When the Carolinas HealthCare System broke ground on the Levine Cancer Center in 2008, no one expected it to exceed its growth expectations so soon. However, in 2016 the system’s board of commissioners unanimously approved a plan to build a $125 million outpatient care center on Morehead Street in Charlotte NC.
Expanding Area Healthcare Needs.
Currently, the Levine Cancer Institute needs more space. The facility, just 9 years old, is already operating at capacity. Once the expansion is completed, The Levine Cancer Institute is projected to be the largest cancer care center on the Eastern seaboard – providing optimum care to more people.
A Kirlin Project.
After reviewing the timeline documents, plans and narrative for the expansion, Kirlin decided to bid on the project. Actually, the expansion plan was the perfect project for Kirlin. There was room in the design and delivery of the facility for creativity and direction; and considering Kirlin’s experience with medical facilities – including their technical expertise – Kirlin seemed the perfect mechanical contractor for the job.
Bidding and Pre-construction.
The coordination and discussions during the pre-construction phase help to shape the project. Without a defined plan that includes specifications, a mechanical contractor with design-assist capabilities plays an important role in getting to the final design. Kirlin’s creative expertise is critical for projects that rely on innovation and coordination with architects, owners and developers. The pre-construction phase on this project began by interviewing the construction manager, the building owner and the architect – all of whom helped Kirlin’s team understand the purpose of the expansion and exactly how the facility would be used now, and in the future.
Once the design started to take shape, coordination with the equipment manufacturers and subcontractors came next. The coordination of these teams is essential in planning the pre-construction side. Their feedback on timelines, budgets and equipment helped inform the engineers on details that affected the design of the project and the layout of equipment. During this pre-construction phase, consistent meetings kept everyone in line with the budget requirements. For this particular facility, the coordination between individuals and teams actually ended up saving money on the final project plan.
When the pre-construction phase is approximately 90% completed, the construction phase can begin. In this case, the construction phase was led by Sam Gepner, Kirlin’s BIM (Building Information Modeling) Manager. BIM modeling helps to coordinate the expertise of each party involved – Kirlin, the Architect (Little), and the MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) Engineer. Each team works hand in hand, requiring frequent meetings and a system that records the appropriate input. BIM provides these capabilities. Kirlin is the lead on mechanical construction – coordinating with all subcontractors who are performing work on the facility – to make sure that plans, spacing and timelines do not conflict with each other.
Building Information Modeling (BIM).
In truth, BIM is a joint venture between teams. The design-assist expertise of Kirlin is important to the creativity and problem-solving skills necessary on a complex project. The capabilities within Building Information Modeling systems help make sure everyone is on the same path toward completion. BIM also aids the owner, providing a coordination and design of the teams involved that will result in the best value to the building owner. The BIM stage for this particular project is in process. It is estimated that this stage will take approximately 3 months. At the end of the BIM stage, the finished design goes to the city for approval, and for permitting.
BIM is important to the coordination of the project and the teams involved. All parties involved sign off on each area as design is completed. This stage-by-stage approval process allows fabrication to begin earlier. Valves, pipes and fittings can be fabricated for one area, while other areas are still in design. In truth, design and fabrication can be going on simultaneously, aiding in the building timeline.
Slated for ground break in the Fall of 2017. The timeline for the completion of the Levine Cancer Institute is expected to be approximately 27 months.
Once the expansion is completed, The Levine Cancer Institute is projected to be the largest cancer care center on the Eastern seaboard – providing optimum care to more people. The expansion supports the Levine Cancer Institute Mission – to eliminate the barriers that separate cancer patients from high-quality cancer care, providing them with the treatment they need, closer to where they live.