Healthy Outlook for Hospital Projects – Taking the Pulse of Healthcare Construction Work

Despite the economic woes that have stalled development in other sectors, the healthcare industry is moving forward with building, expansion, and renovation plans and keeping many Local 12 plumbers and PHCC contractors busy.

(The following are excerpts from an article included in “The Pipeline,” published by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Greater Boston and United Association Plumbers and Gasfitters Boston Local 12.)

Despite the economic woes that have stalled development in other sectors, the healthcare industry is moving forward with building, expansion, and renovation plans and keeping many Local 12 plumbers and PHCC contractors busy. Called the Building for the Third Century, the Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) new 13-story, 530,000sf clinical facility main campus in Boston is scheduled to be completed in 2011, which also marks the 200th anniversary of the acclaimed hospital. Its services will include 29 new operating rooms and five floors of inpatient rooms. The construction schedule calls for simultaneously building three levels below grade and 10 floors above grade. J.C. Cannistraro, of Boston is handling the project’s plumbing and HVAC. “It’s a building of the future,” says John Cannistraro, Jr., president of the company. The MGH facility will adhere to green-friendly LEEDS Gold sustainability standards. Referring to amenities such as the atrium and gardens planned for the facility’s common areas, Cannistraro notes that the building is designed for the well being of patients’ families as much as for patients themselves. “In some ways, it will be as elegant as a five-star hotel,” he adds. The $600-miilion facility will require 1200 plumbing fixtures, 3000 medical gas outlets, 200,000 linear feet of piping, and a 50,000sf mechanical room. Much of the work will be pre-fabricated at Cannistraro’s Watertown plant. J.C. Cannistraro recently completed another project for Partners Healthcare, the umbrella organization that includes MGH, in Danvers. Called Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care, the new cutting-edge facility includes the latest diagnostic equipment as well as eight operating rooms for outpatient surgery, a heart center, and a cancer center among its services. It also features a unique healing garden. A partnership between MGH and North Shore Medical Center (which includes Salem Hospital and Lynn’s Union Hospital), the Danvers project represents a growing trend of Boston hospitals migrating to the suburbs. Elsewhere on the North Shore, E.M. Duggan of Canton is working on an 65,000sf addition to the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Peabody, which will include a spine center, pain center, and sleep disorders center as well as expanded space for primary care suites and new patient rooms. Once the addition is complete, Lahey will be able to move patients and services into the new facility so that it can begin upgrades on the existing building. J.C. Higgins of Stoughton will handle the plumbing work for Lahey’s renovation plans. Boston hospitals have set their sights south of the city as well. For example, the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, which will be in partnership with South Shore Hospital, is under construction in South Weymouth. The new facility, which is scheduled to open in fall 2009, will include medical oncology offices, diagnostic imaging, linear accelerators, and chemotherapy infusion areas. PHCC of Greater Boston contractor Commonwealth Plumbing Corp. is handling the work. Commonwealth is also working on an expansion at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham. The former Glover Community Hospital is getting a 37,000sf addition that will include 20 new patient rooms, an MRI suite, and a new emergency room. Not all hospital construction is taking place outside the city. In addition to the new MGH building, Dana-Farber is building the 14-story Yawkey Center for Cancer Care at its Boston campus on Brookline Ave. Scheduled to open in 2011, the facility will feature 275,000sf of clinical space. J.C. Higgins is handling the plumbing and HVAC for the project. Other healthcare projects in the pipeline include a new ambulatory care facility, budgeted at more than $100 million, at Lowell General Hospital as well as a new building for Saints Memorial Medical Center, also in Lowell.