When Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Cookeville, Tenn., assessed climate and comfort in two patient areas, including the behavioral health unit, the results pointed to the need for a new system. However, replacing the old air handling unit (AHU) was complicated: CRMC needed a contractor who had the knowledge, contacts, and manpower to remove the rooftop unit safely, and supply and install a new unit quickly, without disrupting patient care.
Lee Company’s team in Cumberland was called in to create a design-build solution, replacing the existing rooftop AHU-10 with a new unit. Naturally, fabricating the new AHU was only part of the Lee Company solution. Logistics play a critical role in healthcare projects. Lee Company worked with the hospital staff to address potential patient impact during the weekend swap-over, with special attention paid to the needs of those in the behavioral health unit.
Working over a weekend, Lee Company deployed a crane to hoist the new AHU up six stories to the rooftop. After successfully removing the unit that had reached the end of its useful life, the new unit was installed smoothly and efficiently. The shut- down time on major systems was minimized, along with any impact on CRMC patients and staff – including those on the 4th and 5th floors who relied on that AHU for climate control. Pre-readings and duct system verification were also conducted, to make sure new unit would serve the space well once it was tied in and for years to come. The project went so well, the CRMC plant facilities supervisor says, “Lee Company is now one of our go-to vendors.” Less leakage, energy costs go down. Satisfaction goes up.
The AHU “Aha!” Moment
For the past few years, funding and other challenges forced the hospital to “limp along” with the old unit and simply get by during the summer and winter months. However, since the new AHU has been installed, the CRMC staff has gained a true appreciation for all the advantages of an improved HVAC system. Along with the immediately noticeable perk of comfortable climate control, benefits of the new AHU include lower energy bills and less maintenance. For CRMC and all the patients served, working with Lee Company was just what the doctor ordered.
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