Franciscan Health, Olympia Fields and Munster

GBA commissioned major renovations at two Midwestern healthcare centers.

Hospital hallway with many doors.

The Objective

Franciscan Health embarked on a $115 million renovation and expansion to its hospital in Olympia Fields, IL, and a $16.5 million expansion of patient rooms at its facility in Munster, In. GBA commissioned both of these projects, performing work in fully occupied facilities.

The Response

Olympia Fields

GBA commissioned MEP/FP/medical gas systems to support a large renovation/addition project at Olympia Fields, leading to consolidation of services previously provided at Franciscan St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights. The project included a new labor and delivery pavilion with family birth center; an emergency department addition; a new inpatient rehabilitation unit; renovated nursing units; a new medical/surgical unit; expanded state-of-the-art operating suites; a renovated ICU; pharmacy upgrades; an MRI suite; and various other renovations/ upgrades. New equipment included 12 air-handing units; 2,250-ton chiller plant upgrades; two air-cooled chillers; two steam-to-hot water heat exchanger systems; and numerous circulating pumps and terminal units.

GBA performed mechanical and plumbing commissioning tasks, including multiple design reviews, 68 construction and testing site visits, more than 250 functional tests, and oversight of the design and construciton issues log. Phasing was complex, as the hospital remained occupied during construction. GBA worked closely with the construction team to coordinate the site visits as well as functional testing of equipment serving the areas under construction.

Significant issues corrected through commissioning included:

  • Failed condenser isolation valve.
  • New chiller plant controls had to be modified; the existing chillers were found to have slightly different controls due to the equipment being of varied vintages.
  • Domestic hot water recirculation pumps installed upside down.
  • Multiple stairwell cabinet heaters failing to heat properly; issue was identified and remedied prior to extreme temperatures.


This project involved commissioning equipment and systems for a 20,000-square-foot patient addition at the existing Franciscan site in Munster. The vertical addition project included design-, construction-, and acceptance-phase commissioning. Significant issues corrected through functional performance testing included:

  • Mis-wiring of UV lights that prevented lights from functioning after a unit shutdown.
  • Shutdown of one AHU when the outside temperature control point was overridden to below the freeze mode. (The setpoint was necessary for energizing the heating coil pump.)
  • Lack of calibration for existing VAV terminal units that affected static pressure reset programming.
  • Cooling coil valve opening before the outside air damper reached 100% open, increasing chilled water usage.

$115 million project in Olympia Fields (combined renovation/expansion)

$16.5 million project in Munster (vertical addition for patient rooms)

Hundreds of issues corrected through design reviews and testing

Work performed in occupied facilities, necessitating creative phasing and scheduling

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital, exterior across water
Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Emergency Room entrance
Franciscan Health Munster, exterior with entrance sign