Project Profile: Iron City Brewery
This project focused on the former Pittsburgh Glass 140,000-square-foot facility into the new Iron City Brewery along the Allegheny River.
Engineering firm: McKim & Creed
2023 MEP Giants rank: 84
Project: Iron City Brewery
Location: Creighton, PA, United States
Building type: Industrial/manufacturing facility/warehouse
Project type: Existing building retrofit
Engineering services: Electrical, power; fire, life safety; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; plumbing, piping
Project timeline: October 2020 to April 2023
MEP/FP engineering budget: $390,000
The Pittsburgh Brewing Company converted the former Pittsburgh Glass 140,000-square-foot facility into the new Iron City Brewery along the Allegheny River. Maintaining the integrity of a historic large-scale manufacturing facility while also creating a modern brewing facility was one of the challenges faced in this project. The new Iron City Brewery was designed to be a visitor attraction as well as a manufacturing facility. Designing infrastructure to be integrated into the overall aesthetic of the facility while allowing for future growth presented another challenge. The building’s large scale also presented unique challenges for power distribution, piping, and HVAC. Everything was dependent on the design of the brewing equipment. In contrast to more traditional industrial facility design, more thought needed to be given to the design and installation. Another challenge was designing to accommodate brewing equipment from Germany as U.S. standards differ from European standards. The existing facility had an outdoor high-voltage substation that had been out of service for several years. Rehabilitating the existing substation to power the facility was necessary to cut costs substantially and keep the project moving forward.
The design and installation solutions at Iron City Brewery were driven by a collaborative spirit among plant owners, architects, and engineers. McKim & Creed’s engineers worked with both architects, facility owners and Iron City’s brew masters to provide infrastructure solutions to the new facility. The design included all HVAC, a 600 HP high pressure process steam plant, a 600-ton low temperature chilled water plant, and a process compressed air plant, as well as the facility and brewery operations’ distribution piping, plumbing, and electrical infrastructure. The electrical system reconfiguration was designed by McKim & Creed. The substation has a capacity of 20 MVA and is powered by two 25,000-volt lines from the utility. In addition, a 10,000-square-foot distillery is under construction, and a 10,000-person amphitheater is in the works. This 45-acre site will house a marina with 120 slips, a museum, restaurants, and entertainment venues.