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Broadlawns Medical Center Renovation


With the largest staff of mental healthcare providers in central Iowa, Broadlawns Medical Center is a state leader in addressing the need for expanded access to mental healthcare. To meet its licensed capacity of 44 behavioral health beds, Broadlawns Medical Center was remodeling a portion of its hospital into an inpatient behavioral health unit. As part of this renovation, the existing dual-pipe radiant ceiling system that heated and cooled patient rooms needed to be replaced.
Installed in the 1960s and 1970s, these systems were outdated and inefficient. Because of their design, radiant ceiling systems don’t require much ductwork; Broadlawns Medical Center didn’t have much ceiling space to work with when considering a new HVAC system. Due to this lack of plenum space, several traditional systems were ruled out.


Shive-Hattery recommended an active chilled beam system with anti-ligature security grilles as a safe, energy-efficient option for Broadlawns Medical Center’s behavioral health unit. Much of the piping from the existing radiant ceiling system was reused, providing substantial financial savings for the hospital.
No fans or pumps are needed in these room-based systems; instead, nozzles deliver fresh air while room air is induced across an exchanger coil. To cool the space, chilled water is circulated; to heat the space, warm water is circulated. Active chilled beam systems are also quiet, so they don’t add to noise levels or agitate patients. The units are installed flush with the ceiling to keep a low profile and reduce potential opportunities for abuse and vandalism.
This new system also allows Broadlawns Medical Center to individually control temperatures in each room within the behavioral health unit. Based upon patient requests, heating and cooling levels can be adjusted by the facilities team as needed.
To meet FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities, ventilation air continues to be delivered through the hospital’s existing air handlers.


Designed for quiet operation, combined with its low profile, the active chilled beam system minimizes impact on patients and decreases the likelihood of vandalism. For the first time ever, patient rooms in the behavioral health unit now have individual temperature control to keep occupants more comfortable.
Investing in a safe, energy-efficient active chilled beam system allowed Broadlawns Medical Center to expand its behavioral health unit to meet the increasing needs for mental healthcare in Iowa. The renovation will help the hospital continue to improve its inpatient mental healthcare services.
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