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Mater Dei Hospital
06 March 2015
The Client:
Mater Dei Hospital (MDH) is Malta’s general hospital offering a full range of hospital services. It also provides an extensive range of specialist medical services.
The hospital opened on 29 June 2007 replacing St. Luke's Hospital as the main public general hospital. The 250,000 square metre complex includes 825 beds and 25 operating theatres. It was designed and built by the Swedish construction firm Skanska Malta JV.
ESI were subcontracted by Skanska to engineer and roll-out the hospital’s Building Management System (BMS).
The Solution:
BMS provided as a solution by ESI, controls and monitors a number of critical engineering systems at MDH. Apart from controlling the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) and the switching on of mechanical equipment when running on emergency generators , the solution monitors the ‘health’ status of other systems and equipment such as the Power Network Control Centre (PNCC), medical fridges, medical gases, elevators, aircraft warning lights, vehicle emission gases levels in car parks, and other critical operational systems. Monitoring is carried out on a 24/7 basis and any alarms triggered immedaitely on the BMS; this allows MDH maintenance staff to react and deal with any issue before it turns into a major problem.
The system makes use of complex cause and effect processes, based on priorities set out by the hospital operational procedures.
The BMS rolled out at MDH also controls the hospital chiller farm made up of qty 16 chillers which form the backbone of the hospital’s HVAC cooling system. when in operation they put a huge demand on the electrical supply of the hospital.. The system is designed to work on demand and calculates how much chilled water is needed and at what temperature. The BMS also controls the amount of air that goes through the AHUs [Air Handling Units) supplying the fresh and air conditioned air to the wards and areas in the hospital. Each AHU takes the fresh air from the outside, filters it, conditions (heat or cool) it, filter it again and then releases it into the specific area according to set specifications.
In the eventuality of a fire, the system is designed to detect the incident zone, via a high level interface with the Fire Alarm System. It isolates the area in which the fire was detected by creating a low air pressure in the area and switching off the ventilation in order to minimise the risk of the fire spreading to other sections of the hospital.
This system also manages a load shedding procedure that kicks in when the building is running on back-up power supply, in the case of a power cut or failure from the Utility side. The system activates and manages the energy provided to critical areas and other systems in the hospital according to a priority matrix specified by the hospital operators. The BMS does this in a staggered way and has built in intelligence that allows it to detect how much back-up load is left in order not to burden or compromise the generators. An essential structure in a hospital.
All aspects of this very intelligent system can be seen from the user interface in the hospital control room. Monitoring stations were also installed in various other parts of the hospital allowing the facilities management and operations personnel to have a clear view of the health of the system and identify any issue that may arise.
The system is essentially the heart of the hospital building services. The solution was designed to provide the hospital with an integrated view of all its critical systems in order to ensure that operations are never compromised.
The integration of the fire smoke dampers within the BMS, is also a plus for MDH. Safety and building management are typically two separate systems, however having a solution that allowed the fire dampers to be controlled by the BMS gave the hospital operators total peace of mind. In the case of any eventuality, be it power failure or a fire incident, the BMS would kick in enabling the hospital to continue to operate. This 100% failover and redundancy was essential in the case of MDH being the main public hospital– downtime is simply not an option.
The system was also engineered in such a way as to enable it to be rolled out in phases. This allowed the hospital operators and ESI to implement rigorous testing at every phase and address any concern that may have arisen.
This system is considered critical to ensure smooth hospital operations, hence the design, implementation, material used and ongoing management, were of the highest standards. The blueprint provided was to a higher standard than most local companies at that time were exposed to. It was essentially a project that took all contractors and all involved to a higher level. Both MDH and ESI are proud to say that the level of expertise gained and standards adhered to will not be easily found anywhere else in Malta.
ESI have also taken on the management and maintenance of the solution. Monthly progress meetings are held with the MDH Engineering Directorate engineers, however any issues that come up are dealt with straight away. ESI also provided detailed documentation of the system which is essential for dealing with difficulties and problems that may arise from time to time as well as a form of continuity for future works on the BMS.
“This solution can be considered as the heart of the hospital.” said Ing. Noel Psaila, Director Engineering at Mater Dei Hospital. “It is a highly intelligent system that allows us to operate the hospital efficiently. The beauty of the system is the visibility it provides. You can view the entire network from the control room and certain monitoring points around the hospital which highlight any alarms and indicate any maintenance needed.”
“There is mutual trust and we have built an excellent working relationship. They (ESI) follow procedures and listen to what the client wants, and not just what they think is best.’’ he added.
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