HVAC installation is often a reasonably straightforward endeavor. But sometimes, a larger and more challenging venture presents itself. Such is the case for the crew at SCR, who started a massive job in Litchfield more than a year ago. With everything on track to wrap up soon, learn more about SCR’s impressive HVAC project and how it differs from so many others.
“A typical HVAC project involves installing the equipment and ductwork that moves air throughout a facility,” Project Manager Josh Hagen said. However, this task was anything but typical.
In the fall of 2019, the First District Association (FDA) dairy processing plant in Litchfield began construction to expand its facility and output. The building additions would allow FDA to increase its daily intake capacity from around 5 million pounds of milk to 7.5 million pounds.
“We did a cheese plant addition, a lactose dryer addition, and a milk receiving addition,” Hagen noted. “So, there were really three separate projects going simultaneously.”
Each expansion was a new building that required a new system. None of the existing HVAC was integrated, so everything started from square one.
This FDA project operates on a bigger scale than most HVAC installations. Naturally, the larger details require more time and effort for execution. And when everything is custom fitted along the way, the amount of work invested becomes obvious.
“Just about all the ductwork is welded stainless steel, which is more time consuming and difficult than typical, bolted-together ductwork,” Hagen explained.
All the pieces used for this project were cut out in SCR’s sheet metal fabrication shop and welded together. “We had one connection piece that measured 144 inches by 96 inches. So, imagine trying to get that up and into place and welded on,” he added.
TESTS AND VALIDATION
The complexity and size of these systems made the work demanding at times. One constant challenge on a project of this magnitude, Hagen admitted, was coordinating logistics with the other trades.
This was especially true at the cheese plant, with a maze and miles of piping going in every direction. “We needed to try to make everything fit together while not getting in each other’s way,” Hagen said.
Because the crew needed to get immense and bulky equipment about 250 feet into the building, SCR brought in some memorable machinery to do the heavy lifting.
“We were using Landwehr’s monster 400-ton crane with a 100-foot jib on it to set equipment,” Hagen explained. “You could see this thing from 10 miles away.”
But seeing this project come together is the very definition of satisfying.
“You can look at all the photos you want,” Hagen said, “but the pictures don’t do justice to the scope of this project. To think about what our guys were able to accomplish in getting some of the equipment and ductwork where it’s at is kind of amazing.”
SCR takes comprehensive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services seriously as well as to the next level. This impressive HVAC project will help FDA increase its capabilities and make a statement, just in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer. Learn more about SCR’s HVAC, refrigeration, building automation, food service, and maintenance specialties and how they can work for you. Contact us today.