Tom Guilfoy Memorial Craftsmanship Award

Created in 2004, this annual award was in memory of Tom Guilfoy, owner of 100 year old Guilfoy Cornice Works in San Francisco. This award is for any project where attention to detail and expertise was critical to the project and exemplifies teamwork between sheet metal workers and the contractor and the contractor and owner.

This award is presented annually for any type of work in the HVAC, Specialty, Industrial, Kitchen or Architectural fields. Projects entered will be judged on the skill and expertise exhibited to complete the project, regardless of how big or small. There are two main categories – mechanical and architectural, along with a creative concepts category to recognize exceptional projects falling outside of the mechanical and architectural categories.

2018 Guilfoy Award Winners

Mechanical Category – ACCO Engineered Systems of Glendale for the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience Project

This winner was chosen due to the project’s complexity, collaboration, craftsmanship, and the many different types of systems that needed to be installed.

This project involved a 190,000 square-foot research facility with state-of-the-art flexible, open, shared laboratories, a nanofabrication cleanroom, a low-vibration laboratory, a suite of  microscopy imaging technology that can take precise measurements inside of cells, and up to 60 8-foot chemical fume hoods and 2 large microscopes.

The winning company leveraged over 10 years of experience in 3-D CAD software and had its BIM detailing crew closely work with the design team to build an accurate 3-D model of the project.  Then the roof structural system was designed to accommodate the 120” x 96” supply manifold, 120” x 36” return air manifold, 96” x 96” welded stainless steel lab exhaust and VOC exhaust manifold, with all building exhaust terminating from 35-foot-tall engineered stacks.

With large scale, fast-tracked projects like this one as their specialty, a 550-ton hydraulic all-terrain crane made quick work of hoisting of materials and equipment as large sections of roof duct were prefabbed and delivered on time during the 3-day roof rig.  Strategies like this helped alleviate the pressure of installing 12 air handlers (totaling 310,000 CFM) in pieces and building them up on the roof.  Installation sequence was also key with top down construction.

All ductwork was cleaned and bagged at the shop to reduce contamination during installation.  Additionally, all ductwork in the cleanrooms was installed under clean protocol.  With these air quality and system contamination concerns in mind, they also delivered Halar coated welded stainless steel duct for the corrosive exhaust system.

Over 541,000 lbs. of sheet metal were installed on this project.

The peak sheet metal crew reached 45 people.  Between shop fabrication and field installation, over 110,000 manhours were required to complete this project.


Architectural Category –  CMF, Inc. of Orange for the Apple Park project located in Cupertino, California

This project, largely due to its enormous size and round footprint, presented challenges on a scale that was unmatched in the winning company’s history.  With a campus footprint of 176 acres and a 2.8 million square-foot main building stretching almost one mile in circumference, even adding a single flashing would equate to hundreds of additional man-hours to incorporate such a change all the way around the building.

The engineering and design effort began 3 ½ years before job completion and continued almost weekly to solve job site conditions for one of the most complex buildings in the world.

Installed tolerances were never allowed to be more than ⅛” installed on the building needed to exhibit the same quality of workmanship as the iPhone, iPad and other computer products that Apple sells.

While most companies are used to dealing in square and lineal feet quantities, this project demanded material measurements in miles, such as 51 miles of galvanized purlins to support the solar panels on the massive parking garages and 2 lineal miles of insulated panels at the headquarters building rooftop breezeways.

There were many challenges working with the Slovenian company that manufactured the main product, Trimo insulated and sound-attenuated panels, including the language/translation issues, and metric to US unit conversion of all measurements.

An example of a design problem was the initial details showed a panel system that was impossible to install as it was shown conceptually.  The structural head of the Trimo panels was drawn in a way that left the head of the panel terminating in no-man’s-land and flanked on the interior by enormous I-beams and structural tube steel that interfered with standard sequencing and methods for attachment.  This spurred a tremendous effort, taking over one year by the winning company, to engineer two-piece clips all the way around the perimeter that not only met structural requirements, but also could be manufactured and installed efficiently by their crews.

Another unique element of the project was the approximately 2,400 custom ⅛” aluminum fascia panels and light shrouds.  Due to the design of the building, combined with the ⅛” tolerance overall for the entire project, all these fascia panels had to be modeled in Revit to determine final dimensions down to the 1/16 of an inch. Because of the asymmetrical nature of the breezeways on a radius, this meant weeks of drawing and coordination between their field and CAD departments to detail all 2,400 panels.

The signature of all great architectural sheet metal companies is in their ability to take a completely chaotic substructure and make it look beautiful.  It also has to function well, meaning everything is properly waterproofed and attached to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.  The parking garages in the project involved 51 miles of steel purlins that were drilled and bolted together in the shop, shipped to the jobsite, craned into place and installed with electrical trays and other accessories needed for the solar panels.  When structural steel was found to be out of tolerance, installation techniques had to be adjusted to make the purlins fit.

Each of the 9 breezeways required a 450-ton crane to lift each of the 800 crates containing insulated panels.  The 4.5-foot wide crates had to be lowered through a 6-foot opening between the finished clerestories and the roof, without causing any damage to surrounding surfaces.

The project required 135,300 man-hours to complete.

The installations required on this project included the insulated panels in the breezeway, louvers, expansion joints, ridge and eave fascia, light troughs, clerestory end panels, radiused-blade moat grilles, insulated moat panels and general sheet metal throughout the headquarters building with complete customer satisfaction regarding quality control.

Also installed to Apple’s high standards were the aluminum rod cladding, ACM panels at bridges, roofing, galvanized purlins for solar panels, custom elevator fronts, column covers and aluminum PV inverter tubes on the parking garages and central utility plant.


Past recipients of this award include:
2017 University Mechanical & Engineering Contractors- El Cajon, UCSD Jacobs Medical Center, San Diego- Mechanical Category
2017 California Sheet Metal Works, Inc.- El Cajon, Eli Lilly at Campus Pointe, San Diego- Architectural Category
2016 Control Air North, Inc. – Santa Clara Samsung American Headquarters – Mechanical Category
2016 GES Sheet Metal, Inc.- West Hollywood IAC Tenant Improvement Building –  Architectural Category
2015 ACCO Engineered Systems – Santa Clara Levi Stadium, Mechanical Category
2014 California Sheet Metal – San Diego, San Diego New Central Library – Architectural Category
2014 Control Air North – Oakland, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center – Mechanical Category
2013 Air Systems of Sacramento, William Jessup University Expansion, Rocklin – Architectural Category
2013 ACCO Engineered Systems – Glendale, Cedars Sinai Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion, Los Angeles – Mechanical Category
2012 Brady Air Conditioning, Inc., 1905 Samuel Murphy Windmill Historical Restoration. San Francisco – Architectural Category
2012 Control Air North, Inc., Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley – Mechanical Category
2011 CMF, Inc., Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, Orange – Architectural Category
2011 Key Air Conditioning Contractors, Inc., Tom Bradley International Terminal Interior Improvements and Baggage Screening, Los Angeles – Mechanical Category
2010 Air Systems, Inc., Target Sunnyvale – Architectural Category
2010 University Marelich Mechanical, Inc., GLVAC Veterans Home, West Los Angeles – Mechanical Category
2009 CMF, Inc, LA High School #9 for the Visual & Performing Arts
2008 Control Air North, Inc., California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
2007 Air Systems, Harborwalk Condominiums, Oakland
2006 Weiss Sheet Metal, Rebecca and John Moore’s UCSD Cancer Center, San Diego
2005 Custom Metal Fabrication, Pedestrian Walkway, Chicago