Planning to expand your healthcare facility? Careful construction planning is necessary to ensure a smoothly executed project in a fully occupied facility with active MEP systems and a lot of daily activity that cannot be disrupted. Last week, I offered some considerations for MEP planning. Below are some issues to consider when developing the construction plans:


  • What is the integrity of the current roof? Carefully evaluate the existing conditions of the current roof and all penetrations. Developing a “flow down prevention plan” to prevent roof leaks into occupied spaces is a necessity.
  • Depending on the building’s structural system, vacating at least one and possibly two floors below the expansion is a safety necessity. The question is: Where will you relocate the affected staff or functions?
  • Communicate a schedule of events daily so all nearby occupants know what to expect.
  • Be sure to maintain proper egress from any nearby spaces, particularly if existing egress routes are impacted on the exterior of the building. Work off hours, if possible, to avoid disrupting daily business operations.
  • Carefully plan site logistics for crane location, steel hoisting swing pattern, and maintaining access to nearby facilities. Then follow that plan!
  • Evaluate work-site impact on traffic patterns and material deliveries,
  • When working on roofs, be sure to secure all materials, as they can become very windy environments with little notice.
  • Maintain public/user building access through normal exits/entrances and then emergency egress. Proposed egress plans should be reviewed with local fire department/code officials and building occupants. Provide temporary sidewalks, covers, lighting, etc., as needed to comply with all Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM).
  • Walk the facilities staff around and explain where different structures are coming together, so they understand where building connection points are located in case drywall cracks show up in a year.

Coming next week: architectural considerations.