Petra Covidien Team
The Covidien ETO Sterilizer Project Team, including Petra personnel and subcontractors who attended, pose for a quick photo after receiving CT ABC's Excellence in Construction Award for the project.
Petra Team Wins Excellence in Construction Award
from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut

Category: Industrial
Project: Covidien ETO Sterilizer Addition

On Thursday January 28, 2015, in front of an audience of more than nine hundred construction industry professionals, Petra Construction Corporation was honored to receive Connecticut ABC's Excellence in Construction Award in the Industrial Category for the Covidien ETO Sterilizer Addition Project. The awards were presented at Connecticut ABC's Annual Meeting, held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, CT.

This Project was a major challenge from beginning to end. In the early preconstruction stages, the project went through a number of design iterations to bring it within Covidien's budget guidelines. The entire project team worked in close collaboration to reach a design solution which would deliver the functionality required by the Owner, meet the requirements of building codes and the involved regulatory agencies, and still meet the required budget and schedule. And then the "fun" really began.

By the time all of the approvals were secured, it was already October of 2013. Three hundred geopiers had to be drilled and placed to depths of up to 15 feet, to support the concrete foundation. Once that process was completed, there was a very substantial amount of concrete to be poured, but winter was already closing in. Unfortunately, since the project had to be completed by October of 2014, there was no option to delay the concrete work and still meet the schedule. So the concrete work began, just as winter arrived. The on-site team battled the cold and snow throughout the winter, with nearly miraculous results. In spite of having to pour foundations, 18" thick matt slabs, and 24 foot high, 12" thick concrete walls with substantial amounts of rebar, often in very cold and snowy conditions, the team delivered the concrete work on schedule, just in time to receive the structural steel.

Bim Project
BIM Model of ETO Sterilizer Addition
Final Project
Completed Project
The steel erection was followed by the installation of a twenty two foot tall by two hundred ten foot long, ten inch thick CMU wall where the addition met the existing building, cold-formed metal framing, insulated modular panels, special tethered metal wall panels and roofing. And amazingly, construction of the structure was the easy part.

The ETO sterilizer units were manufactured at ETC in Pennsylvania and the LESNI unit was made in Denmark. All of these units were ordered months in advance and shipped to Connecticut. The ETO sterilizer units use ethylene oxide to sterilize the surgical equipment, while the LESNI unit "scrubs" the ethylene oxide after it is used in the sterilization process, making it safe for release into the atmosphere through a forty foot tall stainless steel stack. These units required a massive amount of piping, power, and HVAC capacity to support their operation. If all of those mechanical and electrical systems were field-fabricated, it is likely that the schedule could not have been met.

So Petra and its subcontractors worked in collaboration to develop a Building Information Model of the entire project, allowing much of the work which might normally have been field-fabricated to be prefabricated off-site, brought to the site in modules, and simply connected together on-site. This off-site system fabrication was completed while the structure was being built, so as soon as the structure was complete, the system modules were brought to the jobsite and installed. This approach allowed the project team to meet the required completion schedule.

Meanwhile, power had to be fed from the manufacturing plant's main switchgear, which was approximately 1,200 feet away from the addition. And steam had to be fed from the plant's steam source, which was approximately 1,000 feet away. Again, the project team worked together to feed both systems through the plant and around a myriad of obstacles, to bring them to the locations where they were needed in the new addition.

Industrial projects may not be as "flashy" as some of the more architecturally ornate structures typically seen winning awards. But the amount of effort, cooperation and technical skill required to deliver a project like this one is every bit as extreme as those projects that will appear in Architectural Record. The combined dedication and commitment of the representatives of Covidien, CH2MHill and its consultants, and Petra Construction Corporation and its subcontractors and suppliers, delivered a very complex and challenging project ahead of schedule and under budget, producing a facility that will serve Covidien very well for many years to come.