Orlando Health is a $3.8 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization and home to the region’s only Level One Trauma Center for adults and pediatrics. In June 2019, the health system contracted with Barton Malow (Orlando, Fla.), which served as the general contractor, on a $20 million update and buildout of the fifth floor of its Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando to expand the hospital’s services and increase patient care capacity.

This project was one for the record books. In order to meet the hospital’s peak season capacity needs, Barton Malow had to compress the 12-month schedule originally proposed in the scope documents down to the six and a half months that remained once we were officially awarded the contract. It was a scheduling and logistical feat accomplished by leveraging technology, prefabrication, and testing and commissioning to overcome several challenges and deliver the project on time and under budget.

  • Technology: Among the technologies used on the project were laser scanning and 360 photography of the existing 40,000-square-foot project space to validate the architectural and structural models and coordinate the new systems with the fifth floor’s existing structure, equipment, and utilities.

Working with our construction trades, the project team met several times a week to achieve its goal of producing a 3-D coordination timeline in a condensed five-week time period. The on-site construction team then used the 3-D models for prefabrication and quality control of the components being installed to meet the extremely tight construction schedule and stay on budget. The coordination timeline also allowed Barton Malow to bring key subcontractors onboard earlier in the process—including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, framing/drywall, and doors/frames/hardware—to minimize the delivery time for these long-lead items.

  • Prefabrication: Barton Malow encouraged prefabrication among the construction trades to expedite the installation process. One of the most vital components involved prefabricated bed headwalls that housed all of the critical components for patient care. Other prefabricated items included shower valves, plumbing, medical gases, and conduit racks, which allowed our contractors to build off-site in their shops, while framing layout proceeded in the field.
  • Testing and Commissioning: Testing and commissioning of installed systems, such as fire protection and plumbing and electrical, came with its own set of logistical challenges. Continuous communication with the client, architect, general contractor, and officials with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) was essential. For example, the project team coordinated with Orlando Health to ensure that rooms below an active shower basin test were unoccupied to avoid potential injury or disruption of patient care. In addition, the entire four-step waterproofing system for the showers was approved to be completely installed before testing, instead of testing after each step in the process. As a result of this collective cooperation, testing and commissioning of the plumbing and mechanical systems in completed hospital rooms were finished on-time and without any major incidents.

Strong communication and teamwork were the cornerstones that kept this fast-track project on schedule. A key component involved the commitment by all of the project subcontractors to participate in a meeting each morning to review the day’s schedule and work together to efficiently accomplish what needed to be done. This two-pronged approach can help ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.


David Price is senior vice president of Barton Malow’s Southeast Region (Orlando, Fla.). He can be reached at david.price@bartonmalow.com.