DALLAS — C1S Group, a full-service professional engineering and construction firm based in Dallas, completed a project to provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades for a large food manufacturer and distributor in North Texas. The $7.1 million contract involved replacing outdated and non-functional HVAC equipment serving both the process and packaging areas at the food production facility and other related infrastructure upgrades.
Previously, the HVAC equipment in the processing area of the plant was in various states of disrepair and much of the equipment was beyond its useable life. C1S replaced this equipment with chilled water (CHW) units while the failing equipment in the packaging area was replaced with direct expansion (DX) units. The majority of the work was completed during plant operating hours, however, various lines were shut down during weekends as needed to facilitate construction activities requiring shut down in those areas. All critical shutdown activities not completed during regular shut downs were scheduled to occur during a predetermined three-day shutdown window.
“Managing disruptions is the biggest challenge when doing construction projects in operating manufacturing facilities,” said Matt Strong, PE, LEED AP and president of C1S Group. “C1S has years of experience working in existing facilities, so we know that it’s crucial to understand the facility’s use and schedules and how to work within those parameters. This is especially true in manufacturing where the client’s production schedules can vary or change drastically with little notice. Being a true partner to our client requires us to be flexible and able to adjust with little notice to meet the client’s needs.”
C1S completed additional construction projects at the food production facility to support the new HVAC units. This work included adding new processing area exhaust fans and related duct work; fabricating and installing new supply and return air ductwork where required to serve the packaging DX Units; installing piping for condenser water, chilled water and natural gas; and making the electrical upgrades required to support the new systems.
During the retrofit, five cranes lifted 1,100 tons of new air-conditioning capacity onto the roof of the facility. The cranes made more than 50 swings, including curbs and 2-piece units, to remove 18 units and add 16 new ones, lifting a total of more than 250,000 pounds of equipment.
C1S completed the North Texas food production facility retrofit project in seven months, putting in nearly 4,000 man-hours. The new HVAC systems and other enhancements C1S implemented improved both operations and working conditions at the facility, creating a twenty-first century food processing environment.