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© Unimech, 2006 - {source}{/source}.
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403.259.3440

info@unimech.ca

© Unimech, 2006 - {source}{/source}.
All Rights Reserved.

CASE STUDY

BOAZ Phase II Expansion


*Not Actual Photo

*Not Actual Photo

CASE STUDY

BOAZ Phase II Expansion


PROJECT DETAILS

OWNER: BOAZ Pharmaceuticals

PROJECT TYPE: Light Industrial

BONDING: None

USAGE: Cannabis Production

CONTRACT TYPE: Design + Build / Cost +

EST. COST: 4 M

TIMELINE: 13 Months

LOCATION: 4435 90 Ave SE, Calgary, AB, T2C 2S6

PROJECT DETAILS

OWNER: BOAZ Pharmaceuticals

PROJECT TYPE: Light Industrial

USAGE: Cannabis Production

BONDING: None

CONTRACT TYPE: Design + Build / Cost +

EST. COST: 4 M

TIMELINE: 13 Months

LOCATION: 4435 90 Ave SE, Calgary, AB, T2C 2S6

DESCRIPTION

BOAZ Pharmaceuticals is a craft cannabis producer located in Calgary’s foothills industrial area with deep roots in Alberta’s ambitious and entrepreneurial energy industry.

This project features the use of state-of-the-art mechanical equipment to perfectly dehumidify and temper the air inside isolated pods to assist the BOAZ team in creating a product mix that meets their industry leading standards of quality and customer experience.

The heart of the mechanical system installed for BOAZ Phase II expansion is comprised of 9 outdoor V-cooler unit sections and 18 specially controlled indoor dehumidifiers connected by a glycol distribution system for heat reject. Additional custom condensation drainage capture and recycling was incorporated to enable water recycling which minimizes the consumption of fresh water in this facility. A unique CO2 monitoring and injection system was also installed so the growth specialists at BOAZ can operate with the Godlike ability to control and optimize key atmospheric variables, ultimately allowing them to use a balance of intuition and hard data to craft an unmatchable family of Cannabis related goods.

OBJECTIVE

As an already operating start-up in a competitive and newly deregulated industry, BOAZ had a need to meet expanding product demand without disrupting existing production shipment targets inside of a strict budget.

PLAN

BOAZ and engineering partner EMBE Consulting Engineers developed an Issued for Building Permit set of mechanical drawings that considered the expansion of cannabis production and processing space as well as an optional office space expansion prior to final equipment sizing and selections being made. Acting as prime contractor, BOAZ hired each subtrade and completed project management directly. In order to manage market and budgetary realities, the project was to be executed in sub-phases to accommodate existing production schedules. Unimech was hired in-progress to replace a competitor that was unable to construct to the requirements of the primary mechanical equipment Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), who was delivering a proprietary design to meet the needs of BOAZ.

Challenges & Solutions

CHALLENGE 1

Contract Form

Unimech was sensitive to the market uncertainty facing BOAZ as well as the potential risks related to business interruption and design liability that both parties were facing at the contracting stage. Standard stipulated price or design-build-assist contract forms were not a perfect fit for either party.

SOLUTION

Unimech and BOAZ negotiated an acceptable time and material fee table that included design, management, administrative and installation. This provided a co-operative arrangement that allowed the contemplated scope to be completed as financing permitted without overcommitting the client or the contractor. This provided unexpected benefits in execution as it allowed for a novel equipment financing arrangement to be made without disrupting the build.

CHALLENGE 2

Chemical Compatibility

The first design challenge to overcome was to correct piping material selection and system fill specifications given the now known equipment design envelope and operational process requirements. A previous contractor made piping material selections optimizing for material cost without considering equipment operating requirements or environmental condition factors facing the client, leading to delays, demolition, and rework.

SOLUTION

Unimech first consulted with the client to understand how they wanted their facility to be operated during construction, and then when fully constructed. Next, Unimech engaged the equipment OEM to understand the physical make-up of the internal components of their technology along with any other design limitations that may jeopardize their performance or longevity. Unimech used this information to propose utilizing a chemically conditioned water-glycol mix with pressure PVC piping that would give a balance of system performance and longevity that was suitable to both the environmental conditions of Calgary, the operational and budgetary requirements of the client, as well as the technical requirements of the consultant and OEM.

CHALLENGE 3

Hydraulic Detail

The engineered drawings provided for Phase 2 expansion were suitable to receive development permits with the City of Calgary but were not able to specify the supply and return configuration or sizing details as the final selection for the condensing units had not been finalized at the time of submission.

SOLUTION

During the process of engaging the OEM to address the chemical compatibility of the system, Unimech focused on the input regarding optimal operating pressure regime for the mechanical equipment to correctly configure and size the supply and return piping runs. Unimech utilized a combination of technologies including hydraulic modelling and Bluebeam to create and present the different feasible scenarios available to the client. The preferred option presented the best operational flexibility and total cost to the client while also satisfying the consultant and OEM.

CHALLENGE 4

Constructability

Outside of the challenge of constructing while operating, BOAZ operates a controlled, high-security environment with zero tolerance towards violation of non-disclosure, product shrinkage or product contamination. Additional measures would need to be taken to maintain these standards.

SOLUTION

Unimech and BOAZ collaborated to select an installation crew authorized to perform work requiring background checks, completed site orientations and dedicated this group to work consistently throughout the project to ensure consistency and minimal administrative disruption. All staff followed security protocols which included wearing protective smocks, footwear, hair nets and increased personal hygiene routines. All external tools and materials were vetted prior to delivery and were individually sterilized using ozonated water prior to staging on site prior to installation.

CHALLENGE 5

Factory Equipment Quality Issues
Some of the major mechanical equipment arrived on site with quality control issues which prevented a switch away from the previously undersized and inappropriate system, putting owner expectations and confidence at risk. A factory authorized agent was used to confirm the equipment problems were a warranty issue but did not have the capacity to make the repair in line with the project schedule.

SOLUTION

Unimech worked with the authorized representative and the OEM to develop and execute a repair and testing program that included rebuilding a majority of internal glued plastic and brazed piping connections. This work was billed directly to the OEM as time and material and did not impact client budget. No product was compromised and the schedule was maintained.
Outcomes
The client was able to build their expanded production capability, self-performing as much as possible, without compromising the ability to deliver inventory to a rapidly evolving market. The system has performed without major disruption since commissioning and both parties welcome the next chance they will have to work together.
Insights

The BOAZ Phase II expansion helped reinforce the importance of working from:

  • A clear understanding of the initial project vision despite how much can change along the way, and;
  • First principles instead of rules of thumb when addressing technical hurdles to develop a unique and optimized outcome for the end user.

Other important insights taken away by Unimech leadership were related to serving entrepreneurial clients with big dreams. Each client comes to the table with unique needs and risk appetite. This project taught us how crucial it is to work to understand those needs and comfort level when calibrating our thinking while defining challenges and the potential solution set prior to moving forward.

It also introduced our team to a wider range of financing models that we have since incorporated into other design-build-assist retrofit and expansion proposals. Should you find yourself in a scenario where capital expenditure budget is limited, but operating expenditure budgets are more flexible, we can work with you to make necessary improvements on the strength of future performance instead of savings.

Uniquely, it also taught us what it takes to create a healthy growing environment for indoor agriculture applications. This approach has been extremely validating for our client in this case as their theories have been proven out. The balance of industry or others in adjacent applications would be wise to study these details, as many of the large producers have not been able to meet lofty production target guidance provided by their own investor relations teams and have suffered the consequences in stock price valuation as a result.

LANDMARK
TESTIMONIALS

“Being a pharmaceutical facility our specifications and standards are very demanding. The guys at Unimech very quickly understood exactly what we needed and worked with us to help specify the final design. They delivered quickly and within budget. We are delighted with the results!”

David Isaak - President CEO

SEE MORE OF OUR PROJECTS

Unimech is a team of innovative mechanical contracting specialists. We specialize in providing clients with the most comfortable and valuable spaces possible. Whether plumbing, heating and cooling or HVAC services, our design and construction professionals complete every project safely, on schedule, and within optimal budgetary expectations.

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