Rooftop Cooling Towers Replaced at Richmond City Hall
- PROJECT Cooling Towers
- PROJECT Cooling Towers
- Contract Amount : 1.1 MM
- Project Manager: Gary Drake
- Superintendent: Charlie Branscomb
- Engineer: Jason Devine - Dewberry
- City of Richmond Project Manager: Lacy Salomone
- Completion: Unit 1- May 2018, Unit 2 – October 2018
About This Project
Waco, Inc. replaces numerous cooling towers each year. The vast majority are basic projects that require moderate oversight and teamwork. When the project involves two cooling towers on top of a 19 story active downtown building – the coordination and expertise level increases substantially. Richmond City Hall is home to administrative and service offices of the City of Richmond, Virginia. It has over 78,000 sf of building space. The air conditioning system has two evaporative cooling towers. Each cooling tower sits upon a massive structural steel framework. Over the past twenty years, the cooling towers and steel framework had deteriorated so badly they needed to be replaced.
Waco’s job was to disconnect the piping and electrical systems, then dismantle, remove and dispose of the steel frame and aging cooling tower. A new steel frame was fabricated and galvanized. The new cooling towers would be mounted to this structural steel frame. Many of the pipe connections had to be welded in place and updates to the electrical system were implemented. All tasks for each unit had to be performed within a 60 hour window. Included in that short time frame was the erection and dismantling of the 550 ton crane which would be built on site prior to setting the steel and the cooling tower. Two cranes would actually be required; one 120 ton crane to remove materials from the flatbed trucks and another to make the critical 280 foot lift to the roof. All of the fabricated galvanized structural steel would have to be precisely measured and staged, as there would be no time for any modifications to it, once the streets were blocked off and the operation began. Several crews of professional craftsman working around the clock on shifts would be required to meet the tight time frame. All pipe fabrication would be done in Waco’s facility prior to lifting into place. Only a minimal amount of work could be done on the existing units prior to the start of the project , as they would be functioning up to the time of replacement.
What IT TOOK TO ACHIEVE THIS PROJECT.
Unique Project Challenges
The most critical part of this industrial equipment installation project was planning each step and then coordinating with each team member and subcontractor. Once everyone understood each task to be completed, the manpower required and the time frame demanded, then the project’s success could be assured.
Safety was a major factor to be considered, due to the heavy critical lifts in a crowded downtown space and performing some of the work at night. Waco’s Safety Director was involved in the process from the beginning. He made certain that all the proper safety equipment was on hand and that the correct amount of time was allotted to each task before any activity was started.
Our key subcontractors were:
- Mid-Atlantic Steel Erection – Crane Services and Steel erection
- Lowman Electrical – electrical
- Siemens – Instrumentation and control system
Waco utilized many of our own craftsman to set the steel, rig the equipment, and connect all the piping, fittings, valves and gauges.