MCA of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. member JPG Plumbing & Mechanical Services, Inc. was approached to partner on a United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Pilot Project. The project’s goal: to convert storage units to house COVID-19 patients undergoing the second stage of treatment to help prevent the spread of the disease.
The project scope included the design, construction and delivery of six negative pressure units to United Medical Center. The negative pressure helps contain the airborne contaminants so that they do not drift to other areas and contaminate patients, staff and sterile equipment.
The notice was received on April 9, and an action plan was implemented to coordinate the logistics and assign technicians to the two-phase project. First, the team installed the mechanical equipment to convert the storage units into patient units. Next, the team delivered the units to United Medical Center and connected the equipment to provide the required patient environment.
Senior Project Manager Steve Brown was challenged with procuring equipment that met the design specifications within a short timeframe. Modifications were made to the original plans to ensure the healthcare professionals were provided areas of “clean air,” which is then directed across the patient areas and out of the unit through the use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and exhaust fans. Brown said, “the project was fast-paced and we were competing with contractors across the country for materials. It was a great team effort by the JPG Plumbing and Mechanical teams and our materials and equipment vendor partners.”
The construction began on April 13 and took only five days. The units were tested and inspected by the on-site USACE engineering team to ensure compliance with the design and specifications. The six units were transported to the United Medical Center the following week and placed in field tents outside the hospital. The JPG Plumbing & Mechanical Services, Inc. team was then able to extend the drain lines and connect the units. Closing the project, the team provided a field demonstration to the end-users on the systems’ use and proper maintenance procedures.
MCAA thanks JPG Plumbing & Mechanical Services, Inc. for their efforts in helping to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. We will get through this together.