Rising Leaders, the 2019 graduation class, as well as instructor of the year, undergraduate of the year, and graduate of the year. In total, accolades were given to 20 Rising Leaders, 55 Apprentices, 23 Instructors and 52 employees for a combined 555 years of service. This year’s apprentice graduates included Alex Aube, Benjamin Earls, Branden Bergen and Cody Shaw all of whom studied plumbing.

The annual event was started over a decade ago in order to recognize the hard work and dedication of apprentices. Since the inception of the Apprenticeship Program in the 1980s, it has been an important feeder for the TP workforce and the development of great leaders like our current President and CEO, Bill Riddle. The program is a direct result of TP’s investment in its employees and the future.

Today, the Celebration Banquet remains an important way TP recognizes all the hard work of its employees throughout the year. It also provides team members the opportunity to interact outside the job and connect with other TP employees they don’t always get to see. Employees and their families enjoy the event and camaraderie, and most stay for the weekend to enjoy the water park on Saturday following the banquet.

*A tremendous thank you to members of the Banquet Planning Committee for their tireless work in putting together such a memorable and special evening. The 2019 Planning Committee included: Kelly Wilson, Teresa Kelly, Vanessa King, Jen Madden, Holly Welch and Matt Anderson.

 

Beyond the Build: High-quality construction is about patient care and treatment

At the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center, there is no better phrase then “cancer free and finished with treatment.” Patients who receive this good news ring a large, silver bell to celebrate.  Everyone within earshot joins in this special moment alongside the patient with loud cheers and claps. This is one of the many ways Markey provides compassionate care to cancer patients and it’s one reason TP Mechanical was honored to have a role in the recent brachytherapy expansion project (part of an overall expansion of radiation medicine at UK Healthcare).

The project, which is a 7,000 square foot expansion, included excavation, expansion, and modification of an existing basement treatment room and waiting area space between the Markey Cancer Center and Pavilion H. It also includes installation of a new Varian linear accelerator to go with the center’s existing two. The linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. This state-of-the-art equipment enables Markey to provide the latest care to cancer patients and allows more patients to be seen in less time.

TP Mechanical provided all of the prefabricated plumbing and HVAC piping in the new addition, which was brought in on racks to hang all in one piece. They also installed all air handling units and duct work through the new portion of the hospital. Every aspect of the project is precisely designed around the cancer treatment equipment for maximum efficiency and highest quality patient care. Throughout the project, an  Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) barrier has kept the construction area from infiltrating the existing and operational hospital space which has eliminated treatment downtime. The project is nearing 80 percent completion, with an expected completion date of June 1.

Aside from the tremendous opportunity to contribute to Kentucky’s only NCI-designated cancer center, members of the TP Mechanical team have gained much from being on this project. Recently, an older gentleman rang the big silver bell and everyone in the room and in the adjacent construction area stopped to cheer and high five in celebration of this man and his family. Dennis Warren, superintendent on the project for TP Mechanical, said, “This is why we do what we do.”

Construction Manager:

Whiting-Turner

Other Team Members:

Marillia Design & Construction

JRA Architects

Baker Concrete

Davis H. Elliot Company

TP TEAM:

Rodney Bishop, Project Manager

Dennis Warren, Superintendent

Owners Representative:

David Lockhart, Chief Radiation Therapist at the University of Kentucky Medical Center

 

 

5 Tips for Summer Building Maintenance

5 Tips for Summer Building MaintenanceSummer is approaching and now is the time to prepare your building for the extreme heat and humidity to come with the season. Adam Luensman, Business Development Representative with TP Mechanical, recommends regular preventative maintenance to keep your building’s HVAC system in top-notch condition.

Preventative maintenance is important to maintain and extend the overall life of your HVAC equipment and keep lifecycle costs down. TP wants to build a long-term partnership with each client to help them take care of their HVAC systems.

Follow these 5 maintenance tips to prepare your building for the summer months:

 1. Start Thinking About Summer Early

Ideally, you want to start thinking about your summer preventative maintenance now—April and May are months to have a certified technician check your systems for cooling. This way, you will have time to update or service any equipment as needed.

2. Have the Coils Cleaned

Clean coils will ensure that your cooling units will be running at peak efficiency while helping to minimize utility cost.

3. Change the Air Filters

The air filters are key for maintaining the quality of the environment in any building. Using high quality air filters, and changing them frequently, can extend the life of your HVAC system. While there’s a lot more that goes into regular preventative maintenance, changing the air filters should be a top priority.

4. Consider It an Investment

Preventative maintenance is a good investment for any building. Adam recommends thinking about it like maintenance on your car: If you don’t change the oil, the engine will lock up. It’s the same for your HVAC system. Regular preventative maintenance is the key to a long-functioning system.

5. Call a Professional

Don’t try to do your preventative maintenance yourself. A professional offers proven solutions and experience working with the complexities of HVAC equipment in our local environment. A professional can help you prevent costly downtime.

Regular preventative maintenance is the proactive way to improve comfort while reducing your operating costs. At TP Mechanical, we help customers optimize energy for high performing buildings. Call us today  at 513-851-8881 to schedule your preventative maintenance check.

 

TP Mechanical: Committed to Federal Work and GSA Approved

After an extensive application process, TP Mechanical is excited to announce we have been approved to provide federal work through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). GSA Schedules (also referred to as Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) and Federal Supply Schedules) are long-term governmentwide contracts with commercial firms providing federal, state, and local government buyers access to more than 11 million commercial supplies (products) and services at volume discount pricing. For buyers, Schedules saves your agency time and money. For industry, Schedules are your direct link to the government contracting community.

Since receiving the Schedule Title, Facilities Maintenance and Management, TP is poised for work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is one of the largest and most important bases in the U.S. Airforce. The base is headquarters for the Air Force’s worldwide logistics system, a state-of-the-art laboratory research function, and is the most prominent acquisition and development center in the U.S. Air Force.*

Stanley Garber, TP’s Government Contract Manager, leads TP’s efforts on the base for which he is uniquely suited.  With 24 years of experience at the base, he works on site in a self-contained office for TP Mechanical. Although TP was involved with work at the base in the past, our presence was limited.  Now, Stanley, who began working for TP at Wright-Patterson in November 2016, provides that presence. “I take the privilege to heart every day,” he says.

In the future, TP hopes to expand their GSA services beyond Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and develop business in other regions, including Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. For now, TP is looking forward to working on GSA projects as we head into the busy procurement season.

 *For more information about Wright-Pat Airforce Base visit their website at https://www.wpafb.af.mil/.

Apply Now for TP Mechanical’s 2019 Apprenticeship Class

TP Mechanical will be taking applications April 22 through May 3 for the 2019 Apprenticeship Class. Positions will be open at each of the four offices and include:

  • Plumbers—Kentucky office
  • Plumbers and sheet metal—Cincinnati office
  • Plumbers, sheet metal, and sprinkler fitters—Columbus and Dayton offices

What is the Apprenticeship Program?

The Apprenticeship Program is an important feeder for TP’s workforce. An Accredited Apprenticeship Program through Columbus State, it consists of a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and 576 hours of classroom learning over the course of four years. The best leaders and the best results come from the program – a direct result of TP’s investment in its employees and the future. The Apprenticeship Program is the key to recruiting and filling the field jobs; it enables TP Mechanical to educate their own employees and guarantees the highest quality employees.

The Apprenticeship Program is also an important part of TP’s history. In place since the 1980s, the Apprenticeship Program is where many of TP’s leaders got their start. This includes President and CEO Bill Riddle, who joined TP Mechanical 34 years ago as the company’s 38th apprentice.

Mike Kelley, who completed the program in 1987 and now holds several master licenses, says the program instilled a major passion in him to give back and teach others. “This is a very worthwhile program to go through,” he says. His wife, Teresa, joined TP Mechanical in 1999 and is now the Apprenticeship Coordinator. “Not only did the Apprenticeship Program give my husband an avenue to provide for our family, most importantly, TP Mechanical provided him with that opportunity to learn and grow in a skilled trade,” she says. We both are very thankful for that and hope we can pass along what our family gained from this program to the next generation.”

You can be part of the next generation of TP Mechanical Apprentices.

No qualifications are needed to join the Apprenticeship Program. We’ll teach you valuable, hands-on skills and you earn a paycheck as you learn.

The four-year program is held in sessions, one night a week, from August through May, at our Kentucky, Cincinnati and Columbus locations. Class sizes are small and made up of approximately five to eight apprentices. Classes are taught by TP employees, including superintendents and project managers—many who came up through the apprenticeship program themselves.

You learn all the technical code required for your particular skill, as well as other important topics for acquiring your licenses, such as:

  • Welding
  • Refrigeration (basic knowledge of systems)
  • Hydronics
  • Steam systems

In just four years, you can have your journeyman’s license in HVAC, plumbing and sprinklers and be on your way to a fulfilling career.

To learn more about the program, contact Teresa Kelley at 513-372-6210 or apply online by visiting https://www.tpmechanical.com/apprenticeship-program-detail/

 

Project Spotlight: Norwood Middle School Renovation for Norwood City Schools

 

The original building of Norwood Middle School, which houses students in grades 6, 7 and 8, was built over 100 years ago, in 1914. Although the school was renovated in 1965 and again in the mid-1980s, the school began another major renovation to update facilities in early 2018.

Charles Douglas, who happens to be a Norwood alumnus (‘91), serves as the onsite superintendent for TP Mechanical. The TP team, including Douglas and project manager Michael Schneider, started with demolition of the existing mechanical systems followed by new duct work and the installation of a VRV system. This project is a significant upgrade as prior to this renovation, the 148,000 square foot school building used steam radiators for heat and was without central air conditioning.

The age of the building has revealed several unknowns and challenged the team to think creatively. SHP, the architect & engineer, and Monarch Construction continue to help provide imaginative and cost-effective solutions enabling the team to stay on schedule and minimize disruptions to the occupied facility.

Currently TP Mechanical is about 80% complete on this project, with full completion of the renovation in the west wing and nearing completion of the east wing in March. Part of the project involved completing the field house during phase two—just in time for basketball season.

This was TP’s first project with Norwood City Schools; we have built strong relationships and look forward to future projects within the district. Norwood City School District has been providing quality education in the Greater Cincinnati area for more than 100 years and includes three elementary schools, one preschool and one high school in addition to Norwood Middle School.

TP Mechanical Team:

  • Project Manager: Michael Schneider
  • Site Superintendent: Charles Douglas
  • Sheet Metal Foreman: Josh Schaffer
  • Sheet Metal Team: Jacob Stauffer, Robert Gilley
  • Refrigeration Lead: Greg Porter
  • Refrigeration Team: Matt Halusek

Project Partners:

Spotlight: From Apprentice to President and CEO

When Bill Riddle joined TP Mechanical 34 years ago, it was through an opening in the apprenticeship program. At just 19 years old, he started as TP Mechanical’s 38th apprentice.  

It’s uncommon for a company CEO to come from a field background, and as such, Bill flips traditional management on its head and leverages success from a “field-first” point of view. He understands and relays to the entire team that quality work in the field is the lifeblood of the company. Bill himself also takes daily calls from TP customers to personally address and help solve their needs. This innate ability to roll-up his sleeves, help and resolve issues for clients is a value instilled all those years ago in the apprenticeship program.

After completing his four-year apprenticeship, Bill became a project superintendent and later earned his plumbing license. He moved from the field into the office in 1996 following a performance review during which he mentioned his interest in becoming a  project manager. Bill later became a VP Regional Manager for Cincinnati operations until 2011, when he was named company president.

His current role as president and CEO began in 2015. Much has changed since Bill was an apprentice, including the work capacity of TP Mechanical. What hasn’t changed is the priority to get the job done right; to stand behind the people; and set a high bar for quality work in the field.

About TP’s Apprentice Program

The apprentice program is an important feeder for TP’s workforce. It consists of a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and 576 hours of classroom learning over the course of four years. The best leaders and the best results come from the program – a direct result of TP’s investment in its employees and the future. The apprentice program is the key to recruiting and filling the field jobs; it enables TP Mechanical to educate their own employees and guarantees the highest quality employees for the future. Learn more about the program by visiting https://www.tpmechanical.com/apprenticeship-program-detail/

 

 

 

Project Feature: Pre-Fabrications Benefit Fast Track Construction

Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio needed to expand in order to meet patient demands without interrupting current patient care. Construction on Mount Carmel East Expansion included a new 128-bed tower, featuring all individual rooms, and 11 new operating rooms. An addition to the existing chiller plant for added cooling and an addition to the boiler plant was also part of the project.

TP Mechanical stepped in to meet the challenge of working within a fully operational hospital on a tight 13-month deadline. In order to help keep the project on schedule and incur the least amount of disruption to the hospital patients and staff, the team constructed much of the needed materials off site. Fabricated hallway racks, which each included supply air ductwork, hydronic HVAC piping, VAV Box’s, Domestic water piping and electrical conduits, were all assembled, tested and inspected prior to being delivered to the site. There was even drywall assembled on to the racks off site to help save time. TP mechanical also prefabricated medical gas zone valve box assemblies.

These off-site fabrications directly impacted time savings on the project, accelerating the installation per floor by an impressive 75%.  Partners on the project were Messer Construction and NBBJ Architects. The $25,832,089 project was completed on schedule in just 13 months—thanks in a big way to the ability to build much of the design off-site.

 

 

A Culture of Safety

At TP Mechanical, safety is paramount and a fundamental part of our company culture. Since 2000, we have received 92 safety awards and have a current EMR rating of .79 which is well below the national average. When it comes to safety and OSHA ratings, we are in the top one percent of any comparable contractor in the U.S.

Our safety culture starts with our CEO Bill Riddle and spans amongst every single employee. “Everyone goes through orientation and goes through a preview of what safety means,” said Jamie Absher, Safety Manager for TP Mechanical. The importance of safety isn’t just something the top executives hand down—the culture of safety is contagious, and employees know the CEO has their back when it comes to working in a safe environment. If something isn’t working, safety-wise, the entire team brainstorms ways to improve the process.

The company recently launched a “Why Safety Matters to Me” program and asked employees to contribute. Overwhelmingly, the answer to that question came back to getting home safely to family. A five-member team, including Jamie, Rick Absher, Corporate Safety Director for TP Mechanical, and three safety specialists (Ben Smith in Columbus, Brittany Knue in Kentucky and Bob Campbell in Dayton) helps keep TP Mechanical on track for high safety ratings and most importantly, helps team members return home safely each night to their families.

Another way TP Mechanical ensures company-wide safety is by going above and beyond OSHA requirements. “We’re always looking for the constant improvement and wanting to be proactive,” said Jamie.  The team asks questions, such as, “What can we do to ensure our people aren’t getting hurt?” and “What can we do as a team?”

TP Mechanical provides field training with any new policy or product so every member of our team understands its importance and impact on safety. It helps foster a company culture where everyone has a voice and ideas are heard and respected. “Employees may find a better tool or improve a work process,” said Jamie.  “We look at the employees and their specialty to make it safer in their expertise. Our goal, DAILY, no matter what, is for everyone to go home whole. You can’t put a dollar or schedule above that.”

Spotlight: Bob Stiens Elevates Design Build Arm to New Success

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.