Suffering from wear and tear due to the harsh coastal environment, and past its useful life at 24-years-old, an operating room air handling unit (AHU) struggled to maintain cooling temperatures and desired humidification levels. A separate AHU serving a catherization laboratory became undersized after a recent lab renovation.
Burns designed a phased demolition of the AHUs and engineered their replacement with modern alternatives. A 20-ton unit serving the OR and 35-ton unit serving the cath lab both utilized electronically commutated motors (ECMs), lowering the system’s power consumption and simplifying maintenance.
Unlike similar projects that can require more than a week to complete, removal and replacement of the AHUs took place during a single shift. Burns remained on-site overnight, ensuring installation was complete in time for the hospital’s surgical team to conduct the morning’s planned procedures.
Burns also assessed the steam-distribution system’s high-pressure boilers. Two 100-boiler horsepower (BHP) units installed in 1982 exceeded their useful life and required frequent repairs. The 200-BHP fire-tube replacement units doubled system capacity, providing the hospital with greater redundancy in the event of extended steam disruption.
The project improves quality of water flowing into the steam boilers with a new deaerator tank and surge tank, extending the boilers’ expected lifetime.
The $522,000 AHU replacements and $496,000 boiler upgrade were both completed in 2020.
Similar projects include HVAC system improvements for Blake Medical Center and Brandon Regional Hospital.
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