Philadelphia, PA – Southland Industries and the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team at Penn Medicine have accelerated construction 15 months ahead of schedule to prepare part of a new hospital tower in University City to help, if required, with the influx of COVID-19 patients.

Operationalizing the newly-constructed Pavilion took the team two weeks, from the March 18 request to project turnover, to bring 120 patient rooms and associated support spaces online. Southland installed a temporary med-vac system, medical gas piping, electric water heaters, medical air manifolds, hot water heaters, temporary plumbing fixtures, and temporary piping and ductwork.

Jim Meacham, Division Leader of Southland's Mid-Atlantic division, explains that Southland teams were able to tackle the challenge of accelerating such a critical project through an IPD approach, clear and consistent communication, the willingness to step up, and dividing up the workload between engineers, project teams, and superintendents.

"The IFOA IPD contract method allowed for immediate collaboration amongst all the IPD partners to develop the right design solution to temporarily activate the hospital, with realistic jobsite condition awareness followed by instant decision making," said Meacham. "Co-location and the collaboration developed early on during the formation stages of this project really paid off with the ability to expedite a solution that met Penn's and the city's needs."

The facility was recently connected to the existing Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) via a tunnel, which creates a pathway for hospital staff to bring low-risk non-COVID patients over from the existing hospital to allow for adequate surge spaces. The process of moving patients over prevents existing cases from being exposed to new COVID-19 admissions, especially when ICU spaces become booked and overflow into other areas of the hospital.

"Every single team member stepped up," said Meacham. "We are faced with a real crisis and the majority of the state has suffered restrictions and closures. The PennFIRST team did an amazing job bringing this facility on line in the time required. The high level of confidence amongst the entire project team resulted in complete and timely execution, where everyone acted very quickly and decisively, while outlining and tracking each level of detail and associated sequencing required."

The IPD team is comprised of Penn Medicine, HDR, Foster + Partners, BR+A Consulting Engineers, L.F. Driscoll, Balfour Beatty, and Southland Industries.

About Southland

As an MEP building systems expert, Southland Industries provides integrated, full lifecycle solutions that optimize the design, construction, operation, and efficiency of buildings. Through collaborative partnerships with our clients and the collective expertise of our people, we create premier built environments and future-ready spaces where communities and businesses can thrive. 

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