Special to CONTRACTOR
WARWICK, R.I — Hundreds of guests from the heating industry attended the dedication of the U.S. head office and distribution center of the Viessmann heating technology company May 14 here. Speakers at the dedication ceremony included Dr. Martin Viessmann, owner and CEO; Scott Avedisian, mayor of Warwick; and Richard Trethewey, the plumbing and heating expert from “This Old House.”
The new 39,000-sq.-ft. facility was built an a 6-acre piece of land. It features offices, seminar and display rooms and will serve to extend Viessmann’s distribution network and to strengthen the company’s logistical capacity. In addition, it will offer new display and educational facilities for heating technology firms in the area.
The building has been constructed according to an architectural concept closely associated with the Bauhaus style, which is utilized in other Viessmann facilities worldwide. Function, material and a clear expression of forms determine the building’s character and aesthetic.
“All our buildings conform to an architectural style,” Dr. Viessmann told the audience. “The style of the building allows expansion to take place with additions without changes to the original structure.”
He added that the company’s $7.5 million investment demonstrates a solid commitment to the company’s U.S. partners.
“Keeping a close relationship with our business partners has been an essential part of the Viessmann company philosophy for decades,” said Ed Nordstrom, vice president and general manager for Viessmann’s U.S. operation. “This new state-of-the-art facility represents our continued commitment to the United States market and will further enhance product training and product availability for our customers.”
Dr. Viessmann represents his family’s third generation at the head of the company. In 2001, Viessmann generated revenues of more than $1 billion (U.S.). Viessmann employs 6,800 people worldwide. The company produces heating technology components in 10 plants in Germany and abroad. A distribution network of a total of 105 sales offices in Germany, as well as 32 other countries, provides an international presence and close proximity to customers.
The range of products is comprised of oil- and gas-fired hot water heating boilers rated from 4 to 150,000 kW, including a closed range of gas-fired condensing boilers rated from 4 to 6,600 kW; a complete program of gas-fired, wall-mounted heating and condensing boilers; and wall-mounted, oil-fired condensing technology. In accordance with Viessmann system technology, components such as water heating boilers, burners, controls, stainless steel or Ceraprotect enamel domestic hot water tanks, stainless steel heat exchangers, secondary air devices, heating circuit distributors, solar energy collectors, heat pumps and ventilation systems have been specially developed and matched with one another. The program also includes block heating systems and delivery stations for domestic and district heating systems.
Trethewey urged the contractors in the audience to think in terms of hydronic heating systems rather than component or pieces. As the heating industry grows more sophisticated, contractors should think of themselves as environmental contractors rather than heating contractors or plumbers, he said.
“We will look back on today’s heating systems the same way as we look at avocado kitchens or pink bathrooms,” Trethewey said.
In the company’s information centers — Battenberg/Eder and Berlin, Germany, and Faulquemont and Paris, France — as well as in all their 105 sales offices in Germany and abroad, heating specialists and architects are familiarized with modern heating technology. Last year 70,000 people participated in events held at the Viessmann academy.