Case Studies

Tiernan & Patrylo Inc.

Optimizing Value through Strategic Partnerships

Georgia-based Tiernan & Patrylo, Inc. (T&P) is a company built with a focus on more complex and challenging design-build projects in a diverse array of industries. The company’s approach to projects is to spend the time required with clients to fully understand their business, and to then implement the most effective design and construction approach to maximize the client’s investment. In effect, T&P partners with the client, and reinforces what makes them successful by a thorough understanding of their business processes.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to provide true turn-key services, not limited to the design and construction of the building envelope, but also the process general arrangements, control systems, mechanical, electrical and other disciplines,” says T&P President John P. Tiernan, P.E. T&P’s design teams conceptualize every aspect of the project design in a detailed planning process, and provide a scope of work that assures a full understanding of the project before breaking ground.

“We have the knowledge, experience and insight into the market to provide accurate budgeting, allowing our clients to get the necessary project capital appropriation, without having fully detailed design documents,” says Tiernan, who goes on to suggest a better design-build approach. “Design costs typically range from only four to six percent of the total project cost, but drive the balance of the construction costs. So it is important to spend the time planning and defining the project upfront. One change midstream in the construction process can easily cost as much as the entire design budget.” Since adopting this philosophy, T&P has been blessed with plentiful repeat business.

No Time to Shut Down

Many of T&P’s projects occur in existing manufacturing facilities that cannot afford long-term shutdowns, which would have a dramatic impact on their bottom line. Proper scheduling is also a key to the planning process. Most clients can adapt their production to the necessary construction process, so long as there are no surprises and all of the players are well informed. T&P construction managers innovate to keep these disruptions to a minimum.

One such client, Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan, Ga., is a manufacturer of extruded aluminum products. T&P designed and constructed a 50,000-square foot building above an existing group of buildings to accommodate two extrusion press upgrades and new handling lines. For this project, T&P completed the foundations, steel erection and demolition work with its own forces. Along the way T&P was in constant communication with the client to assure zero unscheduled down time.

Another project in Atlanta, Ga., involved the removal and installation of four underground diesel fuel storage tanks for the city’s MARTA public transportation system without interrupting bus refueling operations. The old tanks were leaking, and were replaced with double annular tanks filled with an interstitial brine solution. Given the tight site constraints, T&P designed a novel shoring system with caissons and pilings that relied on the existing surrounding slab, which facilitated a quicker, more efficient project timeline. “There isn’t one way to solve a problem, but properly planning the process to accommodate the owner’s business in a timely manner is critical,” Tiernan noted.

Recently T&P completed a classified clean room project for Gerresheimer Wilden Plastics, USA, a subsidiary of a global medical products company located in Peachtree City, Ga. The award was contingent upon connecting the new clean room area to an existing clean room on the opposite side of a non-clean corridor. Because of the project constraints, T&P devised a unique automated vestibule in order to maximize day-to-day efficiency. This positive pressure vestibule includes a Teflon-lined sliding floor plate, which isolates clean room and warehouse foot traffic. Certification of the new clean room with HEPA filtration systems confirmed the particulate measure well below the allowable limits for validation.

T&P Raises the Roof

T&P has a reputation for modifying existing facilities for new uses. For Camelback Properties in Phoenix, Ariz., the company raised a 40,000-square foot roof section in a 110,000-square foot facility in one single lift. The roof was lifted from approximately 12 feet to a total height of over 24 feet to provide the necessary clearance for the incoming client’s manufacturing process equipment.

The roof was lifted hydraulically with a laser guidance system in place to assure proper control. Following a careful design and construction process, the lift was completed over a three-day period. The project included new column footing upgrades, structural steel columns and bracing, reinforcements of structural members, and exterior siding installation.

“The engineering was challenging because of the dynamic loads imposed by the lifting operation and the potential uplift loads that could be caused by excessive wind,” says Steve Gulas, senior project manager. T&P introduced steel beams and bracing to support the roof structure prior to the lift, and tagged every conduit, duct and pipe to salvage the mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Because of the size of the lift, the roof-raising effort saved the existing roof and resulted in a faster dry-in of the building as compared to demolishing and replacing the entire roof structure, aside from the related cost savings. T&P has also demolished and replaced roof structures for various facilities including Winpak Films and Snapper, both located in Georgia.

T&P Makes Way for Bridge Crane

Megadoor, a manufacturer of oversized aluminum-framed fabric sectional doors in Peachtree City, Ga., needed a larger facility. The project required a bridge crane that could operate throughout both the manufacturing, loading and finished goods storage area in order to make its manufacturing process more efficient.

T&P provided an engineered solution within an existing facility, renovating a 50,000-square foot area including removal of an entire column line within the building. The addition of new steel beam girders integrated into the bridge crane structure allowed for the addition of two 75-foot clear bridge cranes running over the entire production and storage area of the facility. “In order to save money on the project, we acquired large beams salvaged from an abandoned facility, which we had certified, and were then modified to meet our structural design criteria; this made the project economically viable,” says Executive Vice President Larry Aronson.

T&P framed an opening nearly 80 feet wide and erected the steel runway system for the bridge crane and girder supports. Megadoor fabricated a door at the transition from the building interior production area to the outside to match this 80-foot opening size. It’s an impressive site. The translucent fabric of the extra wide door opening along with skylights brighten the space and reduce indoor lighting costs. As a follow up, T&P designed and constructed a 10,000-square foot blasting and painting area for Megadoor to facilitate preparation of its steel door components.

T&P Specializes in Hazardous Classifications

For 15 years T&P has been providing safe, compliant engineering and construction solutions within facilities handling explosive volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, and the like. T&P completes the related process hazard analyses for its clients as well. It was the first company in North America to complete the conversion of a polyisocyanurate foam insulation manufacturing facility from the use of Freon to a more environmentally friendly and readily available Pentane as a blowing agent in order to comply with environmental regulations. This type of foam is a rigid board that is common on commercial roof systems, and also used as sheathing on many homes. T&P completed designs and upgrades on an excess of 20 facilities across the U.S. and Canada for clients including Johns Manville, Atlas Roofing and Celotex. “Our expertise was the key to our success within these facilities due to the explosive nature of Pentane,” says Tiernan. Pentane is heavier than air and is flammable, like many hydrocarbons, requiring adherence to extremely strict design guidelines.

Another facility utilizing explosive materials is Alcan Packaging, in Peachtree City, Ga. They use flammable liquids in a parts washing area in their package printing operation. Parts are heated to 275 degrees for clean up. T&P designed Alcan’s cleaning room to prevent static electricity and high vapor concentrations. It installed gas detectors and a foam fire sprinkler system with dedicated drains and overflow scuppers to meet NFPA life safety standards. The exterior walls and roof of the building expansion were also designed and constructed with precast concrete panels to withstand a 130-pound per square foot impact load, and pressure relief panels to meet Factory Mutual Insurance standards in case of explosion. Shear walls were designed at the exterior of the building envelope in lieu of structural steel bracing to save space for equipment, and free span load bearing roof panels were designed to support the 100-percent outside air HVAC unit. T&P has provided similar services throughout Georgia for valued clients such as Flint Ink and Winpak Films.

T&P’s Diversification

“T&P is the most diversified design-build firm in the Atlanta, Ga., area,” says Vice President of Planning Richard Roth. T&P designs and builds a host of commercial and institutional spaces, hotels, data communication centers, office-warehouse buildings, medical facilities, country clubs, gymnasiums, and synthetic turf baseball fields. Valued long standing relationships include T&P’s work for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Division on both the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and C-5 RERP programs. T&P has also built numerous projects for BB&T, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and a broad range of other commercial projects as well.

“At Tiernan & Patrylo, Inc. we welcome the challenge of complex and demanding projects where our clients understand the value of choosing the right project team,” summarizes Roth.

Published on: March 13, 2013

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