MMC Surgery Air Handling Unit and Ductwork Replacement Project: This project involved replacing air handling unit AHU-27 that serves three operating rooms, post-anesthesia care unit, and surgeon’s lounge areas and adding a smoke removal system to the operating rooms to meet contemporary safety standards. The original air handling unit was installed more than 25 years ago. Reliability concerns, including past equipment failures, were the primary reason for replacing this aging air handler. Additional benefits included updating the surgery suite to current regulatory standards and improving energy efficiency.
The project presented some major challenges. Most significantly, it was essential to minimize operating room downtime to control cost, patient, and surgeon impacts, and to maintain rock-solid infection control protocols during construction to assure patient safety in the adjacent surgery area that remained operational throughout the project. Optimization of the project schedule began with consideration of multiple design concepts by design, facility operations, commissioning, and construction team members. Other strategies for maintaining the tight construction schedule included a “desk drive” of the building automation system programming, off-site installation of controls hardware on the new AHUs prior to installation and thorough, well-coordinated testing of the mechanical and electrical systems.
MMC MEP Assessment: EEI Healthcare worked collaboratively with the MMC staff to deliver an MEP Assessment that allowed the Banner Health Management Team to make informed decisions regarding future updates and remodels to the facility in order to adapt to new technology, new regulations, new medical science, and evolving healthcare legislation with regards to existing MEP systems.
MMC Central Utility Plant Reconfiguration and Replacement: The CUP Reconfiguration and Replacement project has been broken into multiple phases to accommodate budget limitations. EEI Healthcare completed a facility assessment for McKee Medical Center in 2012 that identified chiller plant operational concerns; this assessment was used to develop the chiller plant upgrade project scope. EEI Healthcare was subsequently engaged by Banner Health during the early design phase of the first phase to provide design-through-completion commissioning services. Plant upgrades commissioned to date include: replacement of two cooling towers and their associated pumps; reconfiguration of existing condenser water piping that prevented simultaneous operation of all three chillers; replacement & relocation of three chillers and associated pumps with slightly larger new chillers to add N+1 redundancy and free cooling capability; replacement of all previously installed Siemens chiller plant controls with a new Tridium system to enable remote monitoring, analytics, and plant energy optimization; addition of Automatic transfer switches to support chiller plant operation on emergency power; and revisions to the refrigerant monitoring and ventilation system to meet current code requirements.
During commissioning, EEI worked closely with the design team and Owner to assure that the condenser water piping configuration issues were addressed and to assure that the plant design incorporated appropriate piping and controls to support water-side economizer features in later phases of the project. Challenges associated with this project included schedule coordination and phasing to minimize disruption of chilled water service and assure cooling to the building during Spring and Summer; coordination of power shutdowns to accommodate additions and retrofits to the normal and emergency power systems; close scrutiny of piping installation and shop drawings to assure sufficient net positive suction head with very limited elevation differences between the cooling tower basin and the pump inlet; verification/tuning of chiller operation with low temperature condenser water; and reverse-engineering the current control sequences to minimize reprogramming and chiller plant disruption.
MMC CT/MRI AHU Replacement: The AHU-16 and 128-Slice CT Project is an air handler replacement project in the diagnostic imaging area that affects approximately 5,050 SF of clinical space. Two existing constant volume rooftop AHUs (RTUs) with stand-alone pneumatic controls were replaced by one new variable volume RTU with DDC controls. Ductwork in the space was modified, with existing pneumatically controlled hot water reheat coils and associated pneumatic thermostats replaced by variable volume terminal units with hot water reheat and DDC thermostats. Two new electric humidifiers with duct-mounted dispersion tubes were added to meet imaging equipment space humidity requirements. The DDC controls for this project are the facility’s first Tridium / Niagara controls. The facility is switching from Siemens to Niagara to facilitate remote monitoring using Skyspark analytics; they will operate ‘stand-alone’ until a Tridium front end is installed under a separate project in 2018 / 2019 when they will be tied into the new web-based BAS front end.
Project challenges included completion of TAB, final controls programming and commissioning during a 4-day shutdown to the diagnostic imaging area. The imperative to minimize imaging services downtime made early detection of issues via commissioning critical. Concerns identified and corrected during commissioning included: incorrectly located RA low duct pressure safety that prevented the safety from protecting the ductwork; diagnosis of chilled water system water hammer issue (faulty pressure independent control valve); VFD maximum Hz set too low for RTU to deliver required flow with (1) failed supply fan; incomplete control sequence; airflow station used to control outside airflow installed backward and with the downstream ductwork necessary for accurate flow measurement and fan speed control missing.