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HVAC Integration Is Key to Hospital Renovation/Construction Project

Serving Cleveland's southeast suburbs, 232-bed South Pointe Hospital, one of eight community hospitals in the Cleveland Clinic Health System, recently completed a three-year, $25 million renovation/construction project. In all, 17,000 sq ft of space was renovated, and 98,000 sq ft was added. Work included the consolidation of two intensive-care units (ICUs) and two surgical units, the relocation of the hospital's main entrance, and the addition of library, educational, and meeting space.

Completed in 2003, the project featured BACnet integration of new equipment installed by Cleveland mechanical contractor Coleman Spohn Corp.: two Trane chillers, a Systecon pump package, a Mammoth penthouse unit, and Tek-Air room-pressure monitors. Additionally, Cleveland building-automation specialist Comfort Control Group replaced pneumatic controls with a direct-digital-control package. Cooling towers were relocated and tied into chillers on an existing Automated Logic Corp. (ALC) control system, which was integrated into ALC's Web-based WebCTRL system. Facility-management personnel use desktop computers in three locations — the outpatient center, the acute-care center, and facility engineering manager Mark Kaczmarek's office — to access and control the system.

The installation was phased in as the intensive-care, surgery, and support departments moved into the new space. Complicating matters was a critically timed chiller shutdown and removal as the new chillers were installed.

“BACnet integration enabled hundreds of points of information to be transferred from the mechanical-equipment control package to the WebCTRL system through a communications bus, which lowered installation costs,” Brian Wagner, president of Comfort Control Group, said. (The project required nearly 6,700 hardware and software points.) “By using the hospital's intranet as the WebCTRL/BACnet communications backbone, we were able to reduce costs even more.

“These points,” Wagner continued, “allow the facility-management staff to control the equipment, monitor the building, and respond to alarms if any equipment falls out of operating parameters. The result is an easy-to-use system that provides more information and faster diagnoses for a more comfortable, energy-efficient facility with higher worker productivity.”

Kaczmarek added: “WebCTRL has saved us thousands of dollars in energy costs. And Comfort Control Group's performance exceeded our expectations. The need for in-service training on the system has been minimal. Our staff was already familiar with the Automated Logic system, so it was more of a case of learning new graphics and new navigation.”


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