Boston, ma

Mixed-Use High-Rise Retrofit

An animation of this project convinced the owner that we could complete the work within the tight timeframe given.

Mixed-Use High-Rise Retrofit

Value Delivered

For this mixed-use high-rise building, we completed a turnkey complex riser retrofit despite challenges such as manpower limitations due to COVID-19 restrictions and a tight schedule. 

Even though the elevator machine room was beneath the condenser water risers, and all work had to be completed during a few winter months, we engineered solutions to help minimize disruptions and completed the project ahead of schedule. 

We also created an animation of our project solution to demonstrate to the customer the feasibility of completing the project in a timeframe where cooling was not needed.

Client Objectives

The client wanted to achieve greater property marketability through riser modernization in a 32-story building. The upgrades had to be completed in a tight, weather-dependent timeframe.


The primary challenge of this project was that 14 stories of 18-inch schedule 80 piping risers had to be replaced within three winter months when cooling wasn’t needed. The only two possible alternatives (provide temporary cooling or run a new set of risers and schedule a cut over the following winter) would have greatly increased project costs.

The secondary challenge was the project took place during the coronavirus pandemic. Increasing manpower wasn’t an option given COVID-19 restrictions and tight quarters in the pipe shaft. Our solution was to design and install a trolley and hoist system that held the pipe while it was being welded in place. 

It was mid-December before the weather was consistently cold enough to take the cooling towers off-line. We demolished the existing risers and installed the new ones, finishing the project two weeks ahead of schedule.

Client Background

This prominent building is a LEED Gold certified, 730,000 square foot, 32-story office tower located in a downtown financial district. This client chose us because of our extensive experience performing complex air conditioning system retrofits on a turnkey basis.