2014 Design/Build Awards: Unique Projects Need Design/Build

Oct. 3, 2014
The Murphy Company pre-fabricated eight massive sections of a central utility plant, including chillers, for installation three states away, at a gaming center in Cincinnati. Air Force One was number 1 after this project for a popular Ohio retirement community. They had to scrap and replace a 46-year-old rooftop system and ducting, and replace it with seven new air handlers, pumping station, vents, the whole works.
Have you, as a mechanical HVAC contractor, ever taken a moment to consider the importance of what you do? You can do so with pride, because the value of indoor comfort can never be underestimated. The two winning projects we’ve chosen for 2014 Design/Build Awards are prime examples of what this industry is all about.First, we have a project by Murphy Co., St. Louis, MO. They’re repeat D/B Award winners, whose projects are always impressive. This year, The Murphy Company team took a road trip to Cincinnatti, OH, to install a central utility plant for a 200,000 sq. ft. addition to the Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center.
The unique part of the project was that it was pre-fabricated in St. Louis, and shipped to “The Nati” in eight large sections. This included two 500-ton water chillers, two boilers, and a cooling tower water filter. Murphy  Co. has completed pre-fabricated projects in the past, but this was different, says Design Engineer Matt Gildehaus. “The difference with this one is it had a roof, it had walls, it had to meet building codes. There’s a lot more that went into this one than what we’ve done in the past,” he says. Along with the massive size of the shipments, there was a change, which required adding a boiler and a space for a future third boiler. Building Information Modeling (BIM) assisted the team in deciding the logistics. According to Murphy Co., handling the project remotely presented tremendous economies of scale, provided better quality control and reduced the amount of manpower and cost. There also weren’t the typical challenges of site restrictions or working around the schedules of other contractors.Our second 2014 winner is Air Force One, Dublin, OH, and its branch in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. The Portage Trail Village senior care facility was in dire need of an entirely new comfort system. It’s 46-year-old rooftop units were rusted and ragged.
The team from Air Force One, led by vice president/general manager Bob Watson, brought new sparkle and efficiency to the site, located 13 stories up on a circular roof. Once the old equipment was removed by crane, the team had to guarantee the residents’ comfort would continue, as they weren’t going anywhere during construction. Administrator Jo Stanovcak and Maintenance Manager Mike Savage were impressed by Air Force One’s respect for the residents, and their total commitment to total quality. Should the old system have been left operating for so long? No, but that’s in the past. What lies ahead for the residents of Portage Trail Village is warmth in winter and cooling in summer; so vital for people in their advancing years. These winning projects illustrate the value of HVAC firms that are willing and able to tackle unique projects, and respond with professionalism and good ideas when there’s a change in plans. Both winning firms relied on teams. Without a team, there’s no heat, cooling, indoor air quality, and ventilation. Read about our winning projects as documented by Elaine Yetzer Simon: CARING INCLUDES COMFORT, and PRE-FAB A WINNER! Congratulations to Murphy Co. and Air Force One, for showing the commercial HVAC industry at its best!
In early 2015, we’ll begin accepting entries for the next edition of the Design/Build Awards. Watch these pages and online, for news on how to submit entries from your 2014-2015 Design/Build projects.  — Terry McIver, executive editor
About the Author

Terry McIver | Content Director - CB

A career publishing professional, Terence 'Terry' McIver has served three diverse industry publications in varying degrees of responsibility since 1987, and worked in marketing communications for a major U.S. corporation.He joined the staff of Contracting Business magazine in April 2005.

As director of content for Contracting Business, he produces daily content and feature articles for CB's 38,000 print subscribers and many more Internet visitors. He has written hundreds, if not two or three, pieces of news, features and contractor profile articles for CB's audience of quality HVACR contractors. He can also be found covering HVACR industry events or visiting with manufacturers and contractors. He also has significant experience in trade show planning.