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Full Spectrum Safety

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Is the future of life safety seamlessly integrated? The merger of NSG Life Safety and Norel Service creates a groundbreaking end-to-end service model in New England, combining decades of expertise with innovative solutions to meet evolving market demands and set new industry standards. Founded in 1974 by Thomas Norton, an industrious electrician, Norel Service has evolved into a leading life safety service company, deeply embedded in the Boston area and across New England. Over its fifty-year history, Norel has specialized in servicing and maintaining life safety systems, strategically positioning itself as a post-installation service provider, complementing the pre-construction and installation expertise of companies like NSG Life Safety.

NSG Life Safety is a systems integrator focused on life safety, integrated security, and critical communication systems in the construction market. Life safety encompasses the systems in a building that control fire detection, voice evacuation, and mass notification. The company was founded by Dan Chauvin, current President of NSG and Principal with Norel, who brings over thirty years of industry experience with companies like Simplex and SIGNET. NSG specializes in identifying opportunities, engineering solutions, and executing pre-construction services for life safety systems, leveraging Chauvin’s expertise in product innovation and market needs. NSG Life Safety excels by collaborating with architects, engineers, and contractors from the initial to the final stages of construction projects, delivering tailored solutions and integrating life safety systems into both new and existing buildings.

With one fortuitous phone call, an exceptional opportunity was set in motion. A pivotal discussion with George Aguiar, current President at Norel, introduced Chauvin to Autocall™, a brand of fire detection systems by Johnson Controls that combines advanced technology with proven performance to ensure people and facilities are safe every day. Recognizing the potential to break away from closed distribution models, Chauvin championed this line, crucial for fire detection, voice evacuation, and mass notification. This marked NSG’s entry into the market with a focus on open distribution—a strategy that enabled NSG to offer flexible, customer-centric solutions and set the groundwork for its future growth.

The merger between NSG Life Safety and Norel Service marks a significant step forward, merging NSG’s technical prowess with Norel’s extensive service infrastructure to redefine life safety solutions across New England. This strategic alliance delivers a full spectrum of services from initial design to ongoing maintenance, leveraging advanced safety technologies to set new industry standards and meet the evolving needs of the construction and safety sectors.

“I think the way we’re executing this strategy is definitely having a disruptive impact in the New England marketplace,” says David Raftery, Chief Revenue Officer for both entities. “You just look at the growth that our business is experiencing and clearly the market wants this level of service across the full life cycle of a building and its life safety technology. We hope it sets a new bar for the industry where expertise matters because that’s what we’re investing in.”

Together, NSG and Norel become a comprehensive life safety solutions provider, integrating pre-construction system design with robust post-installation service. This partnership ensures that all life safety systems are not only up-to-date and compliant, but also consistently reliable. By offering an uninterrupted lifecycle solution, the merged entity simplifies the client experience and stands out as a leading full-service provider in a market where such extensive capabilities are exceedingly rare.

“There are few providers in our market that can offer the level of expertise on life safety solutions from cradle to grave that we can. We have experts in design and implementation with NSG and the Norel team is phenomenal at delivering service with its response times, its ability to make corrections quickly, and its ability to detect deficiencies. Now, together, with our combined resources, we offer the highest level of life safety solutions and service possible,” says Chauvin.

“What’s been liberating for us is not having to worry about projects and whether they’re engineered and put together properly. Working with the experts at NSG that has been taken off our plate and we can focus on providing industry-leading service and support from the day we turn that fire alarm on till the day it needs to be replaced. That’s something that’s enabled the team at Norel to focus on being the best at what we do (service) at our core,” says Aguiar.

“The partnership aims to deliver consistent, high-quality service that sets them apart in the industry.”

The synergistic partnership allows them to leverage each other’s strengths, optimize operations, and attract a broader client base by meeting diverse needs across different phases of the construction and maintenance process, boosting their competitive advantage in the region.

The integration of Norel and NSG has significantly enhanced the capabilities and culture of both entities, creating a more unified and skilled workforce. Initially, Norel, with its hands-on workforce, and NSG, with its technologically advanced team, faced challenges merging their distinct cultures. This cultural integration necessitated adjustments and provided an opportunity for both groups to elevate their professional standards and technical skills.

This partnership pushed Norel’s team to engage with more complex systems and higher-end client environments, a shift from their traditional projects. Such exposure broadened their expertise and increased the value they brought to the table, encouraging professional growth and adaptability. NSG benefitted from Norel’s robust, practical insights into system implementation and maintenance, ensuring that theoretical designs were feasible and practical in real-world applications.

By facing these challenges together, both companies have fostered a more comprehensive, adaptable, and skilled workforce, well-equipped to meet the evolving demands of the industry. This synergy has improved their internal operations and enhanced their service offerings to clients, proving the integration a strategic success in aligning their operations and cultural values toward common goals.

Norel Service and NSG are now strategically navigating their partnership with a client-centric approach, emphasizing a seamless transition and unified branding. They are launching a rebranding effort that includes a consolidated website and a new logo that symbolically merges both entities, representing them as a single, cohesive unit to the market. This thoughtful integration ensures that, to their clients, the partnership appears fluid and integrated, maintaining continuity in service quality and client interactions. By carefully planning this merger and its public face, they aim to foster client trust and satisfaction, reinforcing their commitment to providing exceptional service under a united brand identity.

Under their new partnership, one of NSG and Norel’s banner projects is the River Court Condominiums in Cambridge, MA. This development is three 15-story ultra-luxury, residential buildings connected by a three-story garage. The project showcased their ability to work closely with engineers to refine designs and execute the installation of a $1 million+ system seamlessly. Despite challenges posed by COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions, the team delivered exceptional results, earning high praise from the owner. Their performance led to a six-figure recurring service agreement for all life safety systems in the building, including sprinklers and suppression systems. This type of project is the quintessential model of the class of contracts the partnership will continue to pursue.

Another notable project for NSG and Norel was the University of Massachusetts Amherst dormitory complex, boasting an impressive 800-bed capacity. The team collaborated closely with the design and construction teams, adhering to strict code requirements and ensuring a seamless implementation. This project culminated in a very substantial service agreement, underlining their success in delivering top-notch solutions for large-scale projects. The dormitory complex stands as a testament to their expertise in handling complex installations and their ability to provide ongoing maintenance and support for such critical facilities.

NSG and Norel recently completed a retrofit contract at Mount Wachusett Community College. This project involved the installation of a brand-new network system serving the entire campus, including fiber optics, voice, and mass notification systems. The team collaborated closely with a contractor and engineer, ensuring a high-end technical solution that met the college’s needs. The successful execution of this project resulted in upgraded crucial campus facilities and positioned Norel and NSG as leading providers of continued service through the life-cycle of significant educational infrastructure.

NSG and Norel’s successful completion of the Cleveland Rudman Federal Courthouse project in Concord, NH, demonstrates their capability to deliver complex, high-value solutions for critical federal buildings. The project involved the design and installation of a state-of-the-art fire alarm system. Despite facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions, NSG and Norel fulfilled the requirements of the General Services Administration (GSA) for this multi-million-dollar project. The recognition as a Gold Star provider by the GSA further validates their expertise and commitment to excellence in the industry. This achievement enhances their reputation and opens up new opportunities for future projects within the federal government sector.

NSG and Norel have secured two major projects in Boston that are currently underway and present significant technical and logistical challenges. The first project involves the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Laboratories in Jamaica Plain, known for its innovative and experimental work. This project includes a Tier 2 design collaboration with electrical engineers, material acquisition, logistics, programming, and a multiphase implementation spanning five years with six phases. The complexity of this project lies in ensuring the new system’s compatibility with the existing infrastructure while meeting the stringent standards of both state and local authorities.

The second project is the Shattuck Hospital in downtown Boston, which presents a unique challenge due to its dual nature as a prison hospital. With one-third of the facility dedicated to detention and two-thirds functioning as a traditional hospital, NSG and Norel must design and implement a security system that meets the complex requirements of both environments. This project includes the installation of locking mechanisms, hardware, biometric devices, closed-circuit video surveillance, critical communications, two-way rescue communications for the building, and facial recognition technology, making it one of their most comprehensive security solutions to date.

So, what is the future of NSG Life Safety and Norel? According to Chauvin, “Our future is intelligent, calculated growth.”

The team emphasizes the importance of continuing to do what they do best while striving to improve. They aim to expand their capabilities without overextending themselves, ensuring they maintain their core competencies. The key, as they see it, is to approach growth methodically, avoiding unnecessary risks that could harm their reputation or operations. By keeping a careful eye on their strategy and maintaining a steady pace, they aim to continue their success and further establish themselves as leaders in the industry.

The partnership between Norel Service and NSG is poised to revolutionize the life safety industry in New England. By offering an end-to-end solution, from design to maintenance, they are setting a new standard for service and expertise. This strategic merger not only meets the market’s demand for comprehensive life safety solutions but raises the bar for industry expertise and customer service. With a focus on quality and responsiveness, the partnership aims to deliver consistent, high-quality service that sets them apart in the industry. Their vision is to become synonymous with quality and reliability, setting a new benchmark for the life safety industry as a whole.

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