Biomass Boiler Plant Commissioning: Chillicothe VAMC

FFE provided MEP commissioning services and served as LEED project specialists for the new boiler plant facility at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center in Chillicothe, Ohio.

This project’s design garnered praise from the Department of Energy at the national level.

The new plant at the Chillicothe location serves a 30,000-square-foot facility with three, 700-horsepower gas/oil 65 psig steam boilers. These boilers supply steam heating throughout the medical facility.

Commissioning Projects VAMC Biomass

Prioritizing Energy Efficiency

One priority for this project was energy efficiency. An innovative resource on this project is the VA’s first wood-burning biomass boiler and back pressure turbine. Together, these components co-generate 16,000 pounds/hour of 450 psi steam and 350 kW of electricity. An absorption chiller was added to the facility to allow for the use of the biomass boiler and turbine year-round.

As part of this plant project, our team provided public utility coordination, system modeling and assistance with permitting.  

Cleveland VAMC Research

Commissioning Research Building: Louis Stokes VA Medical Center

FFE was selected as the commissioning agent for the Research North Building at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. With the complex mechanical, engineering and plumbing systems involved in this kind of project, commissioning is critical to ensuring these systems perform at their best. As this project proceeds, we are focused on collaborating with all of the stakeholders to ensure long-term performance.

As the commissioning agent, our team is tasked with working through the design, pre-bid, construction, acceptance and warranty phases of the renovation project. Our team is following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Whole Building Commissioning Process Manual and general commissioning requirements.

Comprehensive Commissioning

The list of systems to be commissioned is comprehensive. In addition to all HVAC, electrical, communication and safety and security systems, we are responsible for:   

  • Laboratory medical gases
  • Laboratory fume hoods
  • Biological safety cabinets
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Domestic water distribution
  • Domestic hot water system
  • General service air system
  • Medical air system
  • Medical vacuum system
  • Acid waste system
  • Water deionizing system

The project includes integrated system tests to ensure these systems will perform successfully.