Archive for March, 2015

Emergency Response Helps to Avoid Costly Property Damage

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Egan History Image 2Since the 1960s, Egan Company has provided operational support for buildings and their internal systems. Egan’s in-house 24/7/365 call center dispatches qualified trades personnel to service building infrastructures and controls.

Our emergency response is a service many of our customers find valuable. The League of Catholic Women, a local nonprofit organization, found this service useful this past New Year’s Eve when the boiler in their unoccupied Minneapolis building was not running, causing the temperature to rapidly drop to the mid-30s.

“We were two weeks from closing on the sale of the building in Downtown Minneapolis, and the waterline ruptured,” said Fran Rusciano Murnane, Co-President of the League of Catholic Women. “Chaos would have ensued were it not for the commitment, perseverance, and ingenuity of [Egan’s] Nick Millette, Dale Bocan, and Tony Lawrence.”

The City of Minneapolis had shut off the water two days prior because of the break in the main water line. As a result, the boiler ran out of water and stopped running.

Rusciano Murnane received a recommendation to install 30 space heaters throughout the building. However, the cost to deliver 30 heaters on New Year’s Eve would have been incredibly cost prohibitive, let alone the likelihood of finding a bulk quantity of electric heaters on a holiday.

van00srevisedPromises Made

Egan determined that the best solution was to try to get the boiler running. A tool was created that extracted water from the water heater into the boiler. The boiler ran for the next three to five days so water could continue to be forced into it.

Once a sufficient amount of water was fed into the boiler, it was safely turned on and the building began heating again. However, it was soon determined that another city waterline had ruptured that hadn’t yet been discovered. As a result, the waterlines inside the building were not draining, so the potential for additional burst pipes throughout the 20,000 square foot facility was very probable, resulting in extensive property damage.

Egan drained the water from the building fixtures and waterlines, but soon encountered a new problem: these two ruptured waterlines had caused water to leak through the exterior wall into the electrical room near the electrical panel.

As a result, the electrical components needed repair, but the situation was deemed unsafe with water still over the electrical panel.
Once the City shut off the waterline and the environment was safe, all damaged electrical components were repaired within five days of the initial service request.

Promises Kept

The League of Catholic Women was able to successfully close on the sale of their newly purchased building and avoid any costly property damage.

“I am in awe of the professionalism, skill, intelligence, and kindness of Nick, Tony, and Dale. Each of these gentlemen demonstrated the utmost concern in dealing with a dire situation on New Year’s Eve,” Rusciano Murnane said. “In an era of decreasing concern for the customer, these three concerned individuals exhibited the best training and outcomes that anyone could hope or expect.”

(The Egan team mentioned here includes: Nick Millette, HVAC Service Pipefitter; Dale Bocan, Plumber; Tony Lawrence, Electrician.)

Egan Earns Governor’s Safety Awards

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 11, 2015) – The Minnesota Safety Council has awarded four Governor’s Safety Awards to Egan Company for superior performance in workplace safety and health.

“Employers like Egan Company know that safety isn’t automatic,” said Paul Aasen, President of the Minnesota Safety Council. “It takes attention, dedication, and continuous effort to protect employees.”

Egan is one of 79 companies to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award; recipients of this award have incident rates that are 52-90% better than the industry average and a score between 75 and 90 on the safety program evaluation scale. Egan also received three Meritorious Achievement Awards recognizing an outstanding record and incident rates better than the industry average for at least three years, respectively.

“At Egan, we demand safety—for our employees and for our customers,” said Larry Hanson, Egan Company Safety Director. “This recognition from the Minnesota Safety Council is meaningful testament that we have been effective and remained committed to workplace safety at every level.”

Egan is one of 267 Minnesota employers who will be recognized at the Governor’s Safety Awards luncheon at the Minneapolis Convention Center on May 7th. To read more about the scorecard and award categories, visit the Minnesota Safety Council.

About Egan Company

Egan Company is one of the largest, multi-trade, specialty construction contractors and system integrators in the Midwest. We provide in-house expertise in planning, design, engineering, construction, and maintenance, and our workforce represents over 10 skilled trades serving virtually every infrastructure discipline in the industry. Core services include: mechanical, electrical, engineering and design, curtain wall/glazing/panel systems (InterClad), millwrights, fabrication, building systems, controls and system integration, and service. For more information about Egan Company, visit

About Minnesota Safety Council and Award

The Governor’s Safety Awards luncheon is part of the 81st Minnesota Safety & Health Conference, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council. The conference is the oldest and largest gathering of workplace safety and health professionals in the region. The Minnesota Safety Council, founded in 1928, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Minnesota by preventing unintentional injuries.

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Media Contact:
Jessica Johnson

Restoring unused materials

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

A few years ago, Greg Fangel, Egan Company Director of Support Operations, received an out-of-the-blue message on LinkedIn. The message was from Pete O’Keefe, who helps manage Habitat for Humanity’s little-known construction material resale store, ReStore, in the Twin Cities.

The ReStore functions very much like a Goodwill, with new and gently used donations being sold to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Whereas Goodwill stores specialize in clothing and trinket thrifting, ReStores are dedicated to supplying cheap home improvement materials and tools. Companies within the construction industry tend to carry these goods in bulk, so O’Keefe reached out to Egan to inquire about possible donations.

Egan’s first major donation to the ReStore coincided with our acquisition of Weber Electric in 2012. The Weber garage had a collection of wooden ladders that were in good condition. To maintain the highest level of safety, however, Egan opts to use only fiberglass or fiberglass-frame ladders, rendering the Weber ones unusable. The ladder collection was promptly sent to the Twin Cities ReStore location in New Brighton, Minn. All of them sold within a week.

Later on, it became common practice for Egan to donate surplus nuts and bolts left over from jobs. The excess pieces tend to be so numerous that it became more cost-effective to donate them rather than delegate man hours to sorting through all the different sizes and types. When enough pieces accumulate, Egan sends them down to the ReStore by the bucket, where they are subsequently sorted to be sold into plastic bag bundles.

Egan continues to donate to the ReStore today. “Our relationship has grown over the past few years,” said Fangel. “We shed excess and outdated materials, and people in the community receive cheap, contractor-quality tools so they can build new lives. It’s a win-win situation.”

In January, O’Keefe reached out again, but this time to announce that Egan was being recognized as an official corporate sponsor to Habitat for Humanity Twin Cities. The donations are expected to keep flowing as Egan continues to build on promises kept and find more ways to contribute to the community. 

Trending Project Technology

Monday, March 9th, 2015

161024_Egan-Marketing_L_279_0670Staying nimble and accurate is crucial to success, and Egan Company project managers are seeking every edge available to make sure they’re prepared to fulfill customers’ needs. One strategy paying off exceptionally well is the use of tablets equipped with construction apps on project sites.

With this technology, field personnel are able to access accurate drawings and other important documents while looking directly at the feature of which they correspond. The tablets are also connected to a cloud-based server, meaning everything the foremen or installers are looking at is 100% current. As soon as an Egan Building Information Model (BIM) engineer adds a change or addendum, the information is automatically updated to the tablets.

There are several key advantages to adopting this technology. The first is the organization and spread of information is completely streamlined; there’s no need to wait for new drawings or walk back-and-forth from a table to the building feature. The construction apps, like PlanGrid, also show what our field employees need to avoid when installing.

“The crew can actually fly through the model as if they were standing in the building,” said Marty Verduzco, Egan Company Senior Project Manager. “It even shows the features from other trades where they will need to work around.”

The benefits in time management and organization are substantial, but they pale in comparison to the technology’s biggest advantage – reducing the risk of mistakes.

Oftentimes, renderings on paper will be very large and have to be located on a table away from the actual building space, or on a computer hidden away in a trailer. With tablets, there’s no need to piece everything together by memory. And with instantaneous updates, there’s no re-printing, no delivery, and no change-of-hand-process. The risk of having outdated materials lying around is virtually removed – literally.

There are few things more frustrating than installing a day’s worth of material only to realize some small detail had changed and you need to re-do everything. By reducing mistakes, installers can help eliminate the possibility of re-work.

Since Egan began work at the 3M 280 Lab Building in Maplewood, Minn., there have been 37 addendums made to BIM drawings during the installation phase.

“Without this technology, it would have been practically impossible to get all the changes to the field efficiently,” Verduzco said.

The tablets work as tools to strengthen the connection between the installers/foremen onsite and the BIM engineers in the office. Right now they are being implemented sparingly, but as more positive feedback rolls in, the trend of usage will likely spread.

“Having this technology onsite helps to realize the full potential of our BIM engineers and our CAD software,” said Nick Ziegler, Egan Company BIM Group Manager. “It makes communication easier, and the easier an installer/foreman and an engineer can understand each other, the better a project can move forward with speed and surety.”

Planning Ahead for High Demand

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

In the glass industry, business is booming. Projects requiring large quantities of glass are becoming more commonplace. A high demand—yet low glass supply—is leading to longer lead times and increasing prices, making Egan Company’s InterClad team rethink their processes and come up with creative solutions to ensure all customers’ projects are being completed in time.

There are two main glass suppliers within InterClad’s market area: Viracon and Old Castle Building Envelope (OBE). These suppliers obtain untreated, raw glass and treat the glass with sophisticated coatings and glass types that are required to meet thermal dynamics and energy codes.

“There has been tremendous growth in large-scale projects in this market,” said Tim Woolworth, InterClad Senior Vice President. “Many factories don’t have the capacity available to keep up with the demand. I don’t think the industry was prepared for as big of an upswing as we’ve seen in the past year.”

For InterClad’s two main suppliers, lead times used to range from two to six weeks. Now, lead times can range from 12 weeks to six months.

Many suppliers have a first-come, first-serve policy. This means if your project only requires 5,000 square feet of glass, you won’t get pushed to the side when a larger order is placed. Suppliers, like OBE are advising lead times on specific orders as an order is placed, while Viracon has a reservation program.

USBankStadium_DSC_2488As a result, InterClad is planning far in advance for many of their upcoming projects. For example, work is just beginning on the Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium (Vikings). InterClad is providing over 200,000 square feet of glass for this job that was ordered 24 weeks in advance from Viracon. Normally, this glass volume would have to be ordered six to eight weeks in advance.

“The suppliers just don’t have the capacity with equipment and availability of manpower to supply as much glass as the market needs right now,” Woolworth said. “Many recent projects tend to have a higher percentage of glass in the building plans, and a few major projects can take up capacity from a supplier.”

Despite this issue, we are still working under tight deadlines. The solution to working smoothly and efficiently within these tight deadlines is simple: flexibility and foresight. It’s important for general contractors to factor any potential shortages into schedules, and be flexible about changing the project timeline to accommodate any issues.

For example, work will soon begin on the Minnesota Capitol Office Building in St. Paul, Minn. Ideally, glass would be delivered and installed starting early April. However, due to long lead times and only a few spots open on Viracon’s reservation list, the earliest date InterClad can get the glass for the project is early June.

“It puts us more at risk as a company because if one thing goes wrong in the schedule, we get charged a fee and may not get the materials we need to complete the job on time,” Woolworth said. “Our expertise in pre-planning has greatly helped us in situations like this.”

InterClad closely evaluates the schedule and determines if they will be able to obtain the glass specified by an architect under the project timeline. If this is not possible, we work with the general contractor to use an alternative—but comparable—product or adjust the project schedule.

This supply and demand issue can be challenging and difficult; InterClad understands that it’s not something the glass suppliers can help.

“We’re sympathetic to their dilemma,” he said. “Just like Viracon and OBE, we always want to provide the highest quality product to our customers and eliminate any obstacles that we can.”