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SME Inc of Seattle offers our customers a broad and deep range of electrical services across commercial and industrial industries and residential properties. From tenant improvement, new build or renovations to assembly lines, healthcare facilities or multi- or single-family residences, the team at SME Inc provides experienced engineers and licensed electricians who have the skill and expertise to design, install and complete any project.

Premier Orthopedics

Premier Orthopedic Group – Owner

2013 Excellence in Construction Award – Electrical & Communications category

GC: Pennon Construction; Electrical Contract: $925,000; Project Timeline: October 2011 – November 2012

Premier Orthopedic Group has been practicing in the greater Seattle area since 1985. In 2011 they broke ground on their new three-story, 27,000 sq ft facility in Edmonds, WA. To provide a centralized facility in the area for all orthopedic and rheumatology patient needs, the facility includes an open-bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, surgical suites with Stryker surgical boom equipment, progressive diagnostic technology that includes DEXA bone density testing and Viztek digital radiology.

One week into the project we noticed “bog” type soil conditions at the north half of the project site. This area encompassed the vicinity of all our proposed service feeders and main electrical room and feeders extending to the generator pad. We took the course of action to assemble stainless steel conduit racks and tie their supports into the subsequent slab-on-grade concrete pour so when the soils sink the critical system feeders will remain intact and functional.

Concrete construction of the two story parking garage in our rainy winter delayed the schedule by two weeks. The general contractor, Pennon Construction asked the MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) team for solutions to gain back the time lost and maintain the aggressive schedule moving forward. The MEP collectively developed a phasing and sequencing plan that started in the exam rooms, which required the most involved but repetitive work, and then move in a clockwise rotation ending in an area of fewer rooms with a larger footprint.

Phase 1 allowed electricians and plumbers to rough-in 9,000 sq ft of work in two weeks giving the drywall contractor a strong foothold. Phase 2 had us installing high density lighting fixtures in the larger areas. Phase 3 was the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) that contained the most specialized construction. Phase 4 included three operating rooms and Phase 5 the MRI room.

Of all the specialized medical equipment and intricate details that accompany a project like this, there were four systems that collectively required as much if not more coordination than the remainder of the project – Stryker surgical boom equipment, Viztek X-Ray equipment, Siemens MRI equipment and Tuttnauer steam sterilizers.

After months of coordination meetings with the architect and Stryker surgical boom manufacturer, the actual installation duration allowed per operating room was only weeks. To maintain this tight schedule and lessen congestion, we designed a conduit rack system and, in our pre-fab shop, pre-bent all the conduits, labeled sections accordingly and shipped the assemblies to the site on a just-in-time basis. The conduit sections went together like Tinker-Toys.

During design clarification meetings with the X-ray equipment supplier, we scrutinized what appeared to be boiler plate manufacturer proposed designs on the electrical installation. In agreement with the supplier’s representative, we suggested and incorporated design changes concerning electrical piping and distribution between the X-ray machine, power unit and control station. In the end, we received compliments from the factory installation technicians who took pictures for the purposes of proposing our design and installation as a new standard for their factory design recommendations.

The MRI room and associated equipment and control rooms consumed a majority of coordination time. This was our first attempt to understand the specialized “filter” components through which to route and isolate all the power and control circuits between the MRI room and equipment room. Precautions and checklist standards were developed to assure installation of only non-ferrous materials and/or containment measures for ferrous material types within the magnetic environment. One of the most creative challenges was to pre-construct the room as much as possible, yet leave the ceiling area void above the footprint of the MR machine. This enabled the machine to be set in place by being lowered down through a roof hatch with a crane. Once set, the ceiling’s architectural elements and MEP systems (previously “dry-fitted” and proofed) were re-installed and the entire system was commissioned within two weeks.

At SME, our philosophy is to work towards a “zero punch” installation. During the last four weeks of the project, our project manager, site superintendent and project engineer scrupulously walked the project site noting any deficiencies. In addition, our project engineer was assigned to test (hot check) every receptacle and label every device, confirming both functionality and accuracy of associated electrical panel directories. The overall project was completed two weeks prior to the intended finish date.