Category Archives: Central Plant Construction

Bid Evaluation: Successful Experience Counts

Evaluating bids for a central plant construction project is a complex endeavor for any facilities director or selection committee.  There are a number of criteria being reviewed, including costs, equipment and materials, and the competing firms themselves.  One of the areas where we feel project stakeholders should spend time is identifying the successful experience of those submitting bids.  Continue reading

Packaged Utility Plants:  Are They Really Plug-And-Play?

Over the past few years, the central utility plant construction industry has experienced increased use of pre-manufactured, or “packaged”, central utility plant strategies.  This factory-built approach to delivering central cooling, heating and power has the potential to positively impact project schedules, costs and quality.

However, there are some misconceptions.  For example, owners and contractors may be tempted to think these packaged solutions are “plug-and-play” – where all the coordination happens before shipment, driven completely by the packaged plant manufacturer.  In that case, on-site field work for assembly, start-up and commissioning is more of an afterthought. Continue reading

The Perils of Invitation For Bid

For many organizations contemplating a central utility plant, boiler upgrade or similar infrastructure project, an invitation to bid appears to be the best option to find the right price/value.  Unfortunately, the invitation to bid process often leaves building owners with a poor construction experience. Continue reading

The importance of Design in Central Utility Plant Construction

Commercial construction is a complex endeavor, made even more so when you consider the mechanical systems needed to effectively control large commercial and industrial spaces.  Consider a hospital, or large university dormitory — each has very specific needs for heating, cooling, electricity, water, wastewater and fire suppression systems.  However, the nature of the building’s use significantly changes the construction approach needed. Continue reading

A New Take on the Modular Plant

Using a prefabricated, modular approach to central plant construction is an increasingly popular approach, when compared to traditional construction techniques.  Modular construction isn’t always the best solution for plant construction, but in many cases, there are several advantages to the property owner, management, builder, and end-user. Continue reading

Boiler Plant Selection Options and Impacts

A recent article in Engineered Systems magazine is a great example of why it’s important to have both expertise and experience in your engineering and construction firm for central plants.  The article, titled Boiler Design & Selection: What Engineers Should Keep in Mind, highlights the wide number of boiler and system design considerations, many of which will vary based on the building owner’s goals and even the current state. Continue reading