Building Automation for 8A Contractor at Carlisle Barracks

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How Conexus seamlessly coordinated sub-trades for project success

Founded in 2005, Conexus is a building automation services company with a strong commitment to open systems, smart buildings, and customized solutions.

Project Highlights

Client: Gale Construction Company

Application: Carlisle Barracks chiller & tower replacement

Challenge: Trades coordination and maintaining operations

Solution: Delegation of construction leadership role to Conexus

Results: This project smoothly transitioned old equipment to new, being completed on time and within budget. The following systems and equipment were installed:

  • 3 new cooling towers
  • 2 new 160-ton chillers
  • Distech Controls system

The Challenge: Installation with minimal disruption

When the Gale Construction Company of Illinois was awarded a contract to upgrade a critical infrastructure element of one of the nation’s oldest active military bases, they knew they needed local experts for the project to go smoothly.

Located in Carlisle, PA, Carlisle Barracks needed over $1M in upgrades. Gale Construction’s work involved installing new building equipment—the chillers and cooling towers—which were experiencing mechanical issues and were well-past life expectancy. The outdated equipment controls also needed replacement.

Adding to the difficulty, the equipment was in a challenging location for change out—the center of a building roof and within a penthouse.

The Barracks were outside Gale Construction’s regular service area, so they reached out to the customer for trusted advice regarding which contractors and sub-trades to use. They received a recommendation for Pennsylvania-based Conexus, a professional building automation and controls contractor. Conexus has a long working history at the Barracks, and the customer expressed confidence in Conexus’ leadership capabilities.   

Gale Construction contacted Conexus and explained the scope of work, and Conexus agreed to take on the challenging project.  

Calling the Shots: Embracing a leadership role

For Conexus, the high-profile Carlisle Barracks project with Gale Construction was an opportunity to take on more responsibility than ever before. This would be a large, complex project, and they were eager to demonstrate their expertise.

On behalf of Gale Construction, Conexus put their local knowledge and experience to work and secured the local sub-trades needed. They were put in charge of the mechanical contractor—a role they embraced.

“There was a lot of satisfaction in taking on this important role. Usually, we report to a Mechanical Contractor who reports to the General contractor. On this job, we reported to the General Contractor directly and the Mechanical Contractor reported to us, so there was a bit of role reversal. Our team had to take on a bit more responsibility than we’re used to. However, we did a great job and hit all our timelines and deadlines, and the project turned out great.” 

~Seth Mills, Director of Operations, Conexus

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Results & Successes: On time, on budget, on point

Between 2018 to 2020 at the Carlisle Barracks, Gale Construction oversaw two large building automation initiatives—chiller and tower installation. In a key construction role, Conexus coordinated the cribbing and crane needed for the replacement, demolished old controls, and installed a new, up-to-date front end system.

Installed at Carlisle Barracks:

  • Three Evapco Closed Circuit Cooling Towers
  • Two Carrier 160 Ton Chillers
  • Associated Pumps
  • Distech Controls System with a Niagara N4 front end

As part of their commitment to efficiency and maximizing value for Gale Construction, Conexus also evaluated the existing equipment and kept what they could. During changeout, they took all the necessary steps to ensure the building had cooling services throughout the work.

Both the chiller and tower replacements were completed within Gale Construction’s two-month timeline—even with the increased responsibility, Conexus was on time and on schedule.

For Gale Construction the project was a success, and for Conexus, it proved that they could take on a leadership role while maintaining the high-quality work they’re known for.

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