Prefab saves the day for Denver hospital

Mortenson Construction and its partners completed the 831,000-sf, $623 million Saint Joseph Hospital well before the January 1, 2015, deadline, thanks largely to their extensive use of offsite prefabrication.

April 10, 2015 |
Prefab saves the day for Denver hospital

An 8x25-foot multi-trade rack containing mechanical, piping, and HVAC systems is lifted into place at Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver, by mechanical subcontractor U.S. Engineering. Photo: Ross Cooperthwaite

The commission from the healthcare client, Exempla (now SCL Health), was straightforward: build us a 360-bed acute care replacement hospital in Denver with 21 ORs (two of them hybrids), 42 ED rooms (12 dedicated to eldercare), a 20,000-sf central utility plant, and 1,100 parking spaces. And, by the way, do it in 30 months.

Mortenson Construction and its partners completed the 831,000-sf, $623 million Saint Joseph Hospital well before the January 1, 2015, deadline, thanks largely to their extensive use of offsite prefabrication.

Mortenson found that for every dollar spent on prefab, about 13% of the investment would be returned as a quantifiable benefit to the project. Prefabrication was also seen as the only way to complete the project within the client’s rigorous schedule.

The team went all-out on modularity. They physically tested four different mockups of shower pan systems before arriving at a trench drain system where the entire room floor sloped toward the drain. Based on an evaluation of a full bathroom pod mockup, the team determined that the ceiling height could be reduced from nine feet to seven feet, 11 inches, saving $110,000.

The bathroom provider, Oldcastle Modular Eggrock Pods, produced 440 pods, 257 of which went into patient rooms.

The team completed 376 headwalls entirely in a nearby warehouse, along with 250 multi-trade prefabbed mechanical racks, each measuring 8x25 feet.

The hospital, which is being operated jointly with National Jewish Health, opened on time earlier this year.

 

PROJECT SUMMARY
HONORABLE MENTION

Saint Joseph Hospital
Denver, Colo.

BUILDING TEAM
Submitting firm: Mortenson Construction (CM/GC)
Owner: SCL Health
Architect: ESJH Design Team (joint venture of Davis Partnership, H+L Architecture, and ZGF Architects)
Interior architect: H+L Architecture
Structural/civil engineer: Martin/Martin
MEP engineer: Cator, Ruma & Associates

GENERAL INFORMATION
Project size: 831,327 sf
Construction cost: $360 million; total cost: $623 million
Construction time: December 2011 to July 2014
Delivery method: CM at risk

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