The recently completed Banner Estrella Medical Tower Addition – the first acute care project in Phoenix to utilize a concrete frame in years – is collecting ENR’s Best Projects Healthcare – Southwest award, in addition to the Top Overall Safety Award. The project was completed with a nonproprietary mild-reinforced Wide Module concrete frame which provided the project the following benefits over structural steel:
- Significant initial cost savings
- Increased flexibility for future changes
- Significant schedule reduction
- Reduced life cycle cost and impact
- Increased infection control
- Increased patient and staff comfort
The Wide Module structural system is the system of choice for healthcare, office, classroom and laboratory projects throughout the nation but is highly underutilized in the West. In an effort to understand why, Ceco engaged local industry partners to collaboratively analyze this system for application on regional healthcare projects. Our analysis yielded encouraging results, which we presented to Banner Healthcare for consideration. Banner’s team saw merit in our approach and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of this award-winning project team.
“We chose the approach with advice from Ceco based on the cost and timeline for the project,” explains Kip Edwards, Vice President of Development and Construction for Banner Healthcare. “Ceco worked very well with the project team in a fully integrated format. As a result, the project has completed on time and is a great success.”
Based on the success of the Estrella addition Ceco engaged California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s (OSHPD) structural engineering team, an OSHPD plan-check structural engineer and a mechanical design firm to fully analyze the viability of the Wide Module frame on office and healthcare projects in California. Results of studies on MOB and acute care projects reveal that the Wide Module system is fully OSHPD compliant with all the aforementioned benefits, in addition to the potential for fewer inspections. Initial cost savings were greater than $7 per square foot versus structural steel on a pair of ground-up acute care facilities, and nearly $5 per square foot in savings on MOB.
We are currently exploring strategies to fully integrate mechanical and concrete structural systems to reduce ducted work, employ passive ventilation techniques and employ hybrid and completely hydronic heating and cooling systems. Such systems work extremely well in concert with the thermal mass of a concrete frame to help owners exceed California’s new Title 24 requirements and work toward the 2030 Challenge without deterring flexibility for changes.
“Owners are telling us that this is a higher quality solution that speaks more to their needs for flexibility, infection control, lower energy use and reduced lifecycle cost,” explains Greg Smith, Vice President of Ceco’s Western Region. “The fact that it is also showing significant initial cost and schedule savings in seismic markets like California and Washington is exciting to say the least.”
For results on the aforementioned analyses and more on how the Wide Module structural system can bring value to your project, please contact Ceco today.