How To Launch A $1.2B Project
Cranes won’t arrive for at least a year, but Boston Children’s Hospital’s $1.2B new clinical tower and associated LMA campus improvements are underway. We asked BCH VP Charles Weinstein what the first steps are for such a mammoth project. For a deep dive into what’s new in healthcare, join Charles at Bisnow’s State of Boston Healthcare Real Estate event, Thursday, Dec. 17, 7:30am, at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowes Wharf, Boston. Sign up here!
Forgoing the traditional approach, Charles and his colleagues decided to make this 600k SF project BCH’s first all-lean construction. Charles saw around him how this new approach can speed up decision-making and radically reduce errors. It involves assembling most of the development and construction team in advance and in the same office. Emails and texting can take days or even weeks to answer questions. Co-locating the entire development team helps remove the adversarial element that for decades has plagued some owner/development team relationships.
By mid-2014, the BCH team decided to go for lean construction. Using a BIM software suite that’s shared by the entire development team, they started to virtually build the structures. Early in 2015, the hospital leased 218k SF of new space—168k SF at Landmark Center, 50k SF at Longwood Center—to relocate personnel during construction. The development team—up to 40 people, including the GC, architect, engineers and others—holds biweekly meetings.
Once the buildings are vacated, they’ll remove hundreds of historic architectural elements to restore, such as doors and street lamps. Those elements be returned after five years of construction. By April, team members will start to remove asbestos from the four buildings on the BCH campus that will be demolished to create the 41k SF footprint for the new clinical tower. By late next summer, the construction crew will start one year of digging for the 75-foot-deep foundation and its slurry wall. That will be followed by three full years of construction on the tower itself. The projected occupancy is late 2020.
We also spoke with Shawn Seaman, COO of Suffolk Construction, which was awarded the contract to manage construction of the new $1.2B BCH clinical building. The new standard of care calls for single-patient rooms and accommodations for family members to sleep, eat and relax. Healing gardens and sanctuaries are programmed in to elevate the experience of the patient and family. New technology is now part of patient care. For instance, healthcare providers are equipped with computers on wheels. The computers are outfitted with advanced software that enables the entire patient care team to have access to a continuously updated, accurate patient record.
By March, Shawn expects to turn over Brigham and Women’s Hospital $500M, 680k SF Building for the Future in the Longwood Medical Area to the owner, Partners HealthCare. Now, the Suffolk team is installing finishes like the terrazzo and wood paneling for the lobby and equipment for the research labs. Working with the architect—NBBJ and the engineer, BR+A—the Suffolk crew is starting up the mechanical systems to get the building ready for occupancy next spring.
Site work won’t start until next summer, but Suffolk is working with the architect, Shepley Bulfinch, and the engineer, BR+A, on the program, pricing and budgeting.
Hope to see you tomorrow at Bisnow’s State of Boston Healthcare Real Estate, 7:30am at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowes Wharf, Boston. Last chance to sign up!