To support the Penn Medicine’s world-renowned research, clinicians and faculty, Balfour Beatty was selected with HDR, Foster+Partners, BR+A and L.F. Driscoll to design, plan and construct the new patient Pavilion in Philadelphia. Touted as one of the nation's most significant IPD healthcare projects, the joint-venture team collectively named PennFIRST, was strategically comprised of global healthcare experts to develop the most innovative facility to offer improved healthcare delivery for generations to come.
Located on the site previously known as Penn Tower in West Philadelphia, the Pavilion will connect to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine through a series of bridges and an underground tunnel. Once complete, the new, 1.5 million-square-foot, 17-story inpatient hospital will feature:
- An adaptable room concept through which patient rooms flex between an intensive care unit set-up and standard room as patients recover or patient population and caregiving needs change.
- Each room will include a private bath and a comfortable area for family members and caregivers.
- A seamless flow of operations – from the emergency department through hybrid operating rooms to recovery and discharge, enhanced technology and the latest research on facilitating and improving care team collaboration.
- New telemedicine functionalities will allow for remote monitoring and consultations, as well as technology to link patients to their friends and families. In-room technology to strengthen communication not only between patients and families but also between patients and care teams.
- Provides an eco-friendly construction, design and operations plan that fortifies Penn's commitment to the environment, through LEED® certification as well as innovations like the re-use of water, 100% outside air and park-like, outdoor green space for patients, families and staff.
While the Pavilion represents a historic opportunity for Penn Medicine to establish a new benchmark for care, the construction has also provided great significance to the industry as the first project in Philadelphia to construct mechanical racks off-site. The LF Driscoll/Balfour Beatty joint venture (JV) maintained and operated a 60,000-square-foot warehouse located two miles from the jobsite where prefabrication work occurred. There, the JV project team oversaw the prefabrication of three primary building elements: mechanical racks, bathroom pods and zone valve boxes. More specifically, these elements included bathroom pods and other large-scale pieces such as headwalls, electrical rooms, charting stations and operating-room components. Additionally, several remote premanufacturing facilities were operated concurrently by the team to deliver elements such as prefabricated electrical conduit and low voltage equipment for tele data closets and repetitive architectural features such as soffits and patient room alcoves.
Once assembled items were sent on trucks to the construction site at night and hoisted onto various floors by crane. By using off-site manufacturing, teams have the budget to use higher-quality materials due to deliveries being consolidated to fewer loads and made during off-peak hours.
In response to COVID-19, the PennFIRST team expedited 120 patient rooms in the emergency department and inpatient facility, 15 months ahead of the facility’s planned opening, making them available for lower risk patients if the existing Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania reached capacity. The team, which included approximately 350 incredible trade partners, accomplished this 122,000-square-foot feat by working around the clock for 17 days and expediting material fabrication, delivery, and installation by two-and-a-half to three months.
The Pavilion's design and construction at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania follow a period of significant investments in Penn Medicine's interconnected outpatient clinical space and research facilities. By coupling leading-edge technologies and breakthrough design with renowned physicians and the global healthcare experts of PennFIRST, the Pavilion will support the future of medicine.
Construction for the Pavilion is slated for completion in 2021.