Prescription for building automation and controls in hospital, health care facilities

Hospital and health care facility projects are especially important due to their sensitive nature. Engineers chime in on building automation systems (BAS), building management systems (BMS), and controls.

11/26/2013


Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Member/Owner, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio. Courtesy: Metro CD EngineeringGeorge Isherwood, PE, Vice President, Peter Basso Associates, Troy, Mich. Courtesy: Peter Basso AssociatesMichael Lentz, Associate, RMF Engineering, Baltimore. Courtesy: RMF Engineering

Participants

Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Member/Owner, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio

George Isherwood, PE, Vice President, Peter Basso Associates, Troy, Mich.

Michael Lentz, Associate, RMF Engineering, Baltimore


CSE: What factors do you need to take into account when designing building automation systems (BAS) for hospitals and health care facilities

Lentz: All major building equipment needs to be tied into the BAS and alarmed for malfunctions. This is due to the critical nature of the systems to function 24/7 and also due to most health care facilities reducing maintenance staff. Emergency power for the automated control system and local panels also needs to be accomplished. Again, due to the critical nature of the systems to function 24/7, the systems cannot shut down, and if the controls are not on emergency when power is lost, the units will not automatically restart after the 10-second delay.

Isherwood: Ease of service and the ability to understand the systems is crucial. Building controls are becoming more complex and maintenance staffs are being asked to do more with fewer resources. We need to make sure we design building control systems that will not become a burden on the staff, but a benefit. 

CSE: How does implementing BAS in an existing building differ from designing controls for a new building?

Isherwood: There are a significant number of small hospital systems that have been using the same BAS for years. Some of these networks will no longer be supported by basic operating computer systems, let alone the BAS system. Also, different manufacturers have opened different control protocols for tying into a BACnet or similar common language. These challenges are huge for small hospitals, from both a solution and a cost standpoint.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2014 Product of the Year finalists: Vote now; Boiler systems; Indirect cooling; Integrating lighting, HVAC
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.