Client University of Texas Medical Branch

University of Texas Medical Branch MEP Assessment & Mitigation

Galveston, TX

Since 2008, UTMB has continuously turned to LAN to provide a variety of multi-discipline services for the campus to support the hospital's MEP systems. Projects included assessment of campus-wide MEP equipment, reviewing and updating of MEP specifications, emergency generator replacement for 10 buildings on the campus, design for mitigation of damaged MEP equipment in seven buildings, design for mitigation of undamaged equipment, and misc. MEP systems upgrades.

Much of the work is related to mitigation of damaged and undamaged MEP equipment resulting from Hurricane Ike. When Hurricane Ike blew ashore in 2008, it submerged much of Galveston Island, including the UTMB campus. Although protective measures were implemented prior to the storm, many emergency power systems failed as conductors and switch gear were overcome by water. The MEP systems in approximately 90 buildings was severely affected, greatly contributing to an estimated $600 million in damage. The LAN team was on ground within three days of the storm and performed a detailed assessment of the MEP equipment exposed to sea water in each building. The assessment included electric motors, transformers, blowers, pumps, compressors, coils, pans, air handlers, ductwork, feeders, disconnect switches, panel boards, circuit breakers, fuses, control panels, fire alarm systems, and variable frequency devices. Based on the assessment, LAN recommended a set of short-term and long-term solutions ranging from a simple cleaning and placing back in service to completely replacing units.

LAN developed construction documents for mitigating MEP systems residing in basements and on first floors to a level higher than 25’ above mean sea level. LAN performed on-site investigations to identify critical systems and how they could be relocated with minimal cost to UTMB. The LAN team worked with the contractor and owner to develop the best phased approach to construction to minimize the disruptions to normal campus and hospital operations. The project also included mitigation of undamaged MEP equipment in several buildings.

Project complexities included working and coordinating activities in an active and completely secured healthcare facility. Our team is involved with all phases of construction and the affects it may have. Noise and vibration studies are being performed to ensure the hospital’s most precious cargo, infants in the neonatal ward, are undisturbed as we work nearby.

At a glance

$600 million in damages related to Hurricane Ike

10 different buildings studied

411,000 SF hospital core

20+campus improvement projects


New generator plant designed to withstand hurricane force winds

Campus-wide MEP specifications updates

Cost/benefit analysis for equipment relocation

Reprioritized approximately $4.5 Million in FEMA funding

$250,000 in project savings for new emergency power systems




Healthcare Facilities


Structural Engineering