STOUGHTON, Mass. - J.C. Higgins Corp. has been awarded a contract to install the shell-and-core HVAC mechanical work for the Center for Life Sciences building at the Black Fan Research Center in Boston. J.C. Higgins is a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc.

Located in the Longwood Medical area, the Black Fan Research Center is surrounded by the Harvard Medical School Research Center, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Children's Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital. The new Center for Life Sciences will be an 18-story building with approximately 1.1 million square feet of space, including six stories of underground parking and 18 stories of tenant space for future fit out.

The facility will include research and lab space for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dana Farber Cancer Research, Children's Hospital Research, and various drug and medical research companies.

The project requires J.C. Higgins to install 6,600 tons of cooling capacity, 8.5 miles of piping, and 12 custom-built air-handling units, totaling more than 1.1 million cfm.

"The site has a tremendous amount of existing utilities that serve a variety of buildings, requiring careful coordination," noted Ronald Ledoux, president of J.C. Higgins. "To ensure there is no disruption of services, we have developed an elaborate plan that involves intricately phased construction and detailed transportation scheduling for the rigging and HVAC equipment. The result is an effective construction process on the heavily congested worksite.

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

The architect for the $350 million project is Tsoi-Kobus and Associates. The mechanical-electrical-piping engineer is A.H.A. Associates. Construction is scheduled for completion in November of 2007.

Founded in 1924, J.C. Higgins Corp. offers services including HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, energy management, and power plant and process piping. The company services major general contractors, construction managers, commercial developers, hotels, universities, financial institutions, hospitals and health care facilities, research labs, high-tech and heavy industries, and some public utilities throughout New England.

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Publication date: 08/21/2006