Building Healthcare

Healthcare Construction e-News

Helping Our Clients Achieve Better Outcomes

Welcome to Building Healthcare!

On a quarterly basis, click through this executive-style briefing on the latest construction news, technology advancements and best practices. Christman's inaugural edition of Building Healthcare focuses on technology and the “future-is-now” approach to experiencing better build outcomes. 

Click this link to share your story in the next edition. 

Mixed Reality: The Future for Construction Innovation

Imagine working in a world where you could collaborate in meaningful and tangible ways on construction project decisions in real-time, before the first hammer swings. What would be required?

Consider how the typical process works. It is a vision of a client, brought to life by a designer and construction partner. The challenge is that visualizing the project early in the lifecycle can be difficult for the wide variety of stakeholders involved – this gap in a shared understanding can result in impacts to cost, schedule and function.

One new solution is mixed reality.

Today’s available collaboration technology is getting close to the scientific predictions of pop-culture movies and TV. Christman is one of a handful of companies across the country that is piloting new “mixed reality” technology with Microsoft Hololens. This solution blends a physical model with hologram technology.

Using a self-contained head-mounted viewer, any project participant can see (and almost feel what it’s like to be inside) the envisioned structure at the earliest stage of a project.

Collaboration tools like this one offer tangible benefits, including:

  • Improved design coordination through proactive clash detection
  • Compressed scheduling by reducing process times
  • Decreased cost by minimizing late-stage changes

Interested in a demo of this new tool or other collaboration tools available today? Click this link to set one up.

Case Study: Sparrow Ionia Hospital

A recent example of construction collaboration tools in action is Sparrow Health System’s Ionia Critical Access Hospital.

Sparrow set out with the Ionia project to improve ease of patient access. The new hospital features 22 inpatient beds and expanded emergency, surgery and outpatient services. Other elements include all-digital radiology, private patient rooms, enhanced safety and security, as well as a pharmacy, kitchen and cafeteria, laboratory and MRI services.

Early in construction, Building Information Modeling (BIM) enabled the team to perform cloud-based clash detection of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. This attention to MEP coordination allowed the team to work through the process 22 percent faster. Once coordinated, lean construction practices were leveraged, including prefabrication of pipe, conduit and duct to increase labor efficiency while simultaneously improving on-site safety. Throughout the project, Christman worked in collaboration with the Sparrow Health management staff to capture specific data and embed it in the model to improve their facility management processes.

As a result, Sparrow’s asset management software could be fully populated with the new building assets in a matter of minutes at project completion. This commonly takes months or years to complete. The composite 3D model also serves as a very powerful as-built document to improve ongoing maintenance practices.

Click here for more information on this project.

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Ask a Healthcare Construction Expert

John M. O'Toole, LEED AP
As principal in charge of Christman's healthcare services, John brings to his role extensive experience and knowledge in healthcare facilities programming, with a focus on creating facilities solutions centered on clients' strategic business goals. Prior to joining Christman in 2003 as healthcare services director, John worked for 15 years as director of operations for Centex Rodgers, Inc., where his responsibilities focused exclusively on healthcare pre-construction and construction services delivery. Read more...