High-efficiency chiller and bespoke air handling units installed in operating theatre
ICS Cool Energy has installed an innovative ‘life-saving’ solution in a hospital as part of BMI Healthcare’s annual £40m facilities maintenance programme.
ICS Cool Energy developed and project-managed the full solution from concept to completion. It required immaculate planning in partnership with BMI Healthcare as it was vital for the project to deliver a state-of-the-art replacement for a life-expired system, while overcoming a complex series of technical and logistical issues.
There were significant challenges in the programme of works to install a high-efficiency chiller and bespoke air handling units for two of the hospital’s operating theatres. The compliance included working around restricted space, bespoke designs, tight timelines, rigorous HTM-03 (Health Technical Memoranda, legislation governing temperature control and air flows in life-critical healthcare environments), minimising downtime, and ensuring the continued operation of one of the theatres at all times.
To overcome the restricted working and plant room space, ICS Cool Energy’s three air handling units were delivered in flat packs and assembled on site. The highly-energy-efficient Aptus chiller was also specified due its ability to deliver low maintenance with high energy efficiency from a compact footprint. In fact, the Aptus chiller was bespokely manufactured to ensure it met the HTM-03 and the space restrictions.
Close controls over temperatures in a life-critical environment were also essential and so a new Trend building management system (BMS) was installed, allowing integration of controls, with intelligent panels placed in the theatres to allow surgical staff to adjust the temperatures as required.
For added reassurance, the system allows remote monitoring 24/7 and BMI Healthcare has also opted for an ICS Cool Energy service contract with the national team of skilled engineers on call round the clock, 365 days a year.
As the UK’s largest private hospital group, BMI Healthcare project manager, Mark Elphick, is interested in delivering quality systems that meet the rigorous healthcare standards and guidance for patient safety, while also achieving value for money.
“Operating theatres are one of the most-sensitive environments in the hospital, so the environment has to be precisely controlled and it’s up to the project team to ensure we deliver that,” he said.
“In turn, this means we need to be confident that our supplier will deliver every step of the way and the fact that the ICS Cool Energy team have proved themselves before, as well as being able to offer a full service contract, is very reassuring.”
Following award of the tender, the ICS Cool Energy team - sales director, Richard Metcalfe; and project manager, Allan Towns - worked closely with Elphick to deliver the phased programme of works over a period of five months. As part of the programme, the redundant equipment was removed, and with the associated pipework and cabling in place, installation speed was optimised. Engineers also worked over the weekend so there was no disruption to the theatre rooms above the plant room.
“Work on site was completed within two months without any unexpected disruption, through a combination of detailed planning and a collaborative working approach,” said Elphick.