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Situation:

Lahey Health selected BOND to build a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Facility to power its Burlington, Massachusetts campus. Under a design-build arrangement, BOND delivered this 3 MW facility that houses a Caterpillar G260-12, natural gas-fueled internal combustion engine. A source of renewable energy, the plant will simultaneously generate electricity, steam, and hot water for the Hospital, significantly reducing energy costs. BOND also installed a new, custom main NSTAR switchgear station that increases the system’s resiliency. This unique feature enables the plant to respond to power loss and switch from redundant grid feeds to self-contained island mode, maintaining power to the Hospital even during emergencies or natural disasters.

Challenges:

  • Identification of existing underground utilities in challenging locations, including two 13.8kV Electrical Feeders, the main gas service, and many additional Hospital support utilities
  • Management of a fast-track, seven-month construction schedule with tight budget constraints
  • Site location on a tight hillside location with an intricate configuration of existing utilities, piping and mechanicals systems
  • Completion of the project under a design/build delivery method

Solutions:

  • Completion of a collaborative feasibility study and procurement plan focused on maximizing CHP efficiency
  • Development of a site-specific, detailed QA/QC plan utilizing the tablet-based BIM360 program to maximize safety and ensure construction carried out according to strict guidelines
  • Coordination of purchasing between different equipment manufacturers to provide seamless materials procurement
  • Management of a rigorous logistics and traffic management plan, including police escorts, over-the-road permitting, and crane locations to minimize disruption to an operational health facility with 40,000 visits a day
  • Installation of an innovative earth support system that secured site utilities and facilitated Plant construction
  • Construction of a unique, stepped foundation to accommodate the site’s hillside location and facilitate connection between Plant and existing Hospital utilities
  • Off-site prefabrication of piping systems associated with the engine heat exchangers, facilitated by in-house BIM services
  • Utilization of laser scanning technologies to coordinate and install hot water piping from the CHP to the Hospital
  • Rigorous startup and commissioning process, inclusive of vendor requirements, ASME and Pressure Vessel Certifications, and training to guarantee proper operation of completed Plant

Results:

  • Completion of an economical, sustainable energy plant that reduces Lahey’s operating costs and enables the Hospital to maintain operations during power outages
  • Delivered on time and within budget with no disruption to hospital operations
  • Promotes sustainability and green building practices through cogeneration technology
  • Custom-designed switching station reduced equipment delivery time by 50%
  • Design-build approach for custom-built primary switchgear resulted in its delivery on-site within 13 weeks – half of the typical delivery time for a process like this