How asset management provides resilient master planning expertise

Facility condition assessments can be a key tool in optimizing system resilience, especially in critical industries such as healthcare.

By Heather Platt Gulledge March 17, 2022
Courtesy: Amara Rozgus, CFE Media and Technology

In 2016, Forsyth Medical Center, a part of the Novant Health system, asked our asset management group for assistance in evaluating the existing infrastructure campus-wide. Novant’s facility managers wanted to verify that the medical center maintained robust systems without single points of failure, that operations would not be disrupted by emergency events, and that the infrastructure would remain reliable for many years to come. Our team conducted a full facility condition assessment, which led to a complete master plan.

The purpose of the facility condition assessment was to evaluate infrastructure in an effort to move toward a more resilient MEP system. We recommended more than 40 projects, including:

  • Upgrading the domestic hot water system. This involves upgrading two towers and connecting the systems to the main system serving the general tower, allowing for cross-connection. In the event of a failure, the systems will be interconnected, and each tower will still have domestic hot water.
  • Migrating the electrical system in the west tower to the central generator plant, which will allow for four generators, resulting in significant capacity and redundancy for the campus.
  • Expanding the current central chilled water plant, which involves adding additional chillers with N+1 capacity to the existing three chillers that are still within their useful lives.
  • Replacing air handling units (AHUs) that have deferred maintenance with new AHUs with fan arrays. This will allow them to remain operational if a fan motor fails.
  • Connecting the chilled water loop around the exterior of the campus, allowing for sections of the system to be shut down or isolated while maintaining chilled water flow to the rest of the facility by feeding it from multiple and opposite directions.
  • Adjusting some spaces throughout the facility by adding emergency power systems for critical AHUs, which will keep them functioning in the event of a power failure.

While it’s important for facilities to have resilient MEP systems, healthcare facilities are uniquely important as service disruptions can be life-threatening. Facility condition assessments can be a key tool in optimizing system resilience.

Dewberry is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.

Original content can be found at

Author Bio: Heather Platt Gulledge, PE, CHC senior project manager, Dewberry