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The Leaflet Article

Featured Article:

The Story of A New Story
How we added an extra floor to the project scope – without affecting the project's schedule or budget

Jeff Gruhn, Healthcare Construction Executive, Mortenson Construction

Since you’re reading The Leaflet, chances are you have dealt with the constant demands of the healthcare industry, regardless of your role.  Whether you’re a facility planner, designer, architect, engineer, facility manager, construction manager, or healthcare executive, you know how necessary it is to remain flexible and ready for whatever challenge lies ahead.  In our situation, that “challenge” was how to add an entire floor into the plans for a new building being constructed, without affecting the date the staff and patients needed to move in by – or altering our customer’s budget.

The Project
Mortenson has had a strong working relationship with Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, since 1990. To date, we have completed over 3,350,000 square feet in new construction and renovations at Froedtert.  As a Healthcare Construction Executive, I am currently overseeing a project team that is building their new 609,000-square-foot Center for Advanced Care as part of a 5-year master plan, along with CannonDesign, the project’s architect.  The space the new facility generates will facilitate several large backfill renovation projects.  One of these spaces in particular is a consolidated interventional/operating room platform, consisting of 32 ORs, 8 interventional radiology rooms, and 7 cath rooms with associated support space.

The Challenge
Originally the Center for Advanced Care was intended to be a four-story building, with the opportunity to expand to twelve stories over time.  As the development of the project evolved through Froedtert’s strategic planning efforts, it became apparent that they needed additional space, and fast.  The result was a stunned reaction while sitting in our very first project Owner-Architect-Construction Manager meeting, when we heard the words, “We need to add another floor – and stay within the context of the original project budget.”

And thus began rigorous planning efforts.  How does our team provide the customer what they want, while staying within the parameters of their budget?  How do we maintain the schedule so that their staff gets the space they need to keep their patients receiving the quality care they deserve?  These were the questions that drove the Mortenson / CannonDesign team to dive into planning at an extremely high level of detail.

The Process
Immediately our team knew we had to co-locate on the project site.  Some construction projects call for co-location for portions of the project, but it was obvious that this change in project scope required us to co-locate throughout the entire design and construction process.  Co-location has allowed our team to collaborate in a real-time, efficient environment. Any challenges we face are addressed immediately as a team, and daily discussions and interactions in this co-located space have allowed the project to keep moving.
In order to tackle the addition of the new floor, the team eliminated the traditional milestone estimating process and opted for target value design and budgeting, a real-time estimating process.  The team also recognized the importance of including our trade partners in the estimating process.  Collaboratively, CannonDesign, our Early Trade Involvement Partners (ETIPs), and our construction team worked side-by-side daily to provide input for decision making and in the end added the floor within the original project budget.

The Result
Through streamlined processes and efficient communication, our team managed to add an entire floor to the original project scope while keeping the project on schedule and within our customer’s original project budget. 

For more information on our integrated approach to this project, attend the conference session:

“Integrated Approach to Design at the Center for Advanced Care Project”
Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, October 1
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

As a subscriber to the Leaflet you can get a 20% discount on a full conference pass using VIP code CH5M7T. Register Today! 

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