a sampling of projects

Expansion of operating rooms 3 & 4 at Audie Murhy VA Medical Center

Changed outside air to inside air in operating suites at Providence Rhode Island VA

Changed outside air to inside air in operating suites at Providence Rhode Island VA

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This was a design only project requiring the use of our MEP team including fire protection, structural engineering, and architecture.  Since the surgical suites were built in 1960 they contained significant amounts of asbestos and lead paint and a study and asbestos abatement program had to be developed and carried out before any demolition could begin.


 The surgical suites at Audie Murphy had not been updated since built in 1960.  We expanded operating rooms 3 & 4 to 450  & 500  square feet so they could accommodate most types of surgery.  We also reinforced the interior walls as they were not properly supported,  added scrub areas immediately adjoining the surgical room in the restricted hallway allowing the surgeons to scrub up and then immediately enter the surgical suite through an automatic door, , installed drop chutes for dirty and contaminated materials, converted sterile area over operating tables to outside air, and installed new state of the art radiological viewing screens connecting in real time the operating room to radiology so the surgeon could call up  x-rays in real time. 


We conducted a study to verify there would be adequate support overhead for the lighting and surgical booms mounted in the overhead. This required interviewing the, surgeons, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses and others who would be in the surgical suite and need to have access to equipment, supplies and medicines so we could determine the weight loads for the booms.  


We specified a seamless material to form a contiguous cover uniting the floor, walls and ceiling into one seamless, unit allowing for the best infection and disease control possible for a surgical suite. 


During the construction phase we project managed this project to  insure construction was done according to the specs and drawings, reviewed monthly contractor pay requests, reviewed change orders, approved product and material submittals, attended monthly progress meetings, addressed any design issues that arose during construction, conducted punch list walk throughs, and final punch list completion approval.  

Changed outside air to inside air in operating suites at Providence Rhode Island VA

Changed outside air to inside air in operating suites at Providence Rhode Island VA

Changed outside air to inside air in operating suites at Providence Rhode Island VA

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This was a design & build project  to convert all operating rooms from outside air to inside air.  


The surgical suites at this facility are very busy and booked up solid months in advance. Because of the critical status of the ORs at this facility the administration wanted the conversion done over a long weekend starting on a Thursday at 4:30 PM and having it complete and ready for scheduled surgeries on Monday at 7:30 AM.  


This was an impossible schedule, but after much planning and hard discussions with our subs, we  worked out a schedule  where we could start on a Thursday at 4:30 PM, and have it completed and turned back to the hospital for scheduled surgeries the following Friday at 7:30 AM. meaning they would only lose a week out of their surgery schedule.


This schedule involved working on a 24 hour basis with all subs in place with all materials, equipment, tools and personnel in place before demolition even started.  


A complicating issue was the known presence of asbestos and lead paint discovered from an earlier VA asbestos and lead paint assessment study.  The VA assured us they would have the approving authority available to certify the area once the asbestos abatement contactor had completed his part of the work. 


All duct work and piping was precut and  prefabricated and stored on the site and verified prior to the beginning of demolition.  


Under our diligent supervision the project was completed a few hours ahead of schedule, with scheduled surgery able to start ahead of schedule.




Conversion of a 3rd floor mechanical room to office space at Atlanta VA

Changed outside air to inside air in operating suites at Providence Rhode Island VA

Conversion of a 3rd floor mechanical room to office space at Atlanta VA

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The Atlanta VA was in desperate need of more onsite office space.  The only potentially available space was a 20,400 square foot abandoned mechanical room on the 3rd floor. We were tasked with the challenge of turning this space into a first class office space for VA employees.


The abandoned space had been off limits for a number of years with access only by engineering staff due to the large amount of asbestos insulation on piping, duct work and air handlers.  There was also  a significant amount of lead paint that would require removal as well.  To deal with this situation we developed an asbestos and lead paint abatement program.  The abatement was done after hours when activity at the facility was at its lowest.


The room had a significant number of concrete equipment pads some   poured in place when the slab was poured, and some poured later creating cold joints.  


The issue was the VA wanted the slabs removed to create a level floor, but we felt the grinding and/or chipping out of the slabs would be highly disruptive to the operations of the hospital as well as create significant noise and vibration issues.  


We recommended  the use of a raised flooring like those used in computer rooms.  At a PSI of 250 lbs, it was more than adequate for this purpose. It would raise the floor level to the height of the slabs, and create solid contiguous floor allowing us to use the space under the floor for a/c and heating duct work, controls wiring, and telecommunication and IT wiring.  It only took a week to install the floor taking at least three months off of the construction schedule, and saving a bit over $500,000.00 on the construction budget. 


Our design allowed for up to 150 workstations, two conference rooms, one for small meetings, and one for larger staff meetings.  A large storage and filing room, copy and filing area, a break room, and elevator lobby.  


The space was designed to LEED Silver Certification level.  

  

Loading Dock Expansion and Upgrading at Cheyenne VA

Re-purpose existing space to allow the installation of new MRI equipment at Audie Murphy VA

Conversion of a 3rd floor mechanical room to office space at Atlanta VA

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The loading dock at the Cheyenne VA medical facility had several issues which needed to be corrected.  This was a design and build project.  


First it only had one dock door which did not have a dock leveler making unloading delivery trucks slow, cumbersome and unsafe. 


Second, the loading area inside the dock  was inadequate to handle the volume of goods being received and needed to be extended out at least 10 feet and  widened to accommodate a second dock door, a grade level people access door, windows to allow natural light into the area, and additional work area.


Third, it was not heated with employees having to often work in below freezing temperatures, 


Fourth there was no secure explosion proof room for the secure storage of hospital gases once they were unloaded from the delivery truck.


Fifth, the dock faced due north allowing, snow, sleet and freezing  rain to cover the access ramp often making the dock  inaccessible during the winter. Trucks that did manage to back into the space to unload often were unable to get out once unloaded due to the iced up drive way.


We demoed the existing dock door, and widened the driveway in both directions to allow for two trucks with trailers to be backed in and unloaded at the same time.  


We installed automatic dock levelers, and doors that could be opened and closed electronically or manually, added a ground level people access door and windows on the east side along with a new concrete side walk.


Added four ceiling height gas fired thermostatically controlled heaters to provide adequate heat to the inside dock area, and designed and built an explosion proof room just inside the newly extended loading dock to store medical gasses, 


To deal with the north facing driveway issue, we designed and installed a glycol based deicing and snow melting system.  It had both moisture and temperature sensors so it would activate when the temperature dropped below 40 degrees whether moisture was present or not, and the moisture sensor would activate upon sensing moisture whether the temperature  sensor had activated or not.


Two major issues in the design and  construction of this project was the relocation of a 450 volt power line.  To expand the drive way to the east to accommodate the additional width for the second dock door we had to move an existing 450 volt service line 15 feet to the east from its existing location.   Note the green electrical cabinet to the left in the picture indicating its new location. We were able to get this service moved without disrupting any of the electrical service to the VA.


We also had to relocate a concrete IT duct bank that provided all the IT wiring and cabling to the whole VA.  It had to be relocated to the far north end of the driveway where it would be deep enough to allow the drive way to  pass over it. Its existing route ran under the area where the new driveway had to be excavated and poured, and was not deep enough to accommodate the new driveway.  We were able to do this without interrupting the continual flow of service to the VA.

Re-purpose existing space to allow the installation of new MRI equipment at Audie Murphy VA

Re-purpose existing space to allow the installation of new MRI equipment at Audie Murphy VA

Re-purpose existing space to allow the installation of new MRI equipment at Audie Murphy VA

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The Audi Murphy VA had a need to add a second MRI machine since one was not enough to keep up with the demand. 


This project required the talents of our design and construction teams working together to make sure the space chosen by the VA for the new MRI was suitable.  They had chosen a space directly across the hall from the existing MRI consolidation purposes.  We conducted a study including test on the concrete floor slab to ensure it was adequate to handle the additional weight of the MRI unit, plus additional weight from personnel, control room equipment, and assorted other furniture and supplies.  


 We used the 4-Zone suite organization as identified in the American College of Radiology (ACR) Guidance Document for Safe MR Practices:  and . appendix 2, MR Facility Safety Design Guidelines,  as a basis for the design of this MFI installation.  This method insured me met JACHO standards.


 Certain technical space requirements imposed special constraints on the location and design of MRI facilities including: 


The size and weight of the magnet Venting / exhaust requirements 

Sensitivity to radio frequency interference 

Cryogen service 

Interference from the magnetic field generated by MRI magnet 

Sound isolation

 Vibration isolation 

Future equipment upgrade / replacement  


We used  computer room raised access flooring which also  allowed us to run piping, wiring and controls wiring under the flooring.  By running our plumbing, wiring and controls under the RF shielded flooring we were able to eliminated RF shield penetrations. 


The flooring itself was non-ferromagnetic in the MRI scanner room with floors in the other spaces a vinyl composition tile with a four inch high resilient base. 


The room required RF shielding in the walls, ceiling and flooring.  Getting the MRI into the space required one wall not be erected until after the equipment had been moved into the room.  The wall was then put  in place and sealed up to form a contiguous seal with the ceiling and abutting floor.


We designed and installed a Cryogenic vent system  with an emergency exhaust system  activated either automatically by the MRI alarm panel or manually by a  switch located on the operator’s console in the MRI Control Room. 


We designed the lighting system using incandescent lighting with on/off and dimmer switches located on the wall next to the operator's control room allowing the operator to control the lighting as needed.


We coordinated the  MRI power requirements with the equipment manufacturer to insure the proper power supply was provided.  We provided separate power feeds for the MRI computer equipment, power conditioners, and air conditioning systems. 


 We supplied separate quadraplex receptacles for the PC, monitor, and printer located in the control room.


The MRI, and the control room equipment were also tied into the hospitals main UPS system.


We worked closely with the equipment manufacturer during the design process to insure that our design met or exceeded the manufacturers installation requirements.  

Atlanta (Decatur) Georgia VA hospital parking garage

Re-purpose existing space to allow the installation of new MRI equipment at Audie Murphy VA

Re-purpose existing space to allow the installation of new MRI equipment at Audie Murphy VA

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This was a design build project for the VA hospital in Decatur (Atlanta) Georgia.


The facility had had parking issues for a number of years and had instituted a free valet parking service to handle the over abundant traffic that arrived at the facility starting at 0730 hours and going until  1630 hours Monday through Friday,.  

Our solution was to design a multi-story parking garage that would hold 502 vehicles.  


To break up the monotony of a 500 yard long monolithic structure we broke the garage into two sections with a plaza in the middle.  This plaza  allows the hospital to be seen from the street, and provide a place where visitors  can sit, relax, or meditate.  With this design the VA could place flags, statutes or placards saluting the members of the various armed services they served in this area as well.  


Our design was based on precast reinforced concrete columns, beams and double tee precast concrete slab with 2” thick concrete topping.  The walls are precast concrete.  Elevator and stair enclosures are cast-in-place concrete  with the stairs being steel with concrete infilled steps. 


  To provide maximum ease and utility for clients/patients of the VAMC (who may or may not be familiar with the facility), the  structures  provide two-way traffic circulation, with 90 degree parking stalls a minimum of 10 feet wide and 18 feet deep.  Wayfinding/signage is provided for persons of questionable familiarity to navigate both from parking to the VAMC and from the VAMC back to parking. 


We structurally designed the garages so an additional three floors of parking could be added at a later date if the need for additional parking was needed.


Air conditioned elevators were provided in the design, and we designed the garage to have LED lighting where feasible for energy savings and better lighting conditions.

more projects

Lighting Survey and upgrades at the Leeds, MA VA Medical Facility

Lighting Survey and upgrades at the Leeds, MA VA Medical Facility

Lighting Survey and upgrades at the Leeds, MA VA Medical Facility

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The  VA medical facility at Leeds is a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center, housing patients on campus as well as outpatient clients,  The facility was in need of having its exterior lighting upgraded. in particular  all perimeter lighting surrounding the facility on three sides,  the visitor and employee parking lots, and  exterior lighting to eliminate dark spots between and behind buildings where patients might gather to potentially abuse drugs or alcohol. 


The facility also has a covered, lighted walkway that ran about 100 yards  down the south side of an interior courtyard sidewalk to the end of the  courtyard.  


We conducted the survey over three nights including one that was during a heavy snow storm.  This gave us the opportunity to view lighting conditions under less than ideal conditions, and played in some of our recommendations since the Leeds MA  area gets a significant amount of snow fall every year.


Our survey concluded with the addition of additional lighting located on 12 foot poles to match the existing light poles filling in dark areas on walking paths, providing additional security lighting in both employee and visitor parking areas.  All existing exterior lighting was switched to LED lighting along with the new lighting to be added.  This not only  significantly brightened exterior of the facility, but eliminated a significant sky glow that had existed from the previous lighting. 


The lighted walkway was significantly over lit and we recommended removal of every two lights and switching the existing lights to LED lighting.  There were also dark areas between buildings and behind  one  building in particular that backed up to a wooded area which separated the facility from a private residential area.  


The VA had wanted all exterior lighting to be Solar powered but the frequent and often heavy snow falls would cover the solar panels making it virtually impossible to keep the lights on and the batteries charged enough to provide adequate light during periods when the solar panels would be covered with snow and/or ice.


The swich to LED lighting on the over 100 high stanchion light poles and 75 lights attached to the exterior of buildings including some some landscaping type lights installed in areas along sidewalks, we were able to reduce the VA's lighting bill by 83% ,plus they received a $5,000.00 rebate check from the power grid.  


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Lighting Survey and upgrades at the Leeds, MA VA Medical Facility

Lighting Survey and upgrades at the Leeds, MA VA Medical Facility

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Lighting Survey and upgrades at the Leeds, MA VA Medical Facility

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