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Adventist Healthcare White Oak Medical Center

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Adventist Healthcare White Oak Medical Center
Silver Spring, Maryland

General Contractor: Edison Energy, LLC
Engineer: TLC Engineering for Architecture
Architect: Callison RTKL District of Columbia P.C.
Contract Amount: $5,300,000
Start Date: 4/24/2018
Completion Date: 8/25/19


Adventist Healthcare’s White Oak Medical Center, which will open on August 25, 2019, is an all-private room hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland serving patients in Montgomery, Prince George’s and surrounding counties. It offers the latest technology and treatments in a comfortable environment, with natural light and spaces designed to promote care and healing.

Shapiro & Duncan’s scope of work involved construction of the Central Utility Plant (CUP) that is adjacent to the hospital building. This two-story structure contains all of the large mechanical equipment and piping that provide chilled water for air conditioning and heated water for heating to the hospital. Mechanical systems in the hospital building were completed under a separate contract.

Our construction team faced four major challenges:

  1. A two-month delay in the start of the project. Startup of our work was dependent on the main hospital construction schedule. Complications arose when getting the site prepared.
  2. The precise pre-construction coordination required by the size of the equipment and piping – up to 20-inch diameter – used in the CUP mechanical system.
  3. Installation activities in the 35-foot high ceiling space in the CUP, which included installing supports and hangers and setting a large exhaust muffler for the emergency generators.
  4. Working with the hospital building contractor to make sure that the CUP’s mechanical system would tie in properly with the mechanical system in the main hospital.


Once the project started, our entire team pulled together to keep everything on schedule.

Using the company’s cutting-edge 3D building information modeling (BIM) process, our Virtual Design and Coordination (VDC) team made sure that the large steel piping sections could be built in our 51,000-square-foot prefabrication shop and brought out to the jobsite for assembly in the proper sequence. BIM coordination also ensured that there were no clashes between our piping assemblies and the systems being installed by other trades including electrical, sprinkler, fuel oil and controls.

In the high-ceiling area, team members suppressed any fear of heights and went up on a lift to install the needed hangers, supports, piping, and equipment. Working their way down in congested areas, they installed everything as planned, smoothly and safely.

Since our team and the hospital building contractor were working off each other’s documents, the CUP and main hospital mechanical systems came together as planned in the precise timeframes required. Chilled water circulation was one example. When we were ready to provide chilled water, the main hospital’s system was ready to accept and circulate it.

Putting it all together, the components of our CUP mechanical solution included:

  • HVAC system composed of chilled, condenser and heating hot water subsystems to condition the hospital’s interior spaces. This system relies on York chillers and cooling towers, along with AERCO boilers and their associated pumps.
  • Two Xerxes 30,000-gallon underground fuel oil tanks, which provide fuel for the generators and boilers.
  • Plumbing system consisting of boosted cold/hot water and non-boosted cold/hot water subsystems.
  • Seven AERCO water heaters that provide domestic hot water for the CUP and the main hospital.
  • Gas system that feeds the boilers, water heaters, and co-generator engine. The energy-saving co-generator provides electricity, hot water for heating, and hot water for domestic water use by heating the water through a heat exchanger using hot air from the generator’s exhaust.

Reliable subcontractors are always part of a Shapiro & Duncan mechanical solution. On this project, our subcontracting partners included:

  • Sheet Metal — Metro Mechanical Supply, Inc.
  • Insulation – J.L. Renshaw Inc.
  • Sprinkler – Absolute Fire Protection
  • Water Treatment – U.S. Water Services


The key to success on this project was outstanding field leadership. Attention to detail by our foremen made certain that all of the large piping components in the mechanical system were installed exactly as planned.

The general contractor and owner could not have been happier with the work product produced by the Shapiro & Duncan team. “Impressive,” “top-notch” and “extraordinary” were just some of the complimentary terms used describe the functionality of this large-diameter piping system.

The White Oak Medical Center project further demonstrated Shapiro & Duncan’s proven capability in the healthcare sector. We showed, once again, that our people have what it takes to construct a large mechanical plant for a hospital or medical facility and make sure it is fully functional.