P-975 Unaccompanied Housing Celebrates Ribbon Cutting

P-975 ribbon cutting
Patuxent River, MD

The Harkins team attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the P-975 Unaccompanied Housing Facility on Monday, August 24th in Patuxent River, MD.

Located at the Patuxent Naval Air Station, P-975 is a new five-story, design-build facility that offers 73 apartment units to active duty military personnel. Each two-bedroom unit will be shared by two enlisted sailors of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and consists of two-bathrooms, a small kitchen, laundry room, and living room with a TV. The building offers a combination freight elevator, water source heat pumps, state-of-the-art access control systems for unit and bedroom entry, several bio-retention facilities, multipurpose areas, and an outdoor picnic area and basketball court for military personnel to enjoy while off duty.

P-975 was built to LEED Silver standards and complies with Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) regulations. We are proud to have built a successful and vital, technically complex, heavy commercial project to house our Nation’s servicemen and women.

Ribbon Cutting Photos

Improving Workplace Air Quality

Improving air quality during COVID-19

Co-written by Harkins Director of Interiors Matt DeGourse and Baltimore Tenant Advisors / Newmark Knight Frank Executive Managing Director Michael Singer

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor air quality has become a major concern to businesses, building managers, tenants, and employees. It can impact the health, comfort, well-being, and productivity of building occupants. Did you know that all office buildings are required to meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRE) standards for fresh air and adequate airflow within your office space? But is that enough to keep everyone safe? Many business owners and corporate leaders are seeking to understand the range of options available in the marketplace to ensure the highest levels of employee safety during this time.

The three most common strategies to improve your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) are ventilation control, filtration, and disinfecting.

Ventilation Control

The strategy behind ventilation control is to dilute the inside (“recycled”) air that is circulating within your office space with more Outdoor Air (OA) by increasing the number of air exchanges per hour. This is done by engineering new OA equipment outside your premises (commonly rooftop units) that deliver into your space or mechanical closet. There are ASHRE minimum requirements for OA that must be implemented in all spaces. In addition, there are many ways to measure air quality standards, such as LEED and WELL, that reflect higher performance specifications than ASHRE.

This is typically seen when upgrading an existing system during an office renovation where there is an increase in the number of employees within the given work area. The initial cost is high (approximately $7,000 per additional ton) and there is a longer lead time (22 to 24 weeks, depending on complexity) for acquiring new equipment and supporting infrastructure. You can expect your ongoing energy bill to increase as the amount of air that is needed to be heated or cooled will also increase.

Filtration

Many individuals are looking to increase their filtration to provide quick, additional protection for their employees right now. The most common form of measurement is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV): the higher the MERV rating, the higher the air filtration capabilities of a filter. Unfortunately, upgrading your standard MERV-8 filter to a MERV-13, at a cost of $100-$300 per filter, will not work for all situations since older equipment often does not support newer filters. As an alternative, one can install higher MERV rated filters with a low-pressure drop and at a premium. For instance, installing HEPA filters (MERV17-20) at a cost of $200-$500 each and can remove 99.97% of biological and inorganic material and are recommended by AHSRE for use in sterile environments as a higher line of defense for viruses.

Disinfecting

Disinfecting is all the rage in office environments right now for stopping the spread of COVID-19 droplets through the air. The two most common solutions are Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) and Bipolar Ionization (BPI). A UVGI solution is great for keeping coils clean in your equipment, and the install typically takes a day or two. At a cost of $200 to $300 worth of bulbs every year and an ongoing maintenance expense, UVGI has expenses that other solutions such as BPI may not have. ASHRE endorses UV-C bulbs as a guideline, and the equipment can be custom-tailored to your existing HVAC system.

Bipolar Ionization or Non-thermal Plasma Technology (BPI) is a system that converts oxygen into charged atoms that eliminate mold, bacteria, allergens, and viruses. There are a few different ways to address your space when considering BPI, though it can be installed along with your current HVAC system regardless of equipment type and distribution. We are finding that most applications will likely cost you under $1.00 per square foot of floor area for the installation of this type of system, which may take a couple of days depending on the complexity of the system. Dozens of controlled independent laboratory test results show that this technology can reduce 99.9% Influenza A virus, 99.43% reduction in  Escherichia coli (E. coli), and 98.6% reduction in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in just one hour. On top of all that, it reduces food odors!

It is important to note that different types of buildings have different types of HVAC systems. If your office space is within a single-story building, the HVAC solution might be very different from that of a high-rise building. Furthermore, depending on the type of building and number of companies within the building, a landlord might consider upgrading the entire building system or instead require companies to make their own upgrades at their cost. No matter the scenario, if you are interested in understanding the best solution to upgrade the HVAC system of your company’s office space, please contact our team for a free consultation.

Contact information for team to assist with cleaner air initiatives

Harkins Expands with a New Charlotte Office

Harkins expands to new office in Charlotte

Harkins is pleased to announce the move and expansion of our office in Charlotte, NC. Founded in 1965, Harkins is an employee-owned construction company serving clients engaged in the development of multifamily, commercial, and government projects. We are the leader in the markets we serve, crediting our success to the shared values that guide our work and our relationships.

This move enables our growing team to double our square footage in a prominent historical building in South End Charlotte. In 2017, Harkins expanded our services to Charlotte, NC as part of our plan to bring our Building Exceptional approach to a wider area of the country.

Our new office is in the South End in The Steel Yard and Tompkins Toolworx building. Our new address is 1900 South Boulevard, Suite 105, Charlotte, NC 28203.

Larry Kraemer quote on new Charlotte office expansion

Additionally, Harkins made a strategic approach to develop and invest in a team dedicated to serving the Southeast Region. Please join us in welcoming Josh Zilke to Harkins as a Project Executive. Josh started in June 2020 and has hit the ground running to secure work in the Carolinas.

Project Executive Josh Zilke said, “I am excited about the potential Harkins has in the Southeast Region. I look forward to bringing my passion, opportunities, and relationships to the company, which will be critical to our growth.”   

Josh has a master’s degree from Virginia Tech in Civil Engineering – Infrastructure Development. He also graduated summa cum laude with dual bachelor’s degrees in construction engineering and management as well as civil and structural engineering. He has been published in the Journal of Management in Engineering and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Real Estate from UNC Charlotte. In addition, Josh is LEED AP credentialed.