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Exterior evening shot of the Inova Patient Tower.

Inova Loudoun Hospital North Patient Tower

Inova Loudoun Hospital North Patient Tower | Leesburg, Virginia

Quality and Innovation Evident in Inova Loudoun Hospital’s New North Patient Tower Project

Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, VA welcomed the first patients to its new seven-story, 385,000-sq.-ft. North Patient Tower in April of 2020, unveiling a state-of-the-art addition and renovation that is a showcase of quality, innovation and patient-centered design and construction.

Project Details

Designed by HDR Architecture, Inc. and built by DPR, the North Tower features a dramatic new main entry canopy and drop off concourse that connects all major service lines of the new ground level and expanded first floor. It is linked to the adjacent parking garage by a covered pedestrian bridge.

Representing a key phase of the hospital’s $300 million master plan expansion of facilities and services, the patient tower largely consists of in-patient bed units and complimentary healthcare functions. These include: diagnostic services, imaging and laboratories on the first floor; labor and delivery (L&D) services including 12 L&D rooms and a 24-bed NICU on floor 2; 24 post-partum rooms and 24 medical /surgery rooms on the fourth floor; 48 beds of intermediate care medical and surgical patient rooms on the fifth floor; and shell space slated for 96 total additional beds on floors six and seven. The project also includes a mechanical penthouse with a future helipad above and an above-grade basement.

the Challenges

Achieving the owner’s cost, schedule and quality expectations was an overriding challenge on this project. The team faced logistical challenges in constructing a new main entrance directly next to an active hospital; they needed to minimize any impacts to ongoing hospital operations while maintaining an aggressive schedule. With multiple tie-in points, the team had to adjust working hours and closely consider all design decisions with an eye on how they would impact operations of the active hospital.

In addition, the project site’s location on top of a Jurassic age diabase—one of the hardest rocks on earth—required extensive blasting, which meant the team needed to closely coordinate seismic and sound impacts with hospital staff. The team blasted for 48 consecutive working days and worked closely to revisit the type and elevation of the foundations to streamline the process. Because dealing with rocks and excavation opens the door to many unknowns and financial risks, the team had to develop an allowance for over-blasting and a risk matrix for the work.

Exterior in-progress shot of the Inova Patient Tower.
Aerial shot of Inova Patient Tower exterior.
the Solutions

To meet the owner’s cost, schedule and quality goals, the project team engaged in an extensive value engineering exercise at the start of the project—and, as a result, shaved approximately $3.5 million from the CD level documents. One of the most significant cost saving strategies was changing the façade material from ultra-high-performance concrete panels to terracotta. The black aggregate sand-blasted terracotta panels, which the manufacturer said was the first of their kind, became a defining feature of the façade.

The project team embraced innovation, working to deliver innovative construction solutions and to elevate the patient experience by incorporating cutting-edge technologies like dimmable LED lighting and Bluetooth speakers into patient rooms. In one pilot application, the project used sensors to monitor concrete strength maturity, temperatures and relative humidity, gathering and analyzing data in hopes of understanding the advantages of this technology for future use.

The team leveraged drone technology to provide visual progress, updates, logistics planning and quality control. To align trade partners prior to the concrete work, DPR created a 3D printed model which helped them visualize the areas of work. They used an array of applications, including BIM 360 Field to manage Inova’s quality control processes. QR codes were used to track and perform quality control on doors and hardware. Additionally, mock-ups played an outsize role in maintaining quality and were employed for the building façade, patient rooms and toilet and bathrooms.

To cope with a challenge involving the floor-mounted / rear-discharging toilets in the patient rooms, the team coordinated this scope of work early on and devised a 1:1 mock-up. The mock-up saved rework by helping the design and construction team decide to depress the entire footprint of the bathroom and adjust the rebar layout.

North entrance of hospital building with large overhang over the road.
Interior shot of bright reception area.
Interior shot of patient room and updated bathroom facility.
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