Collaboration-driven innovation for 70+ years
Founded in 1949, Southland is an MEP building systems expert offering full lifecycle solutions, from design through building maintenance. We've grown from a local heating and cooling company to a national MEP leader.
Southland's early days
Southland Industries begins as a small furnace company in Southern California called Southland Heating.
June 17, 1949
- Six employees purchase the Payne Furnace Long Beach, California branch for $24,000. Renaming it Southland Heating, the new company consists of three majority stakeholders and three minority stakeholders: Don Will, Donald E. Sullivan, Robert N. Hall, Lawrence Redwine, Charles E. Watson, and Margaret G. Stimson.
A "Lean" journey begins
Long before the concept of green building, Southland takes a "Lean" approach to projects, focusing on smarter use of materials and less waste. Lean building principles guide us to this day, saving our clients time and money.
- To grow the business, Southland Heating begins to advertise on TV. By the end of 1950, sales quadruple to more than $60,000 a month and employment opportunities grow.
- Southland Heating creates a wholesale company called Advanced Engineering and Supply Corporation (AESC).
- Southland announces new focus on commercial work. To be competitive, Southland asks that each crew be careful about not using more material than they need per job to reduce waste — an early example of Lean principles.
- To better serve our clients, Southland splits into four divisions, each with their own goals: new construction, built construction, service, and appliance sales and installation.
- Southland opens a Pasadena, California office.
- Southland changes name to Southland Heating and Cooling to reflect the recent rise in popularity of air conditioning in commercial construction.
- TCM Corp., a future Southland Industries company, is founded in January.
A framework for design-build
In 1968, Southland performs our first design-build project for a mall, foreshadowing the many design-build engagements to come.
- Southland transitions from doing residential to commercial work and moves headquarters to Long Beach, California.
- Southland sells our first, large design-build mall (Oxnard). Our relationship with the general contractor during construction helps to vault Southland into markets throughout the western states.
Southland starts in-house engineering department
Southland adds in-house engineering to capabilities.
- Starts in-house engineering department, expanding our capabilities.
- Revenue climbs to $11 million and we make our debut in the "Book of Giants," Contracting Magazine's annual list of top contractors.
Southland Heating becomes Southland Industries
To reflect services beyond heating and cooling, we change our name to Southland Industries, formally establishing our current brand.
- Due to an increased demand within the industry, the pipefitting trade is added as part of our core offerings.
- Mike Moore becomes CEO.
- Moore changes the name from Southland Heating and Cooling to Southland Industries, Inc., reflecting Southland as a large-scale business that offers many services in addition to heating and cooling.
Expanding our reach
To mark 50 years of excellence, an energy services division, plumbing solutions, and multiple U.S. offices are added.
- Southland Industries Service Company (SISCO) is formed, providing service, retrofits, and building automation solutions.
- Honolulu, Hawaii office opens.
- The Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) initiative, a Lean concept, is introduced, which allows Southland to improve production and operation of our facilities while reducing waste.
- Energy Services Division is formed.
- Southland Industries ranks #12 in Engineering News-Record magazine (ENR).
- Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada offices open.
- Revenue reaches $103.5 million.
- The plumbing trade is added into our core capabilities.
- Our first international projects in Tijuana and Mexico City, Mexico are completed.
- Denver, Colorado, Portland, Oregon, and Houston, Texas offices open.
- Richmond, Virginia office opens.
- HPAC Magazine publishes landmark article, "Consultant/Contractor Collaboration–An Alternative," about design-build by Southland's Mike Moore and David C. J. Peters.
- Southland launches Architectural System Division (ASD), developing cleanroom envelope systems for the electronics industry.
- Burns Mechanical, a future Southland Industries company, is founded.
- San Jose, California office opens.
- Southland celebrates our 50th anniversary.
- SISCO is sold to Reliant Energy Solutions.
A decade of strategic growth
Southland pivots to design-build and design-assist, marking an intentional shift in business strategy. Fire protection and energy modeling are added to our in-house solutions.
- Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, is brought in by Andy Fimiano, future Southland CEO, for a strategic planning session, resulting in Southland's change in focus to design-build and design-assist. This change is validated by the federal government's turn to design-build for all its projects.
- Contracting Business Magazine votes Southland Industries "Commercial Contractor of the Year."
- Andy Fimiano becomes CEO.
- Southland purchases Maximum Fire Protection and adds fire protection to our capabilities.
- Revenue reaches $258 million.
- Starts self-performing controls on new projects.
- Southland is recognized with the highest safety award, James T. Smerz – Award of Honor, which is awarded to the safest contractor within an elite group.
- In-house energy modeling group is started.
- Southland innovates, designs, and builds a new modular fire pump room on wheels for fire protection to reduce costs resulting from the complicated design and construction associated with pump rooms.
- The Southland Green Team is officially formed to implement energy conservation and recycling.
Becoming a $1 billion company
As Southland grows through acquisitions and expanded services, including engineering, a former intern rises through the ranks to become CEO.
- Ted Lynch, Southland's first intern in 1996, becomes CEO.
- Revenue reaches $407 million.
- Southland jumps into the growing Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) market with five IPD projects from private clients.
- Southland innovates and bench tests the Fan Powered Induction Unit (FPIU), which has since become an industry standard.
- In honor of the late David C.J. Peters, the David C.J. Peters Scholarship Fund is established with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
- Energy services business is restarted as Southland Energy.
- A new logo, brand, and business strategy (Connected Solutions) is launched.
- Southland acquires ABS Systems, a controls company in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Southland starts Southland Engineering and Southland Service.
- Establishes a $1 billion goal.
- Southland acquires TCM Corp. in Portland, Oregon.
- In October, a new controls company, Envise, is launched.
- Southland acquires Trinity EMCS, a controls company in San Francisco, California.
- Southland Engineering's first office in Tempe, Arizona opens.
- Southland Engineering debuts on CSE's MEP Giants at #60.
- $1 billion revenue goal is reached.
- Southland moves from an 'S' corporation to a 'C' corporation, expanding opportunities for employee ownership.
One company, one vision
Our integrated, "one company" approach ensures we seamlessly share resources and adopt best practices across our national network.
- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Penn Medicine Pavilion project ramps up production in April to meet the increasing needs of healthcare professionals.
- Southland acquires Burns Mechanical in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 29.
- Southland consolidates brands into the "one company" model.
- Southland acquires The Brandt Companies in Texas on April 4.