Building the future in more ways than one
The University of Kentucky BioPharm complex wasn’t just an average plumbing job.
UK’s College of Pharmacy is ranked 5th in the nation and its 286,000-square-foot BioPharm complex facility was created to provide top researchers, scientific minds and students with 21st-century tools. The research conducted in this building has an impact on the future of medicine and changes lives. At TP Mechanical, we knew it was critical to bring our A-game.
The first three floors of the building were completed in January 2010 and opened to pharmacy students and faculty. Although the fourth and fifth floors were slated to house research labs, they had not yet been fitted out. TP Mechanical took on the challenge of completing the mechanical service for these two additional floors.
Medical research labs require extensive specialty work when it comes to mechanical systems. The project required stainless steel duct work and a piping system that could withstand and transfer chemicals safely. We also needed to devise a way to construct and install these systems while the first three floors of the building remained occupied by students and faculty.
Of course, for TP Mechanical, we face these types of challenges on an everyday basis, and we’re well-prepared to handle all this and more. With a little ingenuity, anything is possible – and problem-solving is what makes us who we are.
We leveraged our extensive knowledge of specialty piping products and prefabrication capabilities to create a custom chemical piping system using Orion’s thermoplastic polyvinylidene flouride (PVDF) material. PVDF is a thermoplastic developed for superior resistance to many solvents, acids, bases and halogens. It is the first plastic piping that is certified to meet ASTM E-84 and UL 723 codes for flame spread and smoke generation. Additionally, it maintains its strength from -40°F to 285°F.
We utilized our in-house prefabrication team extensively to prepare materials and delivered them to the upper floors using buck hoists. This allowed us to construct and install the mechanical systems while students and faculty safely occupied the building below. Classes and other activities operated normally throughout construction. This project took one full year to complete, without interruption of the flow of campus life.
On November 29, 2011, the research labs were opened for business. Today, the UK BioPharm complex is home to world-renowned nanobiology expert Peixan Guo, Jon Thorson, head of the Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI). Both are leading extensive research teams that are at the forefront of cutting-edge nanomedicine, antiobiotic and anti-cancer discovery.
TP Mechanical is proud to have played a role in the creation of such a state-of-the-art research facility. Our extensive experience with academic institutions in Ohio and Kentucky has helped us to become a leader in mechanical contracting for a wide variety of projects – hospitals, dormitories, stadiums and research facilities.