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Exterior rendering of Children's Hospital

The Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU

The Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU | Richmond, VA

The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU is a ground-up, 500,000-sq.-ft., full-service children’s tower with 16 above-grade and four below-grade floors that include private-room inpatient beds; an emergency department, trauma center and helipad; cafeteria, kitchen and family amenities; operating rooms and imaging suites; and four levels of below-grade parking. The building structure sits on a mat slab foundation and consists of 12 stories of slab on metal deck steel structure over eight stories of cast-in-place concrete.

Project Details

The new children’s tower is connected to the existing outpatient Children’s Pavilion which will also involve some renovation of the existing facility to support new services. Located in the heart of downtown Richmond, safety is a priority for this site which is surrounded by active medical facilities on the VCU Medical Center campus.

Building the Team

VCU Health, DPR, and HKS have experience working together on previous projects, so a framework of trust was in place before starting. With the speed of the project it was paramount that the teams collaborate early. In the early stages of the design process, the team held alignment sessions on the project’s overall vision, goals, and focus areas. The team also met to produce documented workflows that detailed communication processes and set clear expectations for all team members. Once the design was underway, the team moved into a big room environment with set cluster team meetings held every other week to keep the focus on the target value delivery (TVD). The team has held each other accountable to the agreed-upon plans while still having the flexibility to improve processes.

Project Approach

Due to the tight project schedule, design and construction phases began concurrently. The team worked to engage select key trade partners for early preconstruction and design-assist services. Additionally, the major MEP trade partners were brought on board in the second quarter of 2019 to assist with the model development. Shortly after, the team engaged a drywall contractor to provide similar design-assist services to bring the model up to fabrication level detail, allowing the team to build straight from the model. At this point in time, the project team looped in DPR’s Self-Perform Drywall team to provide design-assist and preconstruction services for constructability and get the design model to fabrication-level detail. In order to meet the tight schedule, it was essential that the project team was able to build directly from the model.

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