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Project coordination key on Georgetown hospital project

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by Don Procter

Like most hospital construction jobs, the 18-month, $9 million contract to build a 17,000-square-foot addition at Georgetown Hospital has its complications.
Project coordination key on Georgetown hospital project

Like most hospital construction jobs, the 18-month, $9 million contract to build a 17,000-square-foot addition at Georgetown Hospital has its complications.

But even before starting that addition for a new emergency department and diagnostic imaging, general contractor Chart Construction Management Inc. has been busy.

“The site works phasing required numerous emergency vehicle and public access routing relocations in order to construct the new parking lot and emergency department ambulance entrance bay,” explains Jason Orzechowski, owner of Concord, Ont.-based Chart.

“We needed to complete it is so we could get into the ground with the addition before winter.”

The new one-storey structural steel addition will be clad in masonry and tied into the existing hospital. Once it is completed (the schedule calls for it to be operating next August), Chart will proceed with a 3,000 square foot renovation to the former emergency department space.

Renovations include asbestos abatement and interior gutting in preparation for ultrasound and radiology fit-outs, says Orzechowski, adding that infection prevention barriers will be “a high priority” because the work will be adjacent to fully occupied departments.

The barriers will consist of air tight framed walls sealed with six ml poly/drywall and a negative air pressure system.

Chart has plenty of experience with hospital projects, big and small. The contract at Georgetown ranks as one of Chart’s biggest, he says.

The approach to building health care additions like it today is more complex than in the “pre-SARS” (severe acute respiratory syndrome) years, he points out.

Construction methods — particularly infection prevention — swiftly changed after SARS hit Toronto in 2003.

“Now, how we build and how we get things done can be very tricky. Builders in healthcare need to be able to adapt to the advanced technology and the evolving demands of each healthcare project.”

“A lot of preplanning and coordination with the user groups is expected, and we have to engage in more education in infection prevention training such as that offered by the CSA as a mandatory requirement,” he says.

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