Construction of the new 733,000-square-foot, 300-bed Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in West Bloomfield Township began in November 2005. The facility is expected to be substantially completed by March 2009 with partial turnover of some early phase work in mid-2008. The hospital will open for patients in July 2008.
Turner Construction, of Detroit, is the construction management firm for the project. The $310-million hospital includes a 52,000-square-foot energy center, which will house all of the mechanical and electrical systems. The balance of the square footage will be in the inpatient areas; medical-surgical; intensive care suites; diagnostic and treatment areas; including surgical, radiology and catheterization laboratory areas.
"There have been a number of challenges on the project. One of the challenges was getting started on the site work, as well as the energy center, before the construction drawings were 100-percent complete," Clifford P. Kazmierczak, vice president and project director for Turner Construction Company, said. Kazmierczak said that there has been an extensive effort to move the project along as quickly as possible.
Some equipment for the facility was ordered early on, such as chillers, boilers and emergency generators. "We did that; however, as the design was still in development, there were certain things that needed to be changed or modified during the course of building construction activities. It's been to some degree, a build-as-you-design approach; at least in the early stages of the energy center work," Kazmierczak said.
"Some of the other challenges that we've had included the soil conditions of the site. The soil was very, very poor at the locations where wetlands have been mitigated. There was a lot of organic material that had to be removed from the site and areas where we had to remove a lot of unsuitable soils in order to install underground utilities and build the hospital ring road. That created numerous challenges for us."
He said that the abnormal wet weather has also created problems. "The 80-acre site doesn't drain the water very well. It has taken a long time to dewater the area in order to do an effective construction project," Kazmierczak pointed out.
"We took care of a lot of the surface water by installing the utilities early in the project. However, there are other portions of the site that are still exposed to much of the rain." Kazmierczak said that dewatering is a continuing process, due to the heavy rainfall.
Another challenge is that the facility is being built adjacent to a Henry Ford medical center. "We have a 277,000-square-foot medical facility that is fully operational and must remain operational. We are building around all three sides of the existing medical center, which creates a logistics challenge for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and material movement and handling for both Turner and Henry Ford. Turner continues to do a lot of interfacing with Henry Ford on a regular basis to ensure that we don't disrupt their operation and that we minimize disruptions throughout the process," Kazmierczak said.
The facility is going to have a northern lodge-like appearance. Some of the unique features of the new hospital will include:
- Family-oriented rooms for the families of extended stay patients.
- Private patient rooms that will overlook a pond, landscaped atriums and courtyards.
- Patient Internet access, computerized patient information systems and flat screen televisions.
Subcontractors on the project include John E. Green Company; Motor City Electric; Gillis Electric; Ferndale Electric; De-Cal, Inc.; Wolverine Fire Protection; ABC Paving; Angelo Iafrate; Brazen & Greer; Casadei Structural Steel; ELS; Simone; Crown Core; and Universal Glass. The architectural and engineering firm is Albert Kahn Associates, Inc., of Detroit.