Facilitating the Decision Making Process and Increasing Productivity at HCMC’s New Clinic and Specialty Center

Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) new Clinic and Specialty Center is currently being constructed adjacent to their existing campus in downtown Minneapolis. Scheduled to complete early 2018, the 377,000 square foot facility will meet the healthcare needs of the growing residential population in this area as well as patients that use HCMC for specialty surgery services.

We are using mock-ups and Lean practices to visualize new spaces, increase productivity, and improve the customer experience.

Understanding New Spaces: Mock-up Village Facilitates Decision Making Process

To help HCMC better understand the design, layout, and functionality of the new facility the project team created a mock-up “village” on the construction site. The mock-ups were important so HCMC could visualize their new space and make decisions on flow and functionality.

The mock-up village was also beneficial to HCMC in addressing privacy concerns related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Additionally, it helped them understand lighting levels and operational flow. HCMC brought more than 500 leadership personnel, staff members, and community participants through the mock-up village to solicit their feedback.

As the project progresses, eleven room mock-ups will be created within the building to help HCMC staff envision finishes and final functions. They will aid in the final equipment coordination and trade partner work flows. Additionally, smaller in-place and virtual mockups will be created for building elements, such as firestopping and ceiling mounted equipment.

Lean Practices in Action: Prefabrication to Improve Productivity

Mortenson leveraged lean building practices through the use of prefabricated formwork called gang forms. As standard construction practice, formwork composed of pans and lumber is used to support the wet concrete. Once the concrete cures the forms are removed, creating the foundation walls to support the new building. Traditional forms are typically two feet wide by four to eight feet tall and require a substantial amount of labor because of the time required to disassemble and reassemble for each new section of the wall.

The gang form method used on the new Clinic and Specialty Center project are panels, composed of standard sized pans, that are ‘ganged’ or connected together with aluminum stiff backs to create a large reusable unit. They are fourteen feet, six inches wide by twenty-nine feet or thirty-four feet tall, which is 26 times larger than a piece of standard formwork. This method promotes faster installation and productivity due to the ability to move larger sections. The gang forms for this project were built off-site by Mortenson’s craft workforce to save space due to the urban location and site constraints. The labor savings on this project is three times higher through the use of gang forms, versus traditional formwork.

For over a decade, Mortenson’s Center for Lean Innovation has been actively defining how to effectively apply Lean principles to our industry. We have learned that the most effective way to solve problems and add value is through the combination of the great innovation provided by our team members and partners, and the application of effective tools, processes, and techniques.