Pinellas County's Forensic and Medical Examiners Center

Largo, FL

In recent times forensic science has garnered quite a following in the popular culture scene. Though the associated control system may never be featured in your favorite TV series, the Pinellas County’s new Forensic and Medical Examiners Center is a noteworthy facility. The new center, which replaced a 25-year-old facility, includes an administrative area for the medical examiner, an investigation unit, an autopsy/morgue complex, and a toxicology laboratory. County Commissioners focused on constructing a facility that provides the best environment for today’s users and flexibility for tomorrow. The Center is part of a planned master campus, which, over the next 20 years will grow to include a new Sheriff’s Operation Center, central energy plant, parking garage and support facilities.

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The proven ability of KMC Controls to maintain predefined environmental conditions led management to select KMC products for the new center. Local KMC partner, Automated Building Control Systems, Inc. (ABC), designed and installed the KMC digital system. ABC began work in March of 2002 and worked together with KMC for a year and a half on the building control system. According to Jody Byers, president of ABC, “Designing and installing the control system was a welcome challenge, which we were able to meet with the KMC digital control system. Management has said many times how pleased they are with the KMC program running the building automation system.” The most valued feature is the ability to integrate systems into one common user interface.

The facility’s new HVAC system consists of (2) centrifugal chillers, (5) boilers, (5) VAV central air handling systems, a building pressurization system, and laboratory air valves for the fume hoods. ABC installed open protocol panels to interface with the generator, switchgear, AHU VFD’s, a body cooler monitoring panel, and a Carrier chiller DataPort interface. The KMC LAN Controller and advanced application controllers were interconnected through a modbus interface. WinControl® XL Plus, the system’s front end, provides smooth system integration.

Upon completion in August 2003, the total construction cost was 12 million dollars, of which $200,000 was in the control system. Management is firmly convinced that it was money well spent. “KMC and ABC together have provided us with the control solutions that we were looking for. Not only are we saving on energy costs, but the control program integrates systems into one user-friendly program.”