BSA Lifestructures

Sparking the Electrical Footprint at Memorial Medical Center

William Allgood, PESeptember 13, 2017

Consolidating electrical services across six buildings on an academic medical center campus, with over a million square feet, and with no disruption to service is no small undertaking for the engineering team at BSA LifeStructures!

Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois, recently opened its new Patient Care Tower, along with several other projects, through its “Advancing Care by Design” campaign. Some improvements to the existing electrical infrastructure of the campus were undertaken at this time, but additional upgrades were required.

BSA LifeStructures kicked off the “South West Electrical” project with completed schematic designs in October 2015 and construction beginning in January 2017.

Key design considerations included:

  • Consolidating and centralizing electrical services across campus
  • Installing a dedicated electrical system for each building
  • Separating branches of power as required by building codes
  • Installing equipment to increase emergency power capacity
  • Maintaining required voltage drop minimums
  • Providing additional levels of redundancy and reliability to the electrical system

Planning for this project took over eighteen months due to extreme complexity and extensive survey work. Many services, such as medical gas, water, and mechanical duct work, needed to be relocated to make space for electrical conduits.

A few significant project metrics identified:

  • 112 different existing electrical panel feeders, across all branches of power
  • Up to 77 conduits in a single underground duct bank
  • Up to 54 conduits in a single above ceiling duct bank

Emergency Power Capacity

Two new 2000 kW generators were installed and paralleled with existing 1500 kW generators for increased emergency power capacity.  With the increasing number of equipment and devices requiring emergency power access, it was determined that 2000 kW generators were necessary to accommodate estimated future loads. Because of these larger new generators, the existing paralleling gear required custom modifications to accept the larger-associated over-current devices.


Distance Considerations

The existing service building on campus houses the generators and paralleling gear. This building is located 1,600 feet from the new electrical building where all electrical services are centralized.  Because of this extensive distance, two step-up transformers were installed at the service building to increase feeder voltage from 480 V to 12.47 kV for campus distribution.  Each transformer is capable of carrying the entire emergency load, providing necessary redundancy for the emergency power system.



A project of this magnitude requires considerable planning and strategic effort. With a true partnership between Memorial Medical Center and BSA LifeStructures, Phase One of the South West Electrical project will be completed in April 2018, just 15 months after breaking ground.

At BSA LifeStructures, we engineer inspired solutions to improve lives.