Fort Bend Epicenter – Testing and Balancing

The Fort Bend Epicenter, a sprawling 230,000 square-foot multi-functional facility, represents a significant achievement in mechanical systems design and operational efficiency. The facility boasts a comprehensive array of HVAC systems, including single-zone constant volume air handling units (AHUs) and fan coil units (FCU), energy recovery units, indoor mini-dehumidification units, mini-split systems, and various fans serving multiple applications. A dedicated central utility plant, featuring three chillers, three cooling towers, and all associated pumps, along with a heating water system comprising four boilers and their pumps, underscores the complexity and scale of this project.

EAB was tasked with the testing and balancing job for a developer working on behalf of Fort Bend County, marking a pivotal opportunity to establish a strong reputation and relationship with a new client. Delivering high-quality work and operational efficiency was paramount to demonstrate EAB’s value and expertise in managing large-scale and complex projects.

A significant delay in the construction schedule, due to the late installation of permanent power, posed a substantial risk to the project’s timeline. This delay created necessary extended work hours and close collaboration among all trades involved with the HVAC systems to ensure the major systems were functional and balanced in time for the facility’s first scheduled event. The EAB team’s anticipation, preparation, and exceptional execution under pressure were crucial in overcoming this hurdle, maintaining client satisfaction despite the tight timeframe.

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An unexpected challenge arose when it was discovered that the off-peak chiller had not been installed due to an equipment shortage, leaving the building to rely on two primary chillers during peak summer heat. Complicating matters, one of the dedicated condenser pumps was damaged and non-operational, threatening the facility’s ability to maintain a comfortable environment. EAB’s innovative solution involved a minor control sequence change to engage a supplemental condenser water pump temporarily. This adjustment allowed both primary chillers to operate efficiently, ensuring the building remained cool until the off-peak chiller could be installed.

EAB’s ability to quickly adapt and implement effective solutions under pressure ensured that the Fort Bend Epicenter’s scheduled events proceeded without issue, despite the significant project delays and mechanical challenges encountered. The client benefited immensely from EAB’s expertise, gaining confidence in the team’s capability to manage and resolve complex issues efficiently. This trust in EAB’s proficiency ensured the project’s success but also solidified a valuable relationship with the client, demonstrating EAB’s commitment to excellence and client satisfaction.

The Fort Bend Epicenter project stands as a testament to EAB’s dedication, technical expertise, and ability to deliver under challenging circumstances. Through innovative problem-solving and unwavering commitment to quality, EAB ensured the facility was prepared to serve the community effectively, reinforcing the client’s trust in EAB’s capabilities and establishing a foundation for future collaboration.

The significant delays in the construction schedule and allotted timeline for testing and balancing created challenges for the EAB team to fulfill the contract scope. The anticipation of being pushed to the last minute led to better preparation and planning but nothing more important than the execution from our field technicians. Our team’s exceptional collaboration, hard work, and dedication were the difference in delivering high-quality work and system operational efficiency. – Thi Pham, TBE Thi Pham Headshot

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