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SUNY, Upstate Medical University Maternity and Nursery Renovation


Location: Syracuse, NY

Owner: SUNY, Upstate Medical University

Services Provided:


Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineering 

HD Laser Scanning


PDG provided MEP engineering and commissioning services for the project at the former Community General Hospital. Now known as Upstate Hospital’s Community Campus, the project gutted the second floor to provide a new state-of-the-art Maternity Suite to serve up to 16 new mothers and their families.


Full MEP services, including HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical engineering were provided. All renovations comply with the Facilities Guidelines Institute’s Standards for Hospitals for a complete renovation: new fixtures, including showers, lighting, finishes, and upgrades to the patient rooms and common areas. The existing HVAC systems were under scrutiny on this project. An airflow test procured through a balancing sub-consultant determined airflows in each space throughout the second floor, and total airflow at the main air handling unit (AHU). The investigation revealed that ventilation airflows were inadequate to the floor and that the unit was not developing the airflow necessary to meet the rest of the current building’s demands and code requirements. The phased solution provided a custom, field-erected AHU installed within the mechanical penthouse. Abandoned absorption chillers were demolished to make space for the new AHU. By installing the new unit while the existing unit remained in operation, the hospital was able to continue operating throughout the construction process, with minimal shut downs to disconnect/re-connect the existing duct distribution system to the new unit.

PDG’s Energy Team provided comprehensive commissioning and continuous commissioning services for the Maternity and Nursery renovation project at Upstate Hospital’s Community Campus. The project gutted the second floor to provide a new state-of-the-art Maternity Suite to serve up to 16 new mothers and their families; it also upgraded the existing air handling system infrastructure which was in dire need for improvement in the hospital. All the renovations comply with the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals by the Facilities Guidelines Institute, including complete updated MEP systems (including a new 18,000 CFM field-erected dedicated outdoor air unit), as well as upgrades to the patient rooms, isolation rooms, break rooms, and other common areas.

A commissioning plan was established in the early construction phase, based on which the team performed a comprehensive commissioning throughout the construction, including periodic site observation, pre-functional, and functional performance testing. With the relatively sophisticated sequences of operation as well as temperature and humidity controls in the hospital, the team focused mainly on the functional performance testing of the following mechanical systems: the new AHU and heat recovery coils, general exhaust fans, terminal induction units in the maternity suites, secondary loop to induction units, hot water reheat coils throughout the second floor, hot water reheat loop, steam reheat coils, exhaust fans, as well as the pressure control systems serving the renovated isolation rooms. 

These updated systems and the whole building were also continuously commissioned – for more than a year after the completion of the initial project – to ensure the optimized system performance and safe operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The continuous commissioning includes site walk-throughs and virtual visits, continuous monitoring and diagnostics of system performance via the building automation system, necessary seasonal functional testing for the updated systems and related existing infrastructure, updating control sequences, identifying additional system balancing to address ongoing issues, ensuring adequate training, and conducting post-occupancy review.

PDG also performed a high definition laser scan of a 5,000 square foot mechanical room in order to precisely locate existing piping and ducts. Laser scanning is faster, more accurate, and provides far greater detail than traditional methods.

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