Providence Tarzana Medical Center, TARZANA, CA
New, more energy-efficient chillers; building control system design that automates and optimizes the client’s chiller plant; minimal downtime; environmentally responsible equipment demolition and refrigerant disposal; regulatory compliance with seismic regulations and protection from damaging seismic events; improved patient comfort; optimum patient and street level safety due to expert rigging management; efficient system control; single-source project delivery.
To upgrade its building systems with new, more energy-efficient chillers; to maximize its chiller plant capabilities through automated control.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
To achieve this client’s objectives, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems (Mesa) provided more energy-efficient chillers as well as the building automation system required to take maximum advantage of the new devices’ capabilities. The result was a high-performance solution designed to provide long-term value.
One of Mesa’s first concerns was to limit downtime in this hospital setting to an absolute minimum, so the company installed a temporary 200-ton air-cooled chiller. After isolating two of the previous chillers, the company removed and discarded their refrigerant before disconnecting and removing them along with their chilled water pumps, associated piping, and concrete pads.
To prepare for the chiller installation, Mesa put in piping, pumps, and a refrigerant relief system. It also pressurized the system, performed hydrostatic flushing, and tagged all new piping. In addition, the company removed and replaced parts of the chilled water supply and return lines, and installed butterfly valves for future connection. The company then brought in two new chillers, each of which included energy-efficient, frictionless, central-processor-controlled compressors, as well as new pumps.
Mesa performed a variety of other procedures as well. The company re-piped the chiller plant, insulated the chiller water piping, and installed new variable frequency drives (VFD’s) on the chilled water pumps. By including lead/lag staging capability, the company helped improve performance by enabling the respective chillers, compressors, pumps, variable frequency drives, and the cooling towers to adjust to various environmental conditions. Throughout the demolition and installation process, Mesa also oversaw all crane, rigging, and permitting activities.
For maximum energy efficiency, Mesa installed a new Andover Control System to automate and optimize the central plant, including both the two new chillers and the one that remained as a backup. Since frictionless compressors operate most efficiently on part loads, designing a control system that coordinates pumps, chillers, and other devices effectively is a highly complex task. To accomplish it, Mesa did the programming required to maximize the control strategy and its algorithms, enabling an all-variable-flow central plant with system components regulated for maximum energy efficiency.
To finalize the project, Mesa tested and balanced the chillers’ water system, and performed commissioning and startup procedures. In addition, the company provided the client with the manufacturer’s chiller performance data, four hours of training, and all equipment submittals and manuals.
In today’s world, maximum energy savings result from designing a multi-faceted energy strategy that takes into account all components of a building’s system. That requires a company with the complete expertise necessary to handle everything from the initial audit and savings documentation through system design, equipment comparison and selection, permitting, and project delivery, as well as testing, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance.
This kind of single-source delivery provides expertise for knowledgeable decisionmaking during the early project stages and the flexible thinking required to develop innovative solutions that enable clients to achieve their goals. For instance, at Providence Tarzana, Mesa faced two initial challenges. First, California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) had recently issued new seismic regulations, which most manufacturers hadn’t had time to satisfy. Second, the room into which the new chillers had to be installed was too narrow, and the ceiling was too low for most of the equipment on the market.
To meet these challenges, Mesa’s experts worked with various manufacturers to develop equipment that was not only the right size, but also provided the best long-term solution for the client. They then had to work with the chiller manufacturer to have the units tested and their performance documented to meet the OSHPD standards. In spite of the complexities involved, Mesa completed the whole process in only six months.
In addition, Mesa’s technicians provided the workmanship necessary to handle the piping and other activities required to install the system components in a limited space. This approach was only possible because Mesa could integrate and focus its diverse design/build capabilities on providing the right solution to a specific series of challenges.
As a project progresses, the single-source approach has other advantages. It saves markup costs, as well as the time spent resolving construction implementation and management issues. It also enables earlier project completion than would be possible with multiple vendors. That means immediate, rather than eventual, energy savings with new, more reliable equipment.
Providence Tarzana Medical Center is a 245-bed, not-for-profit medical center that serves the San Fernando Valley. Its high-quality specialty services include heart and vascular care and a diabetes care center, as well as orthopedic, oncology, and senior services.