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Project Profile: Research Medical Center/Central Plant

p1 group aquatherm pipe

Technology and Fabrication Team Up to Drive Efficiency


Retrofit projects like the Research Medical Center/Brookside Central Plant in Kansas City can be a challenge, but thanks to P1 Group’s
Virtual Design Construction (VDC) and Fabrication capabilities, P1 has demonstrated efficiency and agility in moving this project
toward completion.

“This design build project entails transforming existing space at the RMC campus into a newly functioning central plant that will provide chilled water and steam for approximately 196,000 square feet of medical office space and 40,000 square feet of hospital space,” Project Manager Bo Wempe said.

The pipe fabrication portion of the project began with the VDC department’s 3D laser scanner which scans the space to capture extremely accurate jobsite data. The VDC department uses the scanned data to develop a virtual piping model and create shop drawings for fabrication.

bim_p1 groupPipe Shop Production Manager Jeremy Price says this scanning/modeling process eliminates slower, older methods.

“Virtual modeling eliminates ‘stick-building’ and turns pipe fabrication into a streamlined manufacturing process,” Jeremy said. “Our pipe
fabrication shop can then produce the highest-quality product quickly to meet time-sensitive project schedules, resulting in increased
efficiency and value for the customer.”

“This new approach to fabrication through the use of laser-scanned images to create accurately detailed shop drawings is proving successful by eliminating field-made pipe joints and increasing overall productivity,” Jeremy added.

In the pipe fabrication shop, efficiency is further expedited. Aided by the expertise of General Foreman Travis Pyles and Aquatherm Certified Specialist Aaron Howers, the pipe portion of the project featured a hybrid system using both welded steel and fused Aquatherm polypropylene pipe.

“All welded and fused joints were made in the controlled environment of the shop, with bolted flange connections being used for onsite installation,” Jeremy explained. “By eliminating verification, trimming, welding and fusion in the field we increased installation productivity.”

pipe and electrical fabrication


Keeping efficiency top of mind, P1 Group also fabricated and installed electrical components at the RMC plant, including a new electrical service for the utility plant and an emergency generator to handle the existing building and new critical loads following the decommissioning of the current building generator plant and the commissioning of the new one.

“For the new general lighting within the Central Plant, P1 Group’s fabrication shop prepped the light fixtures with necessary power feed whips as well as chain hangers for ease of installation by our field forces onto the existing building concrete decks,” Jeremy Huppenthal, Electrical Project Manager, said.

“Electrical Fabication Shop Foreman Mike Wessel accepted the fixtures in Lawrence, outfitted the fixtures as we needed them, and then packaged and delivered to the site,” Jeremy said.

Jeremy and Electrical Foreman Rustin Coe noted that the most challenging aspect of this project was locating and “fitting” the new equipment into the space and dealing with existing site conditions.

“There were a lot of existing systems that had to be demolished in order for us to install our work,” Jeremy said. “Some could not be
demolished and we’ve had to work around them, rearranging and altering equipment layouts to meet the needs of the project.”

Jeremy also noted the electrical fabrication process reduced installation time.


  • 3 200-horsepower Hurst boilers
  • 3 400-ton Trane chillers
  • 3-cell SPX cooling tower
  • Hybrid welded steel/fused Aquatherm polypropylene pipe welded in shop, bolted on site
  • 2500A 480/277V 3P4W electrical service
  • 500KW emergency generator
  • Automatic transfer switches with isolation/bypass abilities
  • New electrical switchboard and electrical distribution equipment
  • New service feeders + new electrical feeders to equipment (chillers, boilers, pumps, etc.)
  • New lighting & general power
  • Extension and additions to existing Siemens Fire Alarm System
  • BAS/Controls

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