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Patient friendly: The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery adds 203 new beds

Strict infection control and life safety measures were implemented to protect patients on other floors as work proceeded.

November 27, 2017 |
A nurse station

Gilbane Building Company and Albert Kahn Associates completed the 204,000-sf buildout of two vacant floors at The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery, adding 203 new beds. Through the use of six-week, look-ahead planning, adherence to Lean construction principles, Gilbane’s own Quality in Construction program, and prefabrication (for headwalls, dialysis boxes, soffits, and ductwork and plumbing assemblies), the team was able to bring the job in two months ahead of schedule.

The trades used on-site monitors to access documents via Bluebeam Studio. UPC coding and BIM 360 also greased the flow of documents. Mockups of various rooms (med-surg, isolation, observation, ICU) gave medical staff the opportunity to offer input on headwall layouts, tile colors, soffit details, and flooring types.

Existing critical exhaust hoods in 24/7 support spaces were found to be inadequately sized for anticipated airflow. One option—to change the motors and sheaves on the exhaust fans—was ruled out as too disruptive to the operations of clinical departments. Instead, the team incorporated readily obtainable new fans into the existing exhaust system so that the original fans could be removed and modified. The solution saved the hospital considerable operational impacts.

Strict infection control risk assessment (ICRA) and interim life safety measures were put in place to meet the demands of eight separate hospital departments. Halfway through the project, the hospital required that all differential pressure monitors have remote monitoring capability. Gilbane engaged Primex Wireless, which tied a web-based reporting system into the hospital’s existing wireless network. This assured that any possible ICRA breach would be addressed instantaneously.


A patient room in the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and DiscoveryUnion construction crews put in 460,000 man-hours on the buildout of two patient floors at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery without a lost-time incident. Nearly half (48%) of all trades workers were minorities, females, or both. Photo: Jon Miller / Hedrich Blessing Photographers.


Project Summary


Silver Award Winner

Building Team: Gilbane Building Company (submitting firm CM) Albert Kahn Associates (architect, SE, M/E engineer).

Details: 204,000 sf. Total cost: $98.3 million. Construction time: February 2015 to August 2016. Delivery method CM at risk.


See all of the 2017 Reconstruction Award winners here

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