DALLAS — The Balfour Beatty/McCarthy joint venture, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Health Facilities Planning Agency (HFPA), and Medical Command (MEDCOM) celebrated the official topping out for the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Replacement at Fort Hood, Texas. At $536 million, the medical center replacement is the largest project to date funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and is the largest design-build project in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) medical construction.

Balfour Beatty/McCarthy is a joint venture of Balfour Beatty Construction and McCarthy Building Companies Inc. formed to provide design-build services for the Fort Hood Replacement Hospital project. The team includes HKS Architects and Wingler & Sharp as design partners and Southland Industries/M.C. Dean for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services.

The Balfour Beatty/McCarthy team is providing design-build services for the 947,000-square-foot project, which will replace the existing Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and provide a new, state-of-the-art health care facility for service members and their families. The organizations said the design-build process is greatly benefiting the project, saving time and money due to increased efficiency, removing at least two years from the construction timeline.

“We are excited to celebrate this project milestone with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our other project partners. We look forward to completing this highly sophisticated facility that will provide top-tier health care services to active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families as well as the surrounding community of Fort Hood,” said Michael J. McWay, president of McCarthy’s Texas Division and chairman of the Balfour Beatty/McCarthy Management Committee. “The design-build process, in conjunction with our decades of experience in the health care industry, has enabled the team to build a coordinated, high-quality facility that meets the government’s budget and schedule.”

“The Balfour McCarthy/HKS design build team has worked diligently to reach this important milestone. We are proud to be part of this collaborative team and honored to build this world-class facility for the service men and women and their families who sacrifice so much for our country,” said Doug Jones, regional CEO for Balfour Beatty Construction.

The topping out event signifies completion of the highest elevation point of construction. The project’s onsite building team joined members of USACE, HFPA, MEDCOM and more than 800 workers to sign the last beam to be put in place, inscribed with the words “Build Strong. Army Strong.”

The project sits on a 72-acre site and will include a six-story hospital tower, two two-story outpatient clinics, one three-story outpatient specialty clinic, ambulance garage, logistics building, central utility plant, and three parking structures. Darnall serves roughly 45,000 active duty personnel and nearly 125,000 military family members and retirees within a 40-mile radius.

Darnall is being designed and constructed with a goal of maximum flexibility to keep pace with the community’s increased health care needs. Due to the hospital’s forward-thinking design and construction, another two floors can be added at a later time, if needed. The choice of the concrete structural system allows for longer bays, which will allow for greater ease of adoption to future changes in health care technology.

The installation of interstitial space also serves to make future expansions more streamlined and seamless. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are housed between the regular-use floors so improvements and changes can be made without disturbing patients and staff in the floors above and below. As a result, hospital suites and other spaces can be easily renovated without affecting MEP systems, yielding a reduced lifecycle cost.

The project also saved time and costs through the use of insulated precast panels in the façade. When the panels are erected, the façade will be complete — the brick is already cast into the panels, which cuts down on the time of enclosure.

The use of state-of-the-art technology has also translated into cost savings for the project. The Balfour Beatty/McCarthy team has maximized the use of building information modeling (BIM) tools and mobile apps in the field, including AutoDesk BIM 360 Field and prefabrication techniques to help facilitate collaboration and coordination of all project aspects during design and construction while improving decision-making and expediting progress.

The new medical center was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification requirements. Key sustainable measures include more than 30 percent reduction in energy use over ASHRAE Standard 90.1; utility use reduction of 55 percent over the existing hospital due in part to daylighting and a green roof; 50 percent water reduction for irrigation use due to drought-tolerant landscaping; and 30 percent decrease in water usage for plumbing systems with high-pressure low-flow plumbing fixtures. In addition, the new facility will utilize a 100 percent dedicated outdoor air system, which will improve overall indoor air quality and eliminate recirculation of air within patient care areas.

Construction is scheduled for completion in July 2014, with operations set to start in summer 2015.

Publication date: 7/1/2013

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