When the new cardiovascular neurological services hospital opens in northern Florida in late 2017, it will include some of the most advanced healthcare and technologies, along with some of the industry’s most well-known practitioners. What won’t be visible are the high-tech materials behind the walls that ensure the facility provides safe, reliable water supply that is so essential to day-to-day operations and care.
A mirror of a sister cancer treatment center next door, the new 500,000-square-foot hospital will house close to 200 beds, 20 inpatient and outpatient operating rooms, and support services, ensuring patients can have most of their healthcare needs met in one building.
Not only is the hospital advanced in its research and care, the building itself is on the cutting edge, including a state-of-the-art energy monitoring and automation system. More than 150,000 points can be controlled and manipulated remotely. “It allows us to conserve energy,” says Mark Dykes, project manager. “Hospitals use about 5% to 6% of the nation’s energy … we can show where we’re using it better.”
Providing support throughout is a robust potable water system, which includes Sch. 80 Corzan CPVC pipe, ranging from 1/2 inch to 6 inches in diameter. The team selected Corzan because of its durability and long-term performance, after facing issues with copper pipes in previous projects.
Sealing the deal was the availability of mechanical joining, a new installation option for Corzan plumbing systems developed following a years-long development and testing process. The mechanical joining method consists of the 6950 Plastic Cut Groover from Wheeler-Rex Mfg., which uses a ratcheting mechanism to form a groove in the pipe. Completing the mechanical joint is an Installation-Ready TM flexible couplings from Victaulic. The Style 177N, the Style 72 Outlet Coupling, and the Style 750 Reducing Coupling are rated for potable water systems.
The result is faster, cleaner installation. In addition, using a cut-groove tool from Wheeler-Rex Manufacturing and flexible couplings from Victaulic Co., facility managers and plumbing engineers can make alterations without the downtime typically required with large-diameter solvent cement bonds.
“Potable water in a hospital is used for a range of activities, and shutting it down in patient rooms and critical care areas for hours at a time is unacceptable,” says Ryan Chubon, account manager for Lubrizol. “The project team was drawn to Lubrizol’s new mechanical joining system because the process gets water lines back online in as little as 30 minutes, depending on how large the job.”
Also beneficial for the project is Corzan’s ability to reliably withstand the elevated temperatures and chlorine levels required for disinfection. Copper, PEX, and PPR manufacturers recommend caution during shock chlorination due to corrosion and degradation concerns, while Corzan has been proven to withstand chlorine levels several hundred times higher than those used for disinfection.
It’s one more element in providing safe and reliable delivery of potable water throughout the vast healthcare facility. While not as flashy as the ground-breaking work being performed by the medical professionals on the front lines, the piping systems behind the walls play a crucial role in ensuring that care can take place safely and reliably.