Case Study: UW-Milwaukee Heating Plant

We’ve moved quite a few chillers. Before May of 2011, however, we had never considered the needs of a garden when planning our technique.  Placing chillers weighing 54,000 and 72,000 pounds into a building located in the center of an urban campus is tricky by itself; now, add in a beautiful rain garden nestled next to the heating and cooling center.  The size of the chillers dictated the one opening through which they could fit: right above the garden.

In order to protect the fragile plantings and carefully landscaped valley, we built a 12' high crib out of wooden railroad ties. The gap between the supports ensured the conservation of the garden and small stream. We then used our 400-ton crane to lift the first chiller off of a trailer, swing it over a sidewalk and fenced-in area, set it onto the crib, and roll it as far as possible into the building.  The crane could only move so far, however, before being blocked by the building. To finish moving the chiller in, we hooked the pick points to a gantry system and carried the unit the rest of the way into the building.