Natatorium Case Study
As seen in SPIDA (Spiral Duct Manufacturers Assocation) Publication
Texas company uses thousands of pounds of aluminum for pool project
"You're not going to just pull an 80-round off the shelf." That's what Spiral Pipe of Texas President Reid Boydstun said about what company officials call one of the more interesting projects in the company's 25-year history.
The project - a natatorium for the Lewisville Independent School District in Texas, which is located just north of dallas - used approximately 40,000 pounds of aluminum, fabricated and shipped over 18 weeks. About 960 lineal feet of large round ductwork was used, and 500 feet worth for the small round ductwork. An additional 900 feet of rectangular duct was also used.
Boydstun described the natatorium as being"representative of the type of work we’re capable of doing, the kind work we are doing. This was no ordinary job. Our fabrication team invested a significant amount of hours in the natatorium project; it really rose to the challenge.
A couple of factors contributed to the difficulty, including the size of the actual ductwork. It was 86-inch outside diameter, 30inch double wall, because of the volume of air expected to be moved throughout the facility.
"When you start getting that big, that complicated, fewer companies are willing to attack that kind of fabrication," said David Russell, project manager for Spiral Pipe of Texas, which is also known by the acronym SPOT.
A second factor was that the job was almost entirely aluminum, which considerably increases the risk to its profitability. Aluminum, which helps to inhibit the corrosion caused by chlorine gas, weighs a third less and is more expensive.
"If there are errors in the fabrication process, then the cost of scrapped material is significant," Boydstun said."On a project of this magnitude, with such large pieces and a tight delivery schedule, the cost of rework could be devastating. That is a risk we’re willing to take because our experience has given us confidence in our ability to perform."
Spiral Pipe officials said they understand that customers face extreme pressure at the jobsite. When a well-planned duct system no longer matches the realities of the job, project managers help customers solve the problem and quickly fabricate a solution. This sense of urgency, along with on-the-fly problem solving helps customers meet their objectives and build rapport between the fabricator and the customer.
The entire job was custom fabricated at the Spiral Pipe of Texas facility. The work included:
- Cutting the joints down to length
- Having mounted flanges to easily bolt rings together
- Producing round and rectangular ducts
- Manufacturing 8-foot sections, four or five to be transported per truck
- Installing taps on the spiral duct, welded on the sides so that all that needed to be done was to lift into place
"Every detail was to enhance the natatorium," Russell said,"This is the way a natatorium should be built."
SkiHi Mechanical was the client for this project. Paul Saccoccio was the project manager at SkiHi.
Russell and Saccoccio developed a strong mutual respect during their work together.
"SkiHi does a great job on the drawings," Russell said.
This was the first project Saccoccio had worked on with Russell, but during the time they worked on the natatorium, they started three additional projects together.
"He (Russell) and Spiral have been very responsive to all my change orders, questions I might have," Saccoccio said."They have been low bidder, they provide a good product. Cost and quality together are hard to beat."
Spiral Pipe of Texas, located in Fort Worth, was founded in May 1981. Today it has 75 employees and provides estimating, project management, fabrication drawings, custom fabrication and delivery.
"The daily effort and sheer willpower of a lot of dedicated SPOT employees has enabled the organization to grow into what we view as one of the premier sheet metal fabrication companies in the business," Boydstun said.