St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Department Expansion

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St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Department Expansion

St. Vincent HospitalClient: The Design Group

Location: Santa Fe, NM

The Design Group engaged Lopez Engineering, Inc. (LEI) to inspect and expand the electrical systems for the Emergency Department expansion at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The 20,000 square foot Emergency Department (E.D.) expansion included trauma rooms, isolation rooms, mental health, pediatric and other treatment rooms, nurse stations, reception areas, waiting areas, staff lounges, and staff locker rooms.  Our management approach involved reviewing the Scope of Work, inspecting the site, conceptualizing what information was needed to prepare the design, identify the stakeholders, identify the electrical engineers that would be doing the reviewing, identifying the maintenance personnel, and identifying anyone who would in any way be connected with the project, and scheduling our resources.  Next, we conceptualized the approach and communicated it to the PM and others interested.  This approach included continually recording power to potential points of connection and inspecting electrical equipment points of connection.  Old, outdated electrical equipment led to our recommendation to provide new equipment connected elsewhere and eventually eliminate load on the existing gear until it is unloaded and can be replaced.  Scheduling requires that our design is complete in sufficient time to allow for a quality review prior to each submittal.  Good communication and professionalism serve as core values upon which to base our Management Approach.

Our approach enabled the contractor to meet the project schedule by providing timely documents even though some Scope of Work items were clearly outside the LEI Scope of Work.  It facilitated the contractor’s work, which is an advantage to the owner.

Though the engine generator expansion and normal power infrastructure upgrade project was being handled by another engineering firm, LEI provided the design for the new normal and emergency power switchboards because the other firm did not establish these POCs.  This was done without requesting additional services even though substantial additional design work was required.

As with every project, we used our most cost effective resources to perform the field investigation and design.  When doing fieldwork, we spent additional time prior to the visit in planning all required information gathering to make sure that we are efficient.  Our electrical P.E. reviewed, participated in, and provided professional oversight for all design facets.  However, his time was scheduled such that other engineers and designers could perform as much of the work as possible in their areas of competence.

LEI field verified as-built drawings, performed a thorough site investigation to update the 1line diagrams and located electrical equipment on floor plans. After relocating E.D. functions to the new E.D., the existing E.D. remodel was designed.  The existing E.D. remodel connected egress lighting, fire alarm panel, and medical gas alarm panels to the Life Safety Branch; connected patient bed lighting, nurse station lighting, selected patient bed receptacles, selected nurse station receptacles, and VAV controls to the Critical Branch.  The rooftop air handling unit and stand-alone chiller were connected to the Equipment Branch.  Remaining loads connect to the Normal Power branch.  In addition to the 480Y/277V, 3 Ø, 4 W panels connected to the various electrical service branches, isolation panels together with low impedance wiring, short branch circuits, and two maximum receptacles per branch circuit were added to the Trauma Rooms.  Fire alarm system installation used an addressable system to integrate into the hospital fire alarm system.  Installation included chimes, strobes, horns, pullstations, smoke detectors, and panel-addressable system.  Rough-ins consisting of conduit, junction boxes, and pull string were provided for Nurse Call, Telephone, Network Data, and Card Readers systems.  Remote parking lot lighting, entry area lighting, bus stop lighting, a lighted hospital sign, and a bus stop security camera to facilitate customer service were also included.

While recordings for all existing switchboard potential points of connection were performed and indicated that their capacity would accommodate the increased electrical load, switchboard age, condition, and extreme difficulty in finding parts precluded connecting the E.D. expansion or even the existing E.D. area remodel project to the existing incoming switchboards.  New switchboards were provided for normal power, Emergency Critical, and Emergency Equipment branches.  Project phasing kept the existing E.D. operational until the E.D. expansion was completed.  After expansion areas became operational, the existing E.D. was remodeled.