See the premier of TMC’s Mission BIM Possible Movie and find out how our BIM specialists can save you time and money on your next project.
October marks Tebarco Mechanical Corporation’s completion of three major renovation projects for the Atlanta Public School System and one for Marist School. The largest project was plumbing for Crawford Long Middle School. The renovation encompassed additional classrooms, administrative space, and an auditorium. Young Middle School also got a face lift with plumbing renovations and additional classroom space. Dunaire Elementary required both plumbing and HVAC for their renovation, which consisted of new bathrooms and the addition of air-conditioning to the gym.
At Marist, TMC completed the interior plumbing and HVAC in the final third phase of renovations to the St. Peter Chanel main classroom building and the reflection pond. The first two phases of this LEED qualified project began in 2014. The renovations increased classroom space by 40% and cafeteria seating by 25%. In addition to Marist classrooms, the building also houses the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and the Centro Hispano Marista: a program that helps Hispanic adults obtain their GRE.
With TMC’s excellent reputation for school renovation, the fun never ends! Our next school project, an 84,000 sq. ft. addition, has already started at Pope High School in Marietta.
TMC, in coordination with the PHCC (Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association) Georgia Academy Apprenticeship Program is offering journeyman/plumbing apprenticeship on-line classes. Eligible employees must be in good standing and have been employed by TMC for a minimum of two years. A placement exam is also required for admittance.
The 4-year program consists of reading, eLearning classes, online exams, and monthly labs on location. Students will be able to study while receiving on the job training at Tebarco worksites. Apprentices study a variety of topics from Blueprint Reading and Installation Practices to Excavation Safety and Water Handling. Upon completion, apprentices will be qualified to sit for the state of Georgia’s journeyman plumbers license exam.
This program is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, as a reasonable option for apprentice training. Each course is the equivalent of one year of classroom instruction. It is one of the many ways that TMC helps its employees to grow professionally as well as personally.
For more information contact Trevor Barden at email@example.com
As far as filters go, the amount of usage along with the operating environment are often the two greatest factors. I had a bakery A/C unit in which I could not keep the evaporator coil clean (the evaporator is protected by the filter) in spite of a number of different interventions on my part. Having said that, such an environment is unlikely in a commercial building. From my experience, I will always recommend a pleated filter over a fiberglass throw-away filter. At TMC, we install a minimum of a Merv 8 pleated filter. This filter performs well for the money and will not overstress the unit. (Note: some of the best performing filters in the market can also limit the amount of airflow through the unit causing undue stress on the unit.) Filter change intervals depend on particles in air, amount of outside air coming in, etc. As you would expect, a unit with a lot of run time will need filter changes more frequently. Usually, quarterly maintenance is sufficient in most commercial applications.
Before the advent of BIM (Building Information Modeling), mechanical contractors relied on tape measures, strings, and printed plans to lay out fittings, pipe hangers, and other elements on a job site. This time-consuming technique was complicated and prone to errors. Now, using a Trimble Robotic Total Station, 3D models with Trimble Points can be uploaded from the BIM office and downloaded at the worksite. Using control points, the Trimble can pinpoint its location within a job, and accurately lay out various MEP points to be marked within an 1/8-inch tolerance. A single Trimble operator can layout a job 5x’s times faster than a 2-person team using manual methods.[i]
First, the operator sets up the Trimble RTS (Robotic Total Station) by delicately placing the robot on top of a tripod, and then leveling the machine to ensure accuracy. The operator proceeds to calibrate the machine by focusing the RTS laser on various control points (reflective foils) around the job site. Usually, after three control points, the RTS machine will be able to locate its spatial relationship within the job site. From there, the RTS communicates with a Yuma II tablet which guides the operator and his prism pole laser over the exact Trimble points for fittings, hangers, etc. The Trimble Operator then uses a permanent marker to paint the laser indicated spot on the slab and note its specific identifying number.
When installers arrive, they create chalk lines for corresponding pipe runs, allowing them to locate various pipe systems, fittings, sleeves, hanger locations etc. By aiming a PLS laser from different Trimble points on the ground to the ceiling, installers see exactly where an installation point lies above.
The Trimble RTS is also capable of recording as built information to the BIM Team. This allows for updates to the collaborative 3D model, while reducing clashes and the time it takes to resolve issues. In a head to head test of Trimble verses Traditional Measuring, 200 Trimble Points were marked in four hours with perfect accuracy. Traditional measuring only marked 97 points in the same time frame with 2 RFI’s required.[ii]
TMC (Tebarco Mechanical Corporation) in Alpharetta, Georgia has been using Trimble since November of 2015. Project Manager, Trevor Barden has seen a huge improvement in the way that mechanical systems are being laid out and installed.
“With Revit, the BIM team can accurately create a virtual representation of a building’s systems prior to any physical installation of its components. By taking this approach, contractors create their own opportunities to utilize efficient layout and installations methods—in our case, Trimble and Pre-Fabrication. These best practices will condense the OPS and help deliver a far superior product to the owner.”
Trevor Barden, TMC Project Manager
Tony Adams, TMC’s Vice President of Pre-Construction, recalls a time when TMC used Trimble on a worksite and discovered that the string and tape measurements of the electrical contractor were totally off. Luckily for the General Contractor, this error was caught before any permanent structures were assembled, saving thousands of dollars in rework.
For more information on TMC’s BIM capabilities, go to www.tebarco.com or call (770) 475-5552
[i] Trimble MEP, Construction Layout with the Trimble Robotic Station, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-BnQH5v7tA&list=PLeXB-DGlqL9An2fePqDLKxiqmUf9ILCob , accessed July 11, 2016
[ii] Trimble vs. Tape, http://mep.trimble.com/products/field-solutions/trimble-mep, accessed July 11, 2016
When customers call TMC (Tebarco Mechanical Corporation) for commercial service, they may meet one of our service team members, Michael Fitch. Michael visits facilities, diagnoses problems, and suggests repairs. While his official title is Service Account Manager, a more accurate description of his skills would be HVAC Professor.
Michael began his teaching career as head of the HVAC Department at the Interactive College of Technology in Chamblee. There he developed curriculum and taught all aspects of the HVAC/R industry. He has 30 years’ experience working in commercial service as well as acting as a Safety and Training Manger. In 2012 he completed a B.S. degree in instructional design.
The TMC Service Department has a reputation for working on complicated projects and hiring highly experienced technicians. Michael is no exception to this rule. He has seen it all and is an authority in the HVAC industry. Starting in July, “Air Conditioning Appreciation Month”, Michael will be taking your HVAC questions for a monthly advice column.
In addition to HVAC, Michael is fluent in American Sign Language. As an Ohio native, he is a happy Cleveland Cavaliers fan, but also roots for the all the Atlanta teams. He enjoys riding his Harley and Ballroom Dancing. He will gladly give you advice on HVAC or any of his many talents! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TMC welcome’s our newest addition, engineer Kyle Minton to the team. Kyle is a native of Warner Robbins, Georgia and a recent graduate of Mercer University in Macon. His interest in mechanical engineering was sparked as a teenager while helping his dad work on the family car. Kyle will undergo extensive training in TMC’s BIM (Building Information Modeling) department to meet the ever growing demand for mechanical designers. Last summer, he drew HVAC mechanical designs with AutoCad at Clark & Nixon for his internship, so he expects a smooth transition to the world of 3-D designs. When not at work, he enjoys fishing, being outdoors, the Braves, and the Falcons. Kyle, Atlanta, and TMC appear to be the perfect fit.
When properly maintained, life expectancy for a commercial packaged HVAC system is 15 to 20 years. However, these units function in harsh outdoor environments so without regular service, that number can drop drastically. Some businesses forgo a Planned Service Agreement (PSA) with a HVAC contractor attempting to cut costs. If you are considering the do-it-yourself route, keep in mind this list of the most critical tasks involved in proper maintenance.
If you do decide to take on your own HVAC maintenance, make sure that your staff has the time and knowledge to handle the task. If, on the other hand, service responsibilities seem overwhelming, seriously consider a PSA with a reputable commercial mechanical company. The energy savings alone can justify the costs.
Consider the story of a facilities manager who took over at a local private school. He decided to cancel the school’s existing $10,000 per month full service maintenance program (all repair and parts covered) in order to save money. Was this the right move? Yes, but probably not for the reason you may guess. With that type of contract, the HVAC company was simply band-aiding old equipment instead of making desperately needed replacements. Once he found a new service contractor (TMC) that tailored his maintenance agreement based on the age of the equipment, he saved tens of thousands of dollars allowing the school to allocate money for replacement of old units. By the second year, utility bills dropped an average of 25% across the campus.
As a contractor, you know it’s your name on the line if construction is delayed or errors are made. The client doesn’t care if mistakes are made by subcontractors, the G.C. is ultimately responsible. This is why choosing a new subcontractor is such an important and challenging decision. Keep in mind the following questions while investigating potential subcontractors.
Don’t be shy about asking for financial statements from subcontractors, they are accustomed to it. Hire financially profitable companies only. You don’t want the worry of workers walking off of the job or materials not arriving on time because the sub is too broke to pay bills. Look at the accounts payable figures. If these are inflated over industry standards, this could signal that sub is not paying vendors until the job is finished. A financially healthy company has working capital and pays vendors when the bill is due. Also, a request from a subcontractor for payments in the form of a joint check should be a red flag. This could be another indicator that the sub is not credit worthy. Some contractors believe that issuing joint checks protects them from liens by unpaid suppliers. In reality both the supplier and sub can cash one or the others checks and leave the G.C. legally holding the bag if there was no former agreement for payment distribution. (See Crystalplex Plastics v. Redevelopment Agency of the City of Barstow)
As the old saying goes a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Feel free to ask employees questions on the work site. Longevity and satisfaction say a lot about an employer. When an employee is well paid and feels appreciated, he will perform like he is part of a team and not just clocking in hours.
Does the sub have letters of recommendation from other general contractors? A construction project is a complicated process and challenges ALWAYS arise, some of them at very inconvenient times. Does the sub go beyond the call of duty when things get tough? Do they have a reputation for being knowledgeable and consistent? How long has the company been in business? Any construction company that made it through the Great Recession has got to have some staying power.
Does the subcontractor have a variety of projects and markets under their belt? It is one thing to work in new construction but perhaps another set of skills to do the delicate work required for historical restoration or renovation. A well rounded company should be experienced in many types of environments, a sign that they have seen it all.
A company that wants a solid work team hires smart individuals who are thinkers and problem solvers first. This can be evidenced by the amount of licensing and certification that employees carry. Does the company have a program of apprenticeship or mentoring to show that education is important to them?
Lean construction requires the use of updated technology solutions like BIM (Building Information Modeling), Trimble, IPads in the field etc. These technologies are assets that support your client’s business outcomes. Clashes with other trades can be avoided, schedules tightened, and real time collaboration between engineers and the field cuts rework. Make sure that your sub can provide these money saving services.
Should anything fall through on the subcontractor’s end, they should have enough bonding to cover your losses. Losses covered by a surety bond generally include: failure to adequately perform or finish the job, payments not made to vendors, and missing permits or licensing. Know the value of your project and ask for the appropriate amount of bonding. Subcontractor liability insurance usually covers bodily injury or damage to the property being constructed. Subcontractor’s should also carry worker’s compensation. Ask for proof of coverage and make sure that it is all up to date.
Building Information Modeling Systems (BIM) is a modeling design plan that uses 3-D Smart Technology to create electronic drawings of a building’s geometry, spatial relationships, and components. It’s benefits to the building industry have been immeasurable over the last decade. It improves costs, productivity, scheduling, quality, and safety. Now, the Tebarco Mechanical BIM team has taken these capabilities one step further by using it to pre-fabricate materials at our warehouse.
BIM’s precision allows for exact measurement of materials and frees up space and time on busy construction sites. Instead of carrying materials from the warehouse to different construction sites, all supplies are at the technician’s finger tips, avoiding wasted time waiting for missing parts, clashes with other trades, or a lack of work space. Above is a BIM of diagram of a toilet battery being installed at the new Atlanta Testing Laboratories.