About

More Than 130 Years of Success

The Kroeschell story starts on the busy streets of Chicago in 1879, shortly after the Great Fire that nearly destroyed America’s Second City. It was then that the four industrious sons of Herman Kroeschell, a recent German immigrant, founded the Kroeschell Brothers Company and started a company that would become a recognized industry leader.

The Kroeschell Brothers Company began as boiler manufacturers and piping contractors, producing boilers, tanks, stacks and steam separators, as well as designing and installing new systems. While Kroeschell has its roots in boiler manufacturing, an innovation was about to enter the American scene, cooling, and the brothers were destined to be at its forefront.

The Kroeschell Brothers were among the first to embrace cooling technology and by the close of the 19th century, Kroeschell had formed the Kroeschell Brothers Ice Machine Company, and became the first American company to design, manufacture and install CO2 refrigeration equipment up to 250 tons in capacity.

In 1906, Kroeschell pushed the envelope, designing, building and installing an air-cooling system in the Congress Hotel in Chicago, widely recognized as the first air-conditioning system in America. The success of this project and many others led to interest from outside companies. In 1922, Kroeschell merged with the Brunswick Refrigerating Company to form the Brunswick-Kroeschell Company. The combined company was capable of manufacturing carbon dioxide and ammonia equipment for land-based and marine applications.

Eight years later, at the onset of the Wall Street Crash, a three-way merger followed, and Brunswick-Kroeschell joined with both the Carrier Engineering Company and the York Heating and Ventilating Company to form the world-famous Carrier Corporation. However, in 1932, four executives — including Robert and Paul Kroeschell — resigned from Carrier to form the Kroeschell Engineering Company, and a new era began.

Firmly rooted in the city where everything began, the company flourished. In 1934, Kroeschell landed the coveted contract to cool Chicago’s famous Tribune Tower—one of the crown jewels of Chicago architecture. Using a 600-ton chiller that supplied nearly 400 Westinghouse space air conditioners on 32-floors, Kroeschell quickly completed a job described by Westinghouse as “one of the largest unit air conditioning installations in the world.”

From that point forward, Kroeschell continued to expand its operations, providing new services to its swelling client base that comprised some of the best-known institutions and the world’s most respected brands including Abbott Laboratories, the Field Museum of Natural History, Pfizer, University of Chicago Hospitals, Northwestern University, Caterpillar, Ernst & Young, Zurich/Scudder Investments and the Wrigley Company.

In 1959, Kroeschell entered the HVAC service business, founding Kroeschell Engineering Service, Inc. and creating one of the largest service companies in the country. Nine years later, Kroeschell Operations, Inc. was added, providing industrial systems and plant operations support to major manufacturers and government entities.

As the economy went into overdrive in the 1980s, so did Kroeschell, adding even more capabilities. In 1982, Kroeschell acquired O’Callaghan Brothers, Inc., enabling Kroeschell to design, install and service plumbing systems. In 1985, Kroeschell responded to the increasing demand for power distribution and control systems, forming an electrical power and controls department within Kroeschell Engineering Service.

Kroeschell has grown far beyond its original roots, becoming more than a distinguished leader in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Through its many services, Kroeschell has become a global business partner, enhancing the performance and productivity of our customers. After more than 135 years in business, we remain committed to doing it all one relationship at a time.

Executive Committee

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Ed Swietek
Chairman of the Board

rich-pruchniak-2-updated

Rich Pruchniak
CEO

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William Chambers
President, Operations

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Barry Klassy, PE
President, Engineering

Safety

Our proactive safety program is based on continuous training and improvement, and the idea that even though training costs a little time, an injury will cost you a whole lot more. By repeatedly reinforcing safety with our employees we have created a culture that is 100% safety-focused. Our safety efforts have been so successful that some of our clients have asked us to train their staff in the “Kroeschell Way.”

At Kroeschell, we have remarkably high standards when it comes to safety, and it shows in every facility, every day. It also shows in our EMR rating which is nearly 30% lower than the national average. Many companies might not realize that by focusing on safety you really are focusing on performance. When safety improves, quality and efficiency inevitably improve as a result.

Current EMR Rating of 0.57

Kroeschell exceeds industry safety standards:

  • OSHA 30 Certification for all Supervisors and PMs
  • OSHA 10 Certification for all Field Employees
  • EM 385 1-1 Certification
  • NFPA 70-E Certification
  • OSHA Confined Space Rescue Capabilities
  • Daily Job and Activity Hazard Analysis
  • New Employee Safety Orientation
  • Classroom Employee Safety Training
  • Online Safety University That Assigns and Tracks Employees’ Safety Training
+ Proactive Safety Program

Our proactive safety program is based on continuous training and improvement, and the idea that even though training costs a little time, an injury will cost you a whole lot more. By repeatedly reinforcing safety with our employees we have created a culture that is 100% safety-focused. Our safety efforts have been so successful that some of our clients have asked us to train their staff in the “Kroeschell Way.”

+ EMR Rating

At Kroeschell, we have remarkably high standards when it comes to safety, and it shows in every facility, every day. It also shows in our EMR rating which is nearly 30% lower than the national average. Many companies might not realize that by focusing on safety you really are focusing on performance. When safety improves, quality and efficiency inevitably improve as a result.

Current EMR Rating of 0.57

+ Value-Added Safety

Kroeschell exceeds industry safety standards:

  • OSHA 30 Certification for all Supervisors and PMs
  • OSHA 10 Certification for all Field Employees
  • EM 385 1-1 Certification
  • NFPA 70-E Certification
  • OSHA Confined Space Rescue Capabilities
  • Daily Job and Activity Hazard Analysis
  • New Employee Safety Orientation
  • Classroom Employee Safety Training
  • Online Safety University That Assigns and Tracks Employees’ Safety Training

Why Kroeschell

A long standing tradition of doing things right.

Kroeschell prides itself on its long history of customer service and is committed to creating partnerships with our clients who rely on us to deliver the right solution at the right time. We are large enough to take on your most complex tasks, yet agile enough to respond rapidly to your special needs. Customers have and always will come first, and that is our commitment to you!

Learn More

Customers Include

  • Rush UniversityRush University
  • Field MuseumField Museum
  • UICUIC
  • George W. BushGeorge W. Bush
  • GSAGSA
  • CaterpillarCaterpillar
  • AbbottAbbott
  • USAFUSAF
  • USACEUSACE
  • WrigleyWrigley

Affiliations

Association Membership

  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Healthcare Engineers Society of Northern Illinois (HESNI)
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago (MCA)
  • Electrical Contractors Association—City of Chicago (ECA)
  • National Electrical Contractors Association, Inc. (NECA)
  • Building Owners & Managers Association—Suburban Chicago (BOMA)
  • National Safety Council
  • Illinois Safety Council
  • Chicagoland Construction Safety Council
  • The ESOP Association

Local Affiliations

  • IUOE Local 399 – Operating Engineers
  • Local 597 UA Pipefitters
  • IBEW Locals 134, 150, 701 – Electricians
  • Local 130 UA Plumbers