Building the Future of Care
Adding Value with Prefabrication

Abbott Northwestern Hospital is undergoing a major campus revitalization with the addition of the Surgical and Critical Care Pavilion, a large and complex project located in the middle of an active healthcare campus.

There are many unique challenges to constructing a 10-story, 690,000-square-foot state-of-the-art healthcare center, one of which was to find ways to minimize disruptions to the hospital staff and patients.

To build this new facility, the hospital elected to demolish a large parking ramp and build the new tower in its place. A replacement parking structure, the new Purple Ramp, was constructed prior to the original ramp’s demolition; however, the Purple Ramp’s new location was south of busy Chicago Avenue and wholly cut off from the rest of the hospital complex.

So how exactly do you get patients, visitors, and staff safely and with minimal disruption from the new parking ramp to the hospital while the new facility is being constructed? That’s where BLUvera, Mortenson’s manufacturing entity, came in to help—to build a prefabricated temporary skyway.

While a permanent skyway will eventually be built from the Purple Ramp directly to the new building, a temporary structure was needed until the new tower is built and the two are able to connect. With close collaboration between our in-house prefabrication experts at BLUvera and our on-site installation team, we were able to deliver a custom enclosure with unprecedented speed and quality.

BLUvera designed the insulated metal panel (IMP) system for the wall and roof panels in their warehouse in St. Paul and trucked them to the project site. Once onsite, the team’s carpenters rapidly installed the panels.

While BLUvera’s expertise and service has numerous advantages, this project and Allina benefited in several ways:

  • Schedule efficiencies
  • Increased installation pace
  • Safer on-site
  • Better quality control
  • Watertight earlier
  • Lower general contractor costs

Utilizing BLUvera wall and roof panels can allow for a more efficient project completion. With the panels completed in advance and delivered precisely when needed, the temporary skyway was rapidly completed. This meant Abbott Northwestern could connect their new parking ramp to their facility sooner, reducing disruption to their hospital staff, patients, and visitors.

Off-site fabrication allowed for a more controlled safety environment that eliminated some of the typical hazards of an on-site build. The risk of injuries is reduced when fabrication takes place in a controlled shop environment that is optimized for production and eliminates environmental conditions, such as rain or ice, that become slipping hazards. And with the majority of the construction process taking place off-site, only a few carpenters were needed to complete panel installation which meant a safer overall experience.

This process also allowed the team to design these panels in a controlled factory environment with the highest degree of quality. BLUvera’s innovative technology allowed the panels to be fully manufactured to more precise measurements while also testing them for water penetration and leaks before they even left the factory.

Overall, the pace of the project allowed for other trades, such as electricians, to get on-site earlier and progress through the construction process at a quicker pace. With less time spent on-site, BLUvera was able to cut down on general contractor costs for Allina.

With the customer’s needs at the forefront of the planning process for this project, BLUvera’s involvement and execution meant a construction process that was safer, faster, and more predictable. Not only did Mortenson and BLUvera provide an excellent foot traffic solution for this active campus, but the rapid installation of the temporary skyway meant limited disruptions to the hospital. With a seamless construction and delivery process, this nationally recognized hospital could continue to provide exceptional patient care as they build the future of care for the Minneapolis community and beyond.

Learn about prefabrication solutions on your healthcare project