Rigging in the New Year – Wise Installs GE MAGNUS for Brigham and Women’s Hospital

How did you kick off 2024? The Wise team and project partners—New England Medical Design Inc. and BR+A Consulting Engineers—began their 2024 by rigging in a GE MAGNUS on Longwood Avenue for Brigham and Women’s Hospital!

Over the past several months, our team has been coordinating the removal and replacement of an existing MRI Bay at the hospital. The renovations include a range of enhancements, from an upgraded control and equipment room to improved silicon steel shielding and RF shielding. Additionally, a new purge exhaust system and chiller on dunnage, along with architectural modifications to adjacent rooms, have been carefully tailored to accommodate the hospital’s latest addition—the GE MAGNUS MRI.

A key milestone in this undertaking was the recent coordination of the GE MAGNUS and its associated chiller’s crane picks. Multiple preemptive measures were taken leading up to their arrival on Longwood Avenue in Boston, MA.

Before the magnet’s installation, the room underwent thorough proofing. This involved two critical components: magnetic shielding, which dampens magnetic force, and RF shielding, a membrane-blocking radio frequency. The entire room is designed to mitigate radio frequencies, noise, and image disturbance. Notably, special non-ferrous screws and tools were required in the presence of the magnet to ensure safety. General Superintendent Mike Rivers, implemented an alarm system during the shielding installation to monitor potential contact with ferrous materials, emphasizing the collaborative effort among various trades to manage risks.

An extensive demo plan was also organized to establish a pathway for the removal of the existing MRI and the subsequent installation of the new one. The process involved the demolition of the surrounding spaces to reach the MRI’s new scan room. A strategic location was then chosen for the temporary entrance—a side of the building on the ground floor below the slab, within a 20 x 12 ft area way. The crane was able to pick the MRI safely and carefully right into the entrance, where it was then wheeled to the MRI suite.

Wise and project partners engaged in detailed pre-planning to address potential risks associated with the pick ahead of time, ensuring a smooth operation in the tight space while handling the heavy equipment.

Concurrently, an associated chiller was rigged onto dunnage in a nearby courtyard. Noreen McDonnell, Senior Project Manager, explains, “essentially, an MRI is a massive magnet. To keep the magnet functional, it needs certain services like helium, and to keep the helium functional, it needs to be kept cold. The chiller is the central system that keeps the MRI cool and operational.”

Mike agrees, and adds, “The magnet (MRI) is like the brain, and the chiller is the heart. Your brain isn’t going to work if your heart isn’t pumping blood to it, right? They are interdependent.”

The remaining renovations, including architectural modifications, a room refresh, a completed MRI suite, and piping connections from the MRI to the new chiller, are all scheduled for completion within the next month. It is important to note that our site is situated next to an occupied radiology suite, so prioritizing noise control and cleanliness to safeguard the radiology department from any disruptions has been crucial. The neighboring building, directly next to our temporary opening, houses the College of Pharmacy. So, although there are no overnight patients in the building we are working in, it remains highly active with patients frequenting during the day, and the overall vicinity is bustling, particularly as it is located on the busiest street in the Longwood area.

Project Partners:

Owner: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Owner’s Project Services: Leggat McCall Properties 

Architect: New England Medical Design Inc.

MEP Engineer: BR+A Consulting Engineers

Wise Project Team:

Project Executive: Eric Libby

Senior Project Manager: Noreen McDonnell

Project Manager: John Niro

General Superintendent: Mike Rivers