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Customer Stories

Cleveland Clinic Florida

Trane provides HVAC maintenance services at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

• Improved Patient Comfort
• Greater Energy Efficiency
• Reduced HVAC Installation and Operating Costs


Intended as a plan and spec project, when initial cost estimates came in significantly over budget, Cleveland Clinic Florida moved to a design/build approach and established a team to reduce both design and construction costs without sacrificing building quality or functionality. Open communications between team members was emphasized. HKS Architects, a national firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, designed the facility, using their extensive experience in health care facilities. The construction manager was Centex Rogers, headquartered in Nashville.


Southeast Mechanical Contractors, Hollywood, Florida, was made a team member due to their reputation for designing highly efficient building mechanical systems. To reduce costs the physical plant was built as a grade-level wing attached to the hospital using a "top-down" process. As each floor was finished it was sealed off and work moved to the next level. This eliminated materials and workers moving through finished spaces, reducing cleanup and material handling. Southeast Mechanical’s Bill Catron said, "The top down approach works well, but doing plumbing work top-down is a challenge. In some cases we needed to work on finished floors."

The HVAC plan centered on a chilled-water/hot-water system with high-efficiency chillers, central station air handlers and constant volume air distribution with full reheat capability. Catron says chilled water systems are most efficient for managing indoor humidity and meeting year-round cooling needs. "It was always planned as a chilled water project, but we had to find ways to reduce cost without sacrificing capacity and control." Southeast Mechanical recommended a high-efficiency chiller plant with low-temperature chilled water and supply air. This reduced piping, valves, ducting and air handler costs as these components could be downsized. The plan first called for two 950-ton chillers, but Southeast Mechanical recommended installing three 600-ton chillers instead. Catron said, "This gives much more flexibility and the chillers can be optimized for best efficiency for more hours of the year. There also the added reliability of a third chiller."
Bill Bower, vice president of Southeast Mechanical Contractors, says that one way to dramatically reduce costs without sacrificing efficiency and reliability was the low temperature chilled water design. Another solution was the Tracer Summit building automation system to optimize chiller and cooling tower operation for best efficiency and manage the ventilation, tempering and distribution, and many other building functions including boilers and emergency smoke exhaust. The Tracer Summit system also communicates with the fire alarm system. Additional cost savings were realized by placing cooling towers on the roof, minimizing piping and reducing pumping costs.


Construction was finished on time and steps taken to reduce initial costs were successful. The Tracer Summit™ system provides additional cost savings since all Trane equipment uses factory-installed controls designed to work with the control system, eliminating control interfaces. Southeast Mechanical’s Joey Manteiga says, "The open protocol aspect of this system allows the owner flexibility in installing other systems in the future."

Southeast Mechanical worked with South Florida Trane to install the control system. David Fernandez, South Florida Trane sales engineer, points out the importance of Southeast Mechanical experience in building comfort systems and finding ways to reduce construction and operating costs and the value of the Tracer Summit system relative to service capabilities. Trane is currently providing HVAC maintenance services at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Fernandez says, "The system provides information that allows us to perform timely preventive maintenance rather than repairing failed equipment. It’s hard to over-emphasize the value of the Tracer Summit system status reports." The hospital facilities group has learned to use the Tracer Summit system to maximize facility efficiency and are pleased with the building control system performance, demonstrating the efficiency possible using new HVAC systems designs and control systems, intelligently applied, to meet customer needs.


About Cleveland Clinic Florida

Cleveland Clinic Florida is a full-service 150-bed hospital that is functionally and physically connected with a state-of-the-art clinic which houses a medical staff with more than 115 physicians practicing in more than 35 medical specialties. The facility includes a 24-hour emergency department, open heart surgery facility and many other services. Cleveland Clinic provides clinical care, research and educational programs.