In anticipation of this major realignment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was charged with the challenging task of designing and building a new community hospital within just five years.
“BRAC law imposed a hard patient-ready date of September 15, 2011, and that meant the traditional model of government project delivery just wasn’t going to cut it,” explains Victor Mudryk, project executive, Gilbane Building Company, Arlington, Virginia, whose firm teamed up with Turner Construction in a joint venture to manage the project’s construction.
“Synonymous with early contractor involvement (ECI), IDBB allowed construction to start while design was still being developed and turned what would typically be a 10-year design, construction, and occupancy process into a five-year timeline,” Mudryk says.
Now serving wounded, active-duty service members, retirees, and family members, the Silver LEED-certified, 1.27-million-gross-square-foot, $1 billion hospital features 120 inpatient beds, an emergency department, diagnostic centers, 10 operating rooms, a 10-bed intensive care unit, a 10-bed behavioral health unit, cancer center, pharmacy, outpatient services, two parking garages, and a helipad.
Complementing the IDBB process was the extensive application of building information modeling, which captured significant efficiencies throughout the project. For example, because construction commenced before the design was completed, the trades ended up modeling off of late design development models since the construction documents hadn’t been created yet.
“When the CDs came out, Turner Gilbane used drawing comparison software to show any changes [to the BIM models]. This was a very useful tool and huge time saver as we did not have to review drawings page by page to find changes,” Mudryk says.
As the building team coordinated the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems for the clinics, central utility plant, underground utilities, and hospital—one floor at a time—most floors averaged three BIM MEP coordination meetings, with an average number of 600 collisions per floor. By resolving the vast majority of those collisions on paper, a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort was saved in the field.
One compelling example of BIM in action occurred when steel beams had to be added to the underside of the existing beams to mitigate potential vibration problems.
“The above-ceiling MEP had already been modeled and coordinated for several of these areas, so Turner Gilbane added the proper size steel per the engineer’s sketches to the existing structural model, ran additional clash detection, and had answers to the impacts of the steel addition for one area in less than an hour,” Mudryk says.
Furthermore, thanks to BIM, a significant percentage of the MEP components could be prefabricated, including between 50% and 60% of the mechanical and piping systems, 85% of the electrical components, and 100% of the fire protection rough-in components.
As the first large military healthcare facility to extensively incorporate evidence-based design principles, green roof systems, and rain gardens both provide views of nature and absorb stormwater runoff. In addition, the extensive use of natural light, natural materials, landscaped healing gardens, and a stone and terra cotta façade enhance the hospital’s healing environment.