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Meet Joseph Binning of MEPCor in Mission Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Binning.

Joseph let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a seventeen-year-old young man, I was forced into the workplace versus completing school due to family issues. Basically, I came home one day only to find an empty house. My family had moved, and I was on my own. The next day I walked onto a construction site where I was introduced to the electrician who gave me a job. He was the only one who would.

Now picture this, a young seventeen long haired surfer kid with no calluses on his hands walks up to you and asks you for a hard labor job. I think he gave me the job as a joke but eventually came to like me later. It was this man who encouraged me to stay in the profession. He first had me digging trenches for underground piping and eventually took me inside the building to learn the ins and outs of electrical work which I chose as a profession after completing a GED Certificate program and the Electrical Apprenticeship program with his encouragement. Fast forward twenty years.

I am a successful General foreman for a large electrical contractor in San Diego who asked if I would be interested in learning electronic 2D software (Auto CAD) to create pre-coordinated installation drawings for electricians on various projects throughout the country. I soon excelled in it as I found I had a real passion for the work and found it was very satisfying to me. Fast forward twelve years. One general contractor started utilizing a new off the shelf “viewer” program that would allow you to “see” the overhead utilities for new construction projects that would greatly improve on the finished product, the installation drawings. It gave us the ability to verify no two utilities occupied the same space at any given moment in any given area.

I have always considered myself a type A personality, as well as a visionary and could see where the market was going. I was also the first electrician in San Diego to model anything electrical in 3D, so the natural course was to start a company and go on my own. That was in 2009. In 2011 I registered for and completed a degree in BIM (Building Information Modeling), which is what I do is now called, while still working and graduated in the first class ever to offer that degree in 2013. Since 2009 we, MEPCor, have worked on and coordinated hospitals, sporting stadiums, high rise buildings, airports, universities, high schools, middle schools, Bio-Tec facilities, as well as multiple buildings for various companies throughout the country.

With the inception of video conferencing we now can hold meetings to coordinate projects with 3D modelers from all parts of the country and are not limited to a one-mile radius which is typical of employee talent pools who work at an individual office. This also gives us the ability to utilize the “best” talent for our projects. I am so confident in our process and our talent that we offer a guarantee stating if we legitimately make a mistake and a client must re-do something because it was our fault, I pay for the cost to re-do, re-order, and re-install the mistake. I feel it’s more of an integrity issue.

I consider this my passion, not my job. Before this technology began being utilized, 30% of the cost of construction was attributed to waste from cost overrides, errors in design, and cost overruns. Today, utilizing this technology we can now build buildings 30% faster and 30% cheaper. On a typical $100,000,000.00 project, that can be substantial.

I believe we owe it to our future generations to do things better, to train the next generation, and to be open to new ideas and never get stuck in the mentality of “we have always done it this way and we don’t need to change”. I believe that is more of a hindrance than an advantage.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I first started MEPCor I quickly learned that I knew my business well, however, I did not know the business.

Since the inception of MEPCor, I have had many mentors and advisors along the way. I believe my ability to ‘outlast” my competition is to always stay open to new ideas, stick with what isn’t broken, be honest with yourself and your team about what is and isn’t working, and fix what isn’t. And stay humble. I remember when I graduated from the apprenticeship program as a licensed electrical journeyman I was given some advice from my last instructor. He simply stated to us “it’s what you learn AFTER you know it all that counts”. That has always stuck with me throughout my journey.

J Paul Getty was once asked “How did you get to where you are today?” and he replied, “I hired the right people, gave them everything they needed to succeed, then got out of the way”. I believe we are only as good as our team. It’s my policy to hire the best and pay the most to give my clients the best possible product at the end of a day. I find when you do that your people hold themselves to a higher standard than you do. To be the best, hire the best, give them what they need, then get out of the way. And don’t be surprised when you get good results, be amazed.

I’ve also learned it’s my responsibility to motivate my team and “convince” them to follow me. It was once said the “a man who reaches the top of the mountain and turns only to find he is alone, was not a leader, he was just a man on a walk”.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with MEPCor – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
MEPCor is a provider for Building Information Modeling to both the design and construction industries. We now can take an architect’s plans and utilize off the shelf software “build” the building “to scale” in the virtual world thereby having the ability to identify all the mistakes “before” the construction crews get there. Once we shake out the building, everything above the ceilings, and below the concrete, we can “coordinate” so it fits together like a puzzle.

We can identify where utilities conflict with each other, identify a solution and solve the problem. Once completed we issue “for construction” documents for the field technicians to install by. By utilizing this method, the contractors can realistically see drastic savings on both labor (shorter installation time) and a lower labor cost (more apprentices on the projects).

What I am the proudest of is what sets us apart from the competition. What we do is called MEP Coordination. MEP stands for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing. When I first created MEPCor I took a class, one of the thousands now, and was taught that the name of your company should directly speak to your specific customer and identify what you do for them. I simply typed in MEP Coordination onto the web and nothing came up, thus the name.

What sets us apart in an industry filled now with BIM companies is first, we have been here from the beginning. We helped create the process that has been so widely adopted as standard practice in today’s construction industry. Second, all our people are experienced builders of what they model and coordinate. I have seen a flood of companies come into the market who are familiar with the software but not construction. There is a huge disconnect for someone who has never built what they are modeling and coordinating that takes years to develop.

Without the proper experience, they will be asking the wrong questions, to the wrong people, at the wrong times, and frustrate everyone involved with the process for coming up with the wrong answer. When I do public speaking I always ask my audience “would you have a plumber do brain surgery on your child? Or would you rather have the best surgeon available? If you use the plumber you will save money, but there is a good possibility it will be done wrong and you will have to redo it. Could you afford to do that with your child?”

Lastly, we offer a refund policy in writing that my competition doesn’t. Should we make a mistake that is legitimately our fault that causes you to lose time and money by re-doing something we did, we pay for it? We put our money behind our work and we feel everyone should.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like the best about our city is its diversity. We have so many young fresh minds flocking to our city that the synergy is fantastic. If directed correctly and given good guidance it can simply amaze you. And of course, we have the best weather.

I really can’t find much to complain about living here other than maybe the taxes. I was born in Orange County, raised in Los Angeles, and have been here most of my adult life so I believe we have the best of all worlds if you put it all into perspective.

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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