East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Chiller Plant and Oxygen Farm
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) is an independent pediatric medical center in Knoxville that unexclusively provides children with comprehensive healthcare, wellness, and education. The healthcare provider offers family-centered care for children throughout the eastern region of Tennessee. SSR was instrumental in the recent completion of new infrastructure improvements including the replacement of an outdated chiller plant and off-site oxygen source previously used by the facility.
The main campus of the healthcare provider hosts both the hospital and medical office buildings and is located close to downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus. To develop a new building with the limitations of an urban setting, SSR designed a long, rectangular-shaped chiller plant to fill the available space beside an existing parking garage. The structure is two levels with electrical space and cooling towers on the upper level. Barber McMurry Architects, LLC provided architectural design for the project, and added windows and a screen wall design to the exterior of the building for a more interesting, whimsical look.
In addition to its modern exterior, the new chiller plant was fitted with equipment redundancy — the capability to operate some of the patient equipment on emergency power — and offers space for future expansion. The project scope also includes an oxygen farm, which stores liquid oxygen to be later vaporized and distributed to the hospital for patient care. The hospital previously relied on an adjacent hospital for this oxygen supply, and an on-site farm enables ETCH to be more cost-effective and independent.
SSR provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design services to the new construction. This was one of a few recent projects the firm completed on East Tennessee Children’s Hospital main campus — which began with a study to evaluate existing infrastructure and identify areas of improvement. With an upgraded infrastructure, more efficient operations, and accessible equipment, ETCH can focus on providing compassionate, quality care to families and children in need.