Designing and building an 831,000 square foot hospital in 30 months is no easy feat. In fact, the Denver Saint Joseph Hospital project, owned by SCL Health Systems, is actually one of the fastest hospital builds ever completed in the US. Innovative methods of design, construction and collaboration among project partners throughout all phases of the project — from planning to construction — were critical for the team to open the hospital doors on time.
“The document management was tough—a million square feet of anything is going to generate a lot of documentation,” said Dale Clingner, an associate with Davis Partnership Architects, who partnered with H+L Architecture and ZGF Architects on the project, which was built by Mortenson Construction. To avoid the type of document management confusion that could slow progress, all project partners established a tacitly agreed-upon BIM execution plan and decided to incorporate digital design review in live collaborative sessions to successfully meet the condensed timeline on or under budget.
“We had a meeting where 20 people in a room electronically reviewed drawings room-by-room, door-by-door in a Bluebeam Studio Session on the screen, and by the end of that meeting, we had a completely updated schedule for everything,” said Clingner.
“We didn’t have to email everything around, and we got immediate feedback from the people we needed answers from—people we would normally only hear from much later in the process: the contractors, the designer, the owner, and the door specialists. Not only was the collaboration real time, but we were able to capture everyone’s thoughts. I don’t even know how many months we saved,” Clingner explained.
The added benefit of everyone working together, literally on the same page at the same time, was that once everyone’s input was incorporated and agreed upon, and teams had a tangible, working document upon leaving the room. All partners could confidently get back to work right away, knowing that they were working from the most updated set of drawings.
Clingner, while more than comfortable using Revit, also appreciated the ability to occasionally do design updates in the simplified user interface of Bluebeam® Revu®. He describes showing a tenant a design via email, gaining the client’s feedback, and instantly incorporating their thoughts right into the PDF model.
“I could go into Revu, incorporate the edits, move things around, and within a couple hours, the tenant got his revised plan back to him—without me having to ask an intern to go back into Revit and redraw the whole thing. That saved me a day,” said Clingner.
Ultimately, leveraging Revu significantly contributed to the Saint Joseph Hospital project teams’ ability to successfully deliver the finished hospital a full 17 days ahead of schedule, and the project teams have plans to work together more in the future.
Read more about Mortenson’s unprecedented speed of completion on the Saint Joseph project here.