Prefabrication Expedites Delivery, Enhances Construction Safety of New ED at Banner Boswell Medical Center

The new emergency department at Banner Boswell Medical Center, located in Sun City, Arizona, opened recently and is accepting patients. The project team included McCarthy Building Companies and HMC Architects.

The new 40,000-square-foot ED is part of a larger $106-million expansion project that also includes a new patient tower. This is the largest renovation the medical facility has undergone in 30 years. The new ED increases capacity from 42 to 56 beds, allowing the department to care for up to 60,000 ED patients annually, representing a 25% increase.

In January 2021, the new patient tower’s first floor will open. The first floor will contain the main lobby, gift shop, retail pharmacy, admitting desk and chapel, along with connecting shelled space for future build-out of a new cardiac catheterization lab. The five floors above the lobby will be reserved for future inpatient rooms.

One of the innovative cost- and time-saving measures deployed on the project involved the use of prefabricated interior and exterior wall panels. The panels were constructed offsite and delivered to the jobsite for installation, saving approximately three months of construction time. In addition, the use of prefabricated wall panels allowed for enhanced safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic because the nature of prefabrication installation allows for adequate social distancing and fewer people onsite.

Of the 625 prefabricated panels used, most were fitted to the outside of the new tower as part of the exterior skin. Each of the exterior stone veneer panels, known as “Banner Block,” average in size at approximately 8-feet-tall by 30-feet-wide, and weigh approximately 2,400 pounds. During installation, the tower crane was used to lift each panel – the heaviest weighing nearly 10,000 pounds and measuring 16-feet-tall by 33-feet-wide – and the construction crew secured them to the steel structure. Approximately 125 of the prefabricated wall panels were interior partition walls and were placed inside the ED. All electrical, plumbing and medical gas piping required for these walls was installed prior to their arrival onsite. The process minimized installation labor and waste, increased productivity and reduced safety risk and costly site cleanup.

The new six-story, 322,000-square-foot patient tower, combined with the new ED, which the community is helping support through donations to the Sun Health Foundation, represents an investment of more than $106 million.

Major trade partners include SGSI, Inc., Buehler & Buehler, Southland Industries, Foothills Fire Protection, Schuff Steel (Greywolf), Cannon & Wendt, University Mechanical, Norris Design and The Berg Group.

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Posted December 15, 2020

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