O V E R V I E W
In late 2014, Danforth was selected as the mechanical contractor for the new UB School of Medicine by LP Ciminelli. With the school’s move to a vacant block on Buffalo’s medical campus, an entirely new 650,000 square foot facility was built from the ground up over top of a new metro stop that delivers students and other building users from UB’s South Campus location. Danforth’s scope of work included all HVAC, plumbing, and medical process piping, as well as an underground central distribution plant which generates 37,400,000 BTUs of hot water heat and 12,050,000 BTUs per hour of steam heat.
A P P R O A C H
The new state-of-the-art facility is educating the next generation of medical professionals and as such includes many laboratory and collaborative spaces in addition to classrooms and lecture halls. Specifically, the learning facility includes a vivarium, BSL-3 Biological Safety Laboratory, ABSL-3 Animal Biological Safety Laboratory, a robotics suite, simulated training rooms, and a surgical skills unit. The Danforth team installed a complicated network of pipes and ductwork throughout the 8 story facility. For the HVAC system this included lines for hot, chilled and condenser water, high-pressure steam/condensate and fuel oil system. On the plumbing side installations included piping for domestic and tempered water as well as non-potable water, animal watering, storm/overflow, lab waste, and natural gas lines. Process piping was required to be installed to each laboratory to provide medical gases as well as vacuum and compressed air lines.
To support a facility of this size, four mechanical rooms are scattered throughout the building, including use of the entire 8th floor for mechanical equipment. The team installed (8) 40,000 square foot air-handling units on the 8th floor, (7) cooling towers on the roof, and (2) 80,000 pound chillers in the basement.
R E S U L T S
With the facility’s location in Buffalo’s Medical corridor and the proximity of other ongoing projects, space on site for storage was non-existent. Danforth coordinated closely with other trades and the general contractor to stage the project accordingly and provide just-in-time (JIT) delivery. The team also coordinated a challenging rigging set-up to enable the 2 chillers used in the basement to be dropped through an access hole in the floor. At the peak of the job Danforth had approximately 170 union laborers on site. The project currently ranks as the single largest contract the company has executed to date.