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ProHealth Care D.N. Greenwald Center Emergency Department Renovation and Addition

Project Overview

When JP Cullen identified significant problems with this project’s original schedule, we proposed a prefabrication solution for headwall design and installation. Prefabrication isn’t what it used to be. Not only is it a completely customizable approach; it allows projects to be done faster and under safer conditions. For the ProHealth Care project, the prefab approach diverted labor away from the project site and also allowed a much smoother and efficient process for final installation. And because of JP Cullen’s extensive experience in healthcare facility construction, we could talk the same language as ProHealth Care staff. That’s essential for building an optimal space for the end-users—i.e., the nurses and doctors caring for the sick and injured.

The Challenges

Something had to change. The originally proposed schedule for this project would be next to impossible with its numerous sequencing problems and its requirements for on-site resources. Translation: The schedule had way too many people working in a space at one time, required way too many labor hours, and simply did not allow enough time. So, JP Cullen proposed a prefabrication approach for the headwall system. In addition to improving quality, this approach would divert a significant portion of the labor off site, improving safety as well.

The primary challenge? Prefabrication done successfully requires tremendous up-front effort in pre-planning and coordination with the various trades involved. Well before the construction phase, JP Cullen would also need to design a headwall system for ProHealth Care staff that promoted efficient workflows and created a user-friendly environment.

And what project doesn’t have a surprise or two? As construction was in its final phase, a DHS review of the existing facility required immediate attention before occupancy could be granted to the newly built area.

The Solutions

Prefabrication meant getting way out in front of actual construction. Identifying user needs in the pre-planning stage was key for designing a prefabricated headwall system. That’s why JP Cullen carried out the rigorous pre-planning steps it would take to design a successful prefabricated headwall system.

Specifically, that meant asking a lot of questions to understand not just the day-to-day activities of staff—but their minute-by-minute movements as well. For example, what exactly needs to be within the radius of a nurse’s reach? What can be done to make nurse-patient interaction both effective and efficient? And then, when it’s on to the next room for the nurse, we wanted to create the identical workstation because the repetition encourages efficiency.

We also took staff through a series of mock-ups in order to understand exactly how they use a space—and how their workflows could be optimized in the final design.

And what about that DHS dilemma? Rather than wait for the DHS’s determinations on possible deficiencies—which would have rendered the facility inoperable in the interim—JP Cullen volunteered to lead the process. We conducted our own thorough survey of the original facility and then remedied any potential code deficiencies. This expedited the official inspection process and allowed the newly built space to open as scheduled.

The Results

How important is diverting labor off site? With significant portions of the assembly done prior to on-site installation, it meant crews could show up to the project site and be in and out more quickly. That created incredible schedule relief for the subsequent trades. The initial goal to save 25% was revised to save 44%.

The numbers say a lot, but what’s also essential to note are the significant gains in quality. Not only did JP Cullen’s process yield zero defects; ProHealth Care now has a final product that’s actually more durable than conventional headwall systems.

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