Parkland Health & Hospital System has reached another milestone in the construction of its new health care campus. On Dec. 14, 2012, officials with the city of Dallas issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the new Central Utility Plant and on Jan. 14, Parkland took official ownership of the plant from J.E. Dunn Construction Company.
“We are thrilled that this project was completed six days early and nearly $4 million under budget,” said Lou Saksen, Parkland’s senior vice president of New Hospital Construction, who noted that $78 million had been budgeted for the plant.
Hot and chilled water is already pumping to the new hospital and power is being fed through two redundant 24 mega-watt power feeds. There is also a 17.5 mega-watt emergency generation system. To underscore the size of the project, one 2.5 mega-watt generator will power 1,000 average Dallas homes.
The Central Utility Plant (CUP) is an 81,146-square-foot facility comprised of cooling towers, a generator building, domestic water storage tank, chillers, boilers and a heat pump chiller. The heat pump chiller sends free heat to the hospital while generating chilled water, which results in significant energy and water savings. Through its chilled water capacity of 13,750 tons, at its peak 15,961 gallons per minute can flow to the new hospital and clinics. In addition, the plant can provide 192,000 pounds per hour of steam.
By using regional materials for more than 20 percent of its overall material cost, the CUP demonstrates that quality construction does not need to be imported. Its use of low-emitting materials – sealants, paints, and flooring materials – creates an environment in which plant staff will be able to work comfortably in a healthy environment.
The construction effort has also been able to harness 16 percent recycled materials based on total building materials cost. The project has diverted 75 percent of the construction debris from landfills through recycling. Through these efforts the project is target to exceed its goal of LEED Silver with a LEED Gold certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.
“We have also installed an innovative lighting system which mixes daylight and task lighting. Staff is able to turn on lighting for specific pieces of equipment or areas of the plant to get the light they need when they need it and avoiding unnecessary energy use,” Saksen said. “This truly is a state-of-the-art Central Utility Plant.”
As hospital construction reaches the half-way point, pumping hot water has enabled workers to begin painting inside the warm enclosed east side 17-story hospital. The hot water also prevents pipes from freezing as outside temperatures continue to plummet this winter. The rest of the building is scheduled to be enclosed before spring.
Two operators work round the clock in the CUP, located on the northeast corner of the new hospital podium, keeping an eye on the computerized gauges and controls. In the event of an outage in Dallas, the CUP has the capacity to provide backup utilities for 36 hours to the new hospital and clinics.