Case study: State-of-the-art health care system

A multidisciplinary commissioning project allowed a health care facility’s electrical equipment to operate as designed and established a platform for all critical information and statuses to be displayed.

By Vahik Davoudi, PE, LEED AP; Ander Sahonero, PE; Gaurav Thatte, EIT; and Rahul Mittal, EIT; Arup, Los Angeles March 28, 2019

The following is an example of a systematically executed multidisciplinary commissioning (Cx) project that helped a client in Southern California achieve U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification. It is one of only two health care facilities to accomplish this in the United States.

The project included several energy-saving measures (trigeneration, active chilled beams, LED lighting, heat recovery, and a photovoltaic system) and water-saving measures (low-flow fixtures, non-chemical water treatment, and recycling) along with standard electrical, mechanical, signaling, and health care systems, which complicated the Cx efforts. The measurement and verification activities required for sustainability performance and performance optimization helped to identify any missing information due to a scope gap or not being properly addressed by the manufacturers of monitoring devices.

The primary focus on this project was to ensure that all electrical equipment and systems operate as intended and establish a platform whereby all critical information and statuses are displayed. Developing a dashboard that presents real-time, accurate, and insightful data to assist with the operation of complex systems was a key element of design, and Cx helped the owner run the state-of-the-art medical campus more efficiently. The dashboard interfaces to three different client bodies: the executive dashboard focuses on cost and utilization factors, the engineering dashboard focuses on energy/water consumption, and the sustainability metrics operations dashboard focuses on tracking individual system performance.

With advances in data collection and storage, there is an increased focus on data generated in the built environment. Most of the data for buildings sits in proprietary networks and is often underused due to complexities. Leveraging this data would not only allow sustainable operation of facilities but also help operations and maintenance personnel do a better job of operating and maintaining the facility.

Innovative and complex electrical systems along with other integrated systems, present greater exposure to the risks involved with loss of power or similar system failures. As a result, early-stage integrated Cx of these systems is increasingly vital for modern facilities.

Author Bio: Vahik Davoudi is one of the long-term leaders in Arup’s Los Angeles office. He has many years of experience in the design of sustainable and large-scale projects. Ander Sahonero is a senior electrical engineer at Arup, focused on the multidisciplinary design of large and technically complex projects. Gaurav Thatte is an electrical engineer with Arup, designing electrical systems and specializing in health care projects. Rahul Mittal is an electrical engineer for Arup, designing electrical power systems primarily for commercial projects. He specializes in computer-aided analysis of power systems and protection