Boland

Boland allows clients to do what they do best – focus on business, not buildings. Boland has remained a strong presence in the D.C. Metropolitan area for the past 50 years. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based HVAC supplier and solutions provider believes that strong core values and a tightly knit culture developed throughout decades are the keys to its success.

Boland remains a family run business and has “a sense of closeness with associates and a feeling of togetherness that you don’t get in the corporate world,” President Jim Boland says.

Boland began in 1960, and Jim Boland joined the company officially upon graduating from Georgetown University in 1978. He says the firm’s family ownership has become its biggest advantage today. “Even though every company faces challenges, especially in this economy, keeping our family ownership has been a very positive thing for us,” he says. “It allows us the flexibility to chart our own course, and to do some things that businesses in the corporate world may not be able to do.”

Originally a Trane commercial equipment supplier, the company continues to add innovative products and services to meet the demands of modern technology and changes in regulations. The company has become the largest provider of solution services in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and West Virginia. “Our associates provide and install systems integrated into our client’s facility to increase long-term reliability, minimize environmental impact and maximize return on investment throughout the entire lifecycle,” Boland states. Boland says the company’s talented employees set it apart from competitors, leading to its diversification of services. “Over the past 50 years, we have developed solutions, controls and energy efficiency expertise,” Boland explains.

“We can truly service all of our clients’ needs, starting with financing in the accounting department, equipment, service, rentals, water technology and down the road with retrofitting the building or helping achieve LEED certification. Juggling multiple contractors is eliminated with a single-source solution.”

Today's Trends

Two of the biggest trends today are energy efficiency and sustainability. Boland strives to remain ahead of the curve by providing responsible solutions to its clients. “It’s really about doing more with less, and making sure that we’re good stewards of the environment,” Boland says. “But, it’s also important to provide efficient systems without sacrificing comfort.”

The organization’s product and service portfolio offers great variety, and engineers customize each system with the optimal level of efficiency to meet the challenges and expectations of any project. “If energy efficiency is what our customer is after, then we can help them put together a tighter system that will perform better, while saving money in the long-term,” Boland explains.

Boland has developed such a reputation for quality and reliability that the company has become the primary equipment provider to all U.S. embassies worldwide. “We’re so proud of our ability to work with the embassies, but the challenge is that we’re not able to be present when the systems are installed,” Boland says. “Instead, we need to make sure we do a good job with anticipating and eliminating any problems before they occur. These are mission critical operations, supporting the U.S. diplomatic efforts around the world.” The HVAC systems are factory tested prior to being sent overseas. “We go into the factory and make the system operate under a number of conditions, and anticipate as many things as possible before it ships out,” Boland says.

Education is Tool for the Job

The company provides HVAC systems in both new and existing buildings, and understands the unique demands and project challenges of both situations. “We have a strong presence in the existing building market which is unique about us,” Boland explains. “We’ve performed a lot of retrofit jobs, which can be a challenge, especially when working around an ongoing business operation.” The company phases its projects to ensure its work will not interfere with the operation of a business. “Sometimes, phasing the projects a certain way helps a great deal,” Boland says. “It might just be a matter of making sure we have access to certain parts of a floor at a specific time.”

Boland ensures employees are ready to meet the challenges of any project, and stresses the importance of ongoing training. The company has a 120-seat training center, which is the scene for hours of sales, service, leadership, certification and other in-house training.
“We encourage professional development,” he says. “Our staff includes five PE’s, 19 EIT’s and 15 LEED-accredited professionals, among other professional accreditations.”

Employees appreciate these opportunities, and tend to stay with the company for the long term. “Many of our people have grown up in the company, and the long tenure of our people says a great deal about the company,” Boland says. “We’re proud to say that many of the people who helped build the company are still here today. We have an 89-year-old technician who continues to work here every day. I feel this is a strong reason we were recognized locally as a Best Place to Work in four out of the past five years.”

What's in the Future

The company may not have a national reach, but its regional presence remains strong, and Boland sees great growth potential. “The great thing about the market we’re in – the D.C. area – is that it’s simply the best market in the United States,” Boland says. “It’s just a great place to be. It’s a market that will continue to grow, and we’re excited to grow with it.”

Boland says the company’s diversity sets it apart, and will help it continue to find success in the future. “It’s hard to put us in a one-size-fits-all category,” Boland says. “We are active in so many different market segments, and that’s what makes this business such fun. We have opportunities to do a lot of things with many different types of people, which has become a great advantage for us.”

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