National Institutes of Health

West Vault Infrastructure upgrade &chilled water system

  • Owner:
    National Institutes of Health
  • Location:
    Bethesda, MD
  • Size:
  • Approach:
    Design Build
  • Scope:
    HVAC, Plumbing, Piping

BUILDING 10. When the National Institutes of Health needed to upgrade its central chilled water system, it turned to its long-time partner Thornton for vital infrastructure work with a minimum of service disruption to NIH’s critical scientists and medical professionals.

BUILDING 14. Structural steel and catwalks were carefully set in place for mechanical room hookups from the central plant. Hundreds of feet of chilled water mains, steam and steam condensate, up to fourteen inches in diameter, were installed on the roof of an occupied building.

BUILDING 34. Thornton replaced a 3,000-ton refrigeration water chiller and performed all of the general construction work, including the concrete cooling tower, all piping and electrical work, with its own craftsmen.

BUILDING 11C. Thornton installed four 5,000-ton chillers, among the largest in the metropolitan Washington area. The 36-inch diameter pipe presented unique obstacles such as polarity, being out of round, limited space, rigging at high elevations and x-ray weld quality. Winner of a Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Award.

CHILLED WATER BOOSTER PUMPS. Thornton upgraded three chilled water booster pumps in each of fourteen separate buildings. All tie-ins had to be coordinated with NIH and work completed during very short shutdown periods. Winner of a Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Award.