Medical Construction & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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38 Medical Construction & Design | NOV EMBER / DECEMBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM In the healthcare fi eld, where sustainability and building performance are measured by energy effi ciency and hospitals are graded on patient outcomes and sat- isfaction, Ascension has set particularly high standards for these objectives. In planning Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, a new teaching hospital in Austin, the owner tasked its design team, including HKS, the architect and WSP USA, the project's mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer, to develop innovative solutions to support the highest standards of care, reduce energy use and cost and ensure sustainability. In turn, the owner em- braced the architectural and engineering practices em- ployed in the project to support the attainment of these goals. Among these, MEP strate- gies to reduce and optimize energy use and water use were designed to contribute to at- taining a minimum of LEED Silver and Austin Energy Green Building certifi cations and patient care goals. Reducing energy use with dual-wheel AHUs, heat recovery chillers One of the major MEP en- gineering challenges of the project was achieving the owner's requirement for 100 percent outside air delivery to patient rooms, while attain- ing a minimum certifi cation of LEED Silver in the warm, humid climate that typifi es Austin. A typical air handling system would mix outside air with return air from the build- ing, and then pass the mixed air through a coil in an air handling unit to cool the air to approximately 50 F and bring the humidity ratio down to 55 grains of moisture per pound of dry air. Variable air volume units in each patient room and other occupied spaces would then reheat the air, if necessary, to satisfy the space's tempera- ture setpoint. The innovative mechanical engineering strategy at Dell Seton decouples cooling and reheating using a "dual-wheel" energy recovery system for the patient rooms. The 100 percent outside air fi rst passes through an enthalpy wheel, where it exchanges energy A look at how MEP design, automation infl uences sustainability strategies BY SHAUN GRIMM | PHOTOS BY CASEY DUNN GREEN DRIVERS

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