Team Keeps Cool While Building Heats Up

August 2015

Bobby Newman Works in the Ductwork to Clear ClogOn June 23rd, Savannah, GA was a sweltering 107 degrees, and inside the Juilette Gordon Low Federal Building (Building C) temperatures were hitting 87 degrees despite systems running. With Bobby Newman and Tim Gerard already on site trying to find the problem, FSE kicked into gear calling Tim Brown from Athens, GA, Walt Dennis from Ft. Pierce, FL, and Ken Yockey from Monroe, OH, to help join the team.

By the time Tim, Walt and Ken arrived, Bobby and Tim had located a restriction in the ductwork. A fan evaluator, which is made up of a honeycomb configuration, had become clogged with dirt over the 30 years it had been in place. It was estimated that more than 90% of the face of the fan evaluator was clogged with dirt or loose pieces of cardboard. Only a small percentage of the system supply air was making it to the building's VAV boxes.

Wearing a harness, Bobby crawled into the ductwork to eliminate the restriction. For at least six hours, Bobby worked inside the duct to cut out material with a saber saw. Pieces had to be sent down by bucket. When the job was finished, Bobby had cut out 12 garbage bags worth of debris.

Meanwhile, Tim worked through the night to determine why the chiller was also failing. With the help of Walt, the two determined that the oil cooler was scaled. When Bobby finished clearing the ductwork, he joined Tim to help descale the oil cooler, only leaving at 1:30 a.m. When the team returned in the morning, they resumed working on the chillers until they were able to create a credible system.

"The heroes of the story were Bobby and Tim, under the direction of Eddie Holmes (Supervisor)," says Ken. "It is the first time that the building has worked in the memory of almost anyone who has worked in the building."

"They have more airflow than they know what to do with," says Eddie. "Now everyone is calling and saying it is cold, so we're having to adjust everything because they're getting so much air!"

FSE is proud to have been able to not only get the building's systems working again, but to improve the airflow to never-before-seen levels is incredible. The team truly embodies FSE's vision of Positive People Providing Excellent Service with Exceptional Care!

"The job could not have been done without Bobby Newman and Tim Gerard," says Eddie, "and I'd like to pass on my gratitude to Ken Yockey and Walt Dennis – both of them were fantastic help and very much appreciated!"