Mortenson Construction Modernizes Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
When Mortenson Construction completes the three-year, $200 million modernization of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois, in spring, 2017, the facility will have the look, feel and efficiency of a new medical center.
"Advocate's mission is to provide the best care," says Larry Arndt, General Manager for the Mortenson's Healthcare Group in Chicago. "Advocate's investment in the Good Shepherd expansion and renovation is aimed at just that: improving care and moving the facility into the future."
Mortenson joined up with Advocate and architect HOK of Chicago in fall of 2012 and used an integrated project delivery approach to the campus-wide project. The team worked through planning and preparation during the fall and winter, including utility work and tearing down an existing building.
"We worked together as one big team," Arndt says. "We communicated in person and were together a lot. The collaborative approach and commitment to communication clearly contributed to our success."
The complexity of the project, which included keeping the hospital fully operational throughout construction and the need for infection and noise control, led the team to break the project into 26 phases with more than 30 enabling projects, including moving departments, such as the intensive care unit, to new temporary locations.
In the first two years of the project, Mortenson completed the 208,000-square-foot structural steel addition that features all private patient rooms and sits on a concrete spread-footer foundation. For the existing hospital, the team built a new main entrance, an outpatient services area, an 18-bed intensive care unit and eight new operating rooms. It upgraded all mechanical, plumbing and ventilation systems and is converting all existing patient rooms to single occupancy, which will give Advocate Good Shepherd a total of 176 beds, up from 169.
While much of the work has been accomplished, the team continues to renovate parts of the original building, including upgrading the observation unit and pre- and post-procedure suites.
"The ability to finish this project successfully depended on a group of professionals on the design-build team that wanted to work together collaboratively," Arndt says.
HOK's design aimed to improve access and streamline patient flow. More than 200 physicians, employees and community leaders suggested enhancements, which architects incorporated into the design. The team used a lean planning effort to reduce unnecessary steps in the delivery of care.
Putting Technology to Work
Mortenson employed a variety of technologies on the Advocate project, to improve quality, safety and construction efficiency, such as project management software Procore and building information modeling, including 4-D models for scheduling.
After demolition, Mortenson used laser scanning to map the 30-year-old structure to confirm information in as-built documents. The company owns the laser scanning equipment and could cost effectively deploy it.
"It was really helpful and saved a lot of time," Arndt says. "Its cost is well worth its expense."
Mortenson also relied on prefabrication, including most bathrooms with showers and water closets, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing racks, which improved quality, and safety and speed of installation. Hill Mechanical built 78 bathrooms in three layouts at its Franklin Park, Illinois, plant during the winter, shrink wrapped the completed rooms and then transported them to the site via tractor-trailer. The process cut bathroom construction time in half.
Greening the Hospital
Advocate sought LEED-Silver certification for the expansion/renovation.
The project focused on efficient energy usage. The team selected high-performing exteriors, including the glazing, and mechanical systems. Occupancy sensors control lighting. The landscaping features native plants.
The hospital treats its own water, pumped from onsite wells. It uses no city water. Storage units on the north side of the campus hold up to two days of water in case a power outage or some other problem presents itself.
Two intensive green roofs, with vegetation planted into the soil, give the patients something pleasant to look at, provide energy-conserving insulation and absorb rainwater. Mortenson recycled construction debris.
Embracing Different Perspectives
M.A. Mortenson Sr. founded Mortenson in 1954, after 30 years in the construction business. He saw opportunity as offices and plants were expanding after World War II. His wife, Jennie, helped with the office processes and encouraged him to succeed. His commitments to quality performance, honesty and hard work remain company tenets to this day. Mortenson approaches jobs as the owner's business partner, providing transparency every step of the way.
While women may be rare on job sites, they played key roles in the Advocate Good Shepherd project. Maritza Butler, Mortenson's Carpenter Foreman; Lizzy Frantl, the company's Safety Engineer; and Lisa Zaininger, the Quality Specialist, all added a hand toward making this a successful project. At Mortenson's Chicago office, 34 percent of the professional staff members are women and women make up 11 percent of the craft workforce, as compared to the 3.6 percent industry average.
The family-owned, private contractor has set a goal of meeting or exceeding federal requirements for employing women on all of its projects, not just for government work. It has continued to build up its craft workforce as other general contractors downsize or eliminate their trade employees altogether.
"Having a diverse group of professionals, with diverse ways of thinking, working on a project is only going to make you better as a whole," Arndt says. "It is always going to improve our business. Our owners and the projects reap the dividends from that."
Mortenson's Chicago office has completed more than $1.9 billion in health-care projects with 7.5 million square feet. The company is among the nation's five largest healthcare contractors, according to Modern Healthcare. The Advocate Good Shepherd project presented a complex opportunity for Mortenson and HOK.
"The teamwork, camaraderie and relationships we built got us to this point," Arndt says. "It's a challenging project with all of the phasing and enabling work, and I'm proud to have completed it with no significant disruptions to operations or safety and provide critical improvements for patients, medical staff, administrators and all Advocate employees."