How to manage a healthcare construction project – Part 2 (of 3)

A few weeks back, we wrote Part 1 of our three-part series about how to manage a healthcare construction project. We said we wouldn’t give away our “secret sauce” at The Korte Company, and we didn’t, but we did talk about a few initial assessments that are vital to the long-term success of a medical facility construction project no matter who your healthcare builder is.

We talked about the original business assessment of the healthcare company and its importance. We discussed the importance of investigating already established systems within a structure and company. We explained our thoughts on creating a master healthcare facility plan. And last, but certainly not least, we talked about the initial financial assessment.

You can read Part 1 here. And Part 3, it’s here. But in this blog post, Part 2 of our three-part series, we’ll be looking at schematic design and design development to determine guaranteed maximum price, or GMP.

Schematic design and design development

Now that all the assessments have been made to your existing medical facility or hospital campus, it’s time to move into schematic design and design development. Here, you begin to figure out what this project is going to cost. At this point of the healthcare construction process and medical facility construction planning, it’s important to have full involvement from the team. That includes the healthcare planner, the project developer and the design team.

The project developer is responsible for constructability, estimating, phasing and scheduling, and the design team often includes the architects and all applicable engineers and consultants (included, but not limited to, physicians, specialists, radiation physicists and others).

Field assessment

The field assessment is next. And in this part of medical facility construction, the full design team travels to the site of the construction to obtain an initial project assessment. A survey is conducted of existing conditions including topography, site utilities, property lines, easements and more. Additionally, city and/or county zoning and parking ordinances are considered while defining site constraints.

In this phase, your healthcare builder should arrange for an assessment of hazardous materials, if not already available, and request existing statements of conditions reports.

We recommend a full-team walkthrough of existing buildings and healthcare facilities, identifying a long list of pertinent healthcare planning details, including, but certainly not limited to, ADA compliance, as-built floor plans (red line mark-ups), fire and smoke prep, interior room finishes, existing structure systems and location, and mechanical and electrical systems.

Staff interviews critical in determining GMP

In our first round of staff interviews, we open up conversation between the director of healthcare planning, the architecture team leader and the project developer. It’s crucial to get everyone on the same page, especially when it’s a final cost that is being determined.

A good healthcare construction company will make sure they thoroughly understand statistics that are vital to the health of the hospital or medical facility before they can determine their final plan of action. So bed/matrix censuses, hospital strategic plans, and a thorough mapping of existing flow, staffing and adjacencies must be confirmed and understood.

In this part of the healthcare construction project, when The Korte Company is hired, we interview executive and management teams for conceptual vision and direction. Additionally, we look to talk to department managers, as they’re the ones that really know how their particular healthcare facility works and what they need to make it better than it already is.

At this point in the healthcare construction project, your Design-Builder should have a strong understanding of phasing and exactly how much the healthcare provider is wanting to spend. They should also be able to forecast whether or not phasing is dependent upon funding.

Deliverables – hospital layouts and schematic designs

In what’s almost the final portion of Part 2, the Owner should expect to see layouts of the medical facility floor plan and more. To read more about our thoughts on those, click here.

These include a site plan, architectural floor plans (identifying existing and new building locations, department and room identification, flow, room finishes and more) exterior elevations (walk –around or rendering of both interior and exterior), a roof plan, key wall sections and an outline of specifications.

Design development and GMP phase

As Part 2 wraps up, the project developer will review energy and sustainable design plans, cost estimating, phasing, constructability, valid engineering review, scheduling and more. We recommend a second round of staff interviews and a thorough look at the building program’s approval.

The healthcare Design-Builder will present their initial GMP for review and comment, and then present again for approval.

Architectural drawings of floor plans, elevators, room sizes should now be set and outline specification to 50% complete. Here, all code reviews and address any code issues and third round staff interviews are conducted.

Finally, it’s time to present for Preliminary State Regulatory Review.

That concludes Part 2 of our three-part series. Click here for Part 3.

Related Content

How to manage a healthcare construction project – Part 1 (of 3)

How to manage a healthcare construction project – Part 3 (of 3)

The Build Smart Guide to Better Hospital Floor Plans

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