Rising to the Challenge

The McKenney’s Interiors and Special Project group (ISP) wrapped up a $14 million project at Duke Energy Plaza in Charlotte. The extensive upfits began in November 2021 and were completed in August 2023. McKenney’s ISP team successfully built out 31 floors and performed BIM and pipe installation across 11 additional floors. They furnished and installed secondary condenser water risers, approximately 57 WSHPs, 5 CRAC units, and 1200 terminal units. The project was completed ahead of schedule, under budget, and with minimal rework or punch items.

This project faced several challenges; One was maintaining adequate staffing for the project due to  pandemic-related restrictions. Another challenge the project faced was the overlapping schedule with the “core & shell” project creating trade stacking on each floor. On top of this, the team was required to install rectangular ductwork (as opposed to spiral) in all exposed areas.  Additionally, the 52-foot trailers hauling the ductwork would not fit within the confines of the loading dock, adding safety and productivity concerns to an already complicated material handling processes.

Fortunately, McKenney’s expertise is in finding innovative solutions to complex problems. By  implementing a project incentive program that focused on reporting on daily goals as well as safety risk elimination, the team experienced significant increase in crew engagement and productivity. McKenney’s fabricated 140+ carts to transport and staged materials 10 floors ahead of installation schedule.  Because the 52’ trailers could not fit in the loading dock ramp, we fabricated a custom lull attachment to transport the materials safely.

Having long runs of exposed rectangular ductwork that meets visual standards is more difficult than spiral ductwork. Nonetheless, the team installed the exposed rectangular ductwork across 70% of the floor area, exceeding the owner’s expectation.

Despite unexpected challenges the McKenney’s team accomplished this project with a total of 75,900 manpower hours on-time, satisfying the project scope.

The Challenge

  • Maintaining adequate staffing for the project due to pandemic-related restrictions.
  • Overlapping schedules due to trade stacking.
  • Meeting visual standards on long runs of rectangular ductwork.
  • 52’ trailers could not fit in the loading dock.

The Solution

  • An incentive program was implemented to reinforce daily objectives and responsibilities.
  • McKenney’s fabricated 140+ carts and a custom lull attachment to safely and efficiently unload, transport, and load materials into building.
  • McKenney’s satisfied the request of exposed ductwork, exceeding the architects’ expectations.

The Results

  • The team installed long runs of the exposed rectangular ductwork, exceeding the owner’s expectation.
  • McKenney’s safely completed the project ahead of schedule with a total of 75,900 manpower hours.
Project Name


Charlotte, NC


General Contractor: DPR Construction