The Printer, Inc. (TPI)

Project Information

  • Owner

    The Printer, Inc. (TPI)

  • Location

    Des Moines, IA

  • General Contractor

    Ryan Companies US, Inc.

  • Engineer

    Baker Group

  • Square Footage


  • Baker Group Scope


  • Year Completed


TPI offers commercial printing, direct mail and digital solutions to clients throughout the nation and beyond. With a 40-plus-year history of growth, the company built a new, larger facility to meet its needs for infrastructure and future expansion.

Baker Group was selected to design-build TPI’s Mechanical, Sheet Metal and Building Automation systems. This involved multiple services: BIM/preconstruction, prefabrication, HVAC, plumbing, piping, sheet metal and architectural metal, building automation and compressed air. Following construction, Baker Group was chosen to provide 24/7/365 service for TPI’s mechanical infrastructure.    

HVAC Systems Support People & Processes
The HVAC system was designed to maximize employee comfort and productivity while also meeting air quality requirements for paper products and printing processes. This system includes:

  • DrySteemXTP humidifiers to maintain 45% relative humidity.
  • Daikin DPS028A packaged rooftops for year-round climate and humidity control to the production area.
  • Daikin MPS050F rooftop units with variable air volume (VAV) for individual control of zones, such as small offices, conference rooms, break and common areas.
  • Packaged thermal air conditioners (heat pumps) to provide comfort to shipping and receiving offices while also providing greater control, flexibility and lower cost than VAV or rooftop units.

Overcoming Construction Challenges
Dave Regenold, a Baker Group Project Manager, says, “TPI’s lease on its former facility expired in June 2019. Meeting the necessary move date while also avoiding major disruptions to workflow required tremendous coordination and commitment among all project partners.”

Meticulous Floorplan Planning – Power, water and compressed air are essential to printing processes. Moving equipment into the new facility required having a comprehensive plan of precisely where to place each piece of equipment, compressed air connections, water connections and other process piping, exhaust systems, etc.  Baker Group created this plan by first studying TPI’s production flow. It then used 3D scanning and building information modeling (BIM) technology to prepare a 3D virtual layout of the space. This facilitated a successful and on-time move with minimal disruption to TPI’s daily operations.

Matt Grabau, Baker Group’s Sheet Metal Project Manager, says, “We used 3D scanning when the project was completed. This not only confirmed that systems landed where planned, but it also gave TPI an accurate record of where all air piping , domestic water, and HVAC ductwork are located.”

Utilities& HVAC Installed Prior to Walls – Baker Group took the unusual step of installing utilities and HVAC duct before the walls were framed and sheetrock installed, which dramatically reduced installation time and costs. This was possible because the walls were designed to stop before the 22-foot ceiling.

“We were able to take the 3D model and use our Advanced Manufacturing facility to fabricate off-site much of the materials that were ultimately installed,” says Regenold. “It was a really good project flow.”

Building in Flexibility for the Future – In addition to preplanning precisely where power, water and compressed air lines would be accessed, TPI wanted a cost-effective way to change that configuration at any time. The solution was to custom-build a support stand containing a 4x4 chiller and bolt it to the floor. This stand features a tall arm that delivers services to the production floor. As needs change, it can be unbolted and relocated to serve TPI’s future needs.

Technology, Prefabrication & Expertise
Regenold adds, “Establishing a project flow and getting teams going in the right direction gave the owner a more competitive price and better value. It was the result of Ryan Companies’ and the entire construction team’s commitment to establishing a sound schedule and using technology, prefabrication and expertise to create that advantage.”

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