By Jim Misunas
LARNED — The Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Project nominated by Murray Company was recently selected as a finalist in the 2014 Kansas City Chapter, Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Building Excellence Awards.
Matt Heyn, Pawnee Valley Community Hospital CEO and administrator knew from the start that Murray Company employees were top notch.
“As the hospital CEO, I sensed a passion from Murray Company to surpass all expectations,” Heyn said. “That included but were not limited to quality, timing, financial goals, jobsite safety and respect, not only for the owner but also for the subcontracting task force who worked alongside them.”
The winners will be honored at the Building Excellence Awards Banquet on May 29 at the Sprint Auditorium in Overland Park with Steve Kraske, award-winning correspondent and talk show host, serving as emcee.
“The match between Murray Company/HFG could not have been better,” said Heyn. “Our construction meetings were filled with incredible collaboration and brainstorming, which showed the firm’s commitment to Pawnee County and the citizens who call it home.”
Pawnee County Attorney John Settle handled the legal work and paperwork for the project.
“The experience and professionalism of Murray Company’s staff has added value to our project during each phase of the design and construction process and I am confident the beautiful new hospital they built for us will insure that our citizens will have access to the finest healthcare available for years to come,” stated John Settle, Pawnee County Attorney.
The PVCH project was nominated in the $10 to $25 million category for the replacement of a critical care hospital. The complexity and uniqueness of this project offered special challenges for the construction manager and were outlined as part of the nomination:
• The replacement facility was designed to integrate an existing stand alone clinic on three sides.
The clinic was required to remain in operation during the entire construction project. Major tie-in interfaces were required at the roof structure while always maintaining weather tight integrity, as well as removing the peak of the existing hip roof, bringing it down to the adjoining new roof elevation.
A temporary entrance was constructed on the open side of the existing clinic as the original clinic entrance was being incorporated into the new construction. Roof tie in and modifications took place meticulously, doing one of the three sides at a time where the new construction would tie-in. Temporary weather protection was secured in place and maintained at all times work was not taking place.
• Portions of the existing hospital, which was three stories tall, were separated by less than two feet from the new replacement facility, creating challenges with the new construction within the restricted space, as well as the eventual demolition of the existing hospital after the new replacement facility was moved into and operating.
During actual demolition, the windows of the new facility were protected utilizing wood doors that came out of the demolition, and the adjacent roof areas being protected by placing used scrapped automobile tires on the roof and then covering with sheets of plywood.
• A portion of the existing hospital had to be isolated and tore down to make room for the new replacement facility. In order to keep the hospital in operation this required re-serving multiple utilities that were originally fed into and through the portion that was to be vacated and demolished.
• Life safety egress from the existing occupied hospital and the clinic was continually coordinated as necessary egress points exited directly into construction areas due to the close proximity or direct attachment of the structures.
“There were complexities in this project that made it unique, both from a community perspective as well as in our collaboration with a company that had our best interests at heart as we continued to provide for the healthcare needs of our community,” said Heyn.
Another area that the nominees were being judged on was the innovative use of manpower, equipment, materials and/or technology.
Among specifics outlined, it was determined that to help reduce the overall cost of the replacement facility, through close analysis by the design team and mechanical engineers, the current facility’s dual chillers could be relocated and re-used for the new facility.
The trick was to maintain cooling capacity for the current facility while concurrently allowing cooling for the new facility to be brought on line. This required extensive calculation and investigation which resulted in the allowance of one chiller to serve the existing facility and the other chiller to serve the new building until the old building could be vacated and demolished. Seasonal loads were also considered in the timing of split use and relocations.
Job safety, procedures to promote cooperation and effective project communication, and surpassing quality expectations, were also criteria addressed during the nomination process.
Among other achievements for this project was the inclusion of a storm safe room due to the fact that severe storms and tornados are always a risk in the central United States.
A 3,000 square foot concrete, masonry and steel storm shelter built to FEMA guidelines was included in the center of the building for use by staff, patients and patrons in the event of threatening weather.
Along with the Project of the Year Award by a General Contractor (or Construction Manager), other awards being presented will be the Renovation Project of the Year, Green Project of the Year, Project of the Year by a Subcontractor, Innovation Solutions Award and the Community Service Award.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a membership organization dedicated to furthering the ever changing agenda of commercial construction contractors, improving job site safety, expanding the use of cutting edge technologies and techniques and strengthening the dialogue between contractors and owners.