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Charles George VA Medical Center

Asheville, North Carolina

Market Sector



Planning and Programming

Services Provided

Seismic Analysis and Design, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering/ESD, Program Management, Planning, Design, Architecture



T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) provided Architectural/Engineering (A/E) study and design services for multiple renovation and energy projects at the Charles George Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina. All project work was contracted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Project Highlights:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Building renovation
  • Campus water tower
  • Light occupancy sensors
  • New geothermal system
  • Boiler plant condensate return system
  • Energy deficiency corrections to reduce the energy usage by over 30% in order to be within federal mandates


This project replaced two large air handling units, including investigations to identify which portions of the systems needed replacement based on age, condition, and available funds. TYLI’s design involved mechanical, electrical, structural, and architectural modifications for the replacement of air handling units, heating/cooling coils, ductwork, condensate pumps, HVAC piping, air balancing, control systems, and other equipment.


TYLI provided design with construction period services, including preliminary investigation of the area, schematic design, design development, and construction specifications and drawings. Work included the design for demolition of the approximately 10,000-square-foot ward and the construction of new walls, electrical power, lighting, data, HVAC system, plumbing system, and special systems, such as nurse call, fire alarm, and wireless systems.


Providing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering design with construction period services, TYLI’s system design took into account correct water supply piping, pumping systems, sensors, notifiers, proper tower placement, and structure and foundation design. The design is in accordance with current VA MEP system design criteria and Sustainable Design & Energy Reduction Manual (April 2010), the National Electric Code®, VA infection control requirements, and all national criteria and North Carolina state requirements.

Design Light Occupancy Sensors in Multiple Buildings

New occupancy sensors were provided in designated areas within eight buildings where lights tend to be left on overnight. Where an existing furniture layout created dead areas, ceiling-mounted occupancy sensors were provided for complete area coverage. For areas of limited use, the gain on the occupancy sensors was set at a 30-minute delay for automatic-off operation. Existing line-voltage, toggle-style light switches were replaced with dual technology wall-mounted occupancy sensors.

Design New Geothermal System for Building 15

Building 15 is a five-story, approximately 52,000-square-foot office building. By analyzing the number of wells and depth, operating temperatures, pump selections, pumps variable speed operation, and selection of heat pumps, TYLI was able to design and optimize the geothermal system to provide an estimated 40% in energy savings. The new geothermal system was modeled using Elite Software Earth Coupled Analysis.

Design Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Lights in Multiple Buildings

New LED lighting fixtures were provided in designated areas within three medical center buildings, replacing fluorescent tube troffers in corridors and large, open public areas where the lighting is typically on 24/7. The fixtures are of a shallow enclosure type due to limited access caused by existing conduits and/or cable trays installed on top of or directly above existing ceiling-mounted fluorescent fixtures.

Design Repairs to Boiler Plant Condensate Return System, Building 47 (Hospital)

Building 47 has a floor area of approximately 470,000 square feet (five floors plus penthouse, basement, and subbasement.) Through extensive fieldwork to verify the condition of existing steam condensate systems and determine which piping needed replacement, the team discovered that over 50% of the condensate was not returned to the steam boilers, increasing make-up water costs and chemical treatment for the steam system. TYLI’s design repair of the boiler plant condensate return system resulted in an estimated 40% energy savings by eliminating leaks and wasted steam condensate.