Written By: Sarah Block, Director of Marketing & Education
When an existing long-term care facility needed to complete their partial fire sprinkler system in an occupied facility, F.E. Moran Fire Protection and Michuda Construction worked together to solve the issues that naturally arise when working in existing, occupied spaces.
Holistic Care for Patients with Special Needs
As a holistic, long term care facility in Morton Grove, IL, Bethany Terrace has a unique population of occupants that may complicate construction projects within the facility. Bethany Terrace caters to Alzheimer Disease and Dementia patients as well as residents who appreciate the peace of mind of having medical, rehabilitation, and therapy options close at hand. This facility is ideal for those who need assistance in day to day life. However, because of the needs of the residents, construction must be coordinated carefully in order to have little to no impact on the occupants.
When Bethany Terrace decided to expand their fire protection system, they hired Michuda Construction to head the project. In turn, Michuda Construction hired F.E. Moran Fire Protection to design, install, and manage the fire protection project. With a reputation for quality work and respect for assisted living facility residents, F.E. Moran Fire Protection exceeded their expectations.
Complications Spurred from Existing Site
With a facility that houses patients that may either be immobile or have cognitive deficiencies, coordinating a fire protection project can be complicated. Because Bethany Terrance is an existing, running site, the installation needed to work with both the already existing fire sprinkler infrastructure and the resident's schedule and occupancies.
The first challenge began with the design of the fire protection system. Bethany Terrace was already partially protected with fire sprinklers, so F.E. Moran Fire Protection needed to work with the existing sprinkler system in order to make the property a 100% sprinklered facility. In order to merge the old and the new system, the original system, risers, and fire department connection needed to be re-worked to accommodate the new system. While the design was being created, it was discovered that the area above the ceiling had limited space with the I-beam construction.
Another challenge began in the coordination of the installation phase. The majority of the space that needed to be sprinklered was occupied by residents. In order to limit the impact on residents, F.E. Moran Fire Protection needed to strategically schedule installation and store equipment.
Working Together to Solve Coordination and Design Issues
With the help of Michuda Construction and Bethany Terrace, F.E. Moran Fire Protection re-routed the piping and minimized, and, in many cases, eliminated, the need to install soffits to conceal the piping. F.E. Moran Fire Protection was hired as a design-build contractor, so they were able to complete hydraulic calculations to minimize the pipe sizes in order to fit the small above ceiling space.
In order to accommodate the occupied areas during construction, F.E. Moran Fire Protection modified the phasing schedule to work with the patients' schedules. They worked closely with Bethany Terrace to create a schedule that would not impact the residents' daily activities and limited the duration of the project. With the combined efforts of F.E. Moran Fire Protection's office, design, and field staff, Michuda Construction's Superintendent, and Bethany Terrace personnel, the fire sprinkler installation schedule was able to be adjusted without extending the project.
Through the challenges of installing in an existing site with limited above ceiling space and working in an occupied facility, F.E. Moran Fire Protection, Michuda Construction, and Bethany Terrace were able to work together to install a fire sprinkler system on time and without impacting the special occupants residing within Bethany Terrace. Project Manager Pat Horan stated, "I thought the working relationship was very good and the owner was happy with our work." Ryan Johnson of Michuda Construction added, "The entire team worked together to provide a positive product in a timely manner."