JP Cullen recently led a pair of multi-level building projects in the Madison area. Utilizing prefabricated MEPF components allowed JP Cullen to deliver a less expensive, higher quality product while saving time, increasing efficiency and protecting workers from injury.
The challenge to the team was to deliver the two 120,000-square-foot buildings on a shortened time table in order to meet the needs of the client. The JP Cullen prefabrication team determined prefabricated MEPF systems were a likely candidate to accelerate a critical part of the building schedule and meet the project deadlines.
MEPF modules are finished sections of a building that contain all the various systems they need, pre-built and ready to be connected together. For example, the hallway MEPF modules for these projects contained — in sections — all ductwork, electrical, fire protection, hydronic piping and plumbing systems that run down the corridors of the building.
Each was built ahead of time, assembly-line, on-the- ground style, in an offsite manufacturing center, with all trade contractors doing their part in sequence. Each separate system was tested to ensure fit and function before it was put into the MEPF module. Once complete, the modules were then delivered complete to the build site where they were installed in a matter of minutes.
As a result of this process not only is time saved, the MEPF overall quality is improved and field work became much more efficient.
Completing the majority of the work in a controlled environment led to a substantial reduction of work in the field. The first building was installed in just under 6 days. The second was installed in less than 5 days. 197 MEPF modules were installed in both buildings, a total of nearly 32,000 feet of materials, comprising roughly 60% of the hallway mains.
Building 1 – Total Racked Materials
- MEPF Racks: 95
- Junction Boxes: 319
- Sprinkler Drops: 93
- Fire Protection Pipe: 2,518 feet
- Conduit: 6,000 feet
- Hydronic Pipe: 3,898 feet
- Plumbing: 540 feet
- Cable Tray: 1,510 feet
- Duct: 1,588 feet
Building 2 – Total Racked Materials
- MEPF Racks: 102
- Junction Boxes: 474
- Sprinkler Drops: 81
- Fire Protection Pipe: 2,247 feet
- Conduit: 6,110 feet
- Hydronic Pipe: 4,424 feet
- Plumbing: 540 feet
- Cable Tray: 1,526 feet
- Duct: 1,550 feet
The process also delivered substantial safety and health benefits. Building the modules in a controlled environment allowed the contractors to perform 60% of their install work at ergonomic heights on the ground, reducing exposure to fall hazards by 60%. Ergonomic height-level work reduces wear and tear on the installers as it minimized bending and overhead work.