North Central Bronx Hospital Reorganizes to Meet Demands of Pandemic with Help from Lutron

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September 15, 2020

When the North Central Bronx Hospital in NY needed to quickly reorganize several floors to take care of an influx of new patients, Lutron’s Vive Wireless was the ideal solution.

“They needed to fill 5 floors in 18 days,” said Keith Ready, New York Lighting Manager for electrical distributor Turtle & Hughes. “Lutron was my first call.”

The Challenge — Build Out Five Floors in Less than 3 Weeks

As the recent coronavirus pandemic bore down on New York City, time was of the essence.  The North Central Bronx Hospital needed to completely reorganize several floors quickly to prepare for taking care of many new patients.

The Solution:

“Vive was perfect,” says Ready. “As a wireless solution, it was easy to design, install, and program, and there was plenty of stock on hand. We got it approved and installed — that’s installation and commissioning — within six days.”

Adds specifier Danielle Ford, LEED AP BD+C, with engineering firm Syska Hennessy Group, “I was on the meeting with the client and Lutron one week, and the next week I went out for my weekly site visit and it was already installed. It was pretty fantastic.”

Wireless control is still relatively new in hospitals given the prevalence of RF-generating technology such as MRI machines. The Vive solution uses patented Clear Connect wireless technology, which operates in an uncongested radio frequency band. The result is ultra-reliable communication, and no interference with other devices.

Ford observes that Lutron engineers were able to demonstrate the Vive system’s reliability, history of success, and 10-year battery life. Not only is the system performance able to meet the hospital’s immediate needs, but Vive now gives the North Central Bronx facility even greater flexibility and personal control to ensure a system that is able to change and adapt over time.

The Results:

The COVID floors are open spaces with patient areas currently divided by curtains. Vive wireless remotes allowed installation of lighting controls on the back wall of each patient area. “In the future, the floor can be easily reconfigured to accommodate patient or exam rooms, or other space needs, with no rewiring,” says Cathy Lambe, Executive Vice President, Controls Division for Lutron’s NY/NJ Rep Agent, Thea Enterprises, Inc.

Ready says that the North Central Bronx project has become a model for future installations. New York City Health + Hospitals, a large U.S. public health care system, plans to use Vive in several other projects, she says.

“In New York, many health systems and public hospitals are recognizing the significant benefits of integrating a Lutron wireless system into time-sensitive change-outs,” he says.

In addition, FEMA was involved in the hospital project, and that’s helped Lutron become “somewhat of a basis for design for FEMA,” he adds.

The cooperation between parties really made a difference. “Teamwork on this project was what made it such a success. Everyone came together quickly and cooperatively, recognizing the importance and urgency of these deadlines,” says Ford.

Ready offers high praise for the people involved including Syska Hennessy and Thea & Schoen. And he emphasizes that Lutron played a central role in making everything work.

“They’re the ones that set the project details in motion, and we recognize the tremendous value of our biggest contractors looking at Lutron as one of the best manufacturers in terms of service and support,” he says.  “Lutron really stepped up and made sure we had what we needed to serve our community and our patients.”


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