After Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston Island, UTMB hired Vaughn Construction to restore its healthcare and research facilities. The largest of our projects, the Clinical Services Wing (CSW), was a 300,000 SF, eight-story replacement facility to be constructed only 100 yards from the Gulf Coast edge and only six inches from the Jennie Sealy Replacement Hospital (JSRH) being built simultaneously on the same site by another contractor. We worked closely with the second contractor so that both projects could be built with the least impact to each other’s construction.
- To protect the existing buildings located less than 60 feet from our demolition and construction activities, we covered all windows with plastic, weather-stripped and sealed exterior doors, rerouted wayfinding, and developed a sound and vibration baseline to help control disruption to the hospital. We installed prefabricated acoustical walls to buffer sound, and scheduled activities with the hospital nurses to minimize disruption.
- To construct the CSW building alongside the Jennie Sealy Replacement Hospital, we met weekly with the Owner, trade contractors, and other general contractor. We assigned a dedicated coordinator for each crane and utilized anti-collision systems to coordinate crane operations. We scheduled work around each other to avoid working in the same place at the same time. We coordinated tie-ins from JSRH through our project and into the existing central plant as each floor was constructed.
- To maintain access to both construction projects, we closed Sixth Street in front of the two buildings and shared the road between the two projects. Each contractor worked to contain their trucks and materials in their respective work areas to minimize having to work around each other. If one contractor needed to block access, we communicated with each other before shutting down the road.
- Our lay down area consisted of minimum on-site storage. We mainly utilized our staging area across from the site on Harborside Drive for equipment and material staging. We maintained a second area three blocks away where we staged precast panel delivery trailers and employee parking. Some of our subcontractors maintained their own off site staging facilities.
- To ensure material deliveries arrived when needed, we installed two hoists on opposite sides of the CSW building to provide access to materials even when one of the shared access points was in use by the JSRH construction or the hospital activities. We staged trucks across Harborside Drive in a staging lot and brought them on site once ready to unload the materials. We completed ductwork deliveries early in the morning so that hoisting resources were not tied up during the work day. We performed precast panel erection at night to share crane resources.
- To avoid conflict with our construction pours, half of which required us to shut down the shared construction road, we scheduled them so that no two pours occurred on the same day. We scheduled material deliveries around the pours for both buildings. The JSRH building always poured two floors ahead of us, which allowed their concrete formwork to be removed before it conflicted with our formwork since it extended several feet into the air space above our building. The JSRH contractor maintained safety personnel on our building to ensure that they blocked off any areas while they were working above our project to prevent injuries from falling tools, sparks or material.
- Because of the project’s proximity to the coast line, UTMB was sensitive to the threat of hurricanes and the potential damage from flying construction material. Wed tied down all formwork and loose materials at the end of each work shift in case of a storm. We also monitored tides and projected rainfall to in case we needed to remove our temporary storm water protection systems prior to heavy rain events to prevent local flooding.
The new facility includes clinical support activities such as a blood bank, pharmacy, central sterile processing, respiratory care, materials management, environmental services, clinical engineering services, linen, patient transport, and food service. We also installed a bridge for a future connection to the John Sealy Annex. The facility meets current windstorm and flood design criteria and can remain operational through a storm similar to Hurricane Ike in the future.