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Advanced construction solutions impact Bangor landmark revitalization

Posted April 19, 2012, at 10:39 a.m.
Last modified April 24, 2012, at 4:37 p.m.

Consigli Construction Co., Inc. (Consigli) of Portland, ranked as Maine’s #1 Best Places to Work of 2011, is in the middle of an extensive three-year building renovation and energy-efficiency upgrade of the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building. A City of Bangor landmark since 1967, the three-story, 180,000-square-foot building houses multiple federal agencies. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the phased building renovation is scheduled for completion in late 2013.

While working to minimize disruptions and maintaining critical government operations at all times, Consigli has already completed a significant number of renovations at the building, including:

• Full replacement of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems;

• A new elevator and stairs;

• Installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system;

• Advanced heating, cooling, and lighting controls;

• New windows, electrical systems, and security systems.

The first new tenant moved into the former post-office area this past winter.

This summer, construction will begin on a new glass entry pavilion designed by Teng & Associates, Inc. of Chicago to impart a more open and inviting entrance for the public. Combined with plaza improvements, including new public art, the completed entry area will provide a welcoming public space in downtown Bangor.

Throughout the renovation, Consigli has incorporated the use of advanced technology, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Vela Systems to help meet the owner’s objectives and ensure that the project stays within the budget and on schedule. Construction of the specialized interiors has involved significant use of advanced building technologies to update the building to current energy-efficiency, safety, and security standards.

Using BIM, Consigli proactively plans how the design and layout of the mechanical systems can be improved to ultimately reduce the project schedule and cost and to further drive conversations around choices that could enhance the efficiency of the installed systems. “Building Information Modeling allows us to plan and coordinate all of the trades using three dimensional models prior to installing anything on site,” said Matt Tonello, Area Manager for Consigli. “It allows us to anticipate problems virtually and to prevent them from becoming problems on site.”

In particular, Consigli’s utilization of BIM played a large part in the planning and careful weaving of the new mechanical and electrical system, including new boilers, chillers, air handlers and switchgear, into the back of house areas of the massive building.

The planning efficiency gained by using BIM in the pre-construction phase enabled Consigli to successfully coordinate this extensive work within a fully operational, occupied building prior to any mechanics starting work on site. Ultimately, no disruption to occupants occurred due to scheduling construction during nights and weekends.

By employing Vela Systems solutions to review project progress on mobile digital devices on site, Consigli’s project team can streamline the project checklist and close-out process and pinpoint the location of each checklist item precisely. Vela is also used to enhance the commissioning process for equipment within the building by linking all information about the equipment, such as maintenance schedules, manuals, and warranties, to its location.

At the project’s completion, the building owner will receive a model with all the associated equipment information, making maintenance over the entire lifecycle of the building much more efficient.

Consigli’s investment in technology and the consistent training of its people have contributed immensely to the value of the firm’s projects by preventing delays and other costly issues. The revitalization of Bangor’s landmark Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building is proof positive.

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