April 28, 2022

Originally founded 14 years ago, Combined Mechanical Industries LLC (CMI) provides mechanical contracting services including piping, stainless steel welding, HVAC construction, and kitchen and refrigeration services to commercial facilities in the Chicago area. One of CMI’s primary customers is Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. CMI often bids on much of the work put out by the university and handles several different maintenance projects for Northwestern on a regular basis.

The Problem

One of the university’s most critical repeat projects, a Labor Day campus utility shutdown, is put out to bid every year. This shutdown allows for maintenance to be performed on utility systems across the campus. However, several research buildings on campus require constant provisions of utilities. A total of approximately 11 MMBTU of low pressure steam is necessary to serve these buildings, so a powerful, temporary boiler solution was required.

The Solution

Northwestern put out the specifications for a containerized, fully complete portable boiler room and indicated Powerhouse as a preferred vendor for the job. While there were several other vendors available to the mechanical contractors bidding on the job, CMI decided to go with Powerhouse based on their previous successful projects. The previous two shutdowns in 2015 and 2016 did not utilize a Powerhouse unit, and this year the university decided to go back to the company that had served them well in years previous.

The Results

The RH-350 Portable Boiler Room the Powerhouse was able to provide for the job met all of the requirements for CMI Mechanical’s shutdown at Northwestern. Mark Nelson, the Vice President of CMI, mentioned that “[Powerhouse] was very attentive to our requests and was very professional and easy to deal with. The only issue that came up was the natural gas regulator, and [they] resolved the problem immediately. The startup/service technician was very professional.” In regards to the quality of Powerhouse’s equipment, Mark had this to say, “The boiler performed perfectly...as in past years, it was a pleasure dealing with Powerhouse.”

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