Gain Insight into Constructability Conditions
Prior to boots hitting the ground, it’s imperative to know – to the fullest extent possible – what conditions lie ahead. Consider, for instance, that as-built documents rarely reflect the many changes a hospital will undergo in its lifespan. Even minor changes compound, creating complexities that can wreak havoc on schedules and budgets if not properly accounted for.
With advanced technology, a contractor can fill in the gaps. Choate, for instance, routinely employs 3D laser scanning on renovation projects, but it’s exceptionally beneficial in revealing what’s behind the notoriously crowded walls and interstitial spaces of healthcare facilities quickly and efficiently. When combined with clash-detection technology, impacted systems and/or components requiring relocation or removal are quickly revealed.
Well before any work begins, the project team should conduct a preconstruction risk assessment to evaluate life safety and interim life safety measures (sprinkler systems, exit signage, egress paths, medical gasses, etc.); infection control risks; noise, vibration, and indoor air quality; and utility impacts.
Risk assessment must not be done in a vacuum; collaboration between hospital administration, front-line staff, design team, contractor, and key department heads can reveal true operational impacts.
Assess the Risks, Together
Operational restrictions, supply chain interruptions, and dwindling labor pools are but a few of the challenges faced by the construction industry amid COVID-19. Minimizing delays and cost exposure for healthcare clients, however, requires nimble project teams supported by longstanding subcontractor and supplier relationships.
Contractors with strong local and regional partnerships can provide greater insight into alternative materials, offer creative strategies for procuring highly sought-after products, and provide more effective, accurate sequencing with real-world conditions in mind.
Lean on Relationships
Include All Stakeholders to Achieve Optimal COLLABORATION (Continued)
HEALTHCARE CONSTRUCTION INSIGHTS | “PERFORMING HOSPITAL RENOVATIONS WITH SURGICAL PRECISION”
Installing informational and wayfinding signage is another means for providing staff, patients, and visitors with timely updates; knowing where, when, and what to expect eases irritation and can create excitement about newly renovated spaces when used appropriately. Adjustments to wayfinding might be required following detailed reviews of corridors and to maintain proper egress. Additional accommodations for parking must be made and properly communicated if main entry points are temporarily relocated.
Put it in Writing
The 3rd Bed Tower at UNC Hospital’s original facility dates back to the 1950s, and since that time had only received cosmetic upgrades. Demolition of the existing space provided for the construction of 24 modern patient rooms with integrated medical headwalls, isolated power panels, and private restroom facilities. Also included were staff offices, conferences rooms, medical support rooms, and mechanical spaces. Communication was critical during this project, as hospital operations continued above, below, and around impacted areas during the renovation.
Understand the Needs of Front-line Staff
Working with the hospital’s front-line staff affords the opportunity to establish working relationships with and understand existing departmental workflows, the occupancy statuses of adjacent areas, and the services/equipment that must remain in operation or cannot be transferred. Not only are their insights valuable, but establishing rapport can be critically important should an emergency situation occur.
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE (CONTINUED)