DPR teams with The Pennsylvania State University to use Immersive Construction Laboratory for Virtual Mock-ups to Save Time and Dollars
A commitment to green building and use of latest technology played major roles in the successful design and construction of Kaiser Permanente’s ground-up, 34,000-sq.-ft. medical office building and outpatient care center in Manassas, VA, completed by DPR in May. Designed by architect Oudens Knoop Knoop + Sachs, of Chevy Chase, MD, the one-story building includes approximately 30 exam rooms, three minor procedure rooms and support areas, skilled laboratory rooms, radiology, mammography, ultrasound areas and a full-service pharmacy.
Project: Medical Office Building
Client: Kaiser Permanente
Architect: Oudens Knoop Knoop + Sachs
GREEN GUIDE FOR HEALTH CARE
As part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to sustainable design, the Manassas project used the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) to incorporate extensive green features and approaches, a process that can be particularly complex in this market due to the unique requirements of healthcare facility construction. Based on the LEED rating system, the GGHC was created to determine potential ways to make healthcare facilities more sustainable and to spur further growth of sustainability in this market sector through the educational tools provided in the guidelines.
The myriad of green components of the Manassas medical office building includes the following:
- Thermoplastic Polyolefin for the roofing, a highly reflective material that maximizes thermal efficiency in the building.
- Cotton insulation made of recycled denim.
- Extensive use of recycled steel.
- Three-form acrylic panels used for decorative detailing in various areas.
- Low VOC paint and flooring.
- Occupancy sensors in 60 to 70 percent of the rooms.
In addition, during construction, approximately 98 percent of the construction debris was recycled and an indoor air quality plan was implemented. The property site also contains a wetlands area that was not disturbed, and an irrigation system was not installed—additional green components.
VIRTUAL MOCK-UPS SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Along with a commitment to green, the project team utilized some of the latest technology to improve the design and construction process. The Kaiser Permanente Manassas job served as a pilot project in the Mid-Atlantic region for implementation of DPR’s new web-based project management software system that further fosters a collaborative team environment and increases communication among members. Building Information Modeling (BIM) also proved especially useful for coordination of the large amount of self-performed concrete work, totaling some 32,000 sq. ft., as well as helped the team coordinate the extensive under-slab plumbing work. “Everything needed to fit in the walls and land in the right spot, and BIM allowed us to coordinate installations virtually for greater accuracy,” said DPR Project Manager Hector Valdez.
For the full-service pharmacy and an exam room, DPR went a step further and partnered with The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) to perform life-size virtual mock-ups, using the university’s Immersive Construction Lab or as the team called it, “ICon Lab.” The approach was a suggestion of Penn State student Rob Leicht, a DPR intern last summer whose research was rooted in the university’s Computer Integrated Construction Research Program. The BIM of the pharmacy space was taken to a greater level of detail to include the interiors and casework, then rendered and visualized using a three-screen immersive stereo projection system (similar to 3D movies).
Along with DPR’s project team, two of the pharmacists, who will occupy the space, as well as Kaiser Permanente’s project manager, traveled to Penn State to view and analyze the full-scale model. “The users got very involved, and were able to get a much better understanding of how the space would turn out by looking at the model,” said Valdez. “As a result, we were able to capture all the changes that they needed prior to actually starting construction.”
DPR estimates a 375 percent return on investment, based on the savings realized through increased productivity and avoided rework when divided by the total BIM implementation costs for the mock-ups. In addition, virtual mock-ups can be created much earlier in the project than a site mock-up and allow users without construction experience to become part of the process.
Posted on June 8, 2011
Last Updated August 23, 2022