E.M. Duggan

EM Duggan picE.M. Duggan is a top mechanical contractor in Massachusetts because it continues to look for ways to enhance its diverse suite of services.
By Eric Slack

Founded in 1891, E.M. Duggan has grown from a small plumbing repair and maintenance business into a top-quality plumbing, HVAC and fire protection contractor in eastern Massachusetts. Now in its fifth generation as a family run business and at 125 years old, E.M. Duggan is known for high-quality work, outstanding service, completing projects on time, within budget, and controlling cost through prefabrication capabilities.

Today, E.M. Duggan’s capabilities extend from pre-construction, CAD services, prefabrication and plumbing to HVAC, fire protection, safety and quality, green building and 24-hour services. It has diversified its services over time while ensuring consistent quality throughout expansion. E.M. Duggan has kept up with emerging market technologies like BIM, and it has demonstrated its ability to work in a wide variety of sectors, including commercial, industrial, institutional, medical, government, educational, hospitality, laboratories, mixed use, stadiums, theaters, LEED certified and multifamily residential.

“The company has become a full-service mechanical contractor, revolutionizing itself over time,” Executive Vice President of Operations Len Monfredo says. “We are one of the top mechanical contractors in Boston in revenue, and have been involved with many of the biggest projects in the area. We mainly work within greater Boston, but we are a union shop, and unions are aggressively going after more projects and setting up residential rates for locals. Those rates will help us to compete in more places.”

Strong Roots

Although E.M. Duggan is comfortable working in any sector of the construction industry, the company’s project portfolio is usually dictated by market conditions. Right now, the company is seeing heightened levels of activity in market sectors such as multifamily and laboratory work, but it will go with the flow of the market and work on any kind of project. EM Duggan box

“We’ve done everything, and we have personnel that has knowledge of each area,” Monfredo says. “Because of our people, we can do any kind of work. We have foremen that are great at doing each type of project, and that is because we have done everything over time. That experience gives us an edge and the capacity to take on every kind of work because we’ve been gaining diverse experience.”

E.M. Duggan has been brought on to projects in many different ways. Often owners, architects or general contractors will proactively look to the company early in the process to assist with design at a project’s inception. Other times, the company earns work by winning bids.

“We love to be involved with designing systems and figuring out the best way to get something done,” Monfredo says. “Overall, we have developed very strong relationships and experience, and the quality of our reputation is very important to our success. Many people want to work with us and will vouch for us because people who have worked with us feel very comfortable about what we can provide. We’ve built those relationships and experiences over time with many owners, general contractors, engineers and architects in the Boston area, and maintaining our reputation is a key for us.”

Always Improving

E.M. Duggan started out in a 4,000-square-foot building and has expanded its facilities dramatically throughout its history. At one time, it had a single facility in Canton, Mass., where it did all fabrication in 30,000 square feet. Today, the company has three facilities and more than 120,000 square feet of production space.

“We have an HVAC facility, an administration facility, and a plumbing and prefabrication facility,” Monfredo says. “Our space is state of the art, and we’ve been making our spaces more collaborative so there is more connection between trades, managers and coordinators.”

Additionally, the company has updated its equipment and its facilities in the field. It has the highest-quality cutting, welding and fitting machines so it can do as much prefabrication as possible and eliminate issues in the field.

“We are much more efficient with our labor force and can do more with less,” Monfredo says. “We can make products and systems in advance and store them in our intelligent warehouse so we can easily access it when we need it. Everything is about working smarter and focusing on safety. Safety breeds quality, and prefabrication capabilities are critical in today’s building industry.”

Fundamentally, E.M. Duggan is a mechanical contractor that is on the cutting-edge of its industry. This is important in a world where the construction industry expects faster results and higher quality.

“We have the equipment that allows us to do work with machines that used to be done manually,” Monfredo says. “These systems are driving schedules and quality, and keeping up with those trends is important, we want to maintain our reputation and history of being trail blazers in the industry.

E.M. Duggan knows it must continue to stay at the cutting-edge of technology and equipment while ensuring that it has strong, well-trained people on its staff. The company is committed to a culture that fosters a love for the company’s work and collaboration. In the years ahead, E.M Duggan leaders Vin Petroni, Len Monfredo, Rick Dorci and Kevin Walsh - along with the entire Duggan team - will continue to seek work in the greater Boston area as well as branching out into different markets, all the while looking for ways to become even more efficient.

“We want to be able to perform work quicker and server owners better, because building go up much faster today than they used to,” Monfredo says. “Fortunately, our past and present leaders have fostered a mentality here that is committed to succeeding and always improving what we do.”

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