Health Care Power
Generation Fiber Optics Asbestos Remediation Equipment Setting
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Campus Emergency Power Project
Teamwork was the foundation of the success of
The purpose of the project was to double the Universitys Medical Center complex
emergency power capability and to do it while maintaining uninterrupted, critical hospital
There were two projects in one. The first was to create additional generating capacity,
and to make it available to the Medical Center. The second, to reconfigure and upgrade the
Medical Centers system for accepting and distributing the new emergency power.
At the Universitys Power Plant, steam is generated to provide heat to University
facilities and a small steam turbine co-generates back-up power. Outside utility power
enters there as well. Conversion of an existing building and the addition of a second
story was necessary to house up to five new 2 Megawatt diesel generators and prototype,
medium voltage switchgear.
State-of-the-science equipment was installed deep within the sub-basements of the
Universitys Medical Center hospital, while existing system was re-configured from
2,400V to 13.8KVA.
More than 13,000 feet of Medium and High Voltage cable now connects the Medical Center
and Power Plant through the Universitys extensive utility tunnel system.
A new two-story concrete building was added at the Medical Center to provide secure
housing for the control system. For control, the equipment is interlinked by fiber optic
cables that connect switchgear through a double-redundant PLC system. This system has
control consoles at both the Power Plant and Medical Center.
Since nearly 50% of the of the project scope was electrical work, it was natural for a
large electrical contractor to secure the lump-sum contract for this project, as prime. At
the same time, however, the project still had all the physical and management
characteristics of a normal general contract. Plus, the complexity of the project, the
issues involved with completing the operating system definition, and the design, imposed
extraordinary project management demands on the contractor and project staff.
- Downing functioned as the general contractor and provided central leadership to the
entire project team, maintaining control of the project in line with the Universitys
stated goal of "partnering".
- Managed the projects day to day construction operations.
- Directed the efforts of two project teams. This project involved two separate and
independent design firms; operations and facility staffs from the Universitys
Medical Center and Power Plant; the Universitys Project Management and Project
Coordination staffs; and major subcontractors performing electrical power and controls
work, equipment installation, as well as civil, mechanical, asbestos abatement, tank
remediation, and other specialty work.
- Even before it was mutually agreed that the project required more scope definition,
Downing initiated a "task force" process to rehabilitate and complete the
designs. Bringing the electrical power and controls contractors together with the
respective designers and Universitys technical and operations staffs resulted in
completion of the design while the project was underway. This highly successful team
completed the definition of the systems operating criteria - while trouble shooting
the control and switchgear wiring, and logic, and completing the design for the Power
Plant. A second successful team researched the highly interdependent and technically
complex sequencing requirements at the Medical Center, helping the staff find ways to
eliminate the potential for interrupting critical hospital services during construction.
Both project teams took initiatives that found solutions to operational requirements.
- Conducted extensive planning sessions with Medical Center staff to schedule critical
tie-ins while avoiding service interruptions to life and safety systems. An extensive and
detailed "event based" (rather than "activity based") schedule was
developed for conducting critical work at the Medical Center that affected "life
safety" systems. This approach incorporated the Universitys operations and
facility functions along with the construction work and resulted in zero interruptions to
critical "life safety" operations.
The result of this intensely managed Partnering effort was a "win-win"
project that completed ahead of schedule with a good operating system and no service
interruptions to the Medical Centers patients.
- The work was completed ahead of schedule, within the approved cost basis for the project
and with no litigation. It was a safe project with no accidents or lost time injuries.
And, the Medical Center got an excellent new operating system while the University
received a good return on their construction investment.
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