modular construction process

How Galbraith is utilizing modular construction to accommodate a project within a project

Acting as the general contractor coordinating all of the construction activities, and self-performing a vast majority of the work, Galbraith is part of a large team of designers, equipment suppliers, and facility owners working on this cold storage expansion. This is part of a larger project which continues to be underway, which Galbraith is responsible for a significant part.  Each project component has strict deadlines, due to the ultimate deadline being mandatory.

The facility consists of a -20F freezer, which needed to be altered to allow for two (2) access areas through the roof in order to accommodate future work within the freezer.  At such low temperatures, exposure to outside temperatures and humidity is not allowable.  It was decided that Galbraith would pre-fabricate (modular construction) two roof-top penthouses constructed of six-inch insulated metal panels (IMPs) and heavy gauge steel framing.  These were completely constructed on flatbed trailers inside the facilities climate controlled garage building, in an effort to prevent weather delays.

After pre-fabrication was complete, Galbraith hoisted these penthouses onto the thermal roof of the freezer building, completely insulating and thermally sealing them.  Weighing in at 5,800lbs. each (Galbraith’s estimated weight prior to construction was 6,000lbs), they were not a huge load; however, they measured 10ft. x 25ft. and needed to be hoisted 80ft. onto the roof, and set strategically into place around live ammonia refrigeration piping, it was a complicated undertaking requiring significant pre-and post-planning.   Safety was a top priority, and strict adherence to a project-specific safety plan by the entire project team was a must.

Now that the penthouses are in place on the roof, attached, and sealed, Galbraith, will access the existing roof to make the penetrations into the -20F freezer, in order to complete this phase of the project.  Integral to the design of the penthouses is the fact that the roofs of each one are removable.  At a later date, Galbraith will be removing just the roofs of the penthouses in order to remove equipment from the freezer and install new equipment.

During the pre-construction phase, Galbraith was charged with assisting in the establishment of structural steel modification methods, as well as connection details.  This entailed field-measuring existing conditions and offering connection ideas and suggestions to the project designers.  Galbraith also fabricated and installed the structural steel modifications.  Additionally, two (2) large crane pads were required for this project on the exterior of the building.

This project within another project has been a massive collaborative effort between the facility owner, contractors, and designers. Envisioned by the facility owner, this project allows Galbraith/Pre-Design to stretch our abilities and capabilities.  Sharing ideas, design assist, value engineering, breaking new ground, as well as returning to old methods –this is all part of the ‘Galbraith way’ when working on high complexity projects.