Rebuilding the Dallas Skyline
Texas-based H&G Systems is approaching fifty years in business and continues to provide the highest-quality commercial plumbing and HVAC services for customers in North Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
From its headquarters in Garland (a suburb of Dallas), the company serves a number of sectors and construction types including schools, auditoriums, hotels, office buildings, data centers, nursing homes, laboratories, swimming pools, and government projects.
“HVAC is predominantly what we do, and it is primarily commercial,” says company President Grant Yaney.
Yaney is a graduate of Purdue University holding a degree in mechanical engineering and is licensed as a professional engineer in Texas as well as having LEED accreditation. He joined the company in November of 2015 but first became acquainted with H&G Systems two decades earlier when he was working with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems giant Trane. He built a relationship between the two companies on the support side and now oversees the seventy-strong crew of pipe welders, ductwork installation specialists, plumbers, and office staff.
The company was founded in 1968 as H&G Air Conditioning & Heating. It expanded over time and added a new electrical division in the early 1980s, before changing the name of the company to H&G Systems.
H&G recognizes that its customers, staff, subcontractors and suppliers are integral to its success, and fosters relationships in the spirit of collaboration. Performing dependable work every time has resulted in the repeat customers responsible for much of the company’s ongoing success.
“Our promotion up to this point has really been word-of-mouth, trying to do a good job in the community, and trying to get repeat business, which we focus on more than marketing efforts,” states Yaney. “We try to do a good job, and the quality of our work speaks for itself.”
The team at H&G Systems undertakes a considerable amount of design-assist work in tandem with engineers and architects, and it performs considerable negotiated work where it is brought on to assist design teams. In cases where clients require a designer, H&G will secure one on their behalf.
The company boasts an in-house service department whose members have experience in everything from radar installations and churches to historical renovations and high-tech sites. Highly-trained technicians perform regular maintenance, emergency services, energy management, electronic monitoring, and other services.
H&G respects timelines, even on extremely demanding fast-track schedules, when timely delivery is critical. The company has collaborated with clients on jobs ranging from under $1 million to over $15 million, and its commitment to service and quality has led to praise from clients such as Verizon Online and Dallas-based Andres Construction.
H&G Systems has amassed a lengthy portfolio of projects for Verizon as well as the Greenhill School Performing Arts Center dining expansion, the Wyndham Data Centre UPS 2N project, One Dallas Center, the Mercantile Dallas Tower and many others.
H&G Systems has done considerable amounts of business recently in the downtown Dallas area. The second largest city in Texas is experiencing a significant revitalization, and the company is playing an integral role in this.
About twenty years ago, many businesses left Dallas’ downtown core for the suburbs. The result was that many older buildings were left vacant for a long time. Recent economic growth and activity have seen eleven of these vacant buildings undergo extensive renovations and refurbishment. These structures have been transformed for mixed-use with retail on the ground floor and apartments above.
The demand for H&G’s HVAC and plumbing services is great. “That’s what we’ve been doing predominantly for the past several years, and this is what will keep us busy for the next couple of years,” says Yaney.
Many of the company’s recent works were initiated by the local business community which provided incentives to developers to refurbish the buildings and give them a new life. One example is the downtown redevelopment of 1401 Elm which is to be renamed The Drever.
The building, which opened in 1965, was created for the First National Bank of Dallas. In 1991, an environmental study revealed asbestos-containing materials. This, combined with its size, fractured ownership, and the cost of environmental remediation resulted in its closure in January of 2010. After changing hands a few times, the project was shelved until Drever Capital Management offered $65 million and paid off the lender and creditors. Today, the building has been completely gutted for renovation.
The rebranded Drever will be a showpiece of downtown Dallas, boasting 29,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 236 rooms with ballrooms and meeting facilities. It will also have 44,000 square feet of office space, 348 residential units – thirty-five of which are designated as affordable – and a host of amenities ranging from a wellness spa to an art program, rooftop garden, and a fiftieth-floor public observation deck. The architect behind the project is Dallas-based Merriman Anderson/Architects, Inc. which also has offices in Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina.
“When it was originally built in the 1960s, this building was the tallest west of the Mississippi River,” says Yaney of the fifty-two-story structure.
A Daikin Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system will air condition the hotel and apartment portion of the building and will be the largest Daikin VRF system in North America.
H&G Systems was brought on initially in November of 2015 in a design-assist mode to help the team work through the design of the facility, and it is handling the HVAC portion of the project. Since the original structure was over fifty years old, the team at H&G faced a few challenges, particularly in dealing with building codes, which have changed considerably.
“We had to get really creative on how we could get everything to fit and routed to different spaces,” comments Yaney. “There were actually holes in the old joist structures for the equipment to go through, and the air conditioning loads in today’s world are much higher than they were back then, so it’s a challenge to get enough duct and piping through all the existing structure to make it all work. The whole process is very detailed and time-consuming.”
H&G Systems sees itself in a growth mode shortly as it takes advantage of the considerable building redevelopment going on in downtown Dallas.
“We are in a very hot market right now,” says Yaney. “We are growing, and we are looking to do more design-build and design-assist type of projects and customers that are looking for good partners who can not only build quality work but also assist in the design process.”
The company is currently working on three of these types of projects, and Yaney says many of the upgrades since 2004 have used water source heat pump HVAC systems.
“And in that timeframe, we have installed over 2,500 water source heat pumps, and that doesn’t include the few buildings that we are currently working on. So we’ve got some expertise in that market.”