Better Building through Off-site Construction

Mortenson has been charged with building the 831,000-square foot, 360-patient-bed Saint Joseph Heritage Project in 29.5 months. As reported by the Denver Business Journal [Proctor, 2012], the fact that the hospital must open by January, 2015, drove Mortenson to determine how to accelerate construction while maintaining the highest quality standards. The traditional on-site linear approach would have resulted in a 36-month schedule; however, an overall 18% schedule compression was required.

Prefabrication quickly became the solution. Prefab allowed for some building elements to be built off-site, simultaneous with construction of the hospital. This also allowed for a significant number of trades to be pulled forward. Under a traditional approach, those trades would not begin on-site work until later in the schedule.

The research behind this white paper heavily examined the numerous pros and cons of each prefabricated component. However, the main objective was to determine if prefabrication was beneficial to cost, schedule and safety.


In this study, a value-based cost-benefit analysis was performed on an ongoing 831,000-square-foot hospital consisting of 360 patient beds, in which performance drivers were analyzed to determine actual project performance results.