Boston MedFlight, a nonprofit critical care medical transport provider, was operating out of a 19,000-square-foot World War II-era building on the military side of the Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass. The location was not only outdated but required staff and first responders to pass through military-level security each time they arrived or left work.

In 2016, the organization began working with UDA Architects (Walpole, Mass.) and Columbia Construction Co. (North Reading, Mass.) on a new 54,000-square-foot headquarters on the civilian side of the air field. It provides easier access as well as consolidates all of MedFlight’s functions, including an expanded aircraft hangar, helicopter maintenance facility, and on-site simulation lab—under one roof. “We expect this facility will dramatically shorten our launch process to get aircraft and ground ambulances to our patients when and where they need us,” says Rick Kenin, COO of transport at Boston MedFlight.

Design features of the 30,000-square-foot hangar include radiant heat to maintain warm temperatures inside to prevent snow and ice buildup in the winter and solar panels on the facility’s roof, which are expected to provide $45,000 in utility savings a year.

One of the biggest challenges on the project was managing the crane permits and activities on the 2.5-acre site, which were overseen by the Federal Aviation Authority. “Each day the crane was on-site, the coordinates of the crane needed to be called into Hanscom to be cleared prior to resuming crane activities and once again when the day’s work was complete,” says Dave Stodden, senior vice president of Columbia Construction.