Work Under Way on University's Health Sciences Campus

📅   Mon January 09, 2017 - West Edition #1
Chuck Harvey


Design work is done concurrently with early construction so designs will be finished in time for the next phase.
Design work is done concurrently with early construction so designs will be finished in time for the next phase.
Design work is done concurrently with early construction so designs will be finished in time for the next phase. Fast-track design and construction are proceeding on a $165 million health sciences training building on the University of Arizona Health Sciences campus in Tucson. Equipment includes cranes, drilling rigs, earthmoving equipment, concrete trucks and pumpers. Construction on the building began in June of 2016 and completion is scheduled for June 2018. Initial work on the facility includes excavation and shoring. Concrete caissons are complete.

Fast-track design and construction are proceeding on a 226,000 gross- sq.-ft. (20,996 sq m), $165 million health sciences training building on the University of Arizona Health Sciences campus in Tucson.

Known as the Health Sciences Innovation Building, the nine-story facility will provide simulated practice situations and interaction between multidisciplinary teams of students, faculty and health professionals in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. The new building, located at 1670 East Drachman St., will feature large, medium and small group learning areas along with clinical labs and simulation centers. It will allow for a broad spectrum of instructional applications.

The new building will sit across from the Sarver Heart Center on the university campus.

The project was previously referred to as the Simulation Inter-Professional Healthcare Education and Research Building. The new title is shorter and stresses innovation. The new facility will allow for a broad spectrum of instructional applications and will encourage innovative ideas.

Groundwork Is Under Way

Initial work on the facility includes excavation and shoring. Concrete caissons are complete. Design work is done concurrently with early construction so designs will be finished in time for the next phase.

“Excavation of elevator pits, placement of concrete foundations and waterproofing is currently under way,” said Chris Wilt, facilities manager of University of Arizona planning, design and construction. “Design is proceeding concurrently in order to fast track construction.”

The building is constructed primarily of concrete and steel.

“It's looking like there will be some terracotta on the outside of the building — in an adaptive design specially created for this area,” Wilt said.

Energy efficiency is an important part of the design.

“We will have a highly energy efficient design and look to achieve a USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) LEED rating of Silver or greater,” Wilt said.

The project requires approximately 15,000 cu. yds. (11,468 cu m) of concrete and 1,100 tons (998 t) of steel.

Basement excavation for the building required dirt removal. Workers removed about 674,000 cu. ft. (19 cu m) of native soil.

Construction on the building began in June of 2016 and completion is scheduled for June 2018.

Heavy Equipment on Site

Equipment includes cranes, drilling rigs, earthmoving equipment, concrete trucks and pumpers. A tower crane was erected in December.

Funding for the facility is from university system revenue bonds.

A revenue bond is a special type of municipal bond distinguished by its guarantee of replacement solely from revenues generated by a specified revenue-generating entity rather than a tax.

In the case of University of Arizona, the revenue comes from growing tuition revenue, but not an increase in tuition.

Contractor for the project is Kitchell of Phoenix. The project has about 12 subcontractors currently with many more on the way. Major subcontractors include Schuff Steel of Mesa, Ariz.; Baker Concrete of Phoenix and Magnum Paving of Tucson. Approximately 50 workers are on site now.

“This will increase to peak number of about 250 workers,” Wilt said.

Kitchell is a multi-service construction company. Its services include general contracting, construction management, real estate development, program management, engineering and architecture, facilities management and property management.

One of its more recent projects was construction of the Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, Ariz. Kitchell completed the 180,000 sq. ft. (16,723 sq m) building with five-story patient tower in 2014.

Architect for the Health Sciences Innovation Building is CO Architects of Los Angeles.

Minimizing Noise, Dust Hazards

“HSIB is in the middle of two other ongoing projects in this area,” Wilt said. “BSRL [Bioscience Research Laboratories Building] to the south, Banner hospital to the north. This site is in an urban campus environment and safety and minimizing construction impacts are top priorities.”

Project Is Challenging

“The challenge is that this is a fast track project and the design is only slightly ahead of construction,” Wilt said. “There were a few issues getting started into the ground, but the team has been finding ways to minimize possible schedule impacts.”

He added, “The fast track process and evolution of the design documents makes it difficult to confirm a final project cost until the design is complete. To maintain the established project budget, target value budgets are established for work that has not been designed and the contractor and design-assist-subcontractors work with the design team to ensure that their piece of work stays within the target value.” CEG