Mechanical, Inc. – a nearly 50-year old mechanical, concrete, steel erection and fabrication contractor based in Freeport, Ill. – booked $304.75 million in Midwest work in 2017, up 10% from $294.7 million in 2016. That’s a move from 7 to 5 on our preliminary Midwest Top Specialty Contractors list and enough to make the perennial Top 10 fixture our Midwest Specialty Contractor of the Year.

Mechanical, Inc., continues to work on a vast range of projects in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska including $44 million of steel and mechanical work on the new Kellogg School of business on the Northwestern campus in Evanston, Ill., 200,000 work hours on mechanical, plumbing and medical gas at Mercyhealth’s new medical campus in Rockford, Ill., for a $60 million contract on the overall $465-million project.

"We had six people on the job early on and we were actually coordinating as we went," says Brian Helm, founder and president of Mechanical. Inc. "It was a very fast-track project because the owner had some real tight deadlines and we did that whole project, it was over 200,000 man-hours of our scope, that we did in about ten months."

Using early coordination, and participating in projects using a building information model for both prefabrication and fast turnaround has become Mechanical, Inc.'s bread and butter. The Mercyhealth project is one of 30 large-scale, bed-tower hospitals that Mechanical, Inc. has worked on in the last 10 years.

Large-scale projects with complicated coordination issues inspired Helm to invest in the company's first offsite prefabrication shop way back in 1972. Since then, prefab has been a part of nearly all Mechanical, Inc.'s work and the company has continued expanding and adding more square footage, moving its three pipe shops and its 40,000-sq-ft sheet metal shop closer to the areas it works in the most.

Mechanical, Inc.'s HVAC service operation has grown 20% per year for the last four years. In 2017, Mechanical, Inc. performed more than 1.5 million work hours and maintained an EMR of just .52.

Your company can still be represented in our Top Specialty Contractors listing if you submit soon. Our preliminary list of more than 50 Midwest specialty contractors, listed alphabetically, is below.

Top Specialty Contractors

A&R Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

Aldridge Electric, Inc.

American Technologies, Inc.

Associated Mechanical Contractors Inc

BMWC Constructors, Inc.

Clean Earth, Inc.

Comfort Systems USA

ComNet Communications, LLC

Concrete Strategies LLC

Conti Corporation


Dunbar Mechanical, Inc.

EMCOR Group, Inc.


Faith Technologies, Inc.

Gaylor Electric, Inc.

GEM Inc.

Gribbins Insulation

Guarantee Electrical Co.

H.J. Martin and Son

Hard Rock Concrete Cutters, Inc.

High Concrete Group LLC

Integrated Facility Services, Inc.


J. F. Ahern Co.


Kent Companies, Inc.

Lake Erie Electric Companies

Lithko Contracting, LLC

MasTec, Inc.

MC Industrial, Inc.

Mechanical Inc.

Miller Electric Company

MMC Contractors, Inc.

Newkirk Electric Associates, Inc.

Otto Baum Company, Inc.

PayneCrest Electric, Inc.

Premier Electrical Corp

Ryan Incorporated Central

Sachs Electric Company

Sentinel Safety & Security Group, LLC

Sterling Boiler & Mechanical, LLC

Sure Steel, Inc.

Terra Millennium Corporation

The Morse Group Inc

The Rockwell Group, Inc.

Thomas Industrial Coatings

Tri-City Electric Company of Iowa

U.S. Engineering Company

Universal Plant Services, Inc.

Ventana Design-Build Systems

Wiegmann & Associates, Inc.