Having completed over 30 projects for the Veteran’s Administration, Harrell Design Group has extensive experience in the design and construction of VA and other public projects.  We understand the challenges inherent in renovating occupied hospital buildings and systems as well as the creation of new structures and facilities.

 

Palmetto Health Richland Memorial
Electrical Systems Upgrades, Cooling Tower, and Chiller Replacement

 

Palmetto Health Richland Memorial

Harrell Design Group, PC performed a comprehensive strategic engineering master plan which included recommendations for significant upgrades to the electrical and chilled water infrastructure systems. Following the study, a design project was commissioned to address key issues identified in the study.
This design project consisted of a multi-phase, multi-year comprehensive upgrade of the facility’s electrical infrastructure system and cooling portion of the Central Energy Plant.
The project included a new emergency generator building consisting of five (5) 2500 kw, 15 kv diesel fuel emergency generators. The project also includes two (2) new underground diesel fuel storage tanks with a time clock controlled fuel purity monitoring & cleaning system.
This scope of work included new 15 kv underground normal and emergency power distribution systems. A new 15 kv outdoor walk-in normal power distribution switchgear was installed to replace the existing which had exceeded its useful life. Two new 4000 kva normal pad-mount transformers and two 4000 kva emergency pad-mount transformers were installed to serve the main hospital. Ten new 480 volt closed-transition bypass isolation automatic transfer switches and four new 15kv closed transition automatic transfer switches were installed.
Existing busway risers were replaced with one normal branch, one critical branch, one life safety branch, two equipment branches and one spare plug-in busway riser. The project included a new fault-current and device coordination study as well as ARC flash hazard study with hazard labeling on all distribution devices.
The project design included a new utility building to house the new generators and emergency power distribution system. The new building was designed to incorporate seismic, critical functionality, and mission critical security requirements while also controlling sound pressure levels at nearby occupied buildings.

 

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WJB Dorn VA Medical Center
New Boiler Plant

 

WJB Dorn VA Medical Center WJB Dorn VA Medical Center WJB Dorn VA Medical Center

The project scope of work included a new campus infrastructure master plan which incorporated a full evaluation of the existing underground steam distribution system, including the pump condensate return system.
WJB Dorn VA Medical Center is presently served by a central steam plant which was constructed in the 1960’s. Since the plant and equipment have exceeded their useful lives, a new central boiler plant consisting of (2) 500 BHP water tube boilers and (1) relocated 400 BHP fire tube boiler with space allocated for a future 300 BHP water tube boiler is being designed. All boilers will be dual fuel natural gas/fuel oil. The facility will be fully backed-up with a new diesel fuel emergency generator. Stand by fuel tanks will be provided on-site for (10) days of normal operations following a utility interruption. The boiler plant will be constructed adjacent to the existing boiler plant and the existing plant will be decommissioned.
This project included approximately 500 feet of exterior overhead steam and condensate return piping. The new steam distribution system will connect to the existing in the basement of existing water plant. The facility design also incorporates a new fully redundant PLC controls system for boiler burner control, make-up water, and steam boiler control. System status is displayed on a graphics-based 42” touch screen monitor located within full view of boilers and the firing aisle.
The project incorporates the new energy control center (ECC). The ECC design includes monitoring of all critical energy management, emergency generators, medical gas system, pneumatic tube system and fire alarm systems. Power transfer from emergency source is provided using closed transition bypass isolation automatic transfer switches.

 

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Salem VA Medical Center
Upgrade Utility Plant

 

Salem VA Medical Center

The Salem VA Medical Center is presently served by a central steam plant which was constructed in the 1939. The project scope of work included a new campus infrastructure master plan which incorporated a full evaluation of the existing underground steam distribution system, including the pump condensate return system. Although the central boilers and related plant equipment have been replaced once, they have now exceeded their useful lives. The age of the existing building severely limits options for renovations.
The project scope of work included a new campus infrastructure master plan which incorporated a full evaluation of the existing underground steam distribution system, including the pump condensate return system.
The project scope of work included a new 500 foot-long ten foot wide by ten foot high underground steam distribution tunnel to connect the new steam system to the existing steam and condensate return systems. The facility design also incorporates a new fully redundant PLC controls system for boiler burner control, make-up water, and steam boiler control. System status is displayed on a graphics-based 42” touch screen monitor located within full view of boilers and the firing aisle. The project incorporates the new energy control center (ECC). The ECC design includes monitoring of all critical energy management, emergency generators, medical gas system, pneumatic tube system and fire alarm systems. Power transfer from emergency source is provided using closed transition bypass isolation automatic transfer switches.

 

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Erie, PA VA Medical Center
Central Chilled Water Plant

 

Erie PA VA Medical Center

Harrell Design Group, PC is to provide necessary alterations and /or new construction for the installation of the new central chilled water plant.   The new central chilled water plant will provide chilled water service to the existing air handlers that are currently served by air cooled chillers.  A new chilled water riser will connect to the existing piping at the air handling units. The existing air cooled chillers and associated pumps and devices will be removed and discarded. The design will take into consideration the critical continuous chilled water service to the hospital for all areas currently served by chilled water.  The new chiller plant will be located in the existing Building 7 where the existing boilers are located. The existing boilers are to be removed and relocated under a separate contract. Emergency power will be provided to sustain chilled water service through power failures.
The project design includes two (2) 1500 kw generators, all of which will be paralleled using a dual PLC controlled switchgear for redundancy. Two (2) programmable logic controllers are specified in a hot standby configuration. Several new closed transition, bypass isolation, automatic transfer switches are included in the system design to allow extensive flexibility for load adding and load shedding.

 

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Lebanon, PA VA Medical Center
Correct Façade Issues Building 1

 

Lebanon, PA VA Medical Center

Building 1 at the VA Medical Center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania houses in and out patient care spaces, clinical and surgical departments, administrative, and utility / support spaces. Constructed in 1954. Building 1 consists of cast-in-place concrete structural frame with mass masonry construction at exterior walls. This project’s scope included identifying numerous existing façade failures and deficiencies, providing phased, ICRA-compliant construction documents to mitigate and rebuild gable ends and window lintels, replace existing decorative limestone and precast concrete elements, and provide coordination between structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing disciplines, to achieve phased remediation and repair across Building 1’s exterior walls. Building 1 is six stories tall and includes over 4000 SF of brick replacement and 50,000 SF masonry cleaning and tuck pointing. The project budget was $2.45m and was successfully bid and awarded under budget.
During Investigative Services (IS), Harrell Design Group, PC conducted visual observation and survey of Building 1. The objective was to identify facade deficiencies and failures that could reduce building performance and life. Observations were made from the ground, roof areas and using a 120 foot boom lift. The IS submission document outlined deficiencies and failures, made recommendations for repairs and provided probable costs and critical needs assessment.
Building 1 had undergone two previous re-pointing projects, and door, window and louver frames had been re-sealed. Additionally, limestone and terra cotta joints had been re-sealed and limestone panels at the first floor had been patched and repaired in some areas. In all cases, past repairs were now in failure mode, contributing to ongoing degradation of the exterior facades. Our project‘s objective was to remediate these existing issues.
Given the age of Building 1 and the characteristics of the original construction methods and materials, the building weathered and aged well. The noted deficiencies are typical of buildings constructed in the 1950s using the same materials and methods. Identified failures and deficiencies included:

  • Failure of limestone and terra cotta joints and flashing
  • Cracking and joint failure at gables due to moisture intrusion through copings
  • Failure of re-pointing work due to improper joint treatment and improper installation of re-pointing mortar
  • Failure of sealant joints due to improper installation and breakdown from UV
  • Lack of masonry control joints
  • Cracked and spalled limestone panels

 

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Erie, PA VA Medical Center
Boiler Plant Replacement

 

Erie PA VA Medical Center Erie PA VA Medical Center

The Erie VA Medical Center is presently served by a central steam plant which was constructed in the 1960’s. Harrell Design Group has been contracted to design a new campus infrastructure master plan which will incorporate a full evaluation of the existing underground steam distribution system. Since the equipment has exceeded its useful life, Harrell Design Group has conducted a study to analyze all viable options for the plant upgrade.
The project will include approximately 500 feet of exterior overhead and interior steam and condensate return piping. The existing boilers will be replaced with (3) new 300 BHP fire tube boilers. All boilers will be dual fuel natural gas/fuel oil. The facility will be fully backed-up with a new diesel fuel emergency generator. New fuel tanks will be provided on-site for (10) days of normal operations following a utility interruption. Boiler plant will be constructed adjacent to the existing boiler plant and the existing plant will be decommissioned.
The project may incorporate the new energy control center (ECC). The ECC design includes monitoring of all critical energy management, emergency generators, medical gas system, pneumatic tube system and fire alarm systems. Power transfer from emergency source is provided using closed transition bypass isolation automatic transfer switches.

 

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Lebanon, PA VA Medical Center
New Central Utility Plant

 

Erie PA VA Medical Center

The project consisted of a new campus central utility plant to include (3) new 650 BPH water tube boilers, (1) new 600 BPH water tube boiler, relocation of (2) 1000 ton centrifugal chillers, and cooling towers, as well as an expansion of the facility’s existing thermal storage system.
The project required an extensive chilled water and steam distribution system study which will result in a comprehensive strategic utility infrastructure master plan. The infrastructure study scope of work includes a condition assessment of the existing underground chilled water and steam distribution system piping and a load profile study of the chilled water and steam system requirements. The project scope of work also required the installation of approximately 1,000 feet of new underground high-pressure steam and condensate return piping.

 

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Pittsburgh, PA VA Medical Center
UD 1 Building 1 Upgrade Exterior Façade

 

Pittsburgh, PA VA Medical Center

Building 1 on the VA Pittsburgh’s University Campus consists of an eleven story bed tower, constructed in 1954, with a collection of additions constructed between 1974 to present day. The existing envelope consists of brick veneer with masonry backup.
Over time, the existing envelope has shown signs of damage from water intriusion, structural movement, improper maintenance, and inefficient thermal performance. Futhermore, reports and evaluations indicate that the R and U values for the walls and windows (respectively) are substantially below ASHRE 90.1 requirements for energy performance.
Our team has completed review and assessment of: existing reports and studies, visual observation of all facades and roof conditions, and we are currently performing envelope testing. Testing consists of:

  • Water pressure tests
  • ASTM1601 Moisture
  • Laser level evaluation
  • Invasive test cuts at key wall components
  • Water pressure tests at sealants
  • Sealant pull test
  • Infrared scan of each façade
  • M Scope survey to locate
  • Visual observation from scaffold and lift
Prior to testing, HDG developed a set of Testing / Staging Plans and a 3-D building model so that the A/E/VA Team could evaluate each test location as it relates to patient privacy, infection control, security, Evaluation of the Testing / Staging Plans includes: consideration of Hospital program/function at each location, location of fresh air intake louvers, how/where to make test cuts so that dust does not enter the building, etc. Testing will be conducted using a combination of swing stage lifts, boom lifts, and scaffolding. For the testing phase, HDG has provided a fulltime on site superintendent with OSHA 10 hour training, as well as SIA (Scaffold Industry Assoc.) training.
The completed design project will provide a master plan for correction of masonry and other envelope deficiencies as well as improvement of the envelope’s thermal performance. Multiple options are being investigated from; simple correction of existing masonry deficiencies to correction of structural deficiencies then re-cladding the facades to achieve greater thermal performance.