Chicago Behavioral Hospital | Des Plaines, IL

RTM provided engineering and design services for the MEP/FP systems of a 20,000-square-foot, multiple-floor renovation within the Chicago Behavioral Hospital. This 125-bed facility provides specialized care, including inpatient and day hospital services for those suffering from mental health illness and substance abuse. RTM worked closely with US HealthVest and Reed Construction throughout this project to accomplish design goals and meet deadlines.

One challenge within the project was addressing the issue of outside air, while also accommodating the more stringent mechanical system requirements to meet I-2 occupancy, which mandates smoke compartmentation, horizontal exits, fire-rated walls and barriers or other areas of refuge. The design was further constrained by the existing building’s minimal floor-to-floor height. To maximize ceiling heights and to meet the requirements for I-2 occupancy, the project utilized a unique HVAC design with two central dedicated outside air systems (DOAS) and three variable refrigerant flow (VRF) fan coil systems to provide individual zone controls. Both the DOAS and VRF systems utilized energy recovery features to minimize energy usage.

The nature of this facility required that special safety measures be taken when choosing electrical fixtures for the renovation. Everything from the light fixtures to the power outlets had to be tamper-proof while maintaining comfort and reliability for patients within the facility. Great consideration was also given to remaining within budget despite meeting safety standards, which was accomplished by re-using as much of the existing equipment as possible.


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