IFS Renovating HVAC Systems for Pattonville School District Using Helicopter to Airlift Equipment

By on January 11, 2019

Work is underway on an extensive $3.1 million upgrade of heating, ventilating and air conditioning HVAC systems at four schools in the Pattonville School District in St. Louis County, with Integrated Facility Services (IFS) as the mechanical contractor. The design/build project will replace outdated equipment with new HVAC systems designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs at Pattonville High School, Pattonville Heights Middle School, Parkwood Elementary and Rose Acres Elementary. Kansas City-based Navitas is the construction manager.

During Pattonville High School’s winter break, the IFS team airlifted 70 tons (lbs) of equipment by air crane helicopter to replace the school’s HVAC rooftop units. The two-and-a-half-hour project involved 70 helicopter lifts to remove 32 existing, hard-to-reach HVAC units and replace them with 38 new HVAC units and cooling coils. 16 IFS employees were on-site along with employees of Midwest Helicopter Airways Inc., the air crane operator, and Navitas, the energy performance contractor.

The IFS project and safety management team conducted an extensive inspection prior to the helicopter lift to ensure complete safety. An area within 200’ of the helicopter lift was cleared of all loose debris, trashcans, benches, and other materials that could become flying debris hazards in the 70 MPH downwash created by the helicopter rotors. A 150’ “sterile” area was established and maintained throughout the flight activity, and only workers essential to the project were allowed on-site. The team monitored weather conditions during the week leading up to the helicopter lift, since strong, sustained winds over 35 mph would delay or cancel the project. IFS executed this lift safely and in record time.

The IFS project is part of a $10 million upgrade to improve HVAC systems; add efficiencies to kitchen, lighting and water systems; replace windows and roofs; improve weatherization; upgrade Building Automation Systems (BAS); and provide advanced data analytics. The initiative is funded through performance contracts and is scheduled to complete next August before the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Integrated Facility Services (IFS) is a full-service HVAC, plumbing, piping, fire protection and building automation firm with more than 250 professional and trade employees. Established in 1966, IFS delivers integrated mechanical engineering and construction, installation, service and planned maintenance, and energy conservation solutions to ensure occupant comfort, improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. IFS serves clients in Missouri and Illinois, with offices in St. Louis and Columbia.

 

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