O’Shea Building

Construction Special Projects

:+: By Kevin Anway

On the rooftop and in our wheelhouse

The four-story O’Shea Building, located at 1524 5th Avenue and home of Old Navy, opened in 1914. When it opened, the building replaced the Olympic Stables (horse parking) and a Methodist Church. The building was renovated in 2000 and is now undergoing another significant upgrade. Steve Buerk of RAFN asked Kevin Anway if MacDonald-Miller could perform a building-wide mechanical survey for KG Investment Properties (KGIP). After the survey, MacMiller provided a proposal for new rooftop mechanical equipment and was awarded the rooftop unit replacement.

The vintage 2000 rooftop equipment had electric heat and cooling in the same unit. However, since the year 2000 codes have changed to prohibit the use of electric resistance heat and cooling within the same unit unless it is a heat pump. New heat pump configurations were not compatible with the existing footprints, weights, or electrical loads of the existing equipment, so the equipment was replaced with AC-only units. Therefore, heating had to be done at the zone level. MacMiller was informed only two weeks in advance that Seattle was planning to enact a moratorium prohibiting zone level electric resistance. Engineering had to scramble to get permit applications to the city to beat the deadline and set KGIP up for their future tenant needs. After overcoming several significant permitting issues, MacMiller was also awarded a complete controls retrofit opportunity.

After extensive and meticulous field sheet metal coordination and planning, street use and noise ordinance permits (by Todd Selland at Barnhart), advanced shop fabrication of support structures for new rooftop equipment, and up-front design and installation of new controls, MacMiller was ready for the day of the crane pick. Each of the existing units were mounted on custom shop-fabricated steel cross-members, supported by spring isolators. Fifth Avenue was blocked off between Pike Street and Pine Street so the crane could be set up and still allow large semi-trailers to bring the new equipment to the job site. The units were up and running by Monday, which was a must for a retailer like Old Navy as well as for the occupied tenants on floors three and four.

This project had many challenges, but engineering (primarily Art Joseph and George Graham), our field sheet metal crew (headed by Nate Waagen and field foreman Mike Contreras), controls installation crews (headed by Dave Goff, field foreman Ryan McFarlan, and Sam Shipley) along with our main project coordinator Mike Reichert made it all happen. Our customers, KGIP and RAFN were very happy with the results and have since awarded MacMiller (Kelly Johnson) a service contract for all of the equipment in the building. There are a lot of people who are not named above but were instrumental in making this happen. Hard hats off to all of them for a job well done!

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