MicroChem (Now Kayaku Advanced Materials) had recently acquired two companies and wanted to relocate both companies into their existing Westborough facility.


The client had developed a basic floor plan/layout and looked to SPEC to provide initial design services to help them master plan the space and develop an up-front budget appropriate for capital approval. 
SPEC developed a preliminary budget and schedule for the client provided floor plan as a “base case,” as well as for the three options identified during the review process.  Once MicroChem had chosen an option, SPEC executed a round of value engineering; which ultimately became the scope basis for the project.  SPEC then proceeded to finalize design, procure equipment and subcontractors, and ultimately execute the project.
The project was finished on schedule and budget.

Project Highlights

  • 10,500 SF of mixed-use space
  • Contract value of $1.2MM

Unique challenges

  • The existing separation wall between the fit-out space and the existing operating facility was unrated although it was required to be 2-hr rated. SPEC was able to upgrade the wall; including making the existing wire and pipe penetrations meet UL requirements, with minimal interruption to the existing facility.
  • The installation of a rooftop air handling unit (AHU) required a plant shutdown on a Friday and the use of a large crane, necessitating a tightly choreographed schedule. Unfortunately, delivery of the AHU became so delayed that a weekend crane would need to be scheduled, at significant additional cost to the project. To avoid this cost overrun, SPEC arranged to have a dedicated truck pick up the AHU at the factory in the mid-West and expedite it directly to the site. It arrived within hours of the drop-dead time for rigging to the roof with originally scheduled crane.
  • Installation occurred within an operating facility without major disruption. Equipment was moved in over a weekend and operational on Monday.

MicroChem’s Facilities Manager: “I have been a part of every expansion project in MicroChem’s history and have never experienced such a well planned and executed project.

SPEC Process Engineering & Construction