BOSTON - J.C. Higgins Corp., Stoughton, Mass., a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc., Norwalk, Conn., has been awarded the contract to install the shell and core HVAC mechanical work for the Center for Life Science Boston building located in the Longwood Medical area. This project is one of several that the company has recently been awarded. Trump International Hotel and Tower, Las Vegas, and Scripps Research Institute, Loxahatchee, Fla., are two other examples of the eight projects awarded, totaling approximately $200 million.

"These commercial projects reflect a continuing trend in our backlog portfolio towards a more optimal mix of private and public sector work, in keeping with our stated strategy," said Frank MacInnis, EMCOR's chairman and CEO.

Formerly called the Black Fan Research Center, the Center for Life Science Boston building is adjacent to and surrounded by Harvard Medical School Research Center, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Children's Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital.

The building, expected to be completed some time in 2007, will be 18 stories. It will have approximately 1.1 million square feet of space, including six stories of underground parking for approximately 300 cars and 705,000 square feet of tenant space for research and office facilities.

The project requires J.C. Higgins to install 66,000 tons of cooling capacity, 8.5 miles of piping, and 12 custom built air-handling units totaling over 1.1 million cfm.

"From the beginning, we felt that this site offered researchers a unique location," said David Clem, managing director and founder of Lyme Properties, a building developer company. "This location is arguably the greatest concentration of talent and discovery in the United States."

The site has a large amount of existing utilities that serve a variety of buildings. Part of J.C. Higgins' responsibility on this job is to ensure there are no disruptions of services. To accomplish this, the company created and developed a plan that involves intricately phased construction and detailed transportation scheduling for the rigging and HVAC equipment.

"Our ability to undertake such a complex project is one of the reasons we were selected," noted Ronald Ledoux, president of J.C. Higgins Corp.

"Additionally, we have had to use a process called ‘hot tapping,' installing mechanical piping into existing chilled water lines that remain in operation," Ledoux explained. "This difficult and complicated procedure required X-ray welding, careful inspection, and strict controls to ensure a successful and safe execution."

The facility is a registered Leadership in Energy-Efficient Design (LEED) project that will include research and lab space for multiple organizations and research companies. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will lease 360,000 square feet and Dana Farber Cancer Research will lease 50,000 square feet. Other tenants include Children's Hospital Research and various drug and medical research companies. The Center for Life Science Boston will also contain a multistory winter garden.

"We are very pleased with this contract win," said MacInnis. "Going forward, we will continue to manage downward our exposure to less profitable public sector work, particularly in the educational portion of the institutional sector, and simultaneously build our backlog in higher margin private sector commercial work."

Publication date:09/18/2006