Impossible? We don’t think so.
Clint Hodgson, a Beaumont Hospital Sr. Project Manager is clear when it comes to construction, “Bring in someone with a history of healthcare. Experience counts.” Beaumont Health is an active, bustling healthcare system. With eight hospitals, 168 health centers, nearly 5,000 physicians and 35,000 employees. Beaumont Health serves the community of southeast Michigan and beyond. The Royal Oak campus alone hosts nearly 1,100 beds, a major academic and referral center and a Level I adult trauma center.
With this many people, Beaumont—Royal Oak needed office space while still providing patients award-winning care. But, where could they find it? There was one option. A connector bridge patch between two buildings.
Identifying the space on a nearly two million square-foot campus seemed easy when compared with what they uncovered. The connector was never finished and the concrete was missing from the floor deck of the otherwise finished building.
A mighty feat
You can’t simply carry concrete through the building. You risk splash and safety failures. It seemed the best solution was to pump the concrete up to the site. But consider, how do you pump concrete up six floors, from street-level, around sensitive underground access tunnels, above underground utility structures, near high-traffic car and pedestrian routes, beside three emergency exits, through a finished curtainwall system and window that is two feet by four feet on Saturday of the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise? You plan. Plan. Plan.
Christman worked with Beaumont’s facilities team to identify risks and strategize solutions. The goal was to look at all scenarios and create an option for each.
- Place 35 yards of concrete. (Let’s clearly define what that means. A yard weighs 4,000 pounds. A truck weighs 26,000 pounds. This means Beaumont was undertaking the herculean task of moving 140,000 pounds of concrete up a pump to the sixth floor.) Our solution: Use a pedestrian walk designed for fire access to avoid driving over underground access tunnels. Additionally use three-quarter inch steel road plates to protect sensitive traffic control sensors.
- Three near-by emergency exits remained open. Christman and Beaumont worked together to identify truck access, driving routes and parking to meet all safety requirements. Not once was safety compromised and planning played a huge part in that success.
- Speed was of the essence to ensure the busy campus could continually accommodate patients, visitors and staff. Through experienced oversight the work began at 5 a.m. and the pour began at 6:30 a.m. A tightly choreographed plan allowed for placement in just two hours.
- This particular work task was part of a larger, 13-phase renovation project. When sequencing the work, this pour was scheduled for the Saturday morning of Royal Oak’s Dream Cruise. Located adjacent to the hospital, an estimated 30,000 cars and nearly a million people flooded the area. This put one of the world’s largest auto events in the back yard of the hospital. The facility team managed access and traffic flow. The mobile police response unit for Dream Cruise was in an adjacent parking lot to the hospital. This critical security effort experienced zero issues.
Considerable planning led to a perfectly delivered two hours of work pumping concrete. When reflecting on the experience, Tim Poszywak, Beaumont’s Construction Compliance Fire & Life Safety Manager said, “It’s important to see hazards at the highest level of risk and mitigate problems. This was a good outcome.”