Awards Connecticut Healthcare People

SLAM CS Completes Data Center and Receives DBIA NE Award

(l-r) Eugene Torone, DBIA, president of S/L/A/M; Chris O’Neill, AIA, architect at Quisenberry Arcari; and Keith Poulin, associate at CDM Smith, executive council vice president and board treasurer of DBIA New England

Hartford, CT – S/L/A/M Construction Services (SLAM CS) recently completed the construction of a new state-of-the-art tier III data center as part of the two-phase renovation of a 1930s, 57,000sf building for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in downtown Hartford. SLAM CS was the lead for the design-build team, which consisted of Quisenberry Arcari Architects and electrical designer J.P. Engineering LLC.

The funding requirements and an immediate need to occupy the building greatly influenced the approach and phasing for the project. On the first day of construction, the second floor was fully occupied by Saint Francis, which required a plan to manage the extensive demolition and reconstruction of the floors above and below the space. The team also had to develop a process to decommission the existing building’s mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) systems while maintaining the building operations of the occupied spaces.

Phase 1 began in December 2012 with the systematic gut and renovation of the entire MEP infrastructure, bathroom cores, elevator, roofing, and interior spaces of the building while maintaining full occupancy of the second floor. This also included the installation of temporary utilities, MEP systems, and sewer ejector pumps with temporary plumbing to maintain operations of a bathroom core. Saint Francis occupied each floor as it was completed, which required a temporary certificate of occupancy per floor. In preparation for the eventual inclusion of the data center on the first floor, the team included upgrades to the infrastructure and MEP systems needed to support the future data center load — a key planning strategy to avoid any reconstruction and building disruptions.

Phase 2 began in November 2015, after 10 months of planning and design of the data center spaces. The tier III requirements included multiple redundant utility feeds, communications, cooling systems, and standby power. Uninterruptible power was provided by dual uninterruptible power systems (UPS) feeding the data center load until the three 750 kw generators were on line.

The entire design-build team was recently honored with a 2016 Silver Award for Building Construction from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) New England Region for its work on the project.


“Our new tier III data center will provide the hospital with the latest technology, capacity and redundancy needed to collect, protect and store critical data needed to run our operations. This will help us better manage the security of our clinical systems and health records,” says Robert Falaguerra, vice president of facilities, support services and construction at Saint Francis.” SLAM’s design-build team was able to provide a thoughtfully executed solution to a very complex and critical project for the hospital.”

The 2016 New England Design-Build Awards program was very competitive and each submission was judged by a panel of experts that focused on the practices that constitute “design-build done right.” The winners were announced at the DBIA New England Annual Meeting in Framingham on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.