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Andy J. Egan Co., Inc. is no stranger to the renovation of historic buildings. In fact, some of the downtown Grand Rapids buildings they work in have been customers for nearly a century. On one recent renovation, Egan and 3D Imaging Services creatively applied new technology when upgrading the HVAC in a more than 100-year-old building.

This Grand Rapids-based manufacturing facility needed a new boiler, and the owner hoped that the new equipment could tie into the existing chimney. Because of its age, the interior of the chimney would have to be sleeved with sheet metal in order to meet today’s building codes.

Other mechanical contractors would quite literally hit a wall while installing a sleeve in the 75-foot tall structure. Over the last 100 years, the historic brickwork had moved and settled. The path from top to bottom was crooked – even “wavy” – creating countless ridges that would prevent a sleeve from sliding into place.

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Egan’s solution was to first work with 3DIS to scan the interior of the chimney at six-inch intervals. The scan captured every single irregularity within the brick walls. From there, an Egan BIM specialist used the point-cloud to determine the maximum size of the sheet metal sleeve that could line the entire length of the chimney without catching on the brickwork. Egan prefabricated the sleeve in two units using these exact measurements.

Chimney Tie-In to Boiler

Without this unique combination of 3D laser scanning, BIM modeling and prefabrication, the building owner would have had two less desirable and more costly options: construct a new chimney on the buildings’ interior and take up precious manufacturing space, or build an entirely new chimney on the exterior and enclose it to meet city ordinances. Instead, Egan’s installers easily were able to line the chimney using the two prefabricated sleeves, tying into the new boiler, saving the customer money and preserving the historic masonry.

Could you next project benefit from this type of construction technology solution? Contact us today.

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