Jul 02, 2020

Storm Water Drainage System Aids in Construction of Field Hospitals

In New York, a plan to care for both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients, required the construction of temporary field hospitals. 

 

Both field hospitals were built on turf that would easily flood from roof runoff during even a medium rain event, making the storm water control system a critical component.
Both field hospitals were built on turf that would easily flood from roof runoff during even a medium rain event, making the storm water control system a critical component.

As part of New York State’s plan to add hospital beds to care for both non-coronavirus patients and those infected with COVID-19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with local construction firms, erected temporary field hospitals using the campuses of two Long Island, New York colleges. At Stony Brook University, a $155 million, 255,700-square-foot, 1,038-bed facility built by Turner Construction Company is ready.

Just 15 miles to the west is the completed 207,000-square-foot, $118 million,1,022-bed unit at the State University at Old Westbury built by AECOM Technical Services, Inc. Work on each took three weeks. Both field hospitals were built on turf that would easily flood from roof runoff during even a medium rain event, making the storm water control system a critical component.

“In order to accommodate the massive flow requirements for storm water from the tent roofs, we used 12-inch double wall corrugated pipe to set up a drainage system from the gutters that we attached to the roof of each of the buildings,” explained Josh Merrick, construction project manager for EAI, Inc. Environmental Management Services (Jersey City, NJ) at the Stony Brook site. “The majority of the pipe needed to be run under newly built ambulance roadways and into underground swales that were dug to handle the heavy storm water flow without flooding the surrounding landscape. The system was designed to handle 1,230 gallons a minute.”

More than 600 feet of pipe was used at each job. Runoff goes into several swales that contain the water and allows it to percolate into the ground. The five buildings at Stony Brook are actually tents constructed of heavy-gauge vinyl that is stretched tight over the frame, which makes rain cascade faster. The largest is 140 feet by 300 feet long.

“We selected ADS N-12 pipe because we needed to handle more than 1,000 gallons a minute for our original design, which was to run all the pipes above ground as part of the gutter system to capture the flow of the entire roof’s water. Due to the fast paced “design- on the-fly” style urgency of the project, we ended up having to change the layout to accommodate the equipment of other trades. We had to completely redesign what we were building out there to make it all work together. The pipe gave us the flexibility to do that in the field, this system also gave us the ability to make above ground 90-degree connections to help route the piping around any obstacles around the tents.”

According to Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., its N-12 pipe is certified to meet CAN/CSA Standard B182.8, BNQ 3624-120 plus AASHTO Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) specifications. ADS N-12 WT IB pipe meets ASTM watertight standards.

Because it is lightweight, ADS corrugated pipe can be easily handled with minimal equipment by a one or two-person crew. This benefit also allowed it to be installed differently than normal – a lot of runs basically used zip-ties to attach the pipe to the sides of the buildings. Some runs were 90-degree connections above ground. Due to the pipe’s strength and its light weight, these methods were practical and successful.

The N-12 pipe was designed in 1987 by ADS specifically for culverts, storm sewers, highways, airports and other civil design construction and has been used in these applications ever since. ADS pipe is available in diameters from four to 60 inches.

“Speed and time were critical,” commented William Maher, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District’s mission manager overseeing the project and coordinating with federal, state and local partners. “We met the challenge of building high-quality patient care facilities in a very short period of time.”

“Everything came together fairly easily,” Merrick stated. “The hardest part was coordinating with all the other trades because there was so much going on at one time. There were thousands of workers out there. We had about 30 guys doing the gutters and storm drainage and some other jobs that they fed us during the week we were there.”

Both field hospitals were fully operational in late April and are ready to accept patients if needed.

About the author

Steve Cooper is a writer for SCA Communications. Cooper can be reached at [email protected].

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