AE Smith

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AE Smith
Type Mechanical services contractor
Industry Construction
Founded Melbourne, Australia 1898
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia
Key people Brian Pollock (Chairman of the Board)
Andrew Permezel (CEO)
Services Air Conditioning & Mechanical Services
Environmental Controls & Building Technologies
Sustainability & Energy Services
Employees 700+ 2009

AE Smith & Son Pty Ltd (or AE Smith) is the largest privately owned commercial air-conditioning and mechanical services contractor in Australia focusing on heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, electrical, controls, fire protection, construction and commissioning. As a Business Review Weekly Top 500 Private Company,[1] the company employs over 700 people today and has been family owned for over 100 years since the beginning of the company in 1898.


AE Smith was founded in Richmond, Victoria, Australia in 1898 by Albert Edward Smith (1871–1923). Albert Smith was a qualified plumber. The establishment of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) in 1891 and Melbourne’s first underground sewerage system facilitated considerable growth in the plumbing industry and the success off the company itself.

Albert Edward Smith was succeeded by his son, Albert Edward Smith Junior (or Bert Smith). Bert served the company for over forty years, in which time he extended the services of the business to include heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. This significantly expanded the scope of the business and enabled it to take on larger projects.[citation needed]

Bert Smith’s son, Barry Smith, took leadership of the company in 1953, initiating an era which witnessed the expansion of the company across Australia and abroad. By the end of the twentieth century, AE Smith gained significant recognition as a mechanical services company after taking part in many landmark projects involving shopping centres, hotels, universities and hospitals in the city of Melbourne. This success resulted in a new branch being opened in Hobart in 1967, followed by offices in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Mackay, Townsville, Perth and abroad in Auckland, New Zealand.