More efficient heating, despite the challenges of a live site and limited space
Hinchingbrooke Hospital is a small district general hospital near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Opened in 1983, it was experiencing issues with its heating system. Boilers frequently failed and this was causing problems for staff and patients, while also resulting in increased maintenance costs. The hospital decided that the solution was to improve not only the boilers but the entire heating system.
Live sites such as hospitals present specific challenges to our team. Work has to be carried out in phases to avoid disruption and loss of heating. In addition, space in the planned new energy centre was limited and this posed extra constraints on the M&E design.
We planned all the works carefully, co-ordinating the M&E activities with those of the other teams working on the project. In order to make the best use of the limited space, we decided to implement BIM which gave us, the contractor and the client complete confidence that all the equipment and plant would fit within the space available. This confidence had another significant benefit – it meant that the equipment could be pre-fabricated off-site for more rapid installation.
Our design included refurbishing four existing boiler rooms to become the heat distribution plant room. The old shell and tube (S&T) boilers were stripped out and replaced with plate heat exchangers which enabled us to separate the main heat distribution infrastructure from the new energy centre which serves the whole hospital. The new energy centre contains five new S&T boilers and two CHP units for heat generation. The heat generated in the energy centre is distributed to the entire hospital via the heat distribution plant room.
Hinchingbrooke Hospital now benefits from a modern, highly efficient heating system that meets the needs of patients and staff alike.