Sicsa Pet Adoption Facility

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Client Overview:

Sicsa pet Adoption Facility is a non-profit pet adoption center and animal shelter, that has rescued and adopted more than 7,500 animals throughout the years. The Shelter has been part of the Miami Valley since 1974. Sicsa has performed more than 6,900 spays and neuters during the last three years.

Project Site Overview:

In early 2015, Sicsa hired a third party to complete a feasibility study that included testing whether the community would support a fundraising campaign aimed at expansion, as well as if moving from the Kettering Community after 45 years would be accepted. The Sicsa team first explored options in Kettering, but could not find the ideal land to accommodate a new 27,000 sf facility. After a substantial study was finalized suitable land was located within the Washington Township area on Washington Church Road. The land had the size to accommodate all Sicsa services in one location consisting of Animal Housing, Full Service Veterinary Clinic, Dedicated Help Center, Humane Education Classrooms, two adoption cafes, plus administrative and volunteer office space. This site allowed Sicsa to have all operations in one location and accommodating all current and future expanding program needs.

Construction Progress Overview:

Following the site selection Sicsa Pet Adoption Facility worked with Levin Porter Architects and Heapy Engineering on the building and development plans. Following the completion of the construction documents, there was a plan-spec bidding process that involved many of Dayton’s finest General Contractors and Construction Mangers. After the bidding process was finalized Sicsa Pet Adoption Facility selected Conger Building Group as the Construction Manager to oversee the overall construction progress and MSD, Inc. was awarded the Mechanical and Plumbing scopes of work on this project.

The overall project came in slightly over budget and MSD, INC. worked very closely with Levin Porter, Heapy Engineering and Conger Building Group on value engineering options available to help transfer the Sicsa Pet Adoption Facility from a dream into a reality. MSD’s Inhouse Engineering department worked with Heapy Engineering on potential value engineering options from August to November while the site work was progressing in the forward direction. The overall value engineering process was a true partnership approach that involved collaboration with the Architect, Engineer, Construction Manager and all trade associates.

MSD Scope of Work:

MSD’s VDC department worked very hard at getting all of the ductwork to fit within the building footprint which produced many challenges throughout this process as the facility design requirements required 0% cross contamination between the Dog and Cat areas.

MSD completed the Plumbing, Mechanical and Controls scopes of work on this project which consisted of installation of the following systems: Domestic Water, Sanitary, Storm and Natural Gas, while the Mechanical Systems consisted of Supply, Return and Exhaust Ductwork feeding from 6 Natural Gas Roof Top Units. MSD Inc also installed all the Building Automation Control scope of work as part of the MSD Mechanical package.


This project was very special to MSD as it involved a plan-spec bidding process with a value engineering collaboration with all partners to bring this project within budget and transfer this dream into a reality for Sicsa Pet Adoption Facility.

Maintenance Programs

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During these unique economic periods, there is sometimes a trend to pull back on maintenance programs in an effort to reduce expenses. This, quite often, has the opposite effect. Postponing, deferring, or eliminating a comprehensive maintenance program may lead to elevated future costs related to major repairs and equipment failures down the road.
There are many studies that indicate the true price of deferred maintenance could be more than 10 times the maintenance program amount.

We have seen on numerous occasions where the lack of a continuous program contributed to a major component failure, resulting in not only the expensive repair but also the loss of productivity while the mission-critical equipment is down.

MSD recommends to its client during these periods, to review the maintenance programs with their contractor. Consider the true cost and weigh the potential liabilities down the road.
Furthermore, ask your contractor of choice, if they have a platform of verification of work performed. Are they transparent in the activities of all the services being offered? Do they share videos or photos of the maintenance and repair work?

No one is inclined to spend money without receiving something in return, make sure your trusted partner has your best interest at heart.

Vision, Mission & Core Value Launch

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We are so excited to share this news with our team but also with all those who support us. Please watch the following video created for our employees. We thought it was toooooo good not to share! Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

MSD, Inc has undergone a remarkable evolution in the past year. We have created new connections and made profound changes to our company, culture, and community. This balance between culture and community has created aspirations that are reflected in our new and improved mission, vision, and core values. These changes will represent the direction and ongoing journey to come. Our team is extremely excited about integrating these brand standards to create a stronger community moving forward. Innovation is more essential than ever, as a company, we need to capitalize on today’s greatest changes and identify the importance of company culture.



School Bus Safety

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School Bus Safety

As schools resume, all be it on a limited basis, I think it is important that we review the laws and safe practices of driving around school busses. Even if there will be fewer busses this season than in previous ones, their cargo is no less precious. Knowing that children, especially young ones, can be very unpredictable, we must ensure complete focus on what is happening around us.

When you took driver’s education, you learned the proper vehicle-driving laws regarding school buses in Ohio. But how long ago was that? Have school bus laws changed since then, and if so, do you know the latest school bus laws in Ohio?

For example, school buses haven’t always used the amber warning lights you see before the red flashing lights. Amber lights were adopted by a number of states in the mid-1970s, and within a few years were universally adopted across the United States.

They act similar to yellow lights. About 100 to 300 feet before stopping, amber lights are activated to signal passing vehicles to prepare to stop, because the school bus is about to stop and unload/load students.

Here’s a list of the latest school bus laws in Ohio:

  • The driver of any vehicle approaching a school bus in any direction must stop at least ten feet from the front or rear of the school bus. They cannot proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the school bus driver motions for the automobile driver to proceed.
  • All school buses are equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of section 771of the Revised Code. These can be activated by the bus driver only when the bus is stopped or stopping on the roadway for the purpose of loading/unloading school children, persons attending mental health or developmental disabilities programs, or children attending programs by head start agencies.
  • When a highway has four or more lanes, a driver of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction of the school bus does not need to stop. However, drivers of vehicles driving in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
  • Regarding divided highways or highways with four or more lanes, school bus drivers are required to unload/load passengers on the residence’s side of the highway.
  • The school bus driver is required to wait until the passengers have reached a safe destination on the side of the road before driving away.

School bus laws in Ohio are serious. Any driver who fails to follow the laws listed above can be fined an amount up to $500 and receive a one-year license suspension. And legislation introduced at the Ohio Statehouse could increase those fines – nearly doubling them – for vehicles who illegally pass a school bus. School bus safety is a major concern across the country. In late 2018, five children died while trying to get to or from their bus. The reason? Other motor vehicles failed to follow school bus laws. Make sure to always follow safe driving habits, especially around school buses. Practice caution and patience when you see a school bus stopping or stopped. Study the latest school bus laws in Ohio so you’re prepared the next time you’re face to face with a stopping or stopped school bus.


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Give to Grow

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MSD prides itself on giving back to the local communities, through time, hands‐on labor, and financial resources. We support, participate in and sponsor a variety of initiatives, charities, and programs that we believe will improve the quality of life in our community and build stronger neighborhoods and a stronger future for those in our area. Whether we are surpassing economic inclusion goals on our construction projects, donating time to a local charity or educational program, or helping an organization like the Mechanical Systems Mini University and the Victory Project, MSD offers support to those all around us. We value the importance of being a good neighbor.

During the year, MSD supported many community organizations and participated in a variety of philanthropic events, most notably:

o The Foodbank (Dayton) – collected 1,666 pounds of non-perishable items, our eleventh year of participation.

o Light the Night Walk – A construction-industry based walk that supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by recognizing all of those that have survived, battling, or lost their lives to these diseases. We have supported this cause for the past three years.

o Making Strides Against Breast Cancer – MSD walked in support of Breast Cancer survivors, battlers, and those who lost the battle with this disease. We participated in the Start-up Breakfast held by Making Strides which encourages/recognizes all persons affected by sharing stories and encouraging remarks. We have supported this cause for the past twenty years.

o Adopt-A-Park – this was MSD’s first year volunteering to work at a Metro park removing litter and doing other Earth-friendly tasks.

o Polar Plunge held by the Special Olympics –The mission of Special Olympics Ohio is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual and or physical disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. We have supported this cause for the past two years.

o At the Ronald McDonald House, they provide families a bit of stability in the midst of challenging times. Families can make the House their “home-away-from-home” for as long as their child is being treated in the hospital. MSD was able to donate dinner for one night to help with the challenging times.

Architects and Engineers Support Bipolar Ionization

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Ever since the pandemic has changed our world, there has been a lot of information pertaining to virus spread in the built environment. While a lot of research surrounding the coronavirus is still in development, there are a few critical things that will remain true. Currently, the key components to successfully mitigate virus spread are social distancing, handwashing, cleaning protocols, and proper air quality and ventilation. The design of the built environment around us can aid or hinder these strategies. As architects and engineers, we have been getting a lot of questions lately from clients and partners wanting to know what changes to make in their spaces to help mitigate virus spread, particularly focused around indoor air quality. M+A and leading engineering firm, CMTA, have come together to answer some of the most burning questions.

1. In your expert opinion, how do you think we can reduce the risk of virus spread in the built environment?

M+A: It’s important to note that we can’t eliminate risk, but we can reduce it. Looking at current research, it appears this virus is transmitted mainly through aerosols (virus in droplets expelled when we exhale, talk or cough), which means we have several main ways to reduce our risk:

  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Social distance when in public, possibly more than six feet depending on activity and duration (6)
  • Wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face to reduce fomite transmission (9)
  • Wear a face mask to reduce exposing others, in case you’re unknowingly an asymptomatic carrier
  • Increase fresh air by opening windows or enhance air quality through air purification systems

CMTA: I agree with what M+A has said above. To expand on indoor air quality and the current technologies that exist to reduce the spread, there are several options to consider. The first option is increasing outside air to flush the building as many times as possible during occupied hours. This seems like a “no-brainer,” but there is actually a lot more thought that goes into this than just opening all windows, or outside air dampers in a building. High relative humidity levels can actually encourage the spread of viruses when relative humidity rises above 60%, so it is important to understand what the capabilities of your existing HVAC system are, and what impact that will have on building temperature and relative humidity. The second option is an air purification system that will actively destroy viruses and bacteria both in the air stream and on surfaces within the space(13).

2. Let’s dig a little deeper into air purification technology — What kinds of systems are out there and what would you recommend?

M+A: From a sustainability and a cost perspective, we would recommend bipolar ionization. It has an inexpensive first cost and minimal maintenance over time that can be combined easily with your annual HVAC maintenance. It’s a long-term investment with a short payback.

It’s important to note that most air purification systems do more than just help with our immediate needs mitigating virus spread. Most systems also help reduce VOCs (some Volatile Organic Compounds are known as carcinogens(14)), allergens, mold, and odors. Air quality is one of the key factors in making a space healthier for the occupants(12) — we can think more clearly and be more creative and productive, students achieve higher test scores, and patients recover faster. If there’s one key component of a healthy building to invest in, it’s air quality. Following the 3-30-300 rule(7), if companies spend $3 in utilities, $30 in rent, and $300 in payroll per square foot per year, investing in creating a healthier and happier workforce offers a significantly higher payback.


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Think Positive

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I had a mentor in my life that always reminded me, “Your attitude determines your altitude”.

I don’t know anyone that has the greatest attitude or is always positive 24 hours a day 7 days a week, but what if we made a conscious effort to begin to look for the true value in the things and people around us?

Do I love getting up for work at 4:30 in the morning? Uh, No.  But I do love those mornings when the sun is just coming up and the birds are singing.

Do I love dealing with a difficult co-worker on a daily basis? Again, No. But I can handle each situation with that individual with a sort of grace and compassion.

Do I necessarily love all of the extra safety measures that have been put into place during these difficult times we are all going through. No, not especially. But my attitude can be one of, I get to go to work today!

Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something

If an attitude is that thing which I can settle into, a choice to see the positive in the situations that may arise and the people I come in contact with everyday then there’s nowhere to go but up!

Stay positive!


-Lindsey Baker

National Museum of the United State Air Force – Hanger 4

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This project was special and challenging due to the design of a dual temperature HVAC water system, the size and height of the building, and the vast amount of equipment and systems to install with a very aggressive schedule. MSD was responsible for all of the Mechanical work including HVAC systems, controls, radon systems, plumbing systems, and insulation for both plumbing and HVAC on this Project.

MSD faced many challenges from the start of the project. We were not able to start our underground plumbing work until the structural steel contractor finished setting the arches which required (3) cranes working in unison, to lift the arches in place. Because of this, we were forced to start our underground in December. In order to help facilitate the schedule, we worked hard to complete the underground as quickly as possible all while fighting the frozen ground. We also, began installing our overhead duct and pipe before the roof was on. This left us contending with the rain, snow and winter winds.

During the spring and summer, our field crews utilized a phone app that would warn them of any nearby lightning headed their way and were able to work around every storm that came, descending down off the lifts safely and out of harm’s way. Safety was in fact THE number one priority on this project; Turner employed a full-time safety supervisor on site and with the excellent coordination and communication between Turner, the Corps of Engineers, our safety director, our foremen, and our mechanics we were able start and
complete this project without a single incident even while being delayed approximately (30) days due to weather. With the size of this project and the amount of manpower used to build Museum Hangar 4 it is quite extraordinary and very self-rewarding.

This project was one of the most challenging projects MSD has completed. In fact, it would have been impossible if it wasn’t for the leadership of two excellent foremen: Kevin Oney and Jeff Storck as well as their field crews. We can attribute the project’s success to the employees and their attention to detail, as well as excellent craftsmanship. Almost every project has its challenges and obstacles, but this one was by far unique. Now when we walk up to Building Hangar 4 and look through those huge doors to view
what we accomplished, we only ask one question: “When is Hangar 5 going to start?”


You can read more on NMUSAF by clicking here.

Ohio Valley ABC Chapter Awards

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The ABC Awards were held on May 28th, 2020 via Youtube Live Online. Yes, you heard that right, online. Although it was a change of pace for everyone we are in uncertain times. But one thing is certain, MSD brought home some well-appreciated awards. Our team was awarded the Platinum Step Award, Community Involvement of the Year Award, Eagle WPAFB 88th Medical Center Award, Merit Airstream, and Sicsa Award. Thank you to all of those who congratulated us and helped us get to this point. We are already looking forward to what next year will bring. 

We will be posting blog posts about the following projects in the next few weeks to come. Please continue to look out for them and share the stories of these amazing projects.