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$1.5B Penn Pavilion Gets Progress Report, Previously Unreported Details

A rendering of Penn Pavilion, Penn Medicine's $1.5B hospital project

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's $1.5B New Patient Pavilion is 8% complete as of Wednesday, and one of its leaders revealed new details about its construction.

The facility, with its name now simply The Pavilion, will be 1.5M SF and stand 300 feet and 17 stories tall, substantially larger than the plan presented to the Civic Design Review in 2016. The building will contain 500 patient rooms, designed to adapt between intensive care and standard recovery rooms without renovations, and 47 operating rooms. Because of its narrow plot of land, it will be about 600 feet long, or the same as two football fields.

Speaking at Bisnow's Philadelphia 2018 Forecast event on Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania Health System Associate Vice President of Real Estate Design and Construction Patrick Dorris said that the building will also include a 60-bed emergency room and five levels of below-grade parking, containing 700 spaces.

Because of the enormous cost of the project, which included the largest concrete pour in Philadelphia history, Dorris said that ensuring its long-term viability was of the utmost importance, as was staying under budget. To accomplish both goals, Penn placed its design team to "live in" a 25K SF space at 3737 Market St., where they would visualize and test every aspect of the project.

“The idea is that you come up with the best design, so that when you build it, you’re not dealing with a lot of complexity or change at the site,” Dorris said.

Longfellow Real Estate Partners Managing Director Jessica Brock and University of Pennsylvania Health System Associate Vice President of Real Estate Design and Construction Patrick Dorris

Dorris said the team HUP brought together to design and build the hospital was contracted together in unique fashion. Healthcare design firm HDR, architect Foster + Partners, engineering firms BR+A and Southland Industries and construction management firms L.F. Driscoll and Balfour Beatty were all in the space at 3737 Market to foster "a high level of collaboration from day one," Dorris said.

“At the end of the project, we will measure whether we got the outcomes we needed, hit the schedule and the budget goals, and there are bonuses for hitting those goals,” Dorris said.

Ultimately, the goal of the approach was to reduce the number of claims that arose from the worksite, according to Dorris. The Pavilion is scheduled to complete in 2021, and the bulk of the work will be done in 2019 and 2020, Dorris said. At peak activity, the site will require between 800 and 1,000 workers per day.

“We’ve been assured that the workers are going to be there,” Dorris said, adding that the project would be drawing primarily from local trades for its workforce.