Hospital Service Call Becomes Retro-Commissioning Project
MSC service technicians were dispatched to a large New Jersey healthcare facility to address multiple complaints in an area that had undergone extensive renovation less than two years prior. Prolonged spans of excessive temperatures were occurring in some spaces while others were experiencing short, intermittent temperature fluctuations. Airflow and humidity sensors were drifting, and facilities maintenance staff found themselves unable to properly control the environmental conditions.
Our service technicians noted abnormally high temperatures when they arrived at the facility and immediately set about discerning the source of these and other problems. After ruling out numerous possible causes, we decided to install data loggers in strategic areas throughout the building to record conditions over a 3-day period.
At the end of the third day, we had our answers. In addition to confirming the temperature swings that had been reported, a comparison of the newly-logged data to original balancing reports revealed reductions in airflow in several areas ranging from 10% to 18.5%. Several errors were discovered in the dehumidification sequence, and we also found that the RH sensor had never been calibrated. HEPA air filters were overly loaded with particulates. Our suspicion that commissioning had only been partially completed prior to start-up was confirmed by the lack of certain commissioning documents.
We reported our findings to the client and prescribed a small retro-commissioning project. An air balance was performed, and all HEPA filters and final filters were replaced. Reheat valve functionality and performance were checked and adjusted where necessary. A number of problems found during a re-verification of the sequence of operation prompted several building automation programming changes. All temperature and humidity sensors were recalibrated and an existing RH sensor was replaced with a high-quality dew point sensor for better accuracy and control.
Finally, we assisted the client in tailoring a new, more-detailed SOP for preventive maintenance to be performed yearly, rather than every two years as had been original specified. MSC is now under contract to perform facility maintenance on an annual basis.