HVAC and Duct Work repairs at the naval medical center

Balboa Naval Medical Center

San Diego, CA

Stronghold Engineering, Inc. was the Prime Contractor on this Design-Build project which involved the modernization and repair of Building 1H, Nursing Tower P-1, and Nursing Tower R-1 in a 272-bed, Acute Care facility that provides dual functions of treating patients and training medical staff at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. The Naval Medical Center San Diego is the largest Military Hospital in the western United States and supports the most technologically advanced and comprehensive military healthcare system. With a staff of over 6,000 personnel, NMCSD provides critical healthcare to over 500,000 people in the San Diego Area.

The project incorporated HVAC upgrades for the highly complex medical environmental and included modifications, repairs, updates, and cleaning of the existing air handling systems at various locations throughout Building 1. Critical design components included areas of negative air pressure, infection control and security compliance in the pharmacy and other areas of the hospital. All work was phased into six separate work groups, with ongoing building occupancy and infection control containment procedures following strict healthcare requirements. The upgraded systems included all air handling equipment and supply, return and exhaust HVAC components as well as related controls, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and utility support systems. Stronghold Engineering provided temporary HVAC systems to maintain hospital occupancy and critical operations during the demolition, repair and cleaning work and related electrical upgrades.

The temporary systems included packaged HVAC units with controls and filtration located outside on grade and on the facility’s roof with temporary ductwork routed to the various building departments. The Infection Control requirements and procedures of the NMCSD were maintained by the temporary systems to meet critical health care requirements. As an electrical contractor over 30-years ago, Stronghold self-performed the electrical scope of work.


Stronghold’s team had the right balance of past experience, technical ability and flexibility to provide a very successful product, on time, within budget and in a safe environment. Their project controls met all of the user requirements and facility managers criteria while keeping the design and construction teams engaged and on schedule in this extremely complex, multi-phased project.

Rob Bodenhamer, Principal – NCARB, LEED, BD+C
Vasquez Marshall Architects