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.
- Added Electrical Engineering capabilities.
- $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.