Great Teams: Collaboration Keeps Operating Suite Open During Major Construction

The Inova Fairfax Hospital Immediate Needs Project was a complicated infrastructure upgrade that included major updates to the mechanical, plumbing, medical gas and electrical systems. This project required extreme coordination and planning to prevent any interruption to the operating rooms suite, which remained in service during the entire project.

Over the course of thirteen (13) months the upgrades included:
• Replacement of three (3) medical vacuum pump systems
• Replacement of the domestic water heating system serving SPD
• Replacement of the heating water system serving the critical care spaces
• Providing a new air handling unit serving the lower floor of the Critical Care Wing
• Two (2) chillers to provide sub-cooling for the air handling units (AHU) serving the operating rooms
• Upgrade of the AHU serving one of the operating room suites
• Conversion of an existing AHU to serve as a redundant unit serving the operating room suites
• Replacement of the trim air handling units serving eight (8) operating rooms

The logistics of performing this work while keeping the operating suites functional created quite the notable challenge. We attribute the ability to overcome this challenge to the level of involvement and consideration given to everyone on the construction team.

This project has been nominated for the Metro Washington’s American Subcontractor Association’s Great Team Award. We believe this is a well-earned nomination. The owner, Inova Health Systems, and the general contractor, L2 Construction Management Corporation, included all of the subcontractors in the coordination and planning required, allowing for a collaborative project approach.

All of the parties involved had input into the scheduling and methods of construction. The level of open and cooperative communication played a significant role in completing this project on time and without disruption to the patients and staff. This was an extremely successful project and the communication across all parties was a rare treat.