A new BAS was a major part of Pinnacle Health Harrisburg Hospital's $57 million expansion and renovation project. The new system allows endusers to monitor trending data to make more informed decisions and optimize its overall operation.
Pinnacle Health Harrisburg Hospital recently finished a capital expansion project that was a huge undertaking for the 425-bed acute care facility in Harrisburg, PA. The $57 million project was extensive, and included a 24-phase construction/renovation plan.

The project was completed in 28 months and included the construction of a six-story, 45,000-ft hospital tower, four cardiac labs, two environmental protection labs, a neonatal intensive care unit, and five cardiac operating rooms. Also included was the renovation of 230,000 sq ft of hospital space and 12 existing operating rooms along with expanding the emergency department, and a parking garage.

As part of the new construction and retrofit equipment list, the hospital's HVAC system included a CHW system, steam-to-hot-water heating system, low-temperature ducted HVAC, electrical system upgrade from 120V to 480/277V, three emergency generators, fire protection system, and a BAS to manage the building's operation.

Going with a proven commodity

The HVAC controls portion of the project was awarded to the McClure Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of PPL Corporation. Myron Ramage, BAS manager for McClure, said they were awarded the project in part because of an ongoing client relationship. "We had been working with Harrisburg Hospital for many years, and we were able to develop a program where the hospital would be able to maintain the BAS controls to reduce their long-term cost of ownership. We would supply training and technical assistance to their staff, reducing their dependence on an expensive service contract."

McClure Company selected American Auto-Matrix (AAM) because "their BAS is nice because it seamlessly integrates with older AAM units [already onsite]," Ramage said. "We were able to create a graphic user workstation so the operator could interface amid both old and new controllers with no difference. Backward integration also proves to be less costly to the owner because they do not have to continually make costly upgrades for each new generation of equipment."

Hospital maintenance staff was already familiar with the AAM BAS because other units were currently in use. The staff's familiarity and success with the existing controllers provided a high level of comfort since assuming a majority of the daily upkeep. Ramage especially likes the system's trending feature, which allows endusers to leverage their system to make more informed decisions. By collecting information, changes can be made to optimize an HVAC system's overall operation.

A smooth operation

Ramage also said the AAM Sagemax(tm) controller with its built-in hard drive stores a great deal of historical information that can be accessed with little fear of crashing the system. All ATC equipment for the hospital was supplied by AAM and included new work, as well as conversion of the existing pneumatic system. The main hospital control system is composed of 750 unitary controllers (100 main units and 650 terminal units, e.g., fan-powered VAV boxes, constant volume boxes, and individual room reheats). These consist of several unitary controllers networked electronically and optically to three Sagemax area controllers. Two PCs and a laptop run Auto-Pilot to provide on-site and off-site operator interface.

The AAM system expands with 250 unitary controllers in the remote South-Gate Office Building - a water source heat pump facility using the HX1 controller and a fourth Sagemax. Five family medicine centers around Dauphin County complete the system with packaged rooftop units controlled by MC1s and interfaced to Auto-Pilot at the main hospital through five SF1s.

The project operated very smoothly despite its size and magnitude during all phases of demolition, construction, commissioning, and inspection. Sterile conditions and techniques were maintained throughout the hospital, and all daily hospital operations, including emergency department, and operating room activities continued to run smoothly. "You know the success of a project when you walk away and it functions just as designed," Ramage added.

Other firms besides the McClure Company instrumental in the success of Harrisburg Hospital's multimillion dollar project were: Barclay-White-Skanska, Construction Manager; Schunkewitz & Murray, Architects; and R.M.F. Engineering. Ramage said his company's portion of the project went well because they maintained a man onsite at all times and left nothing to chance. ES