It took just 24 months to complete this complex $52 million addition to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The goal was three-fold: to link the west and south towers of the existing building with a 14,000 square foot bridge at the tenth-floor roof level; to renovate the existing 11th and 12th floors and add 32 new patient rooms and staff areas; and to upgrade the elevator.
All three elements were being undertaken at the same time. Adjacent and continuously active facilities cannot be disrupted, the maintenance of ongoing patient care has been of paramount importance, and all construction had to unfold without the use of a conventional tower crane so as not to interfere with the operation of the active medical transport helipad located within 100 feet of the construction site. In fact, Target developed a system by which the team ties down all construction material and evacuates the site within twenty minutes of being notified of an incoming helicopter.
To manage the limited site access and logistical challenges, Target used an exterior hoist car to transport both material and labor from the ground floor, a scaffold tower to support access from the hoist car to the active construction floor levels, and a temporary working platform capable of supporting mobile mini cranes and material staging across the roof. Every potential scenario was considered and was constantly being evaluated.
Alternative construction staging options were presented and priced. The utmost care was being taken.
To help facilitate the work, Target oversaw the construction of an off-site exterior mock-up that enabled the project’s structural engineer to study wind load pressures, enabled the team to assess the proposed water infiltration system, and offered an early view of those new patient rooms. This mock-up was proven to be essential—saving time and money while upholding CHOP’s standards.
Target developed an innovative plan that has helped the team reinforce existing structural steel brace framing (from the seventh floor up)—even as these patient floors remain in use. The plan entailed extensive communications and coordination with CHOP team members, timely commitments to work completion schedules, ICRA containments, and general best practice compliance. The plan required Target to research and color code every conduit, pipe, and wire so that utilities might be shut down and relocated during the laying in of new structural steel beams girding in-use floors and then replaced as the utilities were restored. All of this has had to be executed seamlessly, and when a temporary firewall went up to secure a staging and construction area, Target took the extra step of training CHOP staff how to use the new temporary emergency stairs.
We’ve taken special care to manage the hot work of the project—gaining daily permitting to work on the roof platform, building a rooftop irrigation system below the platform to provide additional fire protection support, and keeping a careful, mitigating watch over each aspect of the project.
The renovation of the 11th and 12th floors—some 52,000 square feet of space—was requiring more traditional construction practices, including overhead MEP&F coordination in conjunction with existing floor scan models and intensive teamwork with CHOP’s Public Health and Safety and Lab Safety departments. Target’s BIM coordinator worked with trade partners throughout the pre-construction phase to achieve compliance with the tight construction schedule and continues to support the project. A final as-built BIM was provided to CHOP upon project completion.
Finally, the elevator upgrades were entailing the updating of equipment, controls, and software to all nine elevator car banks, extensive cab reconstruction for two of the cars, and the provision of additional door and floor stops to facilitate primary access to the new connector bridge. Once again, all construction was being undertaken according to a well-considered sequencing plan that was ensuring minimum interruptions to hospital operations.
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