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Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

Situated on Wesbrook Mall at the University of British Columbia, this new clinical research facility is the largest brain centre in Canada, a partnership between Coastal Health and the UBC Faculty of Medicine where leading experts in neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry study the human brain while also offering advanced patient care for persons with neurological diseases.

As a medical research facility, high pressure steam is required for sterilizing tools and equipment, as well as for humidification.

Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia. Source: Columbia Glazing
  • Client
    University of British Columbia
  • Location
    Vancouver, BC
  • Contractor
    IMEC Mechanical
  • Consultant
    FWD Engineering / Stantec
  • Equipment Supplied
    Fulton engineered skid package with (2) VMP 49.5 HP high pressure steam boilers, dual steam headers, complete with triplex feedwater system, blowdown, and chemical feed system.

The mechanical scope of the building was procured as a design-build, a project format that is becoming increasingly common for new medical facilities in British Columbia. IMEC Mechanical approached Raven Supply as they sought expertise in procuring a complete steam plant that could be installed on the rooftop of the building. Raven came forward with the perfect solution – a complete factory-assembled “plug and play” steam system; custom engineered, fabricated, assembled, and tested by the experts at Fulton.

Preliminary layout for the Fulton engineered steam system.

There were several constraints that led Raven and Fulton to the final design. First, the client required 3000 pounds per hour of steam output, but they would not have a power engineer available on site. BC law states that any high pressure steam plant with over 10 square meters of boiler surface area requires a licensed 5th class power engineer to be present at all times while the plant is operating. In many other jurisdictions, such a law either doesn’t exist or it allows for much higher capacities without a power engineer. After some investigation, Raven discovered that a “steam plant” is strictly defined as the boiler(s) that share common downstream piping. Therefore, if two boilers had completely separate steam headers and are used for different loads, then they would be considered two separate steam plants, even though they would be sitting in the same room and using the same ancillaries.

The two Fulton VMP boilers with separate steam headers and common ancillaries.

The contractor also wanted to have the entire rooftop mechanical room built off-site, so that it could simply be lowered overtop of the steam system after being craned into position. In order to do this, the exact dimensions of the entire steam system including all interconnecting pipework needed to be known well in advance. With the help of Fulton’s experienced engineering team, Raven was able to provide “as-built” drawings within an inch of accuracy before the system was even assembled. Fulton was even able to reduce the overall height by a few inches to meet a municipal building code restriction.

The enclosure was built offsite, then lowered overtop of the equipment. All rigging was performed within 6 hours.

Through careful coordination and combined expertise, Fulton, Raven, and IMEC were able to successfully deliver a world-class custom steam system inside a robust rooftop enclosure, complete with lighting and fire protection. The boilers were provided with automatic blowdown systems to reduce the amount of human involvement required for the plant’s operation.

View inside the rooftop boiler room.

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