Project Spotlight: Hudson Valley Hospital MRI Replacement

Horizon Engineering Associates, LLP (HEA) was contracted by Group PMX, LLC to provide design phase commissioning services for the Hudson Valley Hospital MRI Replacement project in Cortlandt Manor, New York. HEA’s scope of work includes commissioning of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to ensure all that all systems and equipment are installed and operating according to design intent.

Client: Group PMX, LLC  

Location: Cortlandt Manor, NY

Q/A with Anthony Grgas, Senior Project Engineer

Have you ever commissioned a project involving an MRI replacement before? If so, what are the challenges with these types of projects that you have faced before and if not, what challenges are you expecting to possibly come across?

I have commissioned an MRI project before and there are many interesting aspects and challenges about them:

  • All building materials within the MRI room must be ferromagnetic (for example-only aluminum lighting fixtures and stainless steel duct)
  • The entire MRI is encased in a shell constructed out of copper sheets/plates to act as a faraday cage and block out radio noise that could interfere with the imaging process
  • The supermagnet within an MRI magnet is usually filled with helium at cryogenic temperatures, that must be provided with a cryogenic venting system as an instantaneous means of venting (in case anything goes wrong with the magnet or magnet cooling system)
  • The cooling is usually provided by a dedicated process chiller, with an emergency domestic water switchover for emergency cooling in case of chiller (or chilled water pump) failure
  • All mechanical equipment must be on critical emergency power circuits
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National Engineers Week: Phil Krizan

I became an engineer because the engineering profession is constantly tasked with solving the world’s problems, to both shape and create the future as we know it. Working for a commissioning firm, I am given the opportunity to face unique problems on a daily basis, while being provided with the tools and the expertise to solve them. Through HEA, I am able to see how the opportunities I have been given have an impact on the shape and the future of New York City.

In engineering, you never stop learning! You are exposed to new ideas, systems, equipment, techniques, and a whole variety of other items you would never encounter working in a different field. You’re a composite…You’re not a scientist, or an economist, or a writer; but you collaborate and use knowledge across all of these fields to solve engineering problems. My advice to aspiring engineers would be to branch out…take other classes, learn other subjects, but most of all, learn to love learning.

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National Engineers Week: Kari Rosteck

If someone were to tell you “you can’t do that” – what is your first instinct? To probably do it. It’s human nature to be curious and test your boundaries. So, when my physics teacher in grade 11 told me I wouldn’t be able to handle engineering, I simply heard the conversation as ‘challenge accepted’.

What started as a challenge to myself ended up being the start of an amazing career. I had no idea what an engineer did, let alone what industries I could get into. Reason being, engineers seriously do anything and everything, and they’re super modest about it too. Some people call it socially awkward but I think modest sounds best.

Choosing a career is definitely the hardest part of engineering and it really depends on your interests. You have to find what you’re most passionate about and align it with your daily grind. Personally speaking, I am most excited about saving energy and leading a minimal life. I take great pride in helping others achieve similar goals which in the grand scheme of business, helps save money. In my field of engineering I get to work in the areas of buildings that many people don’t ever see. I monitor the buildings “heart rate” per se and test all of its components to make sure they’re operating efficiently. This in turn gives the building occupants a healthy space to live and work and the owners get to save money too. Talk about a win – win!

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Project Spotlight: All Aboard Florida, Miami Central Station

   
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP hired HEA to provide building envelope consulting services for the Miami Central Station (a part of the 235-mile network of rail lines that will connect South Florida to Central Florida). This massive elevated station will sit on various blocks of parking lots between the Metrorail tracks and NW 1st Avenue, connecting to the Government Center station. This facility will serve as a place where trains, buses and shuttles will all meet under one gigantic roof. HEA is providing ongoing building enclosure consulting and peer review services for the exterior enclosure systems, which includes duties such as: Review of curtain wall, metal panels and extruded aluminum infill screen; review of soffit system design and shop drawings; review of any glazing impact testing; review of visual mock-up drawings and specimens including standalone glass sample reviews, factory inspections; site visits and attendance at project meetings as required in New York City and Florida.

Client: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP

SF: 180,000 sf

Location: Miami, FL

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Project Spotlight: George Washington Bridge Bus Station, New York, NY by Frank DiSalvo

The George Washington Bridge Bus Station (GWBBS) is located in Upper Manhattan and averages more than 20,000 customers per day. This project was an adaptive re-use of the existing GWBBS facility and has a life expectancy of 50 years. The project included consolidated bus operations, direct vertical transportation from the street and subway levels and 120,000 sf of retail space. HEA’s scope of work included all mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; all of which met the necessary requirements to satisfy the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Sustainable Design Guidelines for Energy Environmental Qualities Credits (EEQ)-2 Building Systems Commissioning.

Q/A with Frank DiSalvo, Senior Project Engineer

When first contracted for this project, what did the client express as the main goal / most pressing need for our services to accomplish?
HEA’s initial commissioning discussions with STV, Inc. began with a minimal outline of coverage, beginning only with the interests of covering the basic major systems of this bus station overhaul back in the early period of March 2010. The progress and relationship began slowly with a need for improvement on the work progress and coordination of system testing.

What was the biggest challenge faced during this project and how was HEA able to navigate through any problems faced due to this challenge?
The project was experiencing unforeseen delays and sluggish progress partway into construction, so one of the many challenges faced was managing onsite commissioning with uncoordinated contractors and project managers. With high scheduling and budget concerns, HEA teamed up with a new project director (DV) and began conducting regular progress and commissioning meetings to get all contractors and subs onboard towards a team goal.

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Spot the Deficiency! Click here for the answer!

Q: Can you spot the flaw here?

A: The condensate drain off the AC unit is aimed to drip directly on the phone network system below.

Did you get it right? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thank you to Phil McCrory for submitting the photo.

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Employee Spotlight: Thomas Loiacono

Meet Thomas Loiacono! He is a Field Engineer at HEA and was recently selected as an Employee of the Month! Here's a quick Q/A with him: Who would you like to swap places with for a day? I would swap places with Elon Musk. What did you... Read More
 

Project Spotlight: 350 Park Avenue, New York, NY by Dan Chavez

HEA was hired by Citadel LLC to provide commissioning services for 350 Park Avenue, a commercial high-rise building in New York, NY. HEA’s scope of work included all mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems including chilled water pumps, VRFs, CRAC units, VAVs, exhaust fans and electrical panels and all emergency power systems including automatic transfer switches, uninterrupted power systems, static transfer switches and the emergency generator. HEA also worked with installing contractors to develop start-up plans and provide guidelines for several pre-functional requirements including point to point testing, flushing & cleaning piping systems, testing adjust & balancing (TAB), pre-testing of sequence of operations and verification of base building provided systems.

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January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day! Time to Think About an Energy Audit for Your Facility!

Commercial Building Energy Audit

The main purpose of an energy audit, from an economic perspective, is to provide information to the Building Owner that will help them to make energy saving decisions in regards to where and how to best invest money into their building. A proper energy audit report will quantify the effect on operating costs (and reduction of energy) of implementing modifications to a building (such as lighting upgrades, HVAC controls improvements and building envelope improvements). While some improvements may seem obvious choices to implement, it is often not obvious that the life-cycle cost of the improvement is the best economic decision, and would be a more sound investment than using the financial capital elsewhere. A properly executed energy audit is a key component to the operating plan for a well-managed building or portfolio of buildings.

Would you like more information on energy audits? Contact us! info@horizon-engineering.com

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