RTM provided MEP/FP engineering design services for the multi-phase expansion and renovation of the Ophthalmology Clinic within the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) at The University of Chicago. The existing 12,000-square-foot space, located on the first floor, was comprised of about half clinic space and half administrative support spaces. In order for the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department to accommodate for future growth as well as specialty testing services, the scope of this project included expanding the full space for clinical use. The existing clinic needed to stay operational throughout the duration of this project, so RTM worked closely with the architect as well as clinic staff throughout all phases in order to make sure there were no disruptions to daily operations.
RTM upgraded the current mechanical system from pneumatic controls into Direct Digital Controls (DDC), which provides a more optimized approach to the space’s mechanical energy usage. RTM also worked directly with the University of Chicago in providing upgrades to the base building systems to replace the exhaust fans with Variable Frequent Drives (VFD), an energy-saving mechanism that allows the building’s system to run at variable speeds.
On the electrical side, RTM implemented normal, critical and life-safety power to the newly expanded space, and replaced the existing nurse call system throughout. A new wireless Lutron lighting controls system was designed which will provide the facility with more flexibility in controlling lighting from room to room. Additionally, RTM designed a new layout for overhead paging system, updated the card access security system, and placed cameras for proper coverage for the newly designed video surveillance system.
A particularly challenging aspect of this project concerned the plumbing design for many of the new spaces. Because there was a ComEd vault directly beneath the space, the floor could not be penetrated, so RTM had to develop many unique routing options for the sanitary piping.