Fairview Health Services Proves the Value of "the Matrix"


As an integrated health-care system, Fairview's six community hospitals, academic medical center, children's hospital, 31 primary care clinics, 25 specialty clinics, four urgent-care clinics and specialty service centers across the state of Minnesota provide a complete range of health-care services.

In partnership with University of Minnesota Physicians, Fairview plans to open the Maple Grove Outpatient Specialty Care Center in 2007, a 135,000-sq.-ft. specialty care center that comprises six operating rooms, a diagnostic center, a cancer center and outpatient clinic.

Fairview, Walker and Assocs.—the owner's representative—and the M/E/P firm, Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc., Minneapolis, decided that the mechanical systems and equipment would be dedicated to serving the Phase I ambulatory care center, with space allotted for a central plant to house the heating plant, water-cooled chillers, cooling towers and other equipment to meet the future building's needs. The present system will then be tied into the central plant.

Fairview used an objective approach and decision-making matrix to select among four options for the mechanical system:

Option 1: Rooftop units (RTUs), with cooling provided by a refrigerant cooling coil, compressor and air-cooled condensing unit; gas-fired heating; and ventilation in one package; with screening.

Option 2: Improved RTUs with an integral hallway for each RTU to provide better access to the roof and enable maintenance to be performed indoors.

Option 3: Rooftop-level air-handling units (AHUs) providing ventilation, with cooling provided by a cooling coil and basement-level chiller, and heating provided by a heating coil and basement-level boiler.

Option 4: Similar equipment to Option 3, but with the AHU located in the basement, with shafts for outside air and relief air.

The building user group and members of HGA's project team identified and weighted 12 financial and performance criteria, which included several high priorities: patient and staff safety; patient and staff comfort; initial cost; energy efficiency/payback; flexibility for vertical expansion; and sustainable design. HGA developed early schematic designs of each of the four options, and Walker and Assocs. and Knutson Construction Services, Minneapolis, developed construction estimates.

Option 1 offered the lowest initial cost, fast installation and a single equipment package, but came with higher life-cycle costs, lower energy efficiency and increased labor cost for maintenance when compared with the other options. Option 2 offered a moderate initial cost, with lower maintenance costs and higher-quality equipment, yet energy efficiency and life-cycle costs remained drawbacks. Option 3 offered better life-cycle costs than Options 1 or 2, yet it was the most expensive and reduced future flexibility for vertical expansion.

The decision-making process was complicated by the prospect of the Phase II addition. The group recognized that Options 1 and 2 were priced to qualify as "throwaway" systems when Phase II is implemented, but not Option 3. Moreover, if Phase II were to be built above Option 3, potentially costly structural modifications would be required.

The user group, project team, architect and Fairview executive-level leaders ultimately chose Option 4 because it combined reasonable initial cost, good life-cycle cost and flexibility.

Criteria Weight Option 1: Rooftop units Option 2: Rooftop units w/access Option 3: Penthouse AHUsw/central plant Option 4: Mech. room w/central plant
Patient comfort and safety 25%
Flexibility and future growth 25%12.52.54
Low first cost 25%4222
Energy efficiency 10%1333
Maintainability 5%1234
Aesthetics 5%1135
Integration w/floor plan 5%3331
Total unweighted 13 16.2 19.2 19.6
Total weighted 2.1 2.4 2.5 3

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.
Boiler basics; 2017 Product of the Year winners; Manufacturing facilities Q&A; Building integration; Piping and pumping systems
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
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.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me