Case Study: Magnificent Mile Parking Garage

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Magnificent Mile Parking Gets Safer

The Shops at Northbridge is a bustling shopping experience that brings tourists in for a sweet treat at Sugar Factory or a new outfit at Nordstrom.  Hundreds, maybe thousands of cars are in and out of the parking garage at 10 East Grand Avenue each day.  They need to be protected, so F.E. Moran Fire Protection, Northern Illinois (FPN) was hired to install fire protection in the 11-story parking garage and an adjacent 2-story parking garage - while remaining open.  The challenges of working in an open parking garage were real, but they met the difficult task head on and the project ended successfully. 

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Two Parking Garage Projects with No Closures

The project was challenging on multiple levels.  Both, the 11-story and 2-story parking garage remained open during the entire project.  This made coordination and scheduling especially important on this project. 

The project schedule was very aggressive.  FPN was awarded the project in mid-August and needed to complete it before Thanksgiving when the shopping rush would begin for the holidays.  Not only did FPN need to coordinate with having parts of the garage open at all times, they also needed to maintain a tight deadline.  The aggressive timeline made getting materials on time more challenging, especially since special piping was needed and the lead times were too long for the project timeline.



Planning is the Key to Success

To meet the challenge of working in an open parking garage, FPN made diligent plans ahead of time.  They scheduled out where the fitters would be installing and coordinated accordingly.  That way, they could keep much of the parking garage open while completing their job on time.

Our project manager, Bob Modica, sought out materials from a variety of places to meet demands.  He worked with several fabricators to get the materials he needed on time.  

Nothing Compares to Team Effort

In the end, FPN installed a dry-pipe fire protection system with a nitrogen generator with 3,900 sprinkler heads.  A nitrogen generation system, when added to a dry pipe sprinkler system, removes oxygen and reduces corrosion.  Nitrogen has a negative dew point, which dries out any water that may be in the pipes, eliminating two elements that cause corrosion.



The Magnificent Mile parking garage got a dry-pipe system with nitrogen to prevent corrosion, on time without inconveniencing Shops of Northbridge guests.  Bob Modica said, "This was truly a team effort.  The field, design, purchasing, and project management all worked together and most importantly, communicated well throughout the project to make this a highly successful project."