Transforming the World One Building at a Time

Perfection Group
Written by Allison Dempsey

Delivering state-of-the-art facilities management technology for more than 70 years throughout the Southeast and Midwest, Perfection Group provides solutions that reduce operating costs of facilities and buildings.

Offering a unique approach with a focus on energy-efficient facility operations, the family-owned company simplifies managing HVAC projects, design-build projects, and maintenance tasks, to name a few, with precision, care, and commitment to quality.

“My grandfather started the business out of the basement of his house in 1951,” says Todd Albrecht, owner and CEO. “He wasn’t an engineer by education, but he had a lot of skills that would lend themselves to engineering.”

This was during a time when homes still burned coal as the primary fuel for heating, but the conversion to natural gas was emerging.

“We started in that residential world and eventually worked our way after about a decade into the commercial construction business. From there, we splintered out and grew. But we’ve been family-owned and operated the entire time we’ve been in business which is pretty cool.”

Family values
Owning and keeping the business in the family has strongly contributed to the company’s success, he says. “My dad always says one of the greatest compliments anybody can pay me is the employees wanting their sons or daughters working here,” Todd says. For Perfection Group, that’s exactly the case. “It’s not just our family’s history here; we have lots of family members that are non-Albrechts working here,” greatly contributing to the overall culture.

“It’s unique, and it works really well for us,” he says. “It’s about commitment and longevity and having that history with people and their families.”

Everyone comes together like a family to uphold Perfection Group’s newly rebranded mission and vision, which has allowed the company to focus on the purpose of its work, much of which involves sustainability and educating clients about efficiency.

A new purpose
“We’re going after the savings,” Todd says. “30 percent of all the utilities that go to power buildings is wasted. A lot of the time we lead with those types of messages when we talk to building owners.” And more and more businesses are responding favorably and looking to embrace going green.

“Since we’ve shifted our talk-track focus to this higher purpose, going after the savings and the big problem of wasted energy out there in the world, it has completely changed the conversation in a very positive way. People connect to that bigger purpose and it’s making a huge difference.”

Todd’s brother John Albrecht, owner and COO, adds that the company’s energy side of the business works to save money for people in kilowatt hours and gas. “That’s a big saving for the Earth part because of our ESCOs (Energy Saving Companies) business.”

Perfection Group also stands out for its varied capabilities that include service, regular maintenance, construction, green solutions, energy savings, and performance contract work.

“It’s pretty unusual to have all that under one company,” says John. “We can build a building from the ground up brand new, we can service that building for the life of it, and then we can replace all the equipment with new energy-efficient equipment 20 years later, and you’ll deal with just one company.”

While there are service companies, construction companies, and ESCOs, rarely is all that covered in just one company. “We like to say we can take care of everything from cradle to grave, from the beginning to the end,” John says.

Sustainability and “going green” have also proven to be a good fit with Perfection Group’s clients, especially as more clients grasp their benefits. “Government, schools, cities, and counties embrace it first because they have a longer horizon for a payback threshold, and they’re more willing to accept that eight- or ten-year payback.”

Making a difference
Perfection Group is making a difference in a variety of projects.

One such is Utica Elementary School in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where the company modernized the school’s HVAC systems to improve ventilation, air quality, energy efficiency, comfort, and the learning environment while reducing operating costs. Funding came largely from federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding (ESSER) and a bond issuance.

There is also the Boyle County Fiscal Court in Danville, Kentucky, one of the company’s numerous projects in the area, where it covered upgrades to six facilities.

The energy conservation measures included installation of an energy-efficient multi-zone Variable Refrigerant Flow system at the courthouse, gas-fired generators at the courthouse and jail, and the replacement of 22 roof-mounted package HVAC units at the jail with high-efficiency rooftop units.

The new rooftop units utilized economizers and environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant. All of these measures brought guaranteed savings of $549,943 annually.

“On the private business side, the number one focus is still, ‘what’s the payback?’ The environmental impact is further down the list of what’s important, but this will change as the technologies get better and the prices get cheaper,” John says.

This commitment to making a difference—not only in people’s everyday lives but in the world—is what drives the company, says Andrew Apro, President of the Green Solutions Group.

“Fundamentally, for the longest time, the company had a culture of sales, and that would drive revenue,” he says. That was important, as the group was selling more efficient equipment, lighting retrofits, and green roofs, and for a long time, it was of financial benefit not only to the employee but also to the organization.

Changing our world
“Now,” he says, “we’ve changed our mission, our vision, our values, and our purpose, and I think we truly believe a well-managed building can change our world, not only because of financial benefit and because our customers save money, but because it has a direct impact on the environment we live in.”

It can be as simple as changing the filters at the office building for better ventilation, Andrew adds. While large, comprehensive energy projects are vital, the simple things, from maintenance to a roof replacement to changing lightbulbs, can make a true difference in the company.

“We’ve changed so much over the years, all of it for the better,” says Andrew. “We’ve become more diverse, but we haven’t lost that touch. Even though John and Todd are the leaders, they understand it’s critically important to feel that way because we then convey that to our customers. It makes for a better all-around experience for the end user who is our client, and also for the world we’re serving, through sustainability.”

The future also looks bright for a company striving to make a difference. As a younger, more idealistic generation enters the workforce, their principles and beliefs seem to align more directly with companies like Perfection Group.

Youth on a mission
“Some of the younger talent we are interviewing and looking to bring on to our company have their own mission,” says Andrew. “They want to do something impactful beyond the paycheck. And it’s a fantastic industry because we can help a client in a lot of ways, and provide an environmental benefit.”

This passion for serving clients while making a difference in the world is one that Andrew deeply understands. Working on the energy side of the business, his main focus is helping clients reduce their consumption, overhead, and operating costs, and modernize and fix all buildings to make them as healthy and sustainable as possible.

“We’re proud of the work we do in the educational environment, both the K-12 level and higher ed, because we believe those are spaces that need to be efficient; they need to be healthy buildings,” he says. “And we have to balance that efficiency, that comfort, and that health. Those three things are critical to any building, whether commercial, restaurant, or school.”

Andrew notes that many of the school and office buildings the company goes into have hardly any fresh air coming in. “Our focus is designing to enhance that. We need outdoor air. One, it’s good for efficiency, and two, it’s good for health, which is critically important. We’ve opened many people’s eyes to building health and sick building syndrome. It’s not only been great for our business, but it’s also been super impactful on our mission.”

The meaning of work
And that mission is one Perfection Group aims to instill in all employees, both current and future.

“The vast majority of the people we hire are skilled labor,” says Todd. “We’re trying to get that group to understand that the work is more than just hanging sheet metal or doing maintenance on rooftop units. There’s something bigger you’re doing here, and you need to understand the impact you’re having on the world. And that message is resonating.”

It’s a message that’s been entwined in the company’s DNA from the very beginning: a focus on making facilities more efficient that has powered the company’s sense of purpose.

“We believe a well-managed facility can transform our world,” he adds. “By making those facilities more efficient, making them run better, seeing the energy savings reduce operating costs, we’re not only improving the customer’s bottom line, but we’re also improving the world we live in.”

While understanding efficiency is the name of the game, there’s no sacrificing comfort, he says. It’s a fine balancing act.

“When we go in and evaluate these facilities, we look for savings, but we also have to balance people’s comfort and the building’s health. We understand that kind of holistic picture. We like to think comfort, efficiency, and health, and how they are three concentric circles. And our job is to hit the target right in the middle where those three circles combine.”

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