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Elliott-Lewis recently completed a mechanical construction project for PFFCU at its new Greenwood Square facility on Street Road in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
The success of a financial institution depends on its ability to develop good relationships with its customers. Similarly, a mechanical contractor must build solid relationships with its customers by providing years of consistently great service. Elliott-Lewis Corporation’s commitment to providing A Response You Can Depend On has created just such a long-term relationship with the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union. This relationship dates back to January 1996 when Elliott-Lewis started providing mechanical services to PFFCU at its headquarters at 901 Arch Street in Philadelphia. In 2001, PFFCU started using Elliott-Lewis’ mobile maintenance to handle its building service need at its 10 locations throughout the Philadelphia region. In 2004 Elliott-Lewis recommended that PFFCU install an American Auto-Matrix Control System at its Arch Street location to solve its long-standing difficulties in maintaining consistent, comfortable temperatures in the seven-story building. The original plan was to complete the project over several years with work being performed in phases on one floor at a time. As soon as PFFCU experienced the enhanced comfort level and the utility savings the first phase provided, they requested Elliott-Lewis complete the entire building on a straight-through schedule.
The nearly 43,000-square-foot Greenwood Square facility was a multi-tenant office building when PFFCU purchased it to house a branch, its mortgage processing department, its call center, and other critical corporate support functions. PFFCU hired an architect, an engineer and a general contractor for the project, but contracted directly with Elliott-Lewis for the HVAC and building automation system. Elliott-Lewis team members, Account Representative Rob Komorowski, Director of Mechanical Construction Marc Lichtenfield, and Manager of Automated Services Fran McGrath, met with PFFCU a number of times to determine its wants and needs for the building. Elliott-Lewis’ final design delivered the best value for PFFCU taking into account its budget for the work. And the work was completed under a “not-to exceed” contract.
During the complimentary design phase, Elliott-Lewis determined an existing 10-ton heat pump unit that served the lobby could be reused to save PFFCU money. Elliott-Lewis was also able to complete its design work far enough in advance of construction that the other professionals working on the project were able to incorporate the mechanical design into their plans to reduce the total renovation costs and make installation smoother for everyone involved. The Greenwood Square facility, which now houses approximately 200 employees, including an 80-person call center, was supposed to be completely gutted at the start of project. What PFFCU did not anticipate was that some of the existing tenants insisted on staying in the building until their leases expired. This meant that work had to proceed in the partially-occupied building to meet PFFCU’s projected move-in dates for each department that was relocating to Street Road. Elliott-Lewis was able to keep part of the existing building mechanicals running, keeping the remaining tenants’ spaces comfortable while moving forward with the new installation.
Elliott-Lewis built a steel structure on the roof for the package units and installed a custom-designed air distribution system inside the building. The system includes a 100-ton gas-fired package unit, a 60-ton gas-fired package unit, and 44 variable air volume boxes to serve the building. In addition, two 20-ton Liebert split systems were installed to support the IT room. A building automation system, which includes an automatic switchover of the Lieberts in case of any system failure, oversees the mechanical system and features web-based monitoring and control, automatic dial out and e-mail notification features for system alarms.
According to Rob Komorowski, “A general contractor could take issue with being told the HVAC and BAS contracts were being awarded directly to the mechanical contractor by the owner. While it was an anomaly to be hired directly on a construction project of this size, we had been a subcontractor for W. H. Myers Construction Company on many projects in the past and have always worked well with them. Because we got a head start on the mechanicals we were able to have our work integrated into the overall architectural plans, which made the job smoother for everyone." The project was completed on-time and under budget. Elliott-Lewis shared the project savings with its long-time customer, further cementing PFFCU’s confidence that they banked on the right company again.