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Products At Work: Hospital Built to Plan

MEP contractor’s technology precisely places plumbing / HVAC systems

By Jeff Winke

The Denver, Colorado suburb of Northglenn sold 5.7 acres of vacant land to SCL Health Community Hospitals for the construction of a 60,000-square-foot community-based hospital and medical office facility. The location is less than a half mile from I-25.

            The Northglenn SCL Health Community Hospital follows the new healthcare model, which favors smaller, more accessible hospitals located within neighborhoods. Yet, the three-story new hospital will provide many of the same services found in larger traditional hospitals, such as an emergency room, inpatient beds, and laboratory and imaging services.

            AMI Mechanical Inc., based in Thornton, Colorado, is responsible for the fabrication and installation of all the mechanical systems in this small building with its 218 foot by 88-foot structure footprint. All the systems were fabricated in house in a clean, controlled environment, which made for a cleaner, safer worksite. This was an approximate $5 million project.

            Since 1991, AMI Mechanical has established itself in the Rocky Mountain Region and handles projects ranging in size from $200,000 to $25 Million, with a yearly volume of $70 Million. In addition to their management, engineering and administrative staff, AMI Mechanical employs more than 275 skilled and experienced field trades workers. A crew of 20 or so worked on the SCL Hospital’s plumbing and waste piping system and eight to 10 were assigned to the project’s HVAC duct installation crew.

            “The structure is tilt-up construction so once the concrete side forms were tied in place and we received the green light to go, things moved fast,” states Sean Lauck, BIM manager for AMI Mechanical. “We had plenty to do on our end but we needed to coordinate with the various other contractors to make sure the interior construction went smoothly.”

            Hospitals require a lot of water, power, and proper air circulation for exam rooms and operating theaters, as well as X-ray facilities. It can be a more complicated build than a hotel or apartment building with similar number of rooms because of the critical need for environmental control and the sophisticated technology that can be used in the rooms.

            “We’re dealing with a four to 4½ foot ceiling cavity that can be packed with cables, piping, lighting fixture housing, air circulation systems, and structural I-beams, so we need to know where everything goes precisely,” Lauck said. “There was no room for missteps or errors.”

            Until the roof was built and enclosed the building, weather also became a challenge. There were bitter cold days and snowstorms. The snow and ice delayed AMI Mechanical until the decks were cleared.

            AMI Mechanical created a digital model, which represents the physical, technical, and functional characteristics of the Northglenn SCL Health Community Hospital building. The model included 3D coordinates and vector information that represent the geometry of the building and its components.

            The 3D digital model also details the entire network of piping and ductwork to be installed, as well as the structural elements, HVAC hanger anchor inserts, and penetration points on each deck where piping must travel through. 



“For each of the three decks, we’re placing 3,000 to 4,000 hangers alone, which translates to a large amount of data,” Lauck stated. “And each hanger needs to be anchored at its correct point, which is where our total station and layout navigator instruments play critical roles.”

            Lauck worked with GeoShack in Commerce City, Colorado to select the best technology for the project. GeoShack is an authorized Sokkia and Topcon dealer, which are products that Lauck has worked with for years, knows best, and prefers. GeoShack helped in selecting the best technology for the Northglenn SCL Health facility project and provided start-up assistance, training, and on-call troubleshooting help.

            Through GeoShack, AMI Mechanical acquired a Topcon PS-103 robotic total station, which is positioned as the most advanced robotic total station available. Because it’s designed to offer precision positioning capability, AMI Mechanical used the PS Series total station with  to ensure accurate placement of piping and ductwork hangers.

            Also acquired was a Topcon LN-100 Layout Navigator using MAGNET Layout software, which is considered the first 3D positioning system designed specifically for construction layout.  The LN-100 uses laser and robotic total station technologies to create a totally new tool. The challenge the LN-100 addresses is the construction coordination, which was essential for the Northglenn site.

           Lauck appreciated that the LN-100 could be mounted on a structural column so that there is less floor vibration than a floor tripod, which is susceptible to the jars and vibrations of materials being loaded on the floor for use,

            “Knowing what work has been completed during the project and working from the same design plan throughout is critical to maintain schedule and avoid costly collisions on this hospital project,” said Lauck. “The LN-100 helped us stay connected to the same design and focused on each critical step in the process.”

            Lauck also likes the fact that he can pair up the robotic total station and layout navigator with any brand of data collector. The Topcon instruments are not restricted to their own brand of data collectors, which provides the contractor with flexibility should there ever be a need and the only option is a competitive brand data collector.

            “Being able to access and apply the BIM 3D model through our robot and LN-100 made it possible to deliver the quality results we had planned,” Lauck stated. “Since we needed to coordinate our efforts with other contractors on the site, the technology allowed us to work faster and better—essentially accelerate our work flow when necessary to fit the needs of the other contractors.”
The Northglenn SCL Health Community Hospital facility was completed on schedule.

            “This will be fun to visit the Northglenn hospital sometime in the future just to see it fully functioning,” said Lauck. “I’ll feel good knowing we’ve done a good job and everything in the building’s mechanicals is in place… exactly where it needs to be.”

Ford Celebrates 100 Years of Truck History – from 1917 Model TT to 2017 F-150 Raptor

 Ford celebrates 100 years of leadership, innovation, capability and durability for its iconic trucks – from the Ford TT that kicked off this rich history on this day in 1917 to the new Ford F-Series lineup

 Henry Ford’s vision to create a vehicle with a cab and work-duty frame capable of accommodating cargo beds and third-party upfit equipment proudly endures a century later in the Built Ford Tough F-Series lineup – from F-150 to F-750 Super Duty

 F-Series reigns as America’s best-selling truck for 40 straight years and best-selling vehicle for 35 straight years, thanks to Ford listening to and understanding the needs of truck owners, developing customer-centric product innovations, and delivering purpose-built capabilities, features and configurations; Ford has sold more than 26 million F-Series trucks in the United States since 1977

1918 Ford

One hundred years ago today, Ford introduced its first purpose-built truck, the 1917 Ford Model TT, forever changing the auto industry – and the very nature of work itself.

A century later, Ford trucks are among the most iconic vehicles in the world. F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 35 straight years. In Canada, Ford F-Series has enjoyed 51 consecutive years as best-selling pickup and now marks seven straight years as best-selling vehicle.

Throughout this rich history, Ford continuously has worked to improve its trucks by listening to truck owners and developing new innovations that improve their ability to get the job done. These innovations give today’s Ford truck owners greater towing and hauling capability, advanced engines for improved efficiency, and driver-assist technologies that make it easier and more convenient to operate.

 Birth of a legend

Nine years after the first Model T saw Ford customers asking for a vehicle that could haul heavier loads and provide greater utility for work and deliveries. On July 27, 1917, Ford responded with the Model TT, which retained the Model T cab and engine. The Model TT came with a heavier-duty frame capable of carrying one ton of payload. The factory price was $600; 209 were sold that year.

Similar to the Fordson tractor introduced in 1917, Henry Ford envisioned a chassis that could accommodate third-party beds, cargo areas and other add-ons to deliver the increased functionality needed to get work done. It was a formula for success. By 1928, Ford had sold 1.3 million Model TTs before replacing the truck with the more capable Model AA with a 1.5-ton chassis.

Henry Ford marketed his early trucks heavily in rural areas, according to Bob Kreipke, Ford historian. “Model AA trucks in particular had a certain class to them,” he said. “Customers could use them on the farm, yet still take them to church on Sunday.”

CHPR01059_100YrsTruck_SP_C05Like the Model TT, the Model AA was available exclusively as a chassis cab offered in two lengths, with new powertrain and axle options for greater capacity. To stay ahead in what had become a hotly competitive business, Ford replaced the Model AA with the even more capable Model BB in 1933. Many were outfitted as mail and freight vehicles, ambulances and stake trucks. Two years later, Ford introduced the 1935 Model 50 pickup, powered exclusively by its famous Ford Flathead V8 engine.

By 1941, Ford had sold more than 4 million trucks. Changing over to war production resulted in the loss of consumer sales but a gain in experience building heavy-duty military truck chassis and four-wheel-drive personnel carriers. A year after consumer production resumed in 1947, Ford leveraged that knowledge to provide even more innovations for its customers.

“After the war, a lot of rural Americans moved to urban and suburban centers looking for work, and many took their Ford pickups with them,” said Kreipke. “Ford saw this as an opportunity, and

1948 Ford

began work on the next generation of trucks for 1948, what came to be known as F-Series Bonus Built trucks.”

This first-generation F-Series covered Classes 2 through 7 capacities – from the half-ton F-1 to the much larger F-8 cab-over truck. With the arrival of the second-generation F-Series for 1953, Ford increased engine power and capacity, and rebranded the series. The F-1 became the F-100, while F-2 and F-3 trucks were integrated into the new F-250 line. F-4 became F-350. Class 8 trucks were spun off into a new C-Series commercial truck unit that produced iconic C-, H-, L-, N-, T- and W-Series Ford trucks.

Throughout this period, Ford trucks started looking less utilitarian, sporting two-tone paint, automatic transmissions, and improved heater and radio offerings. New standard features debuted with the 1953 F-100, including armrests, dome lights and sun visors. Lower and with a wider cab, the new truck featured integrated front fenders and a more aerodynamic design.

Then, in 1957, Ford tested out a car-based truck – the Falcon Ranchero. Marketed as “More Than a Car! More Than a Truck!,” this light-duty truck brought car-like amenities to consumers.

 Creating the Built Ford Tough brand

In 1961 – 44 years after the Model TT – Ford introduced its fourth-generation F-Series. Lower and sleeker, it debuted the company’s revolutionary twin I-beam front suspension. An upscale Ranger package appeared in 1967. Ads emphasized improved comfort, value and durability, as Ford trucks now offered power steering and brakes, and a lower chassis profile. A larger SuperCab option introduced in 1974 featured more comfortable seating to attract dual-purpose work and family buyers.

With the arrival of the sixth-generation F-Series in 1975, Ford dropped the popular F-100, replacing it with a higher-capacity F-150 pickup to combat the C/K trucks from General Motors. By 1977, F-Series pulled ahead in the sales race, and 26 million trucks later, Ford hasn’t looked back.

That same year, a copywriter for a Ford truck magazine is said to have written three simple words that would come to define the brand – Built Ford Tough. It is more than a slogan – it’s the F-Series brand promise to its owners and the mantra for Ford’s entire truck team.

Trucks were fast becoming universal family vehicles, in addition to being work trucks, according to Kreipke. Instead of renting a truck for a big job or for towing, people now had ones they could use for work during the week, then hitch a trailer to and haul the family in for weekend getaways. Ford trucks were adapting to the changing, more active American lifestyle.

Premium edition trucks, such as the Lariat package introduced in 1978, offered more comfort features including air conditioning, leather trim, and power windows and locks. In 1982, Ford charted a different course with an all-new compact truck – Ranger. Versatile and efficient, Ranger quickly built a reputation for being tough and capable, leading it to thrive in diverse markets around the world. Now, after a seven-year hiatus, Ford is reintroducing an all-new Ranger in North America in 2019.

 Expanding the Built Ford Tough Lineup

Ford reset the benchmark again in 1998 with the introduction of F-Series Super Duty. Engineered for fleet and heavy-duty work use, Super Duty – from the F-250 all the way up to the F-750 – more clearly defined Ford trucks for a growing base of commercial applications.

With an expanding lineup of F-Series trucks, the company added high-end trim and technology packages to meet customers’ diverse needs. The addition of King Ranch, Platinum and Limited model trucks provided more luxury content along with improved functionality and capability. Features such as premium leather-trimmed seating, SYNC® with navigation, sunroofs and heated seats, along with gross vehicle weight and tow ratings in the 15,000-pound range combined to deliver on the Built Ford Tough brand promise.

While Ford worked to continuously increase truck capabilities, the company made bold investments in efficiency, too. Powerful, yet efficient EcoBoost® V6 engine technology debuted for 2011, providing customers with better fuel economy and power. This was followed by the industry’s first high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body for the 2015 F-150, providing customers the “and” solution of greater efficiency and more capability. Two years later, 2017 Super Duty trucks also got lighter-weight high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy bodies – a savings Ford reinvested in providing best-in-class towing and hauling capability.

2018 Ford

Innovation on the performance front continued, too, with Ford leading the way in the specialty truck segment. Early examples include Harley-Davidson F-150 and F-150 SVT Lightning. Then came Raptor – the first off-road trophy truck from a major manufacturer.

Inspired by desert racing and designed specifically to meet the needs of off-road truck enthusiasts, the purpose-built F-150 Raptor set the bar high for off-road performance. Today’s second-generation 2017 F-150 Raptor features a 450-horsepower EcoBoost V6, 10-speed transmission, and segment-exclusive Terrain Management System™ with electronic-controlled transfer case and differentials.

Ford is credited with putting the world on wheels, and Ford trucks helped build America. “Ford trucks carried the loads, the people and the products necessary to get the job done,” Kreipke said.

About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 202,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

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