Hospitals and other similar buildings where the patient or resident are unable to care for themselves during an emergency must be built and maintained so that the facility can ensure the safety of our most vulnerable populations. In designing the fire suppression, fire alarm and mass notification system, and through detailed building, fire and life safety codes analysis – Stanton Engineering ensures that all of these critical systems are designed cohesively to create a seamless life safety concept that is crucial to protecting patients and their care providers.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
The new Medical Center Addition and Alterations at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda is a new 692,000 SF healthcare occupancy building that replaced existing buildings 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 in the central area of the campus. In addition to treatment and sleeping areas, the building houses large assembly spaces, large open office areas, and storage/utility rooms. The project also includes a complete gut and renovation of three floors in Building 10 and portions of the second floor of Building 9.
Stanton Engineering was a sub-consultant on the A/E team that developed the design of the Medical Center Addition / Alteration. We provided an assessment of the existing buildings and fire protection systems infrastructure in contemplation of the $507M, multi-building, new construction and renovation project. The fire protection design goals for the existing facilities and renovations were to identify and correct existing life safety deficiencies and upgrade fire and life safety features of the existing buildings as required by applicable building and life safety codes.
Stanton Engineering provided all fire alarm, mass notification, fire suppression, engineered atrium smoke control design, fire water supply analysis, and life safety/building code analysis for this multi-building project. The design services required initial planning and investigation of the building systems, confirmation of existing conditions, and interviews with the Authority Having Jurisdiction and the base fire department.
Key innovative features of the fire protection system design include development of Interim Life Safety Measures when the Life Safety Code requirements could not be prescriptively complied with. Another key innovative feature was the utilization of Computational Fluid Dynamics models to simulate various fire events in the large central atrium in order to develop the mechanical exhaust systems. We provided acoustical evaluation and intelligibility calculations to ensure that critical emergency messages are both heard and understood by occupants throughout the buildings. The development of fire protection systems in sensitive critical equipment spaces was also required. Construction began in 2020.