Case Studies

O.C. McDonald Co. Inc.

Building and servicing the Bay Area for more than a century

For more than a century, O.C. McDonald Co. Inc. has been one of the Bay Area’s leading plumbing, process piping and HVAC contractors and service providers. Located in San Jose, California, O.C. McDonald is known for its quality workmanship and has accomplished some of the most complicated installations in the valley. By building a reputation built on combining old fashioned values with innovative technology, O.C. McDonald is able to provide its customers with consistent quality, excellent customer service and a contractor that is on time and on budget.

Founded in 1906 by Oren Charles (O.C.) McDonald, O.C. McDonald is the oldest company of its kind in the Bay Area. In fact, the company installed the very first air conditioning system in the city of San Jose. Today, O.C.’s great grandson, Jim McDonald, is continuing the legacy by serving as owner and operator of the company.

O.C. McDonald Co. Inc.

As a full-service mechanical contractor, O.C. McDonald provides comprehensive design, installation and service for commercial new construction and retrofit projects. The company’s turnkey approach allows it to manage all aspects of a project, reducing potential complications and minimizing costs for its customers. A well-rounded company, O.C. McDonald specializes in building information and 3-D modeling, building automation systems, building services, commissioning, design-build, fabrication, HVAC piping, plumbing, process piping, sheet metal and LEED certification.

Building a high-profile portfolio

Over the years, O.C. McDonald has garnered and retained high-profile clients such as Lockheed Martin, NASA, Apple, Stanford University and Google. “One of our critical support roles as a vendor has been with Google, for the last 10 years,” says J Brennan, controller for O.C. McDonald. “We provide our valued customers with design-build solutions for office space, server rooms, central plants, labs and their restaurants. There are numerous tenant improvement projects underway at any given time on these campuses, and the moment the call comes in for a retrofit or modernization project, our team hits the ground running.”

In recent years, O.C. McDonald has increased its market share in the health care and higher education sectors.

In recent years, O.C. McDonald has increased its market share in the health care and higher education sectors. One of the larger projects that O.C. McDonald recently completed was with Regional Medical Center of San Jose. The job included a large-scale installation of HVAC and plumbing systems.

As of May 2016, the company was involved in a large-scale project with the University of California Santa Cruz at its Coastal Biology Building. “It was a large overhaul renovation,” Brennan explains. “Most of it from our end involved a lot of plumbing and piping work.”

Brennan notes that with the economy bouncing back, the industry is witnessing a surge in tenant improvement and retrofit work. With Stanford University building a new hospital, O.C. McDonald has been contracted to complete piping and ductwork for the new parking garage that will accompany the facility.

O.C. McDonald Co. Inc.

The term success can have numerous definitions when applied to business. With the bottom line being a common measured aspect of progress and sustainability, many companies often dig deeper into in the search for a purpose and what it gives back to the community, environment and world. For O.C. McDonald, one of the top priorities of the company is safety. The company has developed a disciplinary policy and takes appropriate actions regarding employee compliance with established safe work practices and the use of personal protection equipment.

“We also like to spread around the wealth throughout the company,” shares Brennan. “We appreciate the hard work and talent that everyone brings to the table. That’s a big part of creating great managers and employees.”

A bright future

With the transition of baby boomers retiring and millennials entering the workforce, the construction industry is feeling a shortage in the talent pool in regard to the younger generation entering the trades. Brennan says that O.C. McDonald has not experienced an issue in this area yet, but is planning ahead for any situation that may present itself. “I think we’re still a few years away from that having a really big impact on us,” asserts Brennan. “It’s always in the back of our minds though.”

This preparation for the next generation extends to O.C. McDonald’s leadership team, where fifth-generation owner Matt McDonald is currently being groomed to eventually step in and take over the family business.

Brennan also says that with apprenticeship and journeyman programs, people are set in place to provide O.C. McDonald and its clients a level of experience that remains consistent with the company’s capabilities. “It’s not like when the baby boomers retire we’ll have to start over,” he shares. “There are generations in between that will be able to pass on wisdom and experience to the younger folks while still having a long career of ahead them here.”

Whether the job is simple or complex, O.C. McDonald provides the ultimate in quality, design, installation and aesthetics. Helping to build the Silicon Valley for more than a century, O.C. McDonald Co. Inc. will remain the Bay Area’s go-to contractor for turnkey mechanical contracting and servicing solutions.

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It was an absolute pleasure working with the team at Blueprint. Their genuine interest in our company's journey not only resulted in a delightful piece, but gave us the opportunity to recognize some of the unsung heroes of our rapidly-growing organization. We are grateful for the opportunity to highlight the development and growth of our now well-established work-hard, play-harder culture.
— Cole Settem, Communications Coordinator, Brain Corp
Working with the Blueprint team was both a pleasure and a great learning experience. They went to great lengths to assure the article was reflective of my vision. I could not be happier working with each team member involved in bringing the final production to print. This experience has helped me realize the importance of marketing my business and how powerful the services offered have given my business credibility and exposure.
— Joan Magill, Founder, Residential Realty Group Inc.


vol IV 2024


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