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Skanska Celebrates Topping-Out Milestone at UNC Hospitals Surgical Tower in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Workers posing with beam
Workers posing with beam
DURHAM, NC — Global development and construction firm Skanska recently reached the significant “topping-out” milestone in the construction of UNC Hospitals Surgical Tower in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

A steel beam was signed by executive leaders and staff of UNC Hospitals, members of the UNC Health System, and the Skanska construction team. It was decorated with flags and an evergreen tree and placed atop the seven-story building.

“The topping-out milestone demonstrates the significant headway we have made on this important project that will provide UNC Health with a state-of-the-art surgical tower to better serve its patients, their families, and the health professionals who work there,” said Greg Peele, Executive Vice President responsible for Skanska’s North Carolina and Virginia building operations. “It is an honor to provide a facility that will be of significant value to the Triangle region community.”

UNC Health is North Carolina’s largest academic health system and is composed of 14 hospitals and hundreds of clinic locations. The new over 360,000-square-foot surgical tower will include a basement level and will house numerous enhanced surgical spaces including:

  • 26 operating rooms, two of which will be hybrid operating rooms with the ability to have a final total of four hybrid operating rooms
  • 59 surgery pre-op and recovery bays
  • Capacity to accommodate 80 ICU beds
  • 15 observation beds

The building will also include a main reception and visitor waiting areas on each floor; central processing; offices and conference rooms; an indoor and outdoor staff lounge; and staff locker rooms.

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In order to reach this topping out milestone with the placement of the steel beam, Skanska had to ensure that the following elements were in place:

  • 89 caissons and 334 micropiles were installed
  • 35,000 cubic yards of dirt was excavated
  • 14,134 cubic yards of concrete was poured
  • 850 tons of rebar was placed
  • 496,236 man hours have been completed

More than 2,000 workers have been trained, and the project currently has a 250-person workforce.

Skanska’s work on the project also includes constructing patient drop-off canopies at the Surgical Tower and the existing Children’s Hospital as well as the construction of two overhead pedestrian bridges that connect existing parking decks and the dental school building to the Surgical Tower. Additionally, Skanska is providing work on a three-story service connector, renovation project at the existing Ambulatory Patient Care Facility, and expansion of the café in the existing part of the hospital.

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