The 300,000-sf Ambulatory Care Complex is the first phase of the University of Utah’s Health Science Campus Transformation, and VBFA’s mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, and civil engineering team held an integral role in the design of this state-of-the-art facility. The project includes seven stories, with inpatient floors, outpatient clinics, surgery suites, faculty offices, and a loading dock, and needed to integrate with the fully-functioning hospital buildings adjacent to the site. The University desired to evaluate the transformation projects with respect to infrastructure delivery of district high-temperature water heating, central chilled water cooling, culinary water, sewer and natural gas. VBFA assisted this effort to develop a capacity study and economic analysis of existing infrastructure and to determine the path forward. As a result of this effort, the paradigms were adjusted so that the hospital generates heating onsite and utilizes central chilled water from campus. The innovative surgical ceiling air distribution system is expected to improve patient outcomes by reducing contamination of the surgical field. In alignment with the University’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the project was designed in pursuit of LEED Silver certification.


Salt Lake City’s Sugar House Health Center is a new 170,000-sf medical clinic, 150,000-sf office building, and 1,200-stall parking garage.  VBFA Engineers provided the mechanical, plumbing and fire protection designs for the project. VBFA was involved from the beginning of this project, helping the design team with cost estimating, and were instrumental in providing information necessary for decision-making from the start.

Schedule for the project was of the utmost importance, and initial designs needed to be completed in just two months. VBFA’s deep team of educated and experienced engineers proved a great strength throughout this process.

The Sugar House Health Center is a one-stop shop for patients and includes pharmacy, urgent care, radiology, radiation oncology, women’s health, infusion, medical oncology, family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, hematology, cardiology, rheumatology, dermatology, lab, endoscopy, and rehab services with complex and varying HVAC requirements. VBFA’s mechanical systems utilize a combination of evaporative cooling, natural ventilation, and traditional chillers. Together, these systems provide high-performance buildings that are sustainable and highly energy efficient.

As with any design, the need to conform to project budgets posed a major challenge to designing innovative, energy-saving systems without compromising function and comfort for the people who occupy the facilities, and VBFA pulled off this challenge to provide the Sugar House neighborhood and University of Utah Health a landmark project.


VBFA completed the mechanical engineering design for Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital replacement and expansion (approx.. 620,000 sq. ft. ) in Provo, Utah. The hospital’s existing seven-story inpatient center was replaced with a 12-story tower, which aggregated multiple departments scattered throughout the campus. The project includes 208 inpatient nursing beds, 20 operating rooms, central processing, 30 emergency treatment rooms, observation / clinical decision unit, imaging services, pharmacy, oncology, cardiac series, endoscopy, rehab services, respiratory therapy, supply chain, laboratory services and a shelled 32-bed unit.


The Chandler Regional Medical Center Patient Tower is a much needed addition to the campus in order to meet the increasing healthcare needs of Chandler and the surrounding communities. The project began construction in December of 2011 and was completed in June 2014.

VBFA provided the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering for this five-story tower that adds 96 beds and expands the capacity of the medical center’s emergency services, medical-surgical unit, adds 32 intensive care rooms, 6 additional operating suites and the addition of a chapel. The project also adds new emergency generators that are designed to support the emergency services to the building and central plant.


The ASU Student Health Services Building Expansion and Renovation project achieved LEED Platinum Certification. We evaluated the building systems for the entire facility, which was constructed in 1968, for maintenance and upgrade purposes that included mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire alarm / suppression systems.

The Campus Health Service (CHS) provides community health needs at the Health Services Building. The building includes areas for primary, specialty-consult, urgent ambulatory care, clinical laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and a complementary medicine wing. The addition/renovation separates urgent, specialty, and primary care into distinct areas plus adds a fast-track area with its own exterior access and includes a new women’s health area.

ASU, as a state agency, is required by the Arizona Revised Statutes to comply with the State Historic Preservation Act. Therefore, the design of the addition was required to comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and needed to be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

The primary historic preservation concern for this project was the relationship of an addition to the Alumni Lawn and the two National Register-listed properties, Old Main and the University Club to the west; and Palm Walk to the east.


Moab Regional Hospital services the southeastern region of Utah. VBFA provided mechanical engineering services to this facility that features a full-service emergency room, 50 patient beds, nurse’s stations, as well as social and administrative offices in order to better provide a healing atmosphere for patients.


VBFA provided the mechanical engineering for this 2-level expansion of the existing Critical Care Unit (approx. 58,700 sq. ft.); an addition to the existing parking garage (approx. 400 spaces), a new roof-top helipad; a new entrance to the existing facility; a new 7-level West Pavilion of approx. 233,000 sq. ft.  The project also included some remodeling of the existing facility, as well as a commercial kitchen with the capacity for preparation of 1,500 meals per shift.  Mechanical systems included special kitchen exhaust hoods (grease and dishwasher), make-up air systems and special plumbing systems (grease waste and grease separator).


One of Utah’s largest construction projects, with over 1.3 million square feet, the Intermountain Medical Center houses a host of engineering innovations to address the diverse needs of a full service medical campus. Van Boerum & Frank Associates was selected by Anshen and Allen Architects to be the Mechanical Engineers to provide these engineering innovations. Redundant water line connections, a tunnel backbone system, low temperature operating rooms and use of HVAC Systems’ specialized design software are examples of VBFA’s innovative engineering. Within the walls of the Intermountain Medical Center there are examples of every conceivable situation that an engineer can encounter in the design of a medical facility. With each design challenge that was encountered, VBFA chose to be pro-active in providing designs that were high in quality and reliability and were innovative in their approach. Knowing this, the designs that were used can serve to be the model for future state-of-the-art work in the field of engineering. Many of Van Boerum & Frank’s designs at the Intermountain Medical Center were conceived with saving energy in mind and thus provide the owner long term economic benefits. Unique primary and secondary pumping systems, analysis of humidification and economizing costs and application of water side economizing all provided ways of saving the owner operating costs. The sheer size of the campus and the diversity of systems and use required that the mechanical consultant be experienced and capable of designing a complex medical campus. Thousands of pieces of equipment needed to be selected. Hundreds of drawing sheets needed to be produced. The efforts of over 40 engineers needed to be coordinated. To accomplish all this, a broad base of knowledge and expertise was required. Van Boerum & Frank knew what was required and what was unique about each area of the hospital and was able to provide a state of the art design for each. In today’s health care environment, specialized and complex analysis and procedures are required to stay competitive. State-of-the-art facilities are an absolute necessity to the survival of a patient care system. The mechanical system that are necessary to support those state-of-the-art facilities are required to be state-of-the-art themselves. Van Boerum & Frank is proud to say that they provided just such systems. The campus opened for patient use on October 29, 2007: the date had been planned for several years. The project was delivered on time, and on the opening day, patients were treated at a facility that will be the flag ship of the Intermountain Health Care system for many years to come.