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’Quad-C’ to Support Nanotechnology Economy

As part of the $1.5 billion “Nano Utica” initiative that was recently announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, construction continues on the Computer Chip Commercialization Center — informally known a

Tue July 01, 2014 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed

As part of the $1.5 billion “Nano Utica” initiative that was recently announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to further build upon the state’s successful nanotechnology-based economy, construction continues on the Computer Chip Commercialization Center — informally known as Quad-C.

Co-founded and managed by the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), Quad-C is located on the SUNYIT campus near Utica, N.Y., and is focused on device processing and packaging, IT, and supply chain support. Quad-C also is poised to provide workforce training for anticipated growth at the adjacent 420 acre Marcy Nanocenter site, expected to be the site of 450 mm computer chip manufacturing, and to support high-tech growth throughout the region.

As Michael Fancher, CNSE vice-president of business development and economic outreach and director, New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics (CATN2) explained, the center is a key component of Cuomo’s high-tech growth and jobs initiatives for New York State.

“Quad-C is part of an inter-regional nanotechnology partnership between CNSE, SUNYIT, and Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corporation [EDGE]. This $125 million technology complex will leverage the same publicly-led public-private partnership model that has proven to be so successful at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech facility, a $20 billion megaplex that is the most advanced research facility of its kind in the world.

“As a high-tech model for economic growth, Quad-C is scheduled to open in late 2014, and it will house the computer chip packaging consortium, consisting of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions Incorporated [ANSI], SEMATECH, and Atotech, as well as SEMATECH and CNSE partner companies, including IBM, Lam Research, and Tokyo Electron,” said Fancher. “Quad-C will be the site of cutting-edge research and development related to computer chip packaging and lithography development and commercialization. These innovations — what are called ’system-on-a-chip innovations’ — will lead to a variety of new technologies and products, including more advanced smart phones, tablets and laptops, or incredibly fast and secure computer servers and IT systems, as well as game-changing sensor technologies for novel healthcare, clean energy, and environmental applications.”

As a result of the Nano Utica initiative and the commitment of major companies to locate at the Nano Utica facility, Quad-C will be expanded from its original plans and will include world-class cleanrooms and laboratories, hands-on education and workforce training facilities, and integrated offices. Supporting the project, New York State will invest $200 million over the next decade to purchase new equipment for the facility. No private company will receive any state funds as part of the initiative, although, Fancher said, “it should also be noted that Quad-C is already home to a number of companies, including nfrastructure, a New York-based IT enterprise, and VALUTEK, a leading manufacturer of cleanroom supplies which moved from Arizona.”

Fancher, who also is associate professor of Nanoeconomics at CNSE, defined nanoeconomics as the formulation, study and analysis of the technological, economic and business forces underlying the research, development and deployment of nanoscale solutions.

“Put more simply,” he said, “Nanoeconomics is the development of emerging theory, principles and methods for the changing roles of government, industry, and academia and the resulting impact on investment, competitiveness and growth.”

“Nanoeconomics is becoming increasingly important as nano-enabled solutions are impacting the way we deploy resources, educate our workforce and compete in a global economy,” Fancher said. “One simply has to look at how smartphones have completely changed all aspects of our lives, and it continues to evolve as additional innovation will most certainly drive dramatic changes in how our cities will function [e.g. smart cities], healthcare will be administered [e.g. personalized medicine], and commerce will compete [e.g. big data]. Under the leadership of the Governor, who is pioneering a new paradigm for high-tech business growth across the state’s high-tech corridor, public-private partnerships are playing a pivotal role in how New York will compete and win in the nano-driven economy of the 21st century.”

M+W U.S. Inc., based in Albany, N.Y., is serving as program manager of the project with full responsibility for the design and construction of the facility, said President and CEO Rick Whitney.

“M+W provides a unique, vertically integrated project delivery process for its clients, many of which are looking for a proven methodology that provides a highly technical facility on an aggressive schedule without exposure to safety, environmental or quality risk. Therefore, within our company organization, we provide services that include design, construction management, mechanical and electrical contracting as well as operations and facility management,” he added.

“On the design scope, M+W is responsible for the design of the technical areas and process systems to support the end tenant. In collaboration with our design partners — EYP [architecture and MEP systems], JMZ Architects [master planning and interiors], and C.T. Male [Civil], we have completed the design of this facility. For the construction manager scope, we are overseeing/managing the construction of the ’Quad-C at SUNY IT’ project to include hiring all of the labor suppliers and directly purchasing all of the major equipment and systems,” he said.

M+W are no strangers to campus projects, having built most of the facilities located on the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering campus, including the most recently completed NFX facility containing the G450C consortium, which is pioneering the next-generation of computer chip manufacturing for the global semiconductor industry. This facility was named project of the year for the northeastern edition of the Engineering News-Record (ENR). In addition, over the past five years, the company has played significant roles on the Nanotechnology facilities at Georgia Tech, University of Florida, Notre Dame, University of California at Riverside, and the University of Utah.

Quad-C will be constructed as a 253,000 sq. ft. facility that includes 56,000 sq. ft. of cleanroom space, the originally planned cleanroom footage having been expanded as a result of Cuomo’s announcement of the Nano Utica initiative.

“The design of this facility includes a unique solution for increasing cleanroom space by stacking two cleanrooms on top of each other inside the facility. This solution was developed by M+W with the support of our design partners to ensure all of the critical aspects of the cleanroom are met without impacting the adjacent spaces,” Whitney noted, adding that the company currently has approximately 75 workers on site. That number was expected to stay fairly constant through the winter and then increase to more than 200 once work inside the facility began on all the finishes and MEP and process systems, he said, referring to the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and process systems.

“Meantime,” he said, “the project is proceeding exceptionally well. Through the end of January, the project is proceeding on schedule and has not had a lost time injury or any other event that would adversely impact it. We are working hard to ensure that the workforce can continue to safely progress the facility construction during a difficult winter.”

M+W’s site utilities contractor is Charles A. Gaetano Construction of Utica, N.Y. The subcontractor, Fred Burrows Trucking & Excavating LLC, of Whitesboro, N.Y., is self-performing its work.

“We played a significant role in the initial project schedule,” company owner Fred Burrows Jr., said. “A power and communications duct bank had to be relocated by a certain date or the entire schedule would be blown in the first month of the project. We are now six months into the project and all major milestone dates have been made. I would like to think we played a significant role in getting the project off on the right foot.”

Work on the overall project began in summer 2013, with Fred Burrows Trucking & Excavating’s part of the job scheduled for completion in August 2014.

A large amount of company equipment is working on site, including:

• Caterpillar 328D excavator

• Caterpillar D6KXL dozer

• Caterpillar D5KLGP dozer

• Komatsu 138 USLC-8 excavator

• Komatsu PC 300 excavator

All five machines are fitted with Trimble GPS Machine Control.

Other Burrows equipment involved includes:

• Komatsu PC 200 excavator with grapple

• Komatsu PC 160 excavator with hydraulic compactor attachment

• Ingersoll Rand roller

• Caterpillar 232 skid steer

• Komatsu WA320 loader with side dump bucket

• Wacker reversible plate compactors

• Trimble base station and rover

• Trimble robot base station

• Peterbuilt on road triaxle dump trucks

“The equipment is being used for the installation of site utilities such as a power and communications duct bank, water service and distribution, sanitary sewer, storm water pollution prevention plan implementation and maintenance,” Burrows said.

Mass earthwork included moving about 50,000 cu. yds. (38,228 cu m) of dirt, rough and fine grading, and pavement sub base preparation and placement carried out. The project has two large storm water management basins with bioretention features.

“There were no problems out of the ordinary, just typical site construction issues such as new work conflicting with existing utilities. It’s not uncommon to come across such conflicts when such a major construction project occurs on an existing college campus. The resolutions to such conflicts are relatively seamless when you have a good construction manager, civil consultant and contractor who all are willing to communicate and work toward a resolution that benefits the project and keeps the construction on schedule,” Burrows stated.

“M+W take site safety to a whole new level. Every aspect of the construction project has job site safety at the forefront. It was definitely a learning curve in the beginning as we were not accustomed to all the paperwork, but now six months into the project the men have adapted well and embraced the new norm in terms of safety,” he added.

Fred Burrows Trucking & Excavating LLC is a second-generation family business, founded 44 years ago by Burrows’ father. As the younger Burrows noted, “We have been fortunate enough to have been able to remain competitive and grow over the years. My father worked on many of the infrastructure projects in the 1970’s when the SUNYIT campus was being developed and we have been a successful bidder and have worked on most of the recent expansion at SUNYIT. We worked on the new Student Center, the New Wildcat Field house, the new Oriskany Hall dorm project, and many other small infrastructure projects. This campus is right in our back yard so we are always very competitive on every project that we bid at SUNYIT.”

Two notable projects in which the company is currently involved are the Accelerate Sports complex in Whitesboro, N.Y., and replacing fields for the Oriskany Little League.For the former, the company will be constructing an 80,000 sq. ft. indoor multisport complex with numerous outdoor baseball, softball and soccer fields, a project Burrows described as “a huge win for the local community and economy.”

Burrows explained the genesis of the second project.

“One of our local little leagues suffered devastating damage from flooding in June of 2013. Our company has taken on this project, donating labor, equipment, and materials to get their fields back in playable condition. The community has been tremendous in supporting our fundraising efforts, but we are not quite there yet. For more information on this project please visit”

M+W’s current projects include the Globalfoundries TDC facility in Malta, N.Y, a technology research facility for a confidential client project in Chandler, Ariz., and equipment installation services for another confidential client in East Fishkill, N.Y., as well as providing continued services at the SUNY CNSE campus for design and construction and working on a skin cream facility for Beiersdorf (Nivea) in Leon, Mexico, and multiple solar (PV) power plant installations throughout the United States.

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