Project Profile: AdventHealth Innovation Tower
The building is served by an onsite central energy plant that provides 1200 tons of cooling capacity and two generators for backup power in case of an emergency.
Engineering firm: TLC Engineering Solutions
2023 MEP Giants rank: 25
Project: AdventHealth Innovation Tower
Location: Orlando, FL, United States
Building type: Hospital/health care facility
Project type: New construction
Engineering services: Automation, controls; electrical, power; energy, sustainability; fire, life safety; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; plumbing, piping; audio-visual, voice-data, security
Project timeline: September 2019 to August 2022
MEP/FP engineering budget: $1,556,123
AdventHealth Innovation Tower is the newest addition to Health Village, a 172-acre mixed-use development that comprises residential buildings, retail shops, and medical facilities, located at AdventHealth’s flagship campus in Orlando, Florida.
TLC was responsible for providing integrated mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology engineering services for both the core and shell and tenant buildouts of Innovation Tower. The 12-story high-rise facility offers the convenience of orthopedic, rehabilitation, outpatient surgery, research, imaging, and neuroscience care to patients under one roof. As the Florida headquarters for Philadelphia-based Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, the 328,000-sf facility provides a wide range of orthopedic services, from sports medicine to orthopedic oncology.
The building is served by an onsite central energy plant that provides 1200 tons of cooling capacity and two generators for backup power in case of an emergency. A conditioned bridge links the tower to the adjacent 11-story parking garage.
Challenge #1 – Supply Chain Disruptions: The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions to the supply chain and production shortages, presenting a significant challenge for TLC to maintain the aggressive project schedule. Critical building systems equipment became scarce and difficult to obtain.
Challenge #2 – Stairwell Pressurization: In high-rise buildings like Innovation Tower, stairs serve as the primary means of occupant egress during a fire. Designing an efficient stairwell pressurization system is crucial to expedite egress, prevent smoke and heat from spreading, and ensure occupant safety during an emergency.
Challenge #3 – AHJ Approval: Another challenge involved receiving approval from the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA), the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing healthcare facilities in Florida, for the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) located on the third floor of the new facility. The ASC will have five operating rooms and provisions for two future cath labs.
Challenge #4 – Sustainability: Designing a high-rise building that is energy efficient posed significant challenges. One of the primary challenges was minimizing the structure’s carbon footprint while still meeting the energy demands of the occupants. The project team had to adopt a multi-faceted approach to achieve energy conservation through both active and passive measures.
Solution #1 – Supply Chain Disruptions: To address the supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, TLC collaborated with the general contractor and specialty trade contractors to create early-release procurement packages for long-lead MEP equipment for the core and shell and tenant buildouts. TLC conducted cursory reviews of major equipment such as centrifugal chillers, cooling towers, pumps, boilers, switchgear, generators, and air handling units to prioritize delivery. This approach prioritized the delivery of major equipment and enabled the contractor to install equipment earlier, ensuring the central energy plant was operational before completing the building. This strategy enabled TLC to meet the aggressive project schedule despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Solution #2 – Stairwell Pressurization: TLC designed an effective stairwell pressurization system with both passive and active smoke protection features and components. The system comprises automatic and manual controls, automatic smoke dampers, and stairway pressurization fans with multiple air injection points to prevent smoke and heat from entering the escape route. The system also includes a dedicated source of emergency power for the fire smoke dampers, control units, smoke dampers, and dedicated pressurization and exhaust fans.
Solution #3 – AHJ Approval: To overcome this challenge, TLC utilized its extensive coordination experience of 67 years with regulatory agencies to guide the ASC through the entire AHCA design review and inspection process from Stages I to III. The team ensured that the design of the ASC complied with all the regulations and requirements of AHCA.
Scheduled to open in the spring of 2023, the ASC will feature advanced medical equipment such as a medical gas system, a dedicated 800 kw emergency generator, constant volume air handling units with UV lights, and a nurse call system.
Solution #4 – Sustainability: TLC collaborated with the project team to prioritize sustainability and energy efficiency in the design of the new building. As a result, the building uses 28% less energy than a comparable structure, resulting in a reduction of 37% in power costs for heating, cooling, and lighting.
To achieve this level of energy efficiency, several features were incorporated into the building’s design, including the use of LED lighting with fully programmable controls, daylighting to optimize natural light, high-efficiency pump motors and centrifugal chillers, pressure-independent control valves on air handling units, a variable primary pumping system, and variable air volume systems.
Additionally, an integrated direct digital control building automation system (BAS) manages all mechanical and utility systems in the facility. The BAS monitors equipment operating conditions and space conditions, utilizing BACnet to enable facility operators to measure, analyze, and take action to increase energy efficiency and decrease costs. The focus on energy efficiency highlights the building’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact.