2-megawatt emergency generator being installed

This 2-megawatt emergency generator with sound attenuation is one of three used to provide critical power necessary to support patient and building services during power outages.

Image courtesy of Halkin Mason Photography

A multiyear, $850 million expansion of the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Va., included upgrading buildings to offer private rooms in a world-class environment for patient care, education and research.

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The project includes a newly completed 11-story medical-surgical tower, renovations to the existing medical-surgical tower, a 10-story replacement tower for the Inova Women's Hospital and the Inova Children's Hospital, a new parking garage and improved campus access. The new facility comprises 192 patient rooms, as well as 118 private pediatric rooms, a 108-bed neonatal intensive care unit, 33 labor and delivery rooms, six cesarean-section suites, and eight operating rooms.

To accommodate these additional facilities, the women's and children's hospitals needed a much larger, central utility plant. This included construction of a new $35 million, 17,000-square-foot central utility plant and a 35,000-square-foot central energy plant, with two 1,800-ton chillers, cooling towers and 13 custom air handling units to provide 3,600 tons of added cooling load.

The hospital is now equipped with three, 2-megawatt emergency generators with paralleling gear to provide continuous electricity in the event of an emergency. The new central utility plant gives hospital personnel new flexibility in managing the power supply and utility costs, while ensuring enough backup power to accommodate future growth.

From the project’s earliest stages, Clark Construction Group, Bethesda, Md., collaborated with Inova’s construction and design personnel and architects from Wilmot Sanz in Gaithersburg, Md., to identify and focus on specific aspects of the project to meet the demanding expectations.

The project received LEED Silver certification for new construction. Sustainable features include low-flow plumbing, a white roof, water cisterns, a rain garden and native plantings to reduce water consumption, and a highly efficient energy-management system.

Jim Salvino is a mechanical-electrical-plumbing executive with Clark Construction Group, based in Bethesda, Md. He has been part of several complex health care projects for clients including Inova Health System and Johns Hopkins University. He can be contacted at james.salvino@clarkconstruction.com.