EnwaveUSA Biomedical District Steam Plant

EnwaveUSA Biomedical District Steam Plant

2015 | Industrial / Process / Research Facilities | National Award — Merit

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

With University Medical Center construction underway, steam plant completion was expedited to ensure availability of adequate steam service. Design-build delivery helped meet that demand. Late in the design schedule, the owner requested the building orientation be rotated 90 degrees. This challenge required quick coordination and action by both the design and construction teams. The plant’s architectural layout, fuel oil and chemical delivery locations, and fire protection equipment access were revised without delaying project completion. Furthermore, to coordinate sequencing, the agreement included language that required tight deadlines for Burns & McDonnell. While the sequence could have put Burns & McDonnell’s construction management labor budget in jeopardy, in reality, it promoted close coordination, collaboration and concurrent work to help mitigate that risk and culminated in successful early completion.


The Burns & McDonnell team was charged with the design-build delivery of a district energy plant supplying steam to the New Orleans biomedical district, home of the new University Medical Center, along with the existing Interim Louisiana State University (LSU) Hospital, Louisiana Cancer Research Center, Tulane Health Sciences Center, LSU Health Sciences Center and other healthcare and educational facilities. When establishing the district’s utility needs, the primary project goal was to build a robust plant capable of supporting critical medical services delivery during a major weather event on the scale of Hurricane Katrina, marked by record flooding and 150-plus mph winds. Burns & McDonnell’s robust plant accounts for potential hurricane wind loads and positions all essential operating equipment on or above the second floor, well above the Hurricane Katrina flood plain. The 26,000-square-foot plant enables the University Medical Center’s Level 1 trauma center and other facilities to maintain operations for up to seven days without electricity, natural gas or water service to the plant.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: EnwaveUSA
Design-Builder: Burns & McDonnell
General Contractor: Burns & McDonnell
Architect: Burns & McDonnell
Engineer: Burns & McDonnell
Specialty Contractors: Midwest Steel Inc., Summit Industrial Construction LLC
Specialty Consultants: Fisk Electric, L.S. Womack Inc.
Other Key Professionals: Gallo Mechanical LLC, Palmisano Contractors LLC, Gate Precast Co., Southern Earth Sciences Inc., Louisiana Expeditors, Eustis Engineering Services LLC
Duration of Construction: 17 months
Project Cost: $28,510,000