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Pumps Save Time and Money for Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago


Pumps Save Time and Money for Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago

Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago is one of the premier medical facilities in the country. It comes as no surprise that only the best partners would be invited to construct the hospital’s new location, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Located on the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine campus in downtown Chicago, the hospital began the project nearly two years ago. Xylem and manufacturers representative, Bornquist Inc., were selected by the consulting engineer, Affiliate Engineering, and the mechanical contractor, FE Moran to be partners in the construction of the high profile, 23-story building.

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Working with Bornquist, Xylem identified that originally, the pump equipment was specified for an older technology and design with horizontal casing. The new design features VSX pumps with vertical casing, which enabled the contractor to save space and money. Additionally, domestic condensate pumps and Bell & Gossett heat exchangers were installed, providing the customer with a comprehensive solution.

“Xylem has the broadest range of solutions, which boosted our ability to win the job,” said Dave Everhart, sales manager, Bornquist Inc. “The contracting and engineering firms were meticulous in its product and service choices and we are very proud to be involved in this project.”

Many decisions rest with these firms for a project of this magnitude. The general and mechanical contractors essentially decide which equipment manufacturers to use for each project with the guidance of the customer. Xylem’s quality reputation and the added value Bornquist continuously provides spurred the customer to recommend both companies to the engineering firm. The project was to be quoted as lean as possible, and Bornquist was able to save the engineer and project manager time and money – another key ingredient to winning the business.

Building Green

Environmental impact also played a role in the hospital’s choice of Xylem and Bornquist for this project. Because both companies are local, shipping logistics and transportation distances were minimal, helping the hospital to potentially qualify for future USGBC LEED certification. Xylem’s high-efficiency products also keep pumping and water processes efficient, helping the building reduce overall carbon emissions.

“Hospitals are some of the most complex structures that are constructed,” said Everhart. “Steam and water systems for laundry and disinfecting, HVAC systems, lighting, all must run 24/7, no matter what. Anything we can do to lower the hospital’s carbon footprint is always incorporated in our plans.”

Ingenuity Does the Heavy Lifting

A project of this size and complexity has unique specifications and special challenges that constantly evolve throughout the process. Several different Xylem product lines and Bell & Gossett pump models were installed.

A key element to the bid was Xylem’s ability to provide an accurate lead-time quote for each pump needed. The lead-time quote is derived from the time it takes for each specialized motor to be delivered to Xylem and installed in each pump before they are ready for Bornquist to install in the building. Because of the specifications and scope of the job, it was important to have an accurate lead-time quote as soon as possible to ensure the project ran on schedule.

Leslie Conville, senior customer service representative, has been with Xylem for nearly 20 years, and handled the lead-time quote for Children’s Hospital. “I am very proud of my role in this project and the products we produce,” she said. “I’m even more proud of the team of people who assisted me. We all take a lot of pride in what we do and that’s how we’re able to meet these deadlines and make it happen for our customers.”

The project’s timeline presented another challenge for Xylem and Bornquist. With the new hospital structure located in the heart of downtown Chicago, logistics to deliver and install the pumps had to be timed precisely in order to keep street closures and traffic disruptions to a minimum. Many of the pumps were so large that the only way to install them was by crane. Only a few days were set aside as crane days, where streets could be closed off to make room for the equipment, and installation plans for each day had to run according to schedule with no room for error.

“During one of the precious crane days, one of the delivery vehicles was held up and we still needed to install one more pump that was the size of a Volkswagen,” said Conville. “We were running out of time so we called a flat-bed tow truck to transport the pump. It was unconventional but ended up being a great solution that kept our timetable on track.”

Test requirements for each pump were more stringent for the Children’s Hospital project than any other that Xylem has been involved with in the past. Typically, a B-level standard is required of each pump to be installed. In this case, the engineering firm required that A-level testing standards be met due to the type of facility being constructed. The massive sizes of the pumps made this process a challenging experience but Xylem and Bornquist worked together to meet these standards.

According to Conville, mechanisms to test pumps of this size at A-level standards were not in place. To overcome this hurdle, the team designed and constructed a nonstandard, but ingenious and safe testing solution that enabled RCW to test each pump appropriately. “Our team was extremely dedicated during the whole process.”

“When you’re constructing a state-of-the-art hospital that is designed to save children’s lives, there is no room for mistakes,” said Everhart. “Children are the pride, heart and future of any community and we did whatever needed to be done to make sure this facility performs flawlessly.”

Quality sets Xylem and Bornquist Apart Hospitals, as far as structures go, have to work hard to serve the community. From the best in patient care and medical technology, to the behind-the-scenes facility processes and equipment, efficiency and effectiveness are necessary for the building to be successful.

“Xylem has created products that will operate for 40 or 50 years,” said Everhart. “That type of quality is unmatched in this industry and pivotal to continually being the first choice of our customers.”

Xylem and Bornquist competed against eight other manufacturers to win the Children’s Hospital project. Xylem’s quality extends further, with the hospital’s preference for Bell & Gossett pumps in the new structure based on its long-time use of the products at its current facility.

Meeting budgets and timelines without issue, as well as the confidence the customer had in both companies, ultimately made the decision easy for hospital leadership.

The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is set to open in 2012.

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