Lurie Children's Hospital
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago / ChicagoIL

Mortenson Construction and Power Construction created Mortenson/Power, an equal project-specific joint venture to provide construction management-at-risk services for the 23-story project. The final program features 288 family-friendly private rooms, including 156 pediatric beds, 60 ICU beds, 60 NICU beds, 12 acute mental illness beds, 350,000 square feet of outpatient clinic space, an emergency department, a new central plant, and a rooftop helipad. Special features include the 5,000 square foot Crown Sky Garden, freestanding elevator banks, a suspended whale exhibit, historic fire truck playground, illuminated information desk, healing garden, an entertainment stage, and indoor treehouse. The structural system is comprised of a steel frame supported by deep concrete caissons. The enclosure features curtainwall, architectural concrete precast, punched windows, and metal panels.

The Lurie Children’s Hospital isn’t just a dazzling piece of construction work, acclaimed for its use of technology and virtual design and construction, it’s a source of pride for the residents of Chicago. During construction, Mortenson took care to involve the community in the process. Patients at Children’s Memorial Hospital (which was decommissioned when Lurie Children’s completed in 2012) were invited to take part in creating a safety culture on-site. The patients created posters that held messages urging workers to build safely which were placed in the work areas as reminders and motivators to maintain safety and focus. Once a month, an individual patient was invited to lead the 700+ workers in a morning stretch & bend session set to music. Upon completion, the child got to meet a number of the workers and was presented with a hard hat signed by many of the workers.

Lurie Children’s was the first Mortenson project to develop a BIM Protocol Manual to aid in the broad understanding of the benefits, intentions, and limitations of planning, coordinating, and constructing a 1.25 million square foot hospital. The Manual has served as a reference to the A/E, CM, and trade contractors as they modeled the interfaces between building systems and organized the integrated work plan that facilitated fabrication, delivery, and installation.

Long considered a valuable tool for performing clash detection and facilitating the 3D MEP coordination process during construction, NavisWorks is seldom used by A/E firms during design. In a true demonstration of trust, the architect and MEP designer invited Mortenson/Power to perform the clash detection exercises on their in-progress design models. Following the periodic clash detection exercises, the entire team would meet via face-to-face or through web-based meetings to review conflicts and collaboratively develop resolutions. The end deliverable was a series of 3D models that were far more coordinated than in a typical project of this complexity.

Facts And Figures

Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Completed June 2012


1,125,000 square feet

Delivery Methods

Construction Manager at Risk
Joint Venture
Mortenson’s involvement on the enclosure began with the earliest discussions surrounding the budget. The process that ensued was comprehensive and involved the use of virtual mock-ups to efficiently vet various enclosure strategies. An optimal ‘best value’ solution was eventually achieved which not only preserved the design intent, but more importantly, the budget.

The Team


Modern Healthcare Design Award – Modern Healthcare Magazine, 2012

Outstanding Project Award – Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates (ASA Chicago), 2011

Project of the Year Award – Fox Valley General Contractors Association, 2012

The Generative Space Award – The Caritas Project, 2012