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FM Energy Plant web-3.JPG


SC Department
of Administration


Columbia, SC


Commercial / Government



SC Department of Administration 
Multiple FM Energy Plant Projects 

Under an existing IDC for mechanical engineering services, GMK Associates was retained to provide plans and technical specifications for the replacement of Chiller #4, Cooling Towers #2 and #3, and associated electrical systems at the Central Energy Plant that serves all buildings that comprise the Capitol Complex. 

The project required coordination with the simultaneous roofing system replacement. The roof of the energy plant incorporates a tall screen wall around the perimeter of the building. The screen wall conceals view of the cooling towers located on the roof of the building. There are 4 cooling towers on the roof along with the supporting structure for the equipment, flues, water piping, electrical conduits, equipment curbs, roof drains and other miscellaneous equipment. The roof of the building has numerous penetrations and other supports throughout the area that make it a difficult roof to maintain.  Additionally, since the equipment must be maintained often, foot traffic on the roof is much more frequent than most roofs. The roof is approximately 7,000 square feet.

The existing roofing material was a modified bitumen roof membrane over a ¾ inch thick perlite coverboard over a modified bitumen roof membrane over a sloped thermosetting fill material (asphaltic perlite) over a concrete deck. This roofing system included the weatherproofing as well as the insulation components. The existing roofing had been tested and contained HAZMAT ACM (asbestos containing material). It was also at the end of its life-cycle and was contributing to leaks inside the building.  Demolition of the existing roof membranes, coverboard, and sloped thermosetting fill material down to the concrete deck was required to accommodate the new roof assembly. The proposed new roof assembly consists of a lightweight insulating concrete system with a fully adhered TPO roof system for approximately 65 squares.

GMK had previously provided designs for the repair/rebuild of a failed compressor motor on a separate Chiller at the FM Energy Plant. Other projects within the building entailed providing engineering design services for the replacement of steam pipe expansion joints.

Most recently, and based on the past experience described above, GMK assisted SCDOA with the development of the specific initial scope of work for the Chiller #3 Replacement project, as well as a detailed Opinion of Probable Cost and preliminary scheduling estimates. Scope elements developed by GMK include:


  • Replace CH #3 with new 1250-ton Magnetic bearing chiller with VFD

  • Install new primary chilled water pump CHWP-3 and associated VFD

  • Install new Condenser water pump CWP-3 and associated VFD

  • Install new chilled water piping from chiller to main chilled water pipe to floor

  • Install new Condenser water piping loop dedicated to Chiller and Cooling Tower #3

  • Install new controls for Chiller #3 and Cooling Tower #3

  • Test and Balance new Chiller #3 System 

In November of 2022, GMK was awarded through competitive solicitation the full design services for the Chiller #3 Replacement.

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