Houston Methodist Clear Lake Central Utility Plant Expansion
Nassau Bay, Texas
Owner: Houston Methodist
Lead Design Firm: Dewberry
General Contractor: Hoar Construction
Civil Engineer: Gessner Engineering LLC
MEP Engineer: Smith Seckman Reid Inc.
Geotechnical/Environmental Consultant: Terracon
After the initial contract cost was reduced by nearly half, the project team used extensive planning, communication and resourcefulness to facilitate the $10-million expansion of the Houston Methodist Clear Lake Central Utility Plant on time and within budget.
The team built the 4,500-sq-ft central plant south of the existing central plant as part of an expansion of the 40-year-old hospital in Clear Lake, Texas.
The original contract value was nearly $18 million, but the owner’s internal budget cuts reduced costs to $10 million. The contractor used the preconstruction cost item log to control costs and allow the budget to evolve easily. The project team ended up returning savings to the owner after selling the plant’s old generator to a secondhand vendor for $88,000.
The delivery schedule for plant equipment created another obstacle, as one of the switch gears had a six-month schedule delivery lead time from a Minnesota manufacturing facility. To keep work on schedule, project leadership traveled to Minnesota, located the plant’s switch gear and connected it to machinery on the factory floor. They ran various tests that ensured the switch gear would function properly so as not to disrupt the project schedule.
The new plant features a load-bearing masonry block building with a metal roof and is built to withstand a Category 4 hurricane.
The team was able to switch the power over on time and within budget, and without affecting operations at the active hospital.