NAVIGATING HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION DURING A PANDEMIC
Aventura Hospital Bed Expansion
In response to the growing demand for healthcare services, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center expanded patient services with a 90,000 square foot building, providing 60 additional private rooms. The three-story facility is the new home to the hospital’s Orthopedic and Spine Institute.
KHS&S was contracted to supply labor, material and equipment for the new patient rooms on the second and third floors. Interior work included wall layout, framing, insulation, drywall, plaster finish, smoke and acoustical caulk, fire caulk and acoustical ceilings. Fire, smoke and sound rated partitions were also installed. Exterior work included wall layout, framing and sheathing of the entire three-story building.
A priority for all KHS&S construction is to implement Lean processes and methods to eliminate waste and complete the work scope efficiently and rapidly with the highest quality. KHS&S’ Lean training, tools and techniques proved to be even more essential for construction during the pandemic.
New Protocols for an Essential Industry
Following CDC, state and local government guidelines that were continuously being modified required ongoing adjustments to protocols. Anticipating site challenges and potential impact on productivity, KHS&S and general contractor Layton Construction immediately developed and implemented safety mandates.
From temperature checks to COVID-19 safety education, the team swiftly adapted to working under new and changing constraints. Morning huddles and safety meetings with workers at least six feet apart and wearing masks became paperless and were held outdoors when possible to ensure ventilation. The work schedule was closely tracked, reviewed and adjusted daily to plan for any foreseen site conditions or restrictions.
Scarcity of Materials
The pandemic also brought on the sudden scarcity of construction materials, especially drywall. Many manufacturers closed or reduced their manpower. For materials that could be secured, on-time delivery became difficult because of lack of transportation services that were in high demand. Suddenly, drywall that is generally a stock item now required a lead time of more than two weeks. Running out of drywall or delivery delays would cost time and money, impacting worker productivity and project flow.
Accurately estimating the required materials to complete the job, ordering with the necessary lead time and KHS&S’ relationship with the supplier enabled items to be delivered as needed to complete the work scope without delays. The team implemented the Just-In-Time delivery process, ordering materials ahead of time and scheduling delivery only when specific items were needed, rather than having supplies delivered when not yet needed and having to work around them or move them when they were in the way of another contractor’s work.
Successfully Responding to Interior Design Changes
Midway through framing the second floor there was a redesign of space and the team was redirected to begin work on the third floor. Nearing completion of the third-floor framing, KHS&S received notice to proceed with the remainder of the second floor with the added scope of building patient bathrooms. Switching gears from one floor to another strained workflow and productivity.
To increase efficiency, KHS&S installed prefabricated drywall when possible to eliminate the use of corner bead at certain locations. The framed patient bathroom walls had a 45-degree angle on the door wall, and the team eliminated the use of beads at all these locations. By using the PanelMax machine, drywall board was cut at a set depth allowing installers to bend the drywall board on the wall. When installed, it looked like a finished corner without the need of corner bead or tape.
- Acoustic ceiling tile