Skanska led construction of Legacy Health System’s $172 million Salmon Creek Hospital complex, which became the first new hospital campus in the Portland metro area in 30 years. The hospital offers emergency services, surgery, comprehensive cancer care, diagnostics and maternity. Components: A 468,890-SF main hospital building with two L-shaped patient towers over a two-story base and a total of 228 beds, a pair of medical office buildings, one 108,000-SF and the other 88,000-SF, three pedestrian bridges, a 459,480-SF parking structure, a 15-bed, level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Developing the project
Challenges: Legacy set an aggressive project schedule: Typically, a project of this size would take approximately 54 months schedule (24 months for design and 30 for construction), but Legacy wanted this timeframe shortened by a year. Also, the project faced scheduling challenges and pricing constraints caused by huge demand for commodities during late 2003 and early 2004, particularly steel. Accomplishments: The team implemented several creative scheduling techniques, shortening the typical 54-month schedule by nearly a year. These included: Skanska and the architect, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, moved to a fast-track design process and early design/bid packages were implemented. Skanska brought in staff prior to move-in and equipment installation to ensure a minimum of issues and changes once the facility was occupied. A phased occupancy plan, including plans to bring hospital systems online in the most beneficial fashion, allowed construction teams to prioritize areas as they could be completed. Skanska worked closely with local agencies to ensure proper permitting and quality. Through meetings with the owner, we knew exactly how the staff was going to interact with the facility. With this knowledge, we were able to plan optimal fit-up operations and staff training.
Constructing the project
To accommodate Legacy’s request of opening the hospital just two weeks after substantial completion, we began planning for closeout midway through the project, creating our own punch-lists as areas were being completed, well before outside inspectors came onsite. To beat the impending increases in commodities and steel prices, early bid packages were broken out, such as those for the steel piling and structural steel, enabling our team to bid these packages as early in the project as possible. The project team also brought the major MEP subcontractors onboard and gave them the ability make major bulk material purchases of conduit, wire, piping, and so on as the prices started climbing. Off-site storage was provided for these items. Skanska planned ahead for potential scope increases by tying all change pricing to unit prices, equipment rates, and labor rates provided at bid time and guaranteed for the life of the project. This allowed us to negotiate the rates at bid time in a competitive environment and then maintain these competitive rates for the life of the project.