W感惹 Consulting Engineers, P.C.
172 Ridge Street - Glens Falls, NY 12801
(518) 761-6100 - wpspc@nycap.rr.com


The Glens Falls Hospital Inpatient Surgery Renovations had to be constructed with minimal disruption to the hospital and with minimal downtime of needed services to the existing surgical suite.  Construction was performed in phases.

  • First, pre-op, recovery, physician/nurse lockers and other support services were relocated to the adjacent south wing.
  • Next, one new operating room, a sterile supply and scrub area were constructed adjacent to the four existing operating rooms in the north wing.
  • Then the east wing was gutted, including operating rooms, pre-op, recovery and lockers.  A new air handling unit was provided in the east wing penthouse to serve the new lockers, lounge, and office spaces.

The existing north wing penthouse was expanded to allow for additional mechanical equipment.  A new air handling unit was provided for the operating rooms, pre-op, recovery, isolation, sterile supply and scrub areas.  The new units HEPA filtration system exceeds minimum code requirements for filtration and air quality.  To minimize fan noise in the suite, the air handlers were equipped with duct silencers on the supply and return.  A new 100-ton chiller was added to serve both new and existing surgical suites.  This allows the hospital to provide 40 degree chilled water to the surgical suite and allows the central chilled water plant to run at a higher temperature.  The new chilled water piping is connected to the central system for back-up.  All vibrating equipment in the penthouse was mounted on inertia bases to prevent sound transmission.

A new steam-to-hot water convertor was added to allow more precise temperature control of the surgical suite.  The hot water piping is also connected to the central system for back-up.  A new steam-to-steam convertor was added to provide clean, dry steam to humidifiers.  Each of the existing operating room units were retrofitted with new HEPA filters and new humidifiers were provided in each zone duct.  This work was performed at night when the operating rooms were not in use.

After construction was well underway, the hospital decided that they wanted a high-tech orthopaedic operating room with a "clean-room" atmosphere.  In orthopaedic surgery where deep-wound infections are a major concern, special precautions must be taken to protect against airborne bacteria.  A normal general surgery room requires an air exchange rate of 15 air changes per hour.  W感惹 designed this room with 375 air changes per hour within the clean zone around the surgical table and 90 air changes per hour for the entire room.  The system features clear Lexan containment panels attached to the ceiling that extend to a height of seven feet three inches above the floor, which allow for maximum mobility of equipment.  The containment panels define the boundaries of the 10 foot by 12 foot clean zone and provide a protective barrier to potentially contaminated air.  The air is delivered through laminar flow diffusers with 99.99% efficient HEPA filters almost covering the entire 10 foot by 12 foot area.  The return/exhaust air is picked up low along the perimeter walls.

To provide the 7,100 CFM of supply air required for this room, an additional air handler was required.  New equipment in the north wing penthouse had to be re-arranged to make room for the additional air handler.  Since the penthouse was fully enclosed and the majority of ductwork and piping was installed, the air handler had to be shipped in pieces and field assembled.  The unit included inlet and discharge silencers, a plug fan and a cooling coil.  To supply and return that amount of air to the surgical suite, six supply and six return ducts were routed between the existing joists.  Careful field measuring and coordination with the supplier of the equipment was undertaken by W感惹 to ensure everything would properly fit.  Room Pressurization is monitored locally and reported remotely to the energy management system.  Air Monitor controls maintain precise CFM setpoints by varying the speed of the air handlers variable speed drive as the filters become loaded.

W感惹 worked closely with the hospital during the design and performed extensive field investigations.  W感惹 also maintained an excellent working relationship with the contractors and construction manager.  The end result was that the only HVAC change orders on the entire project were Owner requested additional work and the orthopedic operating room.

The renovation of over 20,000 SF of operating rooms, recovery areas, and staff support areas included new, dedicated chilled water and heating hot water systems. Shown here (left) is a new 100 ton air-cooled reciprocating chiller, serving the specialized needs of the OR's and Recovery. Cross-connections to the main facility chillers were made for "emergency" back-up. In addition, the new chiller was placed on emergency power circuits, ensuring air conditioning to the OR's at all times.

This picture (right) shows the ORTHO SURGERY ROOM. The area within the operating field (enclosed by the ceiling hung lexan shields) was designed to and tested out better than a Class 100 Clean Room. As a result of W感惹' creativity, this room is extremely quiet, despite the high air movement.

The picture on the right shows the new Neurological Operating Room. The "high-tech" operating  rooms were a necessary part of this 2.3 million dollar renovation project. This project enabled  the Glens Falls Hospital to maintain its high rank as one of the top hospitals in the Northeast.

In addition to the HVAC upgrades, mechanical/electrical design included  expansion of the sprinkler, emergency power, fire alarm, and medical gas systems. The new OR's included state-of-the-art retractable medical gas columns. The fire alarm system was designed to accommodate the future installation of a fully computerized state-of-the-art fire alarm system.

New air handling units (pictured on the right) were placed in the expanded Mechanical Penthouse. These new double-wall constructed units provide higher air quantities and superior air filtration to meet today's hospital requirements for "high-tech" OR's and Recovery Rooms.