Sterile Processing Service Renovation
IMEG was contracted to provide mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology engineering design services to renovate the Sterile Processing Service (SPS) department located on the basement floor of the Clarksburg VAMC medical center, while maintaining a minimum level of operations throughout the phased renovation. The department was being renovated in order improve workflow and function as well as upgrade the sterilization and processing equipment.
Developing phasing plans for the SPS department in order to maintain the required operations was a challenge from the start. IMEG’s input was critical early on to ensure the phasing was both appropriate and feasible. Our engineers met directly with the VA on-site on multiple occasions to discuss their concerns and find ways to minimize impact to the department as well as employee/patient flow adjacent to the project scope area. Additionally, the building’s aging infrastructure was a concern as it created significant shutdowns of mechanical and electrical services to the basement, but these impacts were minimized due to careful planning with the VA.
The project scope also included the replacement of two existing air handling units, plus installation of four new steam sterilizing units, other equipment, and their accompanying support facilities/equipment. The existing air handing equipment exceeded its useful life and will be replaced with a 7,000 CFM supply/return variable air volume system for the admin, support, and logistics spaces plus a 15,000 CFM 100% outside air unit (with accompanying exhaust system) for the renovated SPS department. A new, dedicated exhaust fan will be provided for the new automatic cart washer system. The new equipment will bring the department up to the latest 2022 VA HVAC Design Manual standards. New electrical equipment will also be provided to support the HVAC upgrades required on emergency power. These AHU replacements also required careful planning and phasing to maintain some level of operations in the SPS department. IMEG assisted VA in planning new panel boards that would help prevent future shutdowns of upper floors. The new sterilization equipment being installed also posed challenges as it required a higher-pressure steam service than what already existed, so a new line was planned to be routed through the site to the campus boiler plant.
While the project does not have any set sustainability goals, sustainable features are being incorporated into the design, including an energy recovery loop for the air handling unit and associated exhaust fan serving the SPS department. This will reduce the impact of this air handling system’s operations at 100% outside air in both the winter and summer months.