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.
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
TMC welcome’s our newest addition, engineer Kyle Minter 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.