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MA State Laboratory HVAC Emergency Improvements

Project Highlights:
  • Over 800 LF of large bore mechanical room piping.
  • 3 Custom-built Supply AHU's replaced while keeping two in operation at all times.
  • 3 existing Steam-Absorber chillers replaced with three new 600 ton centrifugal Chillers.
  • 116 VAV Boxes replaced in active laboratory corridors.
  • Removal and Installation of 3 cooling Towers.
  • 2 new exhaust AHU's.


J. F. White was contracted by the Division of Capital Asset Management and their CM, W. T. Rich to perform an emergency replacement of the cooling system for the MA State Lab in Jamaica Plain. The original contract was to replace the chillers, pumps, piping and cooling towers. The project was expanded to include the replacement of 3 penthouse custom-built air handling units, 2 new rooftop exhaust air handling units, and the replacement of 4 wings of air terminal boxes. These additional scopes were released as they were designed, a process which required close collaboration between the engineer, construction manager, contractor and owner.

The challenge in this project stemmed form the accelerated schedule and the active laboratory operations in the facility. The 'heart' of the cooling system had to be operational in less than six months after the notice to proceed was given. The requirements of fulfilling this schedule had to be balanced with the facility's need to stay in operation at all times.

All construction activities had to be planned well ahead and often performed overnight and on weekends.

Contract value: $5,100,000.