Greenland completed a project for the El Paso VA Medical Center to upgrade the hospital’s central chilled-water plant. The primary driver for the project’s scope of work was the degraded condition of the existing three cooling tower cells, which posed significant risk to facility operations as most of the cooling for the hospital relied on the operability and reliability of this failing equipment.
Consequently, in addition to the replacement of a water-cooled chiller and addition of new pumps, the project scope included the refurbishment of the existing cooling towers serving the plant. The design had called for refurbishing the towers because the Engineer of Record believed it would be less expensive than replacing them with all new equipment.
Once awarded the project, Greenland began a rigorous in-depth review of the site conditions, as well as an investigation of the myriad of considerations associated with cell replacement versus refurbishment. As a result of this exercise, Greenland offered the VA a zero-cost change order to replace all three of the cells with new cooling towers. VA Representatives were very pleased with this suggestion and enthusiastically accepted our proposal.
Greenland’s provision of this alternative optional approach provided the VA with the following tangible benefits at no additional cost:
- Significantly extended asset value for the plant: The expected life of the new equipment far exceeded that of refurbished equipment.
- Lower maintenance costs: All of the new equipment was accompanied by a factory warranty (in contrast with any field-refurbished equipment), and all three cells have identical preventative maintenance schedules and replacement parts.
- Easier maintenance for in-house staff: The three new cells were provided with a contiguous service platform that would expedite any required diagnostic/repair work, and the smaller footprint of the new equipment provided more room to maneuver.
- Expedited installation: The process of demolishing the existing equipment and installing/commissioning the three new cells was much faster than refurbishment; this translated into significantly less downtime for the hospital’s cooling plant (which in turn reduced the hospital’s exposure to operational risk).