HEA was contracted by the New York-Presbyterian Hospital to perform commissioning services for the Allen Hospital Central Sterilization project. The project was a facility upgrade and renovation that was originally conceived to accommodate the growing requirements for sterilization services and included an MEP upgrade of the existing central sterilization facility to accommodate for new equipment. The upgrades also included the installation of a pre-fabricated high pressure steam boiler plant that provided steam to the new facility in such a manner that allowed for redundancy and did not require a high pressure steam supply or a consistent high pressure operator presence.
HEA was responsible for the commissioning of the facility’s following systems: ductwork, roof top packaged AC unit, VAVs, exhaust fans, electric unit heaters, steam piping, steam boilers, semi-instantaneous hot water heaters, humidifier, building automation, electrical panels, transformers, heat trace, feed water pumps, AC compressor and RO filtration. HEA’s commissioning process included all work required to satisfy the LEED project requirements for EA Prerequisite 1, Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning and EA Credit 3, Enhanced Commissioning.
Client: New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Location: New York, NY
Q/A with Mykhaylo Hroshko
When first contracted for this project, what did the client express as the main goal / most pressing need for our services to accomplish?
The main goal for this new rooftop boiler plant was to have it provide enough stream pressure to the central sterilization plant located in the basement without having to operate a high pressure boiler; which would require a staffed boiler watch. The incorporated boiler plant combined four (4) low pressure boilers (1/4 is for standby/switchover purposes) that supply steam through one manifold to the sterilization plant. The most pressing need for our services to accomplish was to ensure that all boilers were operating as designed as well as to properly train the staff on how to maintain, operate and switchover boilers.
What was the biggest challenge faced during this project and how was HEA able to navigate through any problems faced due to this challenge?
There were many sequence issues with the boiler plant operation that required the start-up technician, combustion calibration technician, NYP Facilities Operations staff and HEA to all be present at the same time for brainstorming and scheduling. HEA was required for trial and error re-testing of the boiler plant’s sequence as initial attempts to correct the issues did not work. There were occurrences where the combustion flue gasses were exposed within the boiler plant space, which all had to do with space pressurization and backdraft damper operation. Also, during boiler startup and swing over, the team could not get steam out of the boiler plant. All valves were checked to be open but steam piping was only hot up until the switchover isolation valves where there should have been steam running. Through troubleshooting, HEA was able to discover that the mechanically-geared isolation valve was deficient from the manufacturer, as it was geared in reverse and when the indicator pointed to open it, it was in fact still closed and vice versa.
Anything about this project that makes it stand out to you as different from any other projects you’ve previously worked on?
What was special about this project was that HEA was placed in charge over producing a boiler swing-over procedure for the facilities operational staff. Each step was visually placed into a flow diagram detailing directions to anyone who would be performing the swing-over. HEA also led the initial swing-over which served as a training session for the staff.
What do you think the success of this project shows about the qualities of HEA?
The success of this project shows that HEA is willing to put themselves forward from the aspect of documentation, testing and hands-on assistance to ensure that all building systems were operating as they were designed and to ensure that the owner’s staff was properly trained on newly-installed systems and equipment.