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Monsanto W-Building Lab HVAC Modernization

Location: Creve Coeur, Missouri
Client: Monsanto
Size: $1.7 Million

Exacting logistics decreed that performing a significant renovation in the midst of a busy, multi-mission laboratory, had to be superbly organized and managed between Corrigan’s mechanical technicians and GECO’s team of QR electricians.  The mission itself of increasing voltages to support a significant increase in the HVAC systems workload proceeded flawlessly against a compressed schedule with no interruptions of Monsanto’s lab operations.  The steps taken included bringing in the feeds as described and prewiring the two electrical rooms for future expanded capacity, while at the same time transforming the new sources of power with higher voltages using an electrical switching infrastructure that would have to be replaced after the fact due to time constraints. The trick was to temporarily reroute portions of the circuitry to assure that the new cooling equipment could be online and performing reliably as quickly as possible, up front, with a permanent electrical installation of up-to-date electrical equipment to follow later in the year.

Characterized by numerous “moving parts,” with numerous adjustments over the real time of the project on top of an exacting schedule needed to protect critical research projects underway in the facility, the HVAC upgrade demanded a continuing readiness to adapt quickly, and respond effectively “on the fly.” The GECO Quick Response team of nine journeymen segmented tasks into functionalized specialties breaking up the job between several multi-tasking units to assure consistency, reliability and speed of implementation.

The urgent need for enhanced temperature controls by the several working laboratories managing different research projects in the facility had much to do with the staging and organizing the tasks involved in bringing a new large-scale, power-hungry HVAC system into a densely occupied building.  It also affected methods applied to almost every task, many of which would have been routine under conventional circumstances, but which involved careful coordination and extra backup power to assure redundant power against any possible outages that could affect ongoing experiments.

A project that might normally take five weeks was accomplished in two weeks through uncompromising attention to detail in coordinating the project team.  The usual organizational boundaries became irrelevant as the team pursued a best-of equipment configuration custom designed for Monsanto’s complex multi-lab environment.  Meanwhile, GECO’s QR team of nine played a critical role in the implementation of an extremely demanding schedule, without injury or lost time incidents.

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