Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center Chilled Water Plant

The Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (PSHMC) is one of two major hospitals in Spokane and provides world-class care to the community. Chilled water plants efficiently cool and dehumidify a facility, and after years of use, PSHMC’s needed to upgrade their failing chiller plant and to bring it in line with current codes for redundancy on equipment. Our Coffman team provided mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering services to replace the plant over two phases.

During phase 1, we identified a clear scope through an existing system review, evaluation of future capacity growth options, potential incentives for energy savings with local utilities, and flow modeling of the chilled water distribution system.

Phase 2 was the design of the new 4,000-ton plant including replacement of the chillers, cooling towers, pumps, controls, electrical services, and plant piping. The new plant utilized series counterflow piping for greatly increased energy efficiency. During design, Providence asked if the existing domestic hot water system, which utilized storage tanks that created a Legionella risk, could be replaced with instantaneous heaters to improve space for the new chillers while greatly reducing the risk of Legionella. Coffman quickly incorporated a phased design for this portion of the project so that it could be permitted as one project. The new instantaneous heaters were also piped to provide code required redundancy for the emergency department, which was not previously in place. We worked closely with the piping contractor to provide a complete and coordinated drawing package making sure critical operations happening inside of PSHMC, didn’t miss a beat. The project saved over $74,000 in utility costs the first year and received a utility incentive of $181,000.


  • Healthcare
  • Energy & Utility


  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Sustainable Design