Advanced Building Technologies at New Eden Hospital: 3D and Flashbacks in Time
Posted on May 15, 2012
By Julie Ruiz-Wibbelsmann
Building a new hospital is a complicated process. Ever wondered how all the people involved—such as the sheet metal workers, framers, architects as well as the structural, electrical, and mechanical engineers—know how to coordinate their efforts so they can build their systems without interfering with each other?
Or, once your building is completed and you want to upgrade equipment a few years later, how do you know where to cut in the wall to access the electrical equipment without cutting 10 holes first to find it?
We’ve solved these problems by using innovative building technologies, including three-dimensional modeling and laser scanning.
The third dimension
To ensure that all systems are coordinated, all 230,000 square feet of the hospital were modeled using high-tech building information modeling and intense coordination and collaboration for years throughout the design development process.
“We’ve modeled everything in three-dimensions so we know exactly how the mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) for a given space should be constructed,” says Mike Pearson, project engineer at DPR Construction.
This is particularly important when you are hanging equipment from the ceiling.
“For example, if we were just using two dimensional drawings instead of producing our two dimensional drawings from what we’ve coordinated in three dimensions, there’s no way that someone installing overhead medical equipment supports–before the overhead mechanical, electrical or plumbing was installed–would be able to install the medical equipment supports in such a way that would not ‘rob’ the overhead space the other trades planned to install in. This causes a trickle down, compounded effect, which would likely lead to rework and schedule delays” explains Pearson.
“It’s because of our modeling that we know exactly where to install electrical conduits a year before the installation of the medical equipment that will use them.”
Thinking towards the future, we’ve also used laser technology that creates a “Superman-effect”: the ability to“see” through walls.
“Laser scanning is a form of quality control that allows us to verify as-built elements in reality against what we’ve designed, giving us the opportunity to solve problems before they’ve passed the point of becoming a serious cost impact or schedule delay,” says Pearson.
“This technology assembles millions of points to give you a graph of a topographic surface or ‘point cloud,’ which it uses to overlay a 360 degree photograph. You can see what is behind a wall without having to remove sheet rock, or you can see what’s above a ceiling without having to remove numerous tiles or access panels. The graph also allows you to rotate around a room in 360 degrees.”
Once the hospital is completed, these laser scans will provide a flashback in time. For example, if equipment in the ceiling needs to be repaired, remodeled or upgraded, facilities managers will be able to look at a laser scan of the ceiling to see what obstacles might lie behind it.
“Using these technologies, we can solve problems as early as possible so that we deliver a high-quality product on time and on budget,” adds Pearson.
See more photos below!