Climate Engineering, Inc. was founded March 15, 1965 by Lou Bindner and Len Johannes. We started in a tiny corner of a large warehouse/office building on West 2nd Avenue in the South Platte flood plains (we didn’t realize that at the time). There were four employees, including the principals, and two service trucks, driven by Len and Paul Bower.
The primary activity was the sale, installation, maintenance, and repair of air conditioning and refrigeration systems in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. That sounds pretty uptown but we were so hungry for business that we had to do some pretty weird things at times to generate revenue and meet the payroll.
Three months after we opened the doors, they were opened even wider when the top eight feet of the Platte River wiped out our office and shop and deposited a truck load of cabbages from the farm across the alley. That flood devastated the Platte Valley from south of Littleton through Commerce City and left only three usable bridges still standing in the whole metro area.
We operated out of our vehicles and phone booths (no cell phones then) until we found temporary quarters. Within a few months, we moved into our permanent space at 400 South Lipan. The city slowly recovered and we managed to do the same but it was one of two major setbacks we encountered. Company growth was steady but purposely controlled in order to build an organization of highly qualified personnel.
In 1975, we became the factory representatives for Barber-Colman temperature controls in Colorado and southern Wyoming. This enterprise flourished and in a short period of time our company more than doubled in size to 50 people with 25 trucks on the street and a warehouse full of inventory. We moved into our current location, plus two other buildings, to make room for this growth. Ken Winner had already joined us and by this time was one of the owners.
The Denver economy fell off the table in the 80’s with little warning. The construction industry became very unstable and this marked the beginning of the decline in profitable activity in the temperature control market and a change in the profile of operators in that market. This was the second major setback and it lasted into the 90’s.
We sold the temperature control department to Ken Winner and some other employees and returned to our core business in 1985. In the process we pared the company employment to less than half of our high water mark. By this time, Len Johannes had retired and we purposely withdrew from the new construction, plan-and-spec market. Since that time, we seek out design/build work, mainly remodel and add-on projects where we can control the design and can assure the customer a premium job at a fair price.
HVAC maintenance and service remain the backbone of the company. As we grow, we will do so with our service mentality and our original philosophy intact – to remain the employer of choice within our industry and to remain the organization to call upon for the challenging and complicated job. Climate Engineering’s biggest asset is the staff of administrative, sales and technical personnel – in a word, its team of people.
Since 2008, Todd Flannery, a 30 year veteran in the industry has been at the helm of Climate Engineering and Centennial Controls as President and Co Owner. Mr. Flannery’s charter is to take his years of success as a Senior Vice President for The LINC network and improve on a 48 year old culture of quality service and delivery to ensure Climate Engineering and Centennial Controls exceed customers expectations while providing a great environment for professionals to grow individually and collectively with an end result of giving our customers a great experience each and every time.