VA Hines Boiler Plant wins Merit Award for outstanding healthcare construction project
HINES, IL – Walsh Construction is pleased to announce that the VA Hines New Boiler Plant project at the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital has been awarded the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award as the most outstanding healthcare construction project. The new boiler plant and steam tunnel distribution system provides more efficient heat to the VA Hines Veteran’s Hospital and with a significant reduction in energy costs.
The project included the installation of four new boilers, an emergency generator and an underground steam distribution system. The new plant serves the 3.3 million square foot hospital campus, saving an estimated $600,000 annually in energy costs. There is also reduced risk to potential flooding, reduced emissions and improved maintenance operations.
The new 18,000-square foot boiler plant replaces a 100-year-old predecessor that was nearing the end of its useful life. The old boiler plant was built below grade, and had suffered flood damage in 2010. Given the nature of the scope of work, the majority of the work performed was at elevated heights and confined spaces. Additionally, the hospital campus remained operational during construction. The complicated elements of construction required crews to demonstrate extraordinary diligence and ingenuity due to the complicated nature of the project.
Significant coordination with the VA was conducted to limit the impact on hospital operations. A full sequence map was provided to the government to identify the areas they could’ve expected a shutdown or impact. An Impact Mitigation Plan was provided early on to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), identifying potential risks to the campus, including site access, logistics, and potential disruptions to facilities. Walsh coordinated closely with the USACE to alleviate disruptions due to road closures, utility interruptions, and delivery or storage needs.
Site improvements associated with the new plant included access drives, parking areas, new fuel oil underground storage tanks (USTs) and a new partial underground water reservoir. The project concluded with the decommissioning and demolition of the old boiler plant.