North Haven Autobody Solar
281 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
North Haven Auto Body applies cutting edge technology through a team of well-trained, customer-oriented specialists who deliver best in class turnkey collision repair services for fleet and consumer customers in Connecticut.
The Business Situation
Recent doubling of sales had overwhelmed the available space causing poor workflow conditions that impacted productivity of workers who were spending 20 hours per week moving cars in and out of the facility in order to complete the various stages of repair work. Owner Bob McSherry decided to expand the workshop and to upgrade the interior and exterior appearance of this 1938 facility.
Solutions for the Expansion and Modernization Challenge
Munger built an 8,800 sq-foot workshop including new foundation and slab, lunchroom, restroom, and mezzanine level office space. Since the existing space was fully operational, the biggest challenge was to provide winter weather protection for equipment and workers during construction without business interruption. The Munger team built a new Varco-Pruden metal building above the old workshop and when it was weather tight, they tore down the old structure. Then, during 25-degree winter conditions, temporary gas lines and electricity were installed to provide a 65-degree heated environment suitable for pouring concrete.
The 1950s masonry style rectangular front office was enhanced by overhanging wood trusses and VP’s metal roofing system that spanned “office-to-workshop” at the same elevation making it look like the entire facility had been built as one. VP siding was installed over the original masonry. The new building provides a high impact visual effect through a large, bright, modern, classy and professional look. Prior to construction, the site required significant drainage work and a large amount of structural quality fill to enable an even elevation from back to front.
Most recently North Haven Auto Body went “Green.” Owner, Robert McSherry, takes the responsibility of utilizing sustainable energy very seriously. Munger Construction installed a 68 kilowatt, roof mount photo voltaic (PV) system, consisting of 215 solar modules on the south facing slope of their building. Munger Construction partnered with Spire Solar to undertake this project. Spire Solar is a solar vendor that provides products, design, and installation support. It is projected that this project will totally pay for itself within the next 5 to 7 years. That is a noteworthy rate of return.
“This was quite a feat since Munger completed its work while the business remained in full operation. I seriously doubt that another contractor could have pulled it off with down time next to nothing.” – Bob McSherry, Owner – North Haven Auto Body
Repeat Business Earned on Each Project
Bob McSherry followed the lead of the previous owner for whom Munger had built a 2350 sq-foot spray booth in 1993. In 2000 Bob hired Munger to build an intricate 40×60 L-shaped spray booth with complex “under tunnel” work. So, it made sense to hire Munger for this 2005 project. “Based on our past experiences with Munger, I didn’t consider other contractors”, said McSherry. “I know that they do great work and I enjoy working with their people and subcontractors. I trust that they will be fair and honest with their pricing.”
“A trusted relationship allows confidence to say I’d never use anyone else.” – Bob McSherry
Proficiency is a baseline requirement for long-term profitability in the auto body business. Station-to-station workflow improvements and additional capacity provided a natural affinity to double weekly volume as management discovered what could be done when the comfort zone has been expanded.
The front office has become a one-stop shop for customers and insurance companies. Dedicated office space for insurance adjusters creates a positive image and streamlines the paperwork process. It enables a working partnership with companies like Travelers and GEICO who use this space for all their area business. In addition to having work space, they are on site to monitor work being done on customer vehicles. When claimants enter the office to deal with the adjuster, they are attracted to North Haven Auto Body for their repair work.
“We became a professional company. When you pull into the driveway, you know you’re in a different place. People stop by to see what we’re up to.” – Bob McSherry
Munger Delivers on Their Promise
“Munger’s multifaceted role included general contractor, design/build services and carpentry.
According to McSherry, “Sven Uljens, the even-tempered project manager, was deceptively brilliant. While quietly observing and managing during the day, at home he sketches ideas that he presents to me the next day. This amazed me.”
“Munger’s competitive advantage is that they deliver everything they say within the promised time frame and if there is a problem you hear about it right away from their president.”
“Everyone has the same mentality as the president. He’s put together a great team. They came in at 4 AM on a Saturday morning to complete a task so as to not interrupt workflow.”
“We moved in the day we received our CO. There were no problems or issues to speak of.”
Munger Instills the Same Attitude in Subcontractors As With Its Employees
“Everyone does what is expected and more”, said McSherry. “They worked around my schedule.”
Criscuolo Engineering (Site plan development)
DesignTwo Architects (Construction drawings)
Tenedine Construction (Site work)
First Choice Builders (Steel erection & demolition)
Massey Plate Glass and Aluminum
G.R. Wade (HVAC)
Marino Mechanical (Plumbing and air ducts)
R.A. Torre Painting
Park City Steel (Metal stairway)
Gargiulo Construction (Concrete floors)
Tilcon – Munger is the only contractor for whom they’ll pave lots