Turner Lend Lease – OSU Medical Center

The Ohio State University (OSU) turned to the largest healthcare contractor in America to deliver the largest construction project in its history. Turner Construction, with Lend Lease as its partner, is the construction manager for the OSU Medical Center expansion project in Columbus, Ohio. Turner Vice President Cliff Kazmierczak is the project director on the job worth more than $585 million in construction cost and slated for completion in July 2014.

Each component of the OSU Medical Center Expansion Project is treated as its own project, complete with its own team. Kazmierczak says each construction management team is comprised of a project manager, engineering staff, superintendent staff and a variety of support staff members based on the complexity, volume and duration of each component.

Turner Construction has partnered with Lend Lease, formerly Bovis Lend Lease, on the project. Kazmierczak says Lend Lease is helping oversee construction management services for the entire project, and staff members from the two firms are working together seamlessly. Other key partners include Berkel & Company Contractors Inc.

The OSU Medical Center Expansion Project includes five individual components:

  • Cancer and Critical Care Tower (CCCT) – Designed by HOK, at 21 stories and occupying approximately 1.2 million square feet, the tower will cost approximately $460 million to complete. Within the 1.2 million square feet is approximately 100,000 square feet of space that is being renovated in the existing facilities adjacent to the locations where the tower is physically connected.
  • Rhodes, Doan, James & Cramblett (RDJC) mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) Upgrades – Designed by Karpinski Engineering, Turner Construction is responsible for approximately $47 million in MEP upgrades to the existing facilities on the OSU Medical Center campus, including Rhodes Hall, Doan Hall, James and Ross Hospitals. These upgrades include providing new air-handling units, MEP and fire protection equipment and services to allow the existing hospital to remain operational and efficient for the foreseeable future.
  • Infrastructure and roadways – Turner Construction will deliver all underground utilities in and around the campus that will connect to the new tower and other existing facilities. This $64 million portion of work involves installing tunnels for 42-inch chilled water piping as well as connecting the new tower and existing facilities to a central chilled water plant. Road improvements, landscape and hardscape work will also be completed throughout the western half of the Medical Center Campus.
  • Spirit of Women Park – Scheduled for completion in summer 2012, this park will occupy about one block and will feature a fountain with several hundred custom-designed glass plaques serving as a cancer memorial. The park will cost $4 million to complete.
  • Decommissioning and Demolition of Cramblett Hall – Meyer + Associates Architects has designed the plans for the demolition of this structure, which is slated to take place in the fourth quarter of 2012. This portion of work will cost $6.5 million.
Divvied Up

With so many parties involved with this five-phase project, Kazmierczak says communication with everyone on the project is essential.

“Constant communication is vital between Turner Lend Lease, OSU, designers, subcontractors, etc.,” he says. “It is essential to ensure everyone understands what’s happening when, and we get the answers we need. Many of our people are talking to each other 24/7 in a lot of cases.”

With 55,000 students on OSU’s campus and several fully operational hospitals on site, logistics for all components of the project have been the most challenging aspect of the expansion thus far. Kazmierczak says the only way to mitigate any potential issues is through exhaustive planning, which Turner and the rest of the construction team conducted well in advance of CCCT groundbreaking in October 2010.

“It takes a lot of effort, forethought, time, preplanning and re-planning,” Kazmierczak explains. “In some cases, the actual execution of the work is the result of a one- or two-year planning process.”

One way the construction team will save time on this project is by prefabricating a number of elements of the tower at an off-site location. For instance, the toilet rooms that will serve each patient room are being manufactured in individual, ready-to-install pods. These pods will be hoisted into position and connected to the proper utilities as each floor is completed. Additional components are being prefabricated including electrical conduit and above-ceiling corridor utilities.

While preplanning can prepare a construction team for everything a schedule can throw at it, there are still unplanned events that can arise. In the case of the CCCT, OSU ordered an additional 80,000-square-foot radiation oncology floor shortly after groundbreaking. This change extended the project’s schedule by six months and added $55 million to the project’s construction cost, according to Kazmierczak. The expansion now is slated for completion in July 2014.

Relying on Expertise

A healthcare project of this magnitude may seem overwhelming for other contractors, but Turner’s experience with this sector throughout the United States is unrivaled.

Kazmierczak says the project is utilizing as many Ohio-based firms as possible.

“This is a state of Ohio project, so we really want to get as much state of Ohio participation from the market as we can,” he says, “More than 75 percent of the work will be performed by state of Ohio firms, which is extremely important to the entire team.”

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