In 2017, Hurricane Irma brought the worst flooding that had been recorded in Jacksonville’s 150-year history and caused an estimated $85 million worth of damage to the city. The battering rains created flooding in the area and more specifically, the basement of Baptist Medical Center. With a 65-year legacy of providing healthcare to the area, this non-profit healthcare provider reviewed safety measures that would safeguard continued, quality care for their patients. Following the installation of interlocking barriers at all facility doorways, additional precautions were investigated and upgrades to electrical substations became a priority.
Steps were taken to replace five medium-voltage switchgears and substations over three floors of the hospital tower. To alleviate further risk due to flooding, the team determined the switchgear needed to be removed from the vulnerable first floor and basement. The first floor switchgear was replaced with a 750kVA substation, while the basement equipment was replaced with a 1000 kVA and a 1500 kVA substation, and all were relocated to the hospital courtyard in a wind-protected enclosure. In the second phase, a 500 kVA and a 1500 kVA substation were installed on the ninth floor. Challenges included elevator access limitations and alternative structural systems in the courtyard requiring effective solutions for functionality, as well as aesthetics. To minimize interruption of service to hospital operations the work was phased over two years.