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University of Virginia Medical Center Patient Tower Expansion and Helipad

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photo by Maxwell Mackenzie
the University of Virginia added 127,000 sq ft of new space to its Charlottesville teaching hospital.
photo by Maxwell Mackenzie
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Using existing structural capacity, the University of Virginia added 127,000 sq ft of new space to its Charlottesville teaching hospital, the University of Virginia Medical Center.

To reduce disruption to the existing nursing units, a 2-ft, 8-in. gap was left between the new construction and the old exterior wall. When the addition was fully enclosed, crews built out the gap, removed the old facade and renovated the adjacent space, creating new public and staff areas to support the new unit.

Structurally, the addition capitalized on the existing caisson foundation's capacity as well as the existing gravity and lateral structural capacity of the existing drift-resistant steel frame. Crews also upgraded the existing columns and beams to comply with new seismic requirements. Crews worked only at night and on weekends and construction was phased to minimize disruptions of hospital operations, ensure the safety of the crew and hospital staff, and overcome a tight project schedule.

Training and safety programs for the team included instruction in CPR, first aid and use of an automated external defibrillator. More than 592,000 work-hours were completed during the 48-month project without a recordable incident.

Project Team

Owner: University of Virginia Facilities, Planning and Construction Dept.

Design Firm: SmithGroupJJR, Washington, D.C.

General Contractor: Gilbane Building Co., Providence, R.I.

Engineers: AKF Engineers, Arlington.; Spiegel Zamecnik & Shah, New Haven, Conn.

Consultants: AHSC Architects, Tarrytown, N.Y.; Erbschloe Consulting Services, Marshall; Heller & Metzger, Washington, D.C.; Koffel Associates, Columbia, Md.; Lewis & Zimmerman Associates, Rockville, Md.; Miller, Beam & Paganelli, Reston; Paul Waddelove and Associates, Reston


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