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March 2018

Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


Annual Supplement :

Building Energy / MEP

Beacon Piping on team for major utility relocation at UMass Boston / page 5



Matthew Guarracino


Joseph P. Ferrucci


Carson Cook


Greg Longo


Blair Richardson


Brian Lewis


Jeff Rios


Mark Dubos


Annual MEP Supplement


March 2018

Greater Boston Gets Creative With Sustainability and Energy Savings Solar panels and 14 wind turbines are coupled with other energy-saving features including a green roof, energy-efficient lighting, a rainwater harvesting system, and a green wall in the building’s lobby. 101 Seaport

by Matthew Guarracino Sustainability and energy efficiency have long been priorities for Greater Boston developments — especially in light of the region’s ongoing building boom. To meet the area’s energy standards, tenants, residents, developers, and city officials are getting increasingly creative in the ways in which they go about saving energy and promoting sustainability. Here are a few examples, which range across several of the region’s many industries and recent developments: 888 Boylston

This office and retail space in Back Bay is LEED Platinum certified and was designed to be the most sustainable building in New England. Developer Boston Properties has ensured that the development requires 45% less energy and 37% less water than a typical office building of its size by using a waterfueled chilled beam system that circulates 100% fresh air throughout the building.

The 17-story office building at 101 Seaport is the first Boston office building to achieve LEED v3 Platinum efficiency certification. The building features a 5,000sf LiveRoof green roof, which significantly reduces energy consumption, filters airborne pollution, reduces stormwater runoff by more than 35%, and creates habitats for birds and insects. Lasell College

In the world of higher education, over the past few years, Newton-based Lasell College has undertaken several programs to promote a sustainable campus and save energy. For one, the school has implemented state-of-the-art energysaving mechanical systems, which operate at 90% to 95% efficiency. And the school is currently in the process of converting the entire campus to LED lighting. In addition, Lasell has recently invested in a number of energy-efficient vehicles, and provides a free electric vehicle charging station for both employees and students. Equally important, Lasell recycles all

food waste; rather than entering the waste stream, leftover food from the cafeteria is brought to a farm and ground up for use as compost, a natural fertilizer. Veolia Boston’s Emergency Management System

Headquartered in downtown Boston, Veolia North America, and its subsidiary SourceOne, work on an array of energy efficiency retrofit projects throughout New England. These projects include local school and municipal buildings, state agency buildings, and small businesses supporting the Greater Boston area. In this capacity, the company typically focuses on lighting, controls, energy management systems, motors, HVAC, and windows to reduce electricity, natural gas, and water consumption. A brief snapshot of the past two years shows Veolia projects have saved over 10 million kWh annually, which is equivalent to removing 1,600 carbon emitting cars off the road. For instance, Veolia’s data-driven emergency management system EMsys has helped the city reach its goals of reducing emissions for municipal operations. As a result, city officials have unprecedented insight into cost and consumption data for all the city’s buildings. Incorporating historical energy and water usage, temperature, and humidity, Veolia’s platform provides

the critical energy data which allows the city to be more sustainable and energy efficient. EMsys already helps manage over $500 million in monthly utility bills, producing 170,000 invoices each for Veolia/SourceOne clients. Union Point

Dubbed the Smart City, Union Point is currently under construction just south of Boston. This 1,500-acre, mixed-use development will feature up to 4,000 homes and more than 8 million sf of commercial space that will meet LEED Gold or Platinum standards. Real estate developer LStar Ventures is building a sustainable, high-tech community by using several energy-efficient designs for this large-scale project, including rooftop solar. LStar believes this development will run entirely on clean energy by the year 2050. As sustainability and clean energy continue to be a top priority for developers, city officials, and the public, we will continue to see developments across Greater Boston — both new and old — implementing more creative ways to run efficiently. Matthew Guarracino is the business development manager at JM Electrical Company, Inc.

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Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


Bring clients energy saving solutions, build the foundation for high-performing projects. Learn more at ngrid.com/newconstruction That’s business on the grid.

FOR ELIGIBLE PROJECTS within National Grid’s electric and/or gas service territories in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. National Grid does not guarantee savings. Savings and energy efficiency experiences may vary. Terms and conditions apply. In Rhode Island: These programs are funded by the energy efficiency charge on all customers’ utility bills, in accordance with Rhode Island law. ©2018 National Grid USA Service Company, Inc.

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Annual MEP Supplement


March 2018

Life After BIM

by Joseph P. Ferrucci If you are in the AEC industry, you may be tired of hearing about building information modeling (BIM). You may feel inundated by articles about BIM, about the future of BIM, the advantages of BIM, or even the history of BIM. Notwithstanding this inundation, BIM is not a fad nor is it a mission. When used to its fullest potential, BIM can deliver the most sustainable, efficient, and costeffective solutions on every project, every time. But BIM’s greatest potential is achieved when it is used in a collaborative relationship, based in experience and combined with advanced prefabrication techniques delivered efficiently to the customer. F+F Mechanical Enterprises, Inc. focuses on multifaceted mechanical construction applications of varying size and complexity. Given that we also maintain a service and special projects division, we recognize the need for

quality installations with the end user and project life cycle in mind. Through the years we have witnessed that design documents lack the coordination that once was integral to a set of contract documents. This is to no fault of the design team — reduced fees, unrealistic expectations, accelerated schedules, and fierce competition have put a strain on the design process and, ultimately, the end product.

Providing the best outcome for the customer means pooling together our best tools, most effective strategies, and personal commitments. It means adding experience to the design advantages of BIM and using modern computeraided manufacturing processes, often delivering BIM to prefabrication directly to the owner for a truly collaborative and successful outcome. We rely heavily on our team of piping and sheet metal coordinators with significant experience in coordinating, and in many cases making recommendations to complex

mechanical, sheet metal, and plumbing systems. Utilizing BIM allows us to build the project virtually before building it physically to test out design. Finally, we employ innovative construction techniques to prefabricate components to increase accuracy and efficiency. F+F Mechanical has been using CNC machines for many years on the sheet metal end of our business. Computer numerical control (CNC) is the automation of machine shop tools by means of computer programming inputs. We recently invested in a CNC pipe and fitting cutting machine which can perform a multitude of ASME B31 recognized curved, mitered, segmented, and branch connections. We had the opportunity to incorporate a unique pipe connection on a recent project working directly for the end user. A large research university contracted F+F Mechanical directly to work on their steam system at their main central utility plant (CUP). We designed the installation using our 3D BIM software, downloaded the piping components to our CNC pipe cutter, and fabricated the special fittings required for the project. The decision was simple — choose special products from a catalog, wait for the product to be fabricated and delivered, or design and make it ourselves. We chose the latter.

Owners have begun to recognize and appreciate the skill and abilities of specialty trades and are contracting them directly for their trade-specific needs. Highly skilled specialty contractors have become a single source solution — design, fabricate, service, and maintain. New technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics are penetrating the AEC industry and will have a profound effect on our industry, which has become grossly inefficient and needs to embrace change to become more productive. Delivering complex projects today must be reconsidered. BIM is only part of the answer. For BIM to work effectively, it must be utilized to its full potential by either delivering a specialty trade directly to the customer or as part of an integrated construction team working with construction managers on modular prefabrication by integrating design with fabrication and construction. For this to occur successfully, a team dedicated to safety, quality, and efficiency with a bullseye on the customer will lead to ultimate success. Joe Ferrucci, AIA, LEED, is the vice president of design and coordination for F+F Mechanical Enterprises, Inc. He serves on the board of directors of the Construction Institute.

Ayer Electric Completes Solar Array

Ayer Electric’s recent completion of New Hampshire’s largest solar array John Koziol, Union Leader

Moltonborough, NH – In late December 2017, New Hampshire’s largest solar PV array went online, as NECA New Hampshire Division electrical contractor, Ayer Electric, Inc., of Barrington, completed installation of the 2.59MW solar project in Moltonborough for utility company New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC). The general contractor was Ameresco of Framingham, Mass. The owner is New Hampshire Electric Cooperative The photovoltaic (PV) array is comprised of 7,200 solar panels installed across nine acres of a 13-acre site and wired to a NHEC substation. The project scope included Ayer Electric’s installation and wiring of 40 480V-AC inverters, which feed a NHEC transformer. The inverters are installed on steel framing and are rated for exterior use. All


underground conduit was installed on the remote and secluded site. Ayer’s final phase of work was performed during the severe December cold snap as the electrical team provided wire management, which included a comprehensive and detailed tie-in checklist for the 7,200 solar panels. The solar site is projected to generate 3.5 million kWH of electricity per year, enough to power approximately 600 homes, and will save NHEC more than $280,000 annually in power costs. The green energy project will dramatically help the region’s electricity demands during peak use in the summer. Ayer Electric handled the project working as a subcontractor to general contractor Ameresco, of Framingham, Mass.

Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


Beacon Piping on Team for Major Utility Relocation at UMass Boston

(Above, and below right) Underground utilities corridor at UMass Boston

Boston – Beacon Piping is part of the team delivering the new underground utilities corridor on the UMass Boston campus. The utility system serving the university is being replaced and relocated in a more efficient configuration circling the campus. This comprehensive project includes 10,000 LFT of electrical duct bank, 10,000 LFT of telecommunications duct bank, 5,000 LFT of storm piping, 4,500 LFT of gas piping, 3,500 LFT of sanitary piping, and upgrades to the central utility plant. Beacon Piping provided the installation of 40,000 LFT of piping comprised of 24-inch ductile iron chilled

water and 16-inch hot water carbon steel pipe, which will tie in to several buildings on campus when complete. Included in Beacon’s scope are eight pipe vaults located throughout the system and 100% radiographic examination of an estimated 1,000 welds. Throughout the project, Beacon kept a close account of QA/QC and daily production. During planning, 3D modeling was utilized to account for every detail, including pipe routing, elevations, fittings, and valve locations. This assisted with the coordination of just-in-time delivery of materials, as space is very limited on campus.

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Annual MEP Supplement


March 2018

Fire Protection System Design Standards for Higher Education Applications

by Carson Cook Engineering design standards play an important role in the design and construction of building mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. Many academic institutions publish design standards that cover a range of criteria, including preferred manufacturers and performance criteria. Such standards however often focus heavily upon MEP systems with limited or no requirements for fire protection systems. The absence or lack of developed fire protection design standards can be attributed to their lack of day to day operation or simply the fact that many colleges and universities defer to the requirements of the applicable National Fire Protection Associated (NFPA) design standards. While there is no issue with designing to code-minimum, well established guidelines for the design and installation of fire protection systems offer the same value as for other “non-emergency” MEP systems, such as increased system longevity, ease of maintenance and design consistency.

Unlike the commercial industry academic buildings are seldom sold and therefore the design of MEP systems typically takes into consideration a 50 year building lifespan. While designing fire protection systems to the minimum requirements of the applicable NFPA standards satisfies code compliance, there are benefits to incorporating features above and beyond code which can expand the longevity of the fire protection systems. One example is mandating minimum schedule 40 black steel piping be utilized for all new water-based fire protection systems; while the thicker wall-thickness piping carries a higher day one cost, over the life span of the building the risk of pipe leaks is reduced. Another important benefit that fire protection design standards can provide is minimizing the NFPA required inspection, testing and maintenance effort. Many institutions employ dedicated repair and maintenance staff in lieu of sub-contracting electrical and fire protection contractors. Standardizing areas of system design such as fire alarm control unit indication and sprinkler test valve locations translates to a higher level of system familiarity and staff confidence of system trouble shooting, maintenance, and repair. Additionally, establishing a list of allowable fire protection system product manufacturers facilitates a

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management of spare parts inventory which is critical in minimizing system downtime during emergency repairs. Related to routine fire protection system maintenance, establishing impairment protocols for fire protection systems can also offer a great benefit to the institution by limiting the duration that buildings are left in an “unprotected” state during system impairments. Unlike MEP systems, the impairment of fire protection systems requires coordination, review, permitting, and approval by the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Based upon the level of system impairment and duration some authorities may require temporary protection or manned fire watches in buildings that are occupied during demolition/construction activities. By working closely with the local AHJ and implementing well defined “red tag” procedures for fire protection systems the costs and time associated with impairments can be greatly reduced. The success of an academic institution’s emergency response protocols relies heavily on the consistency of the emergency responder service features. Standardizing fire protection system interfaces for emergency responders, such as exterior audible and visual notification appliances (i.e. sprinkler waterflow bells, rotating beacons), fire alarm annunciator locations /arrangements, and main fire protection system isolation valve locations, can all contribute to an expedited

initial response and investigation during a fire / emergency event. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has recently standardized provisions for distinct exterior visual notification appliances with different colored lenses at the building’s fire department response point. The different colors can be used to differentiate between a fire alarm signal and hazardous materials emergency signal. This type of system annunciation provides early indication to emergency responders as to the type of emergency situation, such that personnel can initiate appropriate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prior to entering the building. Detailed fire protection engineering design standards can provide a variety of benefits to a multi-building academic campus. From a capital savings perspective they can assist with prolonging the life expectancy of systems and reducing overall maintenance costs. Additionally by standardizing engineering performance criteria and impairment protocols a level of design consistency is established that will assist in limiting business continuity interruption and improving emergency response and preparedness procedures. In a world where life safety is paramount well-developed standards can contribute immensely. Carson Cook, PE, is a member of the Fire Protection Group in the Boston office of Vanderweil Engineers.

Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


Solect Energy Helps Save $20 Million with Solar

Somerset Berkley Regional High School

Hopkinton, MA – Solect Energy, a commercial-scale installer of solar energy systems, is seeing an acceleration of solar energy adoption by municipalities, schools, and nonprofits across Massachusetts. Working in conjunction with PowerOptions, an energy-buying consortium in the region, Solect has already installed 4.2 megawatts (MW) for various schools, nonprofits, and municipalities and is on track to install another 4.5 MW under the SREC-II program, for a total of 8.7 MW. Aggregating their current base of installed systems under the Solect & PowerOptions Solar Program, it is projected that the two companies will save these institutional, educational, and municipal

Fairhaven Housing Authority’s solar array

customers more than $20 million over the course of their 20-year agreements. Currently, Massachusetts ranks fifth nationally in K-12 school solar adoption, according to a November 2017 report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation. Across the state, more than 260 schools have installed nearly 54 MW of solar. Recent high-profile installations: Fitchburg Public Schools installed two rooftop solar systems totaling 603 kilowatts (kW) on its Reingold Elementary School and Memorial Middle School. The savings forecast for both the Reingold Elementary School and the Memorial Middle School is nearly $1 million combined over the term

Haverhill City Hall

of the agreement. Fairhaven Housing Authority (FHA), a public housing provider, installed a 236 kW solar energy system on the roof of its largest housing complex. FHA anticipates the array will provide up to 40% of the

facility’s annual electricity, and projects $467,000 in savings over the life of the 20-year agreement. The city of Haverhill installed a 170 kW rooftop solar system on its city hall and an 80 kW rooftop solar array on the city’s maintenance garage. With the installation of the rooftop arrays, the city now expects to save approximately $22,000 annually. The Somerset Berkley Regional School District installed a 348 kW solar energy system on the roof of its regional high school. The array is expected to cover up to 20% of the school’s annual electricity use and to save the school approximately $20,000 in year one on its energy expenses.

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Annual MEP Supplement

William F. Lynch Mechanical Contractors Complete the Hart Center At College of the Holy Cross Worcester, Mass. – William F. Lynch Mechanical Contractors just completed the HVAC and plumbing work for the Hart Center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. The newly renovated and expanded Hart Center, completed in various phases over the past 21 months, will provide student-athletes with facilities consistent with those offered by other Division I athletic programs. New plumbing and mechanical and equipment and systems were installed to provide greater comfort and operating efficiency for renovated area and the addition. Complex phasing was coordinated, and work performed during teams’ off-seasons to allow use of the facilities during their specific seasons. Additions include:

• 64,000sf indoor practice facility (with 100 yards of turf for use by all field sports). • Auxiliary gymnasium for basketball team practice and volleyball practice/ competition. • 3,000sf of new space for sports medicine. • 9,500sf of new space for strength and conditioning training and equipment. • Additional locker rooms for varsity teams. • Offices for all programs. • New meeting rooms/recruiting space. • Offices for all athletic administrators and athletic support services. • Exterior plaza for events. Field House renovations are a top-flight recreation and wellness complex for the entire campus community, featuring:

• Basketball courts. • Multiple exercise studios. • Weight training rooms. • New shower and locker spaces • Centers for a wide assortment of health, wellness, and fitness programming.


March 2018

March 2018

Annual MEP Supplement


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March 2018

GBPCA Welcomes New Director well as the health and welfare funds and programs. “Before I worked with NECA, I didn’t really know all that much about unions or trade associations,” he says. But Ryan learned on the job and quickly grew to appreciate the work that they do and the Even before he arrived to assume his interdependent roles that they play. new leadership position as the He then moved to New York incoming executive director for City to work with NECA’s the Greater Boston Plumbing chapter there. Ryan says and Contractors Association, Electrical Workers Local 3, Jeremy Ryan knew that one based in the city, impressed him. of his top priorities would be “They really embody the union to preserve and nurture the philosophy,” he notes pointing positive working relationship to, among other initiatives, that the contractors’ group has the scholarship and housing with Plumbers Local 12. That’s Jeremy Ryan programs the local runs. because while he was living Since coming on board, in New York, a Boston-based he says that the GBPCA’s board and the colleague told him about the harmonious plumbing contractors he has met have labor-management rapport between the impressed him. “They are all classy organizations. individuals, and they are fair, pragmatic, For the past few years, he has worked intelligent, and a great group to work for with the National Electrical Contractors and with.” Ryan has praise for everyone at Association. Local 12 also, noting that they are “highly After earning his degree in public policy regarded and passionate, knowledgeable, and studying nonprofit administration innovative about what they do.” at the University of Delaware, Ryan Ryan will take over GBPCA’s participated in a management training executive director role in late 2017 when program at NECA’s national office. Hugh Kelleher, who has held the position Subsequently, he took a position with since 1998, retires. He credits Kelleher NECA’s Cleveland chapter and worked with doing an outstanding job leading the with its three affiliated Electrical Workers organization and figures that he’ll never be locals. Among his responsibilities, Ryan able to fill his shoes. “I’ll just have to go was involved with the joint apprenticeship and labor-management committees as down a parallel path.” Editor’s note: The following is reprinted from the February issue of “The Pipeline,” a publication offering news and Information about the Eastern Massachusetts Plumbing Industry

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Middletown, CT – Consulting Engineering Services (CES), a national, full-service MEP firm, announced the promotion of Derek Bride, Vincent Burns, and Michael Bouchard to shareholders and associates of the company. Derek Bride, an Associate and Senior Mechanical Engineer at CES became a shareholder of the company. Derek is President of the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, RefrigDerek Bride erating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) CT Chapter. Vincent Burns was promoted to associate and shareholder. With over a decade of experience in project management, mechanical design, and construction, he specializes in the design of high-end residential projects ranging from 5,000sf to 30,000sf located throughout the United States. He is a team leader in the New York City office as well as a member of ASHRAE. Michael Bouchard was promoted to

Vincent Burns

Michael Bouchard

associate in the CES Connecticut office. He contributes particular expertise in education and healthcare environments. He is a LEED accredited professional, a member of the United States Green Building Council, ASHRAE, and is also an active volunteer within the ACE Mentorship Program. CES also announced the promotions of Mitchell Joseph, Eric Romeo, and Paul Sekas, QCxP to team leaders, as well as Sam Masciulli and Lauren Krueger to project managers. “The foundation of our success throughout the last 24 years has been the talent and fortitude of our team. Our shareholder and key leadership promotions exemplify these achievements,” said CES president Michael Walsh.

Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


VRF as an Alternate to Gas/ Electric Packaged Rooftop Units

by Greg Longo and Blair Richardson Developers of commercial properties are always concerned with the first cost associated with development. This often results in the selection of less energyefficient HVAC equipment, resulting in higher utility costs and reduced comfort for the future tenants. First costs for HVAC typically include equipment cost, ductwork, and labor required for installation of a complete working system. However, energy cost are often considered secondary to the first costs. This can lead to excessive operating costs and reduce profitability for building operators. The best approach is to look at the building from a life cycle perspective. There are many different options when it comes to HVAC systems. For this comparison we are going to be looking at packaged rooftop units and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems and show that VRF can be a cost-

effective alternative. A constant volume packaged rooftop air handling system is one of the most common pieces of HVAC equipment used in commercial construction. This equipment typically consists of a natural gas furnace, condensing unit, cooling coil packaged into one piece of equipment located on a roof, and associated ductwork distribution system. Equipment efficiencies are typically the lowest allowable by the energy code. The cost of a complete rooftop system is approximately $20 psf. Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems typically consist of an outdoor condensing unit, an associated system of refrigerant piping, and multiple indoor fan coil units. The condensing unit acts as a heat pump to provide heating and cooling. The indoor units come in a variety of different styles to fit the aesthetic of any space and have many flexible mounting options. The system capacity modulates based on the heating or cooling demand on the building. Because this system modulates between zero and 100%, efficiency is much higher than code minimum. Additional efficiency can be gained though the heat recovery function of some systems. The cost of a system is approximately $30 psf. In accordance with the energy code, a load calculation is created for every

Connecticut Turnpike rest area renovations and new construction designed by BL Companies / photo by Jeffrey Stevensen

project. This takes building location, construction, internal loads, occupancy schedules, etc. into consideration. The peak load is the highest expected heating and cooling requirements for the year. This typically indicates the minimum heating and cooling capacity required for the system to meet the owner’s needs. From the load calculation we can then create an energy model to simulate how each type of system will operate under these established conditions. The results from this energy model show the yearly energy use and help determine the best value with respect to energy cost, first cost, and maintenance. The packaged rooftop system typically serves a single zone in either heating or

cooling mode. This can cause thermal comfort issues as the seasons change. Because there is only one ductwork distribution system, there is no ability to modulate the amount of heating or cooling in a space. Spaces that need cooling year-round require supplemental systems to provide air conditioning during the heating season, and conversely for spaces that require heating year-round. The VRF system breaks the building down into multiple zones to provide effective heating and cooling to spaces based on the real-time demand. This allows better much better control, significantly improved efficiency, and the continued to page 12

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Interstate Electrical Services Corp.

Taking a New Approach to the Challenges of Growth

by Brian Lewis No one ever said it would be easy being an MEP contractor. And if they did, they were wrong. Today’s tricky combination of tight schedules, increasingly complex building initiatives, and shortage of skilled labor aren’t making things any simpler. Challenges like these can drain an organization of energy, people, and resources if left unaddressed. But if confronted head-on, they can become opportunities for inspiration, new vigor, and new growth. Five years ago, even before the labor crisis hit its peak, Interstate Electrical Services Corporation embarked on a journey of reinvention. Interstate, an electrical subcontractor headquartered in North Billerica, Mass. with offices throughout New England, decided to take a close, hard look at itself. Cross-functional teams gathered to examine and analyze all aspects of the way the company handled projects, from award through warranty. The conclusions were sobering. Interstate, a well-respected and successful subcontractor, was doing well, but it could do better — much better. The company was delivering quality workmanship and hitting schedule milestones to the complete satisfaction of project owners, but the burden of doing so was overtaxing project management and field teams alike. The chronic pressures of project demands threatened to overshadow the joy and excitement of accomplishment. Workers were beginning to feel burned out. The conventional wisdom was (and still often is) that a general sense of “organized chaos” is part and parcel of the “feast or famine” construction game. Interstate’s cross-functional teams were convinced otherwise. Fully supported by management, they set about to overhaul the way Interstate would approach and manage projects using Lean manufacturing principles, a system and management philosophy of “continuous improvement” pioneered by Toyota in the late 1940s. The results of those initiatives transformed Interstate and provided a clear vision for the company’s path forward. Central prefabrication and material management take center stage

The most pressing challenges identified through this analysis were twofold: reducing the physical and mental


March 2018

Ice River Springs and Eversource Partner

burden on field teams, and insuring that critical information flowed unimpeded throughout the course of the project. In Interstate’s climate-controlled, 100,000sf UL-certified Operations Center, fully assembled, UL-stamped parts, along with tools and incidental parts, are packaged with installation instructions and delivered to the point of installation. No longer are field crews Ice River Springs plant

(l-r) Phil Yeo and Fred Martignetti spool wire in Interstate’s climate-controlled, 100,000sf UL-certified Operations Center.

required to receive, unpack, manage, and assemble light fixtures, transformers, receptacles and switches, or temp lighting, or lug material, pipe, and huge wire spools, around a jobsite. Everything is delivered in bite size, installable units, ready to install. Field electricians can focus completely on the job at hand, safer, more efficiently, and more effectively. Technology drives communication and data sharing

Intelligent 3D design and visualization software enable field teams and officebased engineering, design, and detailing staff to validate and coordinate MEP spaces and identify components for custom fabrication in the shop. A notable benefit of 3D coordination is that precise positioning data for all electrical components can be dynamically extracted from the model in real time and projected on the jobsite using robotic laser technology: no more tape measure, stakes, and string. For those instances where the model data doesn’t exist — renovation of an old building, for example — Interstate’s coordinators employ a 3D room scanner that creates a point cloud that can be the basis of a fully coordinated model. The value for our partners and ourselves

Innovation was one of the founding principles of Interstate, which has been in business since 1966. Lean methods represent an extension of that idea — an innovative way of being innovative. For Interstate’s partners and its 600 employees, the value of this approach is that it builds and sustains the organization’s overall resiliency. Interstate is always improving, always getting better, and always getting ready for the next challenge, whatever it may be. Brian Lewis is regional vice president for Interstate Electrical Services Corporation.

Pittsfield, MA – For Ice River Springs, sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint are two key elements in the company’s corporate strategy. “We strive every day to reduce our environmental impact,” said Ice River Springs plant manager Mark Gott. “We aim to innovate and are always looking for new ways to recycle, reduce energy consumption, and minimize waste.” In 2015, Eversource approached the Canadian-based private label bottled water producer to help them better manage their energy use by connecting them with solutions for savings through energy efficiency upgrades at their Pittsfield facility. The two companies took a comprehensive approach to the facility upgrades and conducted several compressed air engineering assessments. As a result, Ice River Springs added a more efficient compressed air system and upgraded its blow-mold equipment for the bottle-making processes. Ice River Springs has since increased its production by 32% while reducing its energy consumption by 25% per case of bottles produced. “Ice River Springs is truly a pioneer in the energy efficiency and sustainability space,” said Eversource vice president of energy efficiency, Tilak Subrahmanian. “It is always a pleasure to partner with like-minded companies, and we are excited to continue our work with them to cut energy costs, grow efficiently, and

Mark Gott

contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.” The energy-saving improvements helped Ice River Springs save almost 2 million kilowatt-hours and nearly a quarter of a million dollars annually. Eversource will be working with Ice River Springs on future energy-saving improvements, including LED lighting and controls, and newly approved initiatives to reduce peak demand-related charges. Ice River Springs is the only beverage company in North American with a closed loop recycling facility, where it recycles millions of pounds of plastic each year and produces 100% recycled content bottles. All of the company’s bottling facilities have achieved zero waste to landfill through employee engagement and working with the local communities. The company will also soon launch a new two-megawatt rooftop solar system at its Pittsfield facility.

VRF as an Alternate to Gas/ Electric Packaged Rooftop Units continued from page 11

ability to transfer heat between spaces without needing a large ductwork system. With the system’s improved efficiency, we can also eliminate the code requirement for 100% outdoor air economizers. This drastically reduces the size of the ductwork distribution and reduces the overall footprint of the system. Every owner needs quality data to make an informed decision. It’s not just about the cost of the equipment anymore. A well-designed VRF system may be marginally higher in first cost, but will

have significantly lower annual energy cost and provide greater comfort when compared to traditional packaged rooftop units. By modeling the buildings and equipment we can show that VRF can save up to 20% on yearly energy cost, resulting in a simple payback of approximately five years. Greg Longo, PE, is senior project manager and principal, and Blair Richardson, PE, CEM, CGD, LEED, is senior mechanical engineer at BL Companies headquartered in Meriden, Conn.

Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


WELL Building

by Jeff Rios “Employers spend 90% of their annual operating costs on people. This means that even a small impact on productivity, engagement, and satisfaction in the workplace can have huge returns on investment.” As the building industry continues to evolve, building owners, users, and designers are placing new focus on the comfort and health of building occupants. The WELL Building Standard is a relatively new rating system, following a path similar to LEED but with a focus almost entirely on the health, happiness, and well-being of the people who inhabit the built environment. According to the WELL Building Standard: “WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light,

fitness, comfort, and mind. “WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90% of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants. WELL Certified spaces can help create a built environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and performance of its occupants.” The WELL Standard utilizes seven concepts which concentrate on different areas impacting human health within buildings, specifically air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Each of these concepts has associated preconditions and optimizations that measure and recognize building contribution to occupants’ wellbeing. For building engineers, several of these concepts (air, water, light, and comfort) are at the heart of what we do. They connect to the very reason the MEP industry exists, primarily to provide building occupants with comfortable spaces, fresh air, clean water, and pleasing light. Over the past 10 to 15 years there has been a new concentration on providing quality air, water, light, and comfort in buildings, first from LEED and other rating systems highlighting ASHRAE

62.1 and 55 for ventilation and comfort. Research, including the recently released Harvard University study on the effect of additional ventilation air on occupants’ well-being and increased productivity, has highlighted this further. Specifically, it identifies that increasing ventilation, at the cost of less than $40 per person per year, can result in increased worker performance of up to 8%, equating to $6,500 in annual productivity per worker (http://www.mdpi.com/16604601/12/11/14709/html). AKF recently designed a project to conform to the WELL Building Standard, providing MEP design services for the new offices of Delos, located on the fourth and fifth floors of 860 Washington Street in New York City. Delos is the creator of the WELL Building Standard, and, as expected, the project is pursuing a WELL Platinum Certification, as well as LEED CIv4 Certification. AKF’s MEP design focused on the WELL Building Standard concepts most relevant to our work: air, water, light, and comfort. The specific design strategies included use of an underfloor air distribution system which promotes air by supplying highly effective ventilation air, and comfort by providing flexible thermal controls for individual occupants, assuring thermal comfort for all. In addition, AKF

performed a detailed CFD analysis using the Six Sigma software to validate our underfloor design and configuration. This analysis allowed us to provide the most effective system possible, furthering air quality and human comfort strategies and complying with the WELL Building Standard – Air Optimization 21. In addition to the underfloor air system, the MEP design incorporated the following strategies to enhance the LEED and WELL Building Certification: • Air: additional air filtration and increased ventilation air. • Water: drinking water filtration. • Comfort: individual comfort controls and allowance for open office thermal gradients. • Light: circadian lighting control. Air, water, comfort, and light really are at the heart of any job we do at AKF, and the WELL Building Standard is taking them to another level, bringing them to the forefront in a new and exciting way, measuring the results, and highlighting the true benefit to the occupants. Jeff Rios, PE, LEED AP BD+C, is a senior mechanical engineer with In Posse, AKF’s in-house high-performance building lab.

SullyMac Completes Electrical Fit-Out

Arden Engineering Provides HVAC

Reebok International HQ

Upgrade for Trinity Rep

Boston – Sullivan & McLaughlin Companies (SullyMac) has completed the comprehensive electrical fit-out of the new 220,000sf Reebok International Ltd.’s headquarters facility, located at the Innovation and Design Building (IDB, formerly the Boston Design Center) on 25 Drydock Ave. in the Boston Seaport District. The expansive new global offices are spread over five floors and three buildings of the IDB. The company moved from its former home office campus in Canton. The new Reebok headquarters house the international footwear and sports gear company’s corporate offices, meeting spaces, and a state-of-the-art design lab, located on the third floor. The facility also features a 7,600sf Reebok flagship retail store with a customization shop on the first floor and a two-story, integrated 30,000sf fitness center, complete with a boxing ring and studios for Pilates, CrossFit, yoga, and spin. SullyMac’s scope of work included the installation of primary and emergency power, lighting and lighting control system, the fire alarm system, and lightning protection system, as well as low-voltage installations for Reebok’s tel/data, security, and audio-visual systems. The NECA Boston contractor also provided power to

Exterior Reebok International Ltd. Headquarters / Rendering by Gensler Trinity Rep’s HVAC upgrade

Open Work Space / Rendering by Gensler

the HVAC control systems. The facility, designed by the architectural firm Gensler, of Boston, features a modern, open work environment design and an open ceiling concept. The architect for the project was Gensler of Boston. Other team members were EE: WB Engineers & Consultants, and GC: Gilbane Building Company, both of Boston.

Providence, RI – Arden Engineering Constructors, a subsidiary of Arden Building Companies, provided complete design-build services for Trinity Repertory Company’s HVAC upgrade of its theaters and ancillary spaces. Originally built in 1910 as a vaudeville performance house, the five-story theater’s HVAC system had long since outlived its period of efficient service. The upgrade involved the removal of two rooftop HVAC units and associated ductwork, which required significant asbestos abatement and specialty considerations due to the historical nature of the structure. Seismic considerations and vibration precautions were put in place for the

replacement units and new duct so as to protect the building in case of seismic activity and to minimize equipment noise during theater productions. The project included a life-safety upgrade, providing a CO detection system allowing for smoke, dry ice, and other atmospherics during performances, as well as a building management system (BMS) that allows staff to control HVAC units and building temperature remotely. Project manager Jeremy Rogers spearheaded the work for Arden, adding that, “Despite the difficulties of working in a busy urban setting and having a very tight schedule, it was a cohesive team effort by all involved.”


Annual MEP Supplement


March 2018

New Energy Upgrades Create Warm Feeling Throughout Apartment Community

by Mark Dubos The Pynchon/Edgewater Apartments is a recent example of collaboration among private companies, property managers and owners, and nonprofit organizations that has resulted in significant energy savings, reduced consumption, and improved resident comfort. Pynchon/Edgewater Apartments in Springfield, Massachusetts (managed by Peabody Properties) features 612 apartment homes spread among 51 buildings: 250 townhouse-style apartments make

up the Pynchon Apartments and 272 high-rise apartments and 90 townhomes complete the community known as Edgewater Apartments. Pynchon/Edgewater spans an area of five city blocks in an urban neighborhood setting adjacent to the Connecticut River. As the time was coming to replace the boilers in the Pynchon Apartments, Peabody Properties investigated various possibilities and financial impact, and realized that by partnering with the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), an opportunity existed to replace boilers and upgrade water heaters through participation in Columbia Gas’ Energy Efficiency (EE) Program. Through this program and CET, financial incentives were also offered. Peabody Properties approached Pynchon/ Edgewater owners with this proposal, and they quickly realized the significant savings benefit. With CET paying for almost

Froling Energy Installs Wood Chip Boiler for Applegate Apartments

The new 1.84 million BTU/hr Viessmann Vitoflex 300-RF biomass boiler

Bennington, VT – In 2017, the 103 units at Applegate Apartments underwent some significant changes that have reduced heating costs by over 50%. The changes include new windows, insulation, new roofing and siding. These were huge improvements, but the biggest change was conversion to a biomass-fired district heat distribution system that linked the complex’s 23 buildings to a new central boiler house. This change eliminated 23 separate oil boilers and the burning of over 50,000 gallons of oil each year for heat and hot water. Applegate’s savings come from both conservation steps and their new biomass fuel that costs less than half of the cost of oil. The project team included Applegate Energy Rehab project Shires Housing who manages the property, Naylor & Breen Construction the project GC, Goldstone Architecture, WV Engineering, Froling Energy and others. Froling Energy installed the new Viessmann Vitoflex 300-RF dry wood chip boiler and storage silo that is at the center of the new system. Froling also supplies the 25% moisture content screened wood chips into the silo with their blower truck which pushes the chips into the 30 foot silo through a 5-inch diameter pipe.


103 apartments in 23 buildings at Applegate Housing / photo courtesy of Google Earth

50% of the project, the owner agreed to fund the remaining cost of upgrades. Through this process, four 11-year-old Burnham V1112 boilers (using 10 million BTUs total) were replaced with five Lochnivar FXTLs (using 4.25 million BTUs total) at a 96% efficiency rate and an overall change in BTUs of 5.75 million. Additionally, four 11-year-old 1 million BTU hot water tanks (at 200 gallons each) were swapped out for four new 500,000 BTU Lochnivar Shield hot water tanks (at 100 gallons each), again with a 96% efficiency rate and a 2 million reduction in BTUs. The cost of all equipment and work financial obligations totaled $168,826, all of which was eligible under CET’s and Columbia Gas’ EE program. Columbia Gas provided $70,000 as an incentive, leaving the owner to cover $98,826 for upgrades that benefited over 270 apartments. Additionally, since these upgrades were completed in January 2016, the property saw an overall reduction in gas by 1 billion BTUs – so significant that Columbia Gas insisted in changing the meters after a few months, assuming the much lower figures they were recording had to do with a meter malfunction rather than the energy upgrades! CET also recognized the project after

its completion, by naming the community a Green Business Award Winner. The center estimates that the boiler replacements and water heater upgrades save 120 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of powering almost 10 homes every year. Since then, and through a partnership with Eversource and Indoor Comfort Systems (ICS), the property has further reduced the electrical costs associated with running the boilers and water heaters through variable frequency drives (VFDs) being installed at no cost. The three drives installed are valued at $2,850 each (for a total savings of $8,550), and the anticipated kWh savings is expected to average around 21,995. Given that costs are usually calculated between $0.14 and $0.17 per kilowatt, this adds an additional $3,079.30 to $3,739.15 in yearly savings. While skeptics remain in the industry regarding the use of energy-efficient and green materials, it’s great to see how a project like this can show continual value through incentive funding by energy companies and organizations as well as yearly cost savings and impressive returns on investment (not to mention happier residents!). At the end of the day, you can’t afford not to consider these programs. Mark Dubos is facilities manager at Peabody Properties.

Promoting the Mechanical Contracting Industry for

125 We offer membership within the Mechanical Contractors Association, Mechanical Service Contractors Association, and the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau. We support our member contractors through our educational seminars, labor and government relations, industry news and marketing. Committed to the future of our industry, we sponsor MCA student chapters at Northeastern University and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Our affiliation with the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and our strong, cooperative relationship with the United Association enable us to offer our members numerous opportunities to build lasting, beneficial relationships with peers while acquiring the business knowledge and tools to keep their company successful.

The Froling Energy wood chip blower truck fills the 42 ton silo at Applegate Housing





View of the new boiler house and silo at Applegate Housing in Bennington, Vermont

Their dry chips and their blower delivery method are innovations that greatly reduce initial investments with lower construction costs and by meeting emissions requirements without requiring expensive scrubbers or ESPs. With the Viessmann boiler design, future maintenance costs will be less than they paid for maintaining the 23-old-oil boilers each year.

Annual MEP Supplement

March 2018


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Annual MEP Supplement


March 2018


At Florence Electric,

We go above and beyond to build partnerships with our customers that will last. Our proven flexibility and innovation makes no job too big or too small.


Our relationships are established on trust and on consistently exceeding our customers expectations job after job. Whether it’s a world class hospital or emergency service, we


are here to help you keep your business moving forward.

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High-Profle's 2018 Energy/MEP Supplement  

High-Profle's 2018 Energy/MEP Supplement