Cannistraro, Boston’s largest mechanical contractor, turned to Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co. when sourcing plumbing materials for their new fabrication facility in Boston’s Seaport District.
While the building is new to Cannistraro, it is not new to Boston. 25 Fid Kennedy was built in 1940 by the U.S. Navy as a multi-trade, heavy machine shop. The building renovations are preserving the legacy of the industrial Art Deco architecture and its original utilitarian use. The new 157,000 square foot building will be their manufacturing facility for plumbing, HVAC, fire protection, and sheet metal trades.
Courtney Carroll, the project manager for Cannistraro’s plumbing division, said they do a great deal of modular construction. “We fabricate every aspect of what we do whenever we can. It makes the field more efficient, and it’s safer working at a table level height rather than on site where we’re sometimes working in precarious positions.”
This new facility will replace three separate shops spread out over the Boston area. Not only will each trade have their own space in the one location, but there will also be collaborative space for multi-trade racks.
The extra space also allows Cannistraro to utilize flex space within the facility for innovative modular projects in collaboration with other industry partners.
“Our clients used to have to rent out space for this purpose. Now they can all just come to us,” said Carroll. “It’s more efficient to send fabrication from all of our trades from one site on one truck.”
After a trip to Montgomery, Alabama to tour Smith’s manufacturing facility, Cannistraro selected Smith as their plumbing supplier.
Carroll said, “Having one source for our whole department or company is nice because you have the relationship and customer service. Getting all our products from one source is easier than a bunch of different suppliers.”
One example of Smith products they used in their new facility is the Enviro-Flo® II trench drain system. The new building required about 250 feet of trench drains in total, and the longest single span was 120 feet.
Each section included a flow arrow and was numbered sequentially to match the drawings, which made for a smooth and efficient installation. The system was crated and shipped in batches to arrive in time for each of the four scheduled pours.
“It was nice to phase it onto the site,” said Carroll. “Often, things get stolen, damaged, misplaced, or just get in the way. Storing 120 feet of trench would cost money just to move it around. Shipping it right when it's needed for the install saves on shifting it around the facility.”
One of the features of the Enviro-Flo® II that Carroll found beneficial was the removable factory insert board constructed from post-industrial recycled material that functions as a stabilizer and debris guard.
She said, “Having that insert board slide in to keep [the drain] as straight as possible is really good, especially on 120 feet of drain.
In the video below, you will notice that the entire installation is done with 1 meter (3.28 feet) sections. Typically, in situations like this, Smith would pre-fabricate the system in ten-foot sections for the customer. However, because changes to the drawings bumped up against the pour timeline, Cannistraro decided to go with the one-meter sections instead of waiting on the pre-fabricated pieces.
Carroll felt it was beneficial to test the product out this way, as this was not a customer job and therefore the schedule was not as critical.
We encourage you to watch the video below. It will give you a good idea of just how fast and easy the trench drain installation with Enviro-Flo® II is in the time-lapse portion. Then, in the second half of the video, you can see the full installation of one section of drain.
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