A GROWING NETWORK OF CARE
As one of the largest healthcare networks in the state, New Jersey’s Atlantic Health System is constantly working to upgrade its facilities to provide the absolute best care to its communities. One such project is not only one of AHS’s most significant, but also one of New Jersey’s first to combine emergency and inpatient services in one specialized care center.
The facility includes a dedicated entrance and reception area.
With the help of Structure Tone’s New Jersey team, AHS is building a new pediatric emergency and inpatient center at Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, complete with private inpatient rooms, sleeping accommodations for parents and a family lounge and a kids playroom.
The new Children’s Center is an expansion of the existing emergency department and former cardiovascular services space. So, first, the project team had to prepare new space for the cardio unit to relocate. “The project was really organized into two main phases: relocating cardio services and building the Children’s Center,” says Joe MacInnes, Structure Tone project manager.
“Planning was really the name of the game. We spent almost six months working with the hospital and the design team before construction even began.”
Gutting and renovating such an important space meant working around a number of challenges:
1.An active emergency room. Treatment couldn’t stop while the new center was under construction, so the team had to carefully work around the active space. From floor-to-ceiling construction barriers to negative air pressure systems to keep construction dust from entering the hospital, the team took extra steps—and went through rigorous infection control inspections—to ensure patients and staff remained unaffected by the work.
2. The MEP systems. Because the new center was an expansion to the existing hospital, the MEP systems were already in place. The planned phases of construction, however, did not necessarily match up with the most linear path to make those MEP connections. “We were basically working backwards,” says MacInnes. “The new MEP systems we needed were always in a space we had not yet demoed, so it took a lot of upfront planning to make sure we were identifying the best route for the MEP tie-ins and that anything we planned for this phase wouldn’t become a problem in future phases.”
3. Interior daylight. The center’s inpatient rooms are located in the middle of the building. But healthcare occupancy codes require access to daylight in inpatient rooms. To solve the conflict, the project team adjusted the design to lift the roof enclosure at an angle to allow skylights in each room. These skylights, however, interrupted the carefully planned MEP corridors. “Again, it was all about planning. We had to check and double check that the new MEP infrastructure would not conflict with the future phase steel structure,” MacInnes says.
4. More projects. In addition to the ongoing work on the Children’s Center, AHS called on the Structure Tone team to take on a number of other projects throughout their facilities, including everything from lobby and treatment room renovations to telecommunications upgrades. The team responded accordingly, shifting resources and even adding more staff to take on the work.
“We moved superintendents over from other jobs and have now hired new superintendents solely focused on healthcare projects. It’s been exciting to see our own team grow so we can continue to deliver exactly what the hospital needs.” says MacInnes.
Size: 10,000sf (Children’s Center and new Cardiovascular Services space)
Client: Atlantic Health System
Architect: Francis Cuffman
MEP Engineer: Vanderweil Engineers
Structural Engineer: O’Donnell & Naccarato
Owner’s Rep: Eckroth Planning Group
Services: Preconstruction, Construction Management
Completion: October 2017