One of the great perks of working for the nation’s leading supplier of building automation products is field trips to locations where there are interesting applications for our products.
Case in point, I drove to Joplin on February 21st in my quest to learn more about Joplin’s “component” hospital. If you remember, Kele was Xcel Mechanicals supplier for custom ACI Temperature/Humidity sensors, UATs, Power Supplies, RPS and SRPM monitors for the job.
When I arrived I was greeted by David and the Xcel Mechanical foreman for the job, Sean Brown.
We discussed unusual aspects of the job and the challenges. While expense is always a concern, it was more so here because the hospital structure was temporary. Consequently, not many digitally controlled systems (DDC controls) were specified for the job. The primary objective was environmental comfort for the patients and staff.
I was glad to hear their raves about Kele. While the project had its challenges, Kele was doing everything possible to make it easier. David was very appreciative of Kele and Jon Butler, saying that Jon was always on top of orders and the communication was great. He liked the fact that we had the products in stock and could ship when needed.
After the introductions and the overview, it was time to get to the actual site, something I’d been itching to do. From the outside the hospital looked like one of the many construction sites I have been to in the past.
Once David and I entered the structure, the differences stood out. I could see the unfinished areas where the modules were pieced together like building blocks. Many of the junctions where plumbing and electrical were connected were between sections.
David explained that a lot of the work was completed before the modules were shipped to the site. Plumbing systems and tiling finishes were actually installed at the factory. It was amazing.
To give you a better idea, here are some photos.
Our conversation continued and David brought up our new power-monitoring product endicator. Then we talked about EnOcean and the way energy harvesting worked. David and Sean seemed very interested. While it may not have applications for this temporary hospital, it may be a smart addition to the future one.
Driving to the Mercy Hospital job site, we drove where the tornado had been, and it really hit me how devastating this storm must have been. There was a huge barren swathe through town where homes and buildings were once standing. You could see new house being built and the town recovering but it really caught me off guard. Look at Joplin, Missouri, on Google Earth, and you can see where the storm had been.
Winding down my visit, I asked what they were going to do with the temporary hospital once the permanent one was completed? David told me that they would repurpose the components. They would ship modules to other hospitals that needed them. Say, a hospital in Florida needed an Operating Room. They would package it up and ship it down.
Talk about recycling!
Setra Room Pressure
Beginnings of a Modular Hospital
Module Being Lifted into Place
All Modules in Place
View from the Top