How were the design team members themselves educated by this project? Both Pugh and Russell note that collaborating with the community in the design process was an eye-opening experience for them. “The process confirmed for me the importance of seeking buy-in from everyone affected,” says Pugh, “and although challenging at times, it was a very satisfying experience.”
Russell, for his part, says he learned a great deal from the complexities of rerouting utilities from the old power plant a block away to the new structure. “We got the piping and the feeders done, and then the utilities came in one-by-one to run their wires and so forth, each taking about a day. The hospital was able to backfeed its main power from alternative power substations through the back part of the pole for about six hours each time. Meanwhile we opened a lot of sidewalks in the area to install the underground steam piping, and ran these pipes through sometimes complicated routes to get them where they needed to be. All in all, it was a six-month process that took place before most of the structural got started. It taught me a lot about the logistics of something like this.”
In the end, MultiCare's Central Utility Plant, which has garnered several design awards, successfully performs its crucial role as the mechanical heart of the Medical Center's vascular system, while honoring a pleasant natural setting and presenting a friendly face to the neighborhood. HBI
For more information, visit http://www.multicare.org/goodsam/construction-facts-timeline.
Healthcare Building Ideas 2010 Summer;7(3):20-22