Due to increased patient loads, Texas Orthopedic Hospital needed to expand its patient care space by two levels while remaining fully operational. To ensure minimal impact to the occupied facility, we worked with the Owner to plan all of our activities several months in advance of the work. We held weekly coordination meetings with the Owner to discuss our plans to protect the occupants, control noise and dust, address infection control, and relocate patients and staff throughout construction. To ensure construction activities had the least impact on the hospital’s occupants, we:
- Implemented strict infection control procedures, such as constructing full height temporary walls around our work areas, utilizing negative air machines and sticky mats at entrances/exits to the work areas, and assigning a full-time employee at each of our contained work areas to maintain these measures throughout construction.
- Designated use of the building’s north side elevators for hospital staff and visitors only to avoid interaction with construction personnel
- Installed overhead protection at the front of the hospital during skin construction to protect visitors and to keep the main entry drop-off and valet area operational
- Worked extended weekend hours when the patient census was at its lowest to accelerate activities and minimize disruption, returning spaces to their original condition before occupants arrived each Monday
- Provided occupants with a direct point of contact to stop work immediately if noise was an issue
- Implemented dust control procedures such as sweeping the existing roof deck, new Level 5 slab and new light weight roof deck, to minimize the amount of dust and debris
- Designated the primary exit at the back of the hospital for construction access only to separate hospital occupants from high-risk work areas
- Kept the majority of construction personnel and materials out of the existing hospital by:
- Installing a man/material hoist on the exterior of the building to access the new floors
- Installing a secondary access point for oversized materials to minimize our use of the existing stairwells in the hospital
- Utilizing the freight elevator during off-hours and over weekends to transport all materials and equipment to work areas on the occupied levels
- Designating two stairwells on the south side of the hospital for use by construction personnel only.
With early planning, collaborative coordination, and constant communication we completed the project on schedule and under budget without any safety incidents or disruption of service.