Maricopa Integrated Health System, Valleywise Health
Best Project

Owner/Developer: Maricopa Integrated Health System
General Contractor: Gilbane Building Co.
Lead Design Firm: DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky
Subcontractors: Architectural Resources; Blue Cottage Consulting; Dibble Engineering; Hoefer Wysocki; RVi Planning + Landscape

To meet a vital need in the Phoenix neighborhood of Maryvale, this project turned a decommissioned hospital into an inpatient behavioral-health facility with emergency services. In addition to mental health support and rehabilitation, the facility offers treatment for trauma-related, psychotic and substance-abuse disorders.

Completed in April, the 260,000-sq-ft building features 192 beds, an expanded pharmacy, imaging areas, labs and an upgraded emergency department with 30 exam and treatment stations and 16 observation beds.

Being part of the project planning “was an incredible experience,” says Jo-el Detzel, vice president of ancillary and support services for Valleywise Health. “We had a critically tight timeline in order to provide highly needed services.”

Project challenges included issues with the drainage and waste system as well as water infiltration. The project team was aware of both conditions before work began, but the extent of the damage and the volume of needed repairs couldn’t be fully assessed ahead of time. When demolition began, planners anticipated that most of the existing facility would remain in place, including the drainage system.

However, removal of old fixtures became problematic because piping would either crumble or was plugged with microbial-induced corrosion, creating leaks on several patient floors, says Stephen Blaylock, project executive, Maricopa Integrated Health System.

The team cataloged the condition of every piece of cast-iron pipe to determine when full replacement was necessary, Blaylock says. Between July 2018—after demolition first began—and September 2018—when a permitted set of replacement drawings were provided—an orchestrated effort allowed piping crews to work throughout the hospital without interfering with demolition and build-back. By project handover, crews had replaced nearly 25,000 linear ft of piping while maintaining the overall schedule.

Water infiltration along exterior windows was a problem as well. The windows extended floor to ceiling in all 192 patient rooms, with single panes and one panel that could be opened, but the glazing was deteriorating, says Darin Young, project executive at Maricopa Integrated Health System. Retrofitting the windows would have required additional reinforcement, and full replacement would have meant the building envelope had to be constructed and matched with the 40-year-old stucco.

During the 2018 summer monsoon season, which occurred in the middle of demolition, water infiltration was a never-ending battle, Young says. The team then decided that adding new windows would be the most prudent course, and Gilbane’s team identified a manufacturer that could deliver them on time.

Young says the new windows eliminated the risk of patient elopement and broken glass while still allowing light into the facility. From the outside, the windows have a darker inlay tone to complement the building’s stucco.

To meet the aggressive construction schedule of about a year, Gilbane used a multi-shift scenario, with work continuing around the clock, seven days a week. The project had a zero lost-time accident rate.

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