‘It was like an erector set’
Q&A with a B&K project manager
B&K Project Manager Lance Boling takes us back to the time, when we replaced a pair of 55,000-CFM air handling units at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital outside of Atlanta.
Installed in 1974, the two units served five floors of the hospital’s Green Tower – and switching them out was no easy task.
How did you replace something so big without affecting air flow inside a working hospital?
We came up with a plan to build a customized air handling unit that could temporarily cover for one of the old ones while we replaced it. I say custom because we had a specific footprint to work with, and very limited space. All of the units were in this giant mechanical room on the third floor of the tower. The two we were replacing served five floors of the tower.
So what’s involved in adding a big temporary unit to a limited space?
Well, the same process applied to the temporary unit and the two permanent AHUs we were installing. They were way too big to just move into the room. In fact, even the basic segments or sections were too big to fit inside a door.
So, we had to break each unit down to component pieces – the floor, wall and roof segments, the coil sections, the fan cubes. The units came assembled and we went to a warehouse at T&D Machine Handling, and we broke down each unit into component pieces. We palletized these and lifted them up with a crane, then reassembled inside the space. It was like an erector set.
Of course, the temporary unit had to come first.
That’s right. We did custom-built Temtrol units, and for the temporary one, we ran temporary ducts and 6-inch chilled water pipes from it to the unit being replaced at the time. We first removed another unit that wasn’t in use.
What was involved with lifting the palletized components to the space?
That was a huge part of the project. Obviously, we used a crane, but there was a lot to think through. It was a 240-ton crane, and the only place to set it for the job was at the main ambulance entrance to the Emergency Department.