KE Leads Team in Replacing Hospital Infrastructure

Karpinski Engineering has provided design services for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for approximately 15 years. In 2007, the firm was selected to lead a team for a long-term and challenging task – replacing MEP infrastructure in the Rhodes, Doan, James, and Ross buildings while maintaining occupancy and operations for staff and patients. (Ross building is pictured at left.)

The project team consisted of Medical Center personnel, Karpinski Engineering MEP engineers, and construction administration personnel, architects, structural engineers, testing and balancing contractors, hazardous material consultants, field verification specialists, mechanical and electrical contractors (Design Assist), State of Ohio plan inspectors, and a construction management team (to assist with phasing, scheduling, and budget control). From contract negotiation through construction, the project has spanned six years and was one of the State’s first contracts to be performed under the Construction Manager at Risk delivery method.

The project began with the team clarifying overall scope before presenting five bid packages to allow the Owner flexibility in prioritizing work and maintaining budget. Throughout the design process, coordination was necessary to accommodate other projects being designed and constructed within Wexner Medical Center. This included construction of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, the Critical Care Center and Central Chilled Water Plant, Doan Cafeteria and Kitchen projects, the Rhodes Entry project, the Prior Hall expansion, and various projects in areas such as the Radiology Department, Laboratory, Patient Bed Tower, and Patient Services.

Karpinski Engineering provided design for the following project elements:    

  • Replacing vintage building sanitary mains in the Doan Building tunnel, and phasing the process so that only one riser was inactive at a time
  • Connecting interim emergency chilled water where existing chillers in Rhodes, Doan, and James Buildings were unreliable
  • Replacing approximately 300,000 cfm of air handling units and adding approximately 100,000 cfm of capacity for future use by the Medical Center. This required modifying designs of building additions
  • Converting two large, dual-duct distribution systems to systems that utilize variable air-volume and terminal units with hot water reheat. This required a phased and systematic approach, so that an excessive amount of patient rooms were not rendered unavailable at any one time
  • Connecting vintage unitary chilled-water systems in each building to the Central Plant chilled water through plate-and-frame heat exchangers. This required an addition to the James Cancer Center to house equipment
  • Replacing Rhodes central hot water heating and steam conversion systems
  • Removing and replacing antiquated automatic transfer switches, which were no longer code-compliant
  • Enhancing and extending the essential emergency system Enhancing and/or replacing emergency distribution serving mechanical equipment
  • Replacing the fire pump controller to allow pump connection to emergency power

This has been one of the most extensive projects that Karpinski Engineering has coordinated directly with an Owner. While complex, it was essential for facilitating future renovations and additions to the Wexner Medical Center campus.

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