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What bad looks like

May 4, 2010
Mechanicals burn through their backlogs as government, institutional and green work are the only sectors showing signs of life.

IF LARGE mechanical contractors thought 2009 was a challenging year, 2010 will be even more difficult as the markets on which they depend — hotels, office buildings and industrial work — hit bottom. Only four CII markets are predicted to be up this year: healthcare, educational, public safety and transportation. The Federal government, utilities and large data centers are among the few active customers.

At least one significant mechanical exec predicts a major shakeout in contractor capacity as those firms that took jobs for cash flow lose their shirts and go out of business. A lack of credit and a dearth of small jobs means few startups will take their place.

To live to fight another day, contractors will have to right-size, focus on BIM, and find ways to save customers energy and money.

See the Book of Giants.

Most Profitable Giants

Most of the Giants decline to answer the net profit question and those who do are often not the largest. Here are the nation's most profitable large mechanical contractors and the top managers who produce the best bottom line results.

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