“Gilbane was entrusted with the responsibility of delivering University Hospitals’ vision for their transformative health care facility,” said Kyle Merrill, Vice President, Cleveland Business Leader at Gilbane Building Company. “Today, we are proud to turn the keys over to UH, knowing that our team — including our many partners — delivered a job well done, safely, on time, on budget, and exceeded our diversity goals.”
UH Ahuja Phase 2 includes the UH Drusinsky Sports Medicine Institute, Steve and Loree Potash Women & Newborn Center; UH Cutler Center for Men, UH Breast Center, Emergency Department and Short-Stay Unit, and the Surgery Center.
“As an anchor health care institution on the east side of Cleveland, we look forward to opening new and expanded services through our Phase 2 expansion and continuing to grow with our community,” said Percival Kane, Jr., MHA, Chief Operating Officer at UH Ahuja Medical Center.
Given the timing of the project (planning began before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and the groundbreaking occurred in July 2021) several unique challenges needed to be met to stay on time and on budget, while also meeting diversity goals for contracting and workforce participation, a priority for both University Hospitals and Gilbane.
“Not only did we have to address the health concerns of everyone on the job, but we also needed to deal with disruption in the global supply chain, material shortages, and long lead times,” Merrill said. “I credit the creative and forward-thinking of our team and strong relationships with our partners for being able to deliver on our promise.”
Gilbane and its partners used a component design approach to accelerate the project timeline. The trades and design-assist partners for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, curtainwall, and steel were engaged early. Virtual coordination via Gilbane’s proprietary scheduling software, SmartSite, helped keep the team safe during the pandemic and increased efficiencies. Additional time and cost savings measures include:
- Re-sequencing the schedule through pull planning sessions to plan for workforce commitments
- Implementing the early drawing release of structural steel to mitigate anticipated escalation costs, including pre-purchasing of common beam and column sizes
- Sending the completed foundation package for early bidding to provide greater cost certainty, solidifying contractors before others were out to bid
In total, the team achieved approximately $26.4 million in value management savings.
Gilbane and University Hospitals also focused on achieving — and exceeding — diversity goals for the project. By contracting with small, local, and diverse-owned businesses as well as ensuring local residents worked on the project, the team was able to increase the economic impact within the region.
As of April 2023, the project exceeded all business and workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Project goals included contracting with diverse firms, including 15% minority business enterprise (MBE), 8% small business enterprise (CSBE), and 7% female business enterprise (FBE). Currently, MBE stands at 16.09%, CSBE is at 10.75%, and FBE is at 11.41%.
Similar successes were achieved in workforce participation goals. Cuyahoga County residents worked 46.73% of the hours on the project, more than double the 20% target. Minority residents performed 17.71% of the hours worked on the project, besting the 15% goal; and women performed 5.95% of the hours worked on the project, beating a 5% goal.