BCxA Honors Two GBA Projects


The Building Commissioning Association‘s first annual Building Awards program has recognized two Grumman/Butkus commissioning projects.

The honorees are the University of Chicago Medicine’s Advanced Therapeutics cGMP Facility (major renovation category) and the Northwestern University Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center (new construction category).

The UChicago Medicine project is a stem cell processing facility used by the clinical bone marrow/progenitor cell therapy program. It included fit-out of an existing 8,000-square-foot shell space and features three ISO 7 cGMP cell transduction process suites, gown in/out spaces, and additional negatively pressurized airlocks. A GTP and translational lab built to ISO 8 standards was also included, as were wet labs for manufacturing, separate electrical and data rooms, supply storage, and personnel space for 14 staff members. A new mechanical room with a stand-alone mechanical system supports the program.

G/BA’s contributions during commissioning include identifying and resolving concerns with the proposed use of steam heating coils for preheat (a steam-to-hot-water generator was substituted). The team also identified a significant installation issue with heating and cooling coils, which was quickly resolved through proactive communications. Further optimization was accomplished post-occupancy through seasonal testing, tweaking of sequences of operation, adjustment of safety device setpoints, and modification of fan motor status devices. Kurt Matsen was G/BA’s project manager and lead commissioning engineer, with significant support from George Ioannou.

Northwestern University’s Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center, on the shores of Lake Michigan, includes a full-sized indoor football field under 87-foot ceilings. The adjacent athletics center is a training focused-venue with locker rooms, weight rooms, academic and medical services, video rooms, and more, supporting nearly 500 student athletes.

This large complex with widely varied internal conditions required a strongly collaborative effort between the commissioning team, designers, contractors, and owner’s staff. Issues identified and resolved through commissioning included inconsistent fire damper installation on AHUs; problems with chilled beam unit design and sequences of operation; and sub-optimal functioning of supplemental conditioning units serving the fieldhouse. In the latter case, efforts of the Cx team helped prevent energy loss through simultaneous heating and cooling. David Cohen and Ben Andes were co-leaders of this commissioning project for G/BA, with assists by Justin D’Arcy, Sumeta Medicherla, Mike Morris, Chris Sbarbaro, Sam Schmidt, and Rich Widlowski.

G/BA Vice President and commissioning leader John D. Villani was principal-in-charge for both projects.

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