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Behavioral Health Spotlight: Southern Maine Health Care's new Behavioral Unit

Fitzemeyer & Tocci is providing full MEP/FP engineering and construction administration services for the design and construction of a new behavioral health unit at Southern Maine Health Care’s Sanford campus.

Due to an increase in behavioral health cases and lack of short-stay beds, SMHC is constructing the short-stay behavioral health care unit which can accommodate up to 40 patients in a mix of private and semi-private rooms. This project is expected to generate more than 50 new jobs and provide critically needed bed capacity for York County patients who are experiencing short-term crises.

Courtesy of Margulies Peruzzi

The Sanford campus was targeted as the location for the new behavioral unit because in addition to meeting the geographic needs for the behavioral program, the Sanford campus had two vacant floors in a wing of the hospital. While the general space footprint fit the proposed program well, the 1960’s Marland building has limited floor to floor height, primarily masonry wall construction, and scattered / unorganized utility services between floors.

One solution to these physical building challenges is employing an active chilled beam system as the primary heating / cooling / ventilation system. With custom ligature-resistant covering and hardware, this solution provides a flush ceiling assembly while minimizing size of terminal equipment and ductwork above the ceiling.

Courtesy of Margulies Peruzzi

In the initial infrastructure evaluation, it was identified that some of the facility’s primary HVAC systems needed upgrades. F&T’s infrastructure specialist team paralleled the behavioral project design with the design of upgrades to the facility’s boiler plant and primary chiller equipment. With some advanced planning, the construction team was able to clear some abandoned equipment off the roof and generally clean up some of the deferred maintenance in the portion of the facility that had been vacant.

Courtesy of Margulies Peruzzi

Construction Cost: $7,900,000 (est)

Square Feet: 26,500

Estimated Completion Date: Spring/Summer 2020


Today’s leading-edge behavioral health environments require experienced specialists to design and build. Fitzemeyer & Tocci understands these built environments and assigns specialized multi-disciplined MEP engineering to teams work with our clients to deliver integrated solutions that fit their needs. Contact us to learn more.


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