25 Jul 2018

Plan to Stay Warm All Winter


What would it mean for your jobsite if it wasn’t heated properly? How would it affect your projects and what steps would you have to take to fix it? Heating a jobsite or property might seem like a simple task but if it’s not done properly it can spell disaster for your project, tenants, or workers.  

Heat is vital in keeping operations running smoothly and workers at a comfortable temperature, particularly during the winter months, and a failure might lead to unplanned downtime, stalling of projects, and unhappy staff.

Full Jobsite Heating

For one data center, maintaining their $1 million an hour revenue during a higher demand for power meant that working around the clock was a must. However, this meant continuing work throughout the winter months to meet the challenging deadline, and it was a particularly bad winter. 

At first, the data center leaned on a roster of different rental companies to support their heating and power needs, but they faced problems when it came to managing the array of different equipment that was needed. 

We were originally contacted by the center to provide heating for workers during winter, but the problems with the other rental companies quickly came to light. As a result, we also provided and managed generators to power the equipment rather than allow them to rely on the site’s primary source that was already in high demand. 

This meant there was minimal downtime and, when we bought in additional heaters to properly cure poured concrete quicker, we shaved nearly three weeks off the usual pouring time. 

Throughout winter, we brought in more power, heaters, and technicians to keep the site running smoothly and the workers a comfortable temperature. 

And when the utility power went for one construction site, both temporary power and heat for microtunneling throughout the winter was needed. This process requires that the water doesn’t freeze to maintain the integrity of the jobsite. 

During the downtime, we supplied heat, power, and remote monitoring conditions to ensure the site could continue running as normal. We provided two 500 kW diesel generators, two 1.2 million BTU boilers, a 60 kW generator to power the two boilers, and a 125 kW generator that powered a lift for winter operations. 

With these, the construction site had the required power and thermal energy to heat everything from the employee work areas to the hydraulic circuits. On top of that, we provided remote monitoring, which meant we could keep an eye on the site and make sure it held high enough temperatures throughout the winter. 

Keeping the Project Heated

It’s one thing to provide heat for a short-term project or build, but to keep a property or site heated for the entire winter is a whole other task. Tenants need to be comfortable a in property, while workers on jobsites need to be made comfortable in freezing temperatures. 

A 21-story luxury condo needed to keep the space heated for continued construction during a particularly harsh and damp winter. When the municipal gas line that would have fuelled the heating system was delayed, which meant no heat to dry out the construction, the property managers thought about using electric heaters or a kerosene solution that would have been costly. 

Instead, we suggested hydronic heating, a process that heats up ambient air from within the building. This method uses far less fuel and saves thousands on operating costs. We then seamlessly switched to a natural gas process when it became available to save the condo even more on heating costs. 

HVAC Maintenance Repair

What happens during winter if your heating system goes down? Do you have a strategy in place to get it back up and running as quickly as possible? 

Carrying out maintenance and unplanned repairs on HVAC units is a key part of running a jobsite or a property, particularly in the winter months when units and equipment is more likely to get damaged. 

And, in colder temperatures, it’s more important than ever to have a solution ready if the heating fails on a jobsite or in a property to keep tenants and workers warm as well as keep projects running smoothly. 

During scheduled maintenance on one office HVAC system, the facility manager discovered that the existing boiler and air handlers were failing and would need immediate replacement. This was not great news for a large downtown office in Chicago and it’s nearly 4,000 occupants in the middle of January. 

With a 2-month lead time for parts and labor, the facility manager had not thought through what an system failure meant for the office building. However, after contacting us, we were able to tie directly into the existing system with both electric and gas fired heaters. The building’s electrical system was utilized without any problems, but we also brought in additional distribution equipment as a redundant measure to ensure against any outage. With the temporary system in place, the building never lost a day of occupancy and maintained the heating needed while the existing system was replaced.

Have a Plan This Winter

Heating a jobsite or property is important for a number of reasons. In the winter months, it’s obviously needed to keep temperatures comfortable for workers, but it also ensures certain site processes can be carried out as normal. 

Having a quality heating system in place that’s fully equipped to function throughout the coldest months is a vital part of running a jobsite or property. And, if the system fails, it’s absolutely key to have a backup solution that can be brought in quickly so that there’s no loss of revenue or stalling on project timelines.