Construction has begun on Texas Children’s Hospital for children and women in Austin. The freestanding hospital, which will serve families in Austin and Central Texas, is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2024. McCarthy will serve as general contractor, with Page as project architect.
The 52-bed, 365,000-square-foot hospital will provide neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, operating rooms, epilepsy monitoring, sleep center, emergency center, a fetal center for advanced fetal interventions and fetal surgery with a special high-risk delivery unit, postpartum care, diagnostic imaging, acute care and an onsite Texas Children’s Urgent Care location. The hospital will have an adjacent 170,000-square-foot outpatient building offering expert care for numerous pediatric subspecialties, including cardiology, oncology, neurology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, rheumatology care, among others, along with approximately 1,200 free parking spaces.
The building will be designed and constructed to receive a two-star rating from the Austin Energy Green Building program, which guides companies to design, build and sustain healthy facilities for Austin communities. This will also be the first Construction Career Collaborative project outside of Houston. An initiative started by the Associated General Contractors Houston chapter, C3 focuses on workforce training for the construction industry by promoting competitive wages and benefits, safety training and craft training to attract and retain a qualified workforce.
With planning taking place in 2020 during COVID-19, McCarthy worked on virtual integrated design, while collaborating remotely with different teams in multiple locations. Through this collaboration process, McCarthy worked to implement the pull-planning method as part of the Last Planner System, which develops a coordinated approach for each phase of the project and emphasizes collaboration among the team.
The builder partnered with the owner and design team early in the process to provide input on expedited permitting processes, constructability, continuous cost modeling, value engineering and scheduling. One of the early challenges faced during the planning phase was designing a large campus for current and future expansion around an existing wetland, as well as over the Edwards Aquifer, while preserving many of the existing trees on a 24-acre site. The team had to be considerate of each environmental area throughout the design process.