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Hospital Construction Methods Lower Costs, Raise Benefits

Kevin Kraiss, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2011

Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling is a key ingredient in what makes IPD possible. Like IPD, the definition of BIM continues to evolve. However, it can generally be described a process that uses three-dimensional, dynamic building modeling software to enable project team members to more fully collaborate throughout the project delivery process.

The capabilities of BIM far exceed those of traditional computer-aided drafting to encompass massive amounts of information, including geometry, spatial relationships, light analysis, geographic information, quantities and properties of building components, such as manufacturers’ specifications. The ability to examine and manipulate a complete virtual representation of a facility and its operations enables team members to identify and resolve potential problems and opportunities before ever breaking ground, dramatically reducing change orders and redesign work. The precision of BIM modeling software has also allowed certain complex facility components to be assembled off-site in controlled work environments and delivered to the construction site for seamless integration with other building components. 

The benefits of BIM produce well coordinated projects that can be delivered more rapidly and efficiently, resulting in schedule and cost savings to healthcare providers. 

Tilt-up construction

Although tilt-up is a construction method that has become pervasive since the post-World War II building boom, it is not one that has not been used extensively for healthcare facilities. But that could soon change.

Through the tilt-up method, building elements such as walls, columns and other structural supports are created in the form of reinforced concrete slabs. Those components are then placed near their final position horizontally, then literally tilted up into a vertical position and secured.

The obvious benefits of tilt-up construction are that projects can be completed more quickly and at a lower cost than through traditional ground-up construction methods.

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