[Case Study] MetroHealth – A Case Study on Collaboration (3 of 4)

MetroHealth – A Case Study on Collaboration – September 2, 2022

By Robert A. Hager, Esq and Paula M. Selvaggio, RPLU

The is the 3rd article in a series featuring the MetroHealth Transformation project using the Cogence Alliance philosophy of working in a collaborative environment.

Walter Jones, the leader of this transformational project describes the 3 GMP segments of the project:

  • GMP A Foundations
  • GMP B Superstructure, Steel & Exterior Cladding
  • GMP C Balance of Project Scope

This segmented process drove the design, construction document creation and path forward.

Asked if any serious issues arose in the first GMP, Walter offered the following:

Like many projects, the team encountered soil issues and a high-water table which led to many discussions about the basement level originally conceived.  After meeting with the Executive Team and faced with an alternative to engineer a solution which would negatively impact cost and schedule, the decision was made to eliminate the basement.  Instead, we decided to build a larger super structure.  We added 100 more caissons for a slightly larger footprint, moved the functions of Central Sterile Processing (CSP) and the Pharmacy from their basement location to other floors, and made the building slightly taller as a result (11 floors vs the original 9).  This actually led to a cost savings and, if you consider the long-term impact of flooding that could occur in the future, the team felt this was the best solution.

Even though the GMP was “locked in”, Walter stresses not to stop thinking about opportunities to enhance the project: “Great ideas happen at the least expected moments; creative thinking doesn’t happen on a clock.”

We know that “owner expectations” (or rather the failure of meeting them) is one of the highest risk drivers on construction projects.  In order to effectively manage this risk, the team conducts various periodic meetings:

  • Weekly owner /architect /contractor (OAC) meetings where project details are discussed.
  • Monthly leadership meetings where final decisions are made.
  • Multiple and simultaneous system-specific meetings to feed into the OAC meeting
  • BIM coordination design meetings throughout to test and confirm design schemes

It is also equally important to have regular communications with all stakeholders including the design and construction team, the hospital staff, and the community at large.  For example, Metro Internet Village (MIV) is the hospital’s intranet site that publishes timely articles on the progress of the project, as well as information concerning what stakeholders can expect in the short term (i.e., noise level, road changes).  There is also a central email where questions and concerns can be addressed, a hot line for call-ins and a suggestion box available.  Another example of working with agencies on the outside of the project was working with ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) in obtaining permission to have direct access for ambulances to travel to the Emergency Department directly from I-71 exit ramp.  Typically, interstate exit ramps terminate or merge at intersecting streets. ODOT granted MetroHealth permission for the I-71 exit to cross its terminating street to a direct driveway leading to the campus’ newly enhanced internal road and the emergency department.

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