Farmington Health Center Wins Best of the Best Award
ENR Magazine names the Layton-built center as the top healthcare project in U.S.
NEW YORK (January 24, 2018) – The Layton-built University of Utah Health Farmington Health Center has been named ENR Magazine’s Best of the Best Healthcare Project for 2017. The Farmington Health Center project is considered the “pinnacle of design and construction achievement in the entire U.S.” among projects completed between May 2016 and May 2017. The health center was selected by a national panel of industry judges and the ENR editorial team.
The ENR Best of the Best designation is considered the highest award in the construction industry.
The Farmington Health Center project competed against several dozen outstanding healthcare construction projects nationwide. The competition distinguishes the best from the best in terms of teamwork, safety, overcoming challenges, innovation and quality.
About the Project
The University of Utah Health Farmington Health Center is a state-of-the-art multi-specialty clinic offering primary, urgent care and specialty care services, with a full-service pharmacy, in-house branches of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Moran Eye Center, a café, espresso bar, and a large conference room with amenities suitable for banquets, seminars and educational training.
More than 60 healthcare providers and 150 staff work at Farmington Health Center. Once it reaches full capacity, the center will employ 400 physicians and staff. The health center sits on 10 acres, with additional land set aside for future expansion of the medical campus. The facility is a LEED Silver certification candidate.
The departments at the new healthcare facility include orthopedics, physical therapy, optometry, lab facilities, pharmacy, radiology and oncology, urgent care, neuroscience, pulmonary, cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, general surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and family practice. With such a facility, patients from the surrounding community are able to address a variety of medical needs in one location.
Overcoming Challenges and Teamwork
To design and build a 130,000-square-foot, $45 million world-class healthcare facility in 12 months is a major undertaking. The project included the input of over 40 different departments into the design and construction.
The design/build method requires the utmost in cooperation and collaboration, and almost daily coordination with all team members. At times, construction in the field came close to passing the progress of the design, requiring the design team and consultants to work even more closely to finalize time-sensitive design elements, related to decisions that needed to be made on long-lead materials and equipment.
To enable the design/build team to value engineer, Layton relied heavily on the experience of the major subcontractors. They worked long, hard hours with great attention to detail, focusing ultimately on the needs of the owner, the intent of the designers, and the overarching goal of completing this project on schedule.
Other unanticipated challenges included a high water table that required drilling over 300 aggregate piers. A concurrent accelerated schedule was created to dovetail this activity into the master schedule. Midway through construction, Farmington was hit by a storm that brought 100+ miles per hour hurricane-force winds. There was extensive damage to the roof, exterior glass and aluminum curtain wall material. Any insulation that was exposed was torn from the building. Layton immediately began a cleanup effort, not only at the jobsite, but in the surrounding community.
Duane Palmer, University of Utah Healthcare, said, “Completing a design/build project is challenging at best. With so many stakeholders—including the state, the university, Huntsman Cancer, and the diverse group of healthcare providers—all have very unique needs. You better have people at the table! It’s highly unusual to find this type of project and its complexity built as a design/build project.”
Stellar Safety Record
3b. OSHA Recordable Incident Rate: 0
3c. Lost Time Accident Rate: 0
3d. Total Man Hours on Job: 62,232
This 130,000 square foot facility peaked at just over 200 men working on the jobsite daily for several weeks. Weekly safety/coordination meetings and daily pre-task planning were required to ensure that proper coordination took place, and especially to ensure safe working conditions. Several interviews were conducted daily with most workers on site to evaluate that safe practices were being implemented. There were no OSHA recordable incidents, nor lost time incidents on this project. In addition to the weekly meetings with the entire jobsite, a separate meeting was held to discuss safety with the project foremen to discuss safety concerns so they would be addressed with urgency. The expectation was set from the beginning of the project that each worker was to keep an eye on others within Layton’s Personal Safety Zone (LaPSZ), a 30’ radius to keep track of any potential hazards. Every worker is responsible for themselves, and the safety of all others, within that zone.
Innovation and Contribution to the Industry/Community
The University of Utah Health Farmington Health Center cares for patients and families across the lifespan, providing comprehensive care for people of all ages in all health conditions. Farmington Health Center also makes recommendations for positive and proactive lifestyle changes so patients can stay healthy at home and at work.
The center offers acute care, preventative care, routine wellness exams, health-risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests, behavioral health services and personalized counseling on healthy lifestyles. Prior to the construction of the Farmington center, those who received medical care at the University of Utah had to travel to the main campus in Salt Lake City, which could make for a long commute, even on good traffic days. University of Utah Health has brought healthcare to the people. Those with acute and chronic illnesses, with treatment regimens—often daily—and who often experience great pain and discomfort, are relieved knowing treatments are now available close to home.
Structural innovations included using aggregate piers to resolve poor soil conditions, and side-plate moment frame steel construction used to resist seismic forces, resulting in a cost-efficient design.
Energy efficiency was enhanced with a low-maintenance rain screen with continuous air barrier and exterior insulation. The exterior glazing is high-efficiency Solarban Z50, sized to maximize lighting and views while minimizing heat gain. Mechanical systems incorporate three-stage cooling. Electrical system innovations include LED lighting, occupancy sensors, daylight sensors and a full energy management system. The building is a LEED Silver candidate, designed and constructed to serve as a healthcare model of a sustainable building.
Construction Quality and Craftsmanship
With an aggressive schedule, quality and craftsmanship were a constant and successful focus. Installers were appropriately certified, particularly for the sheet vinyl flooring throughout sterile and non-sterile areas. During the selection of all trades, careful consideration was taken to choose the most qualified companies and installers with healthcare experience.
Quality started with mockups of work, reviewed and inspected by subcontractor foremen and Layton’s project superintendent. Once quality was agreed upon, the trades proceeded with the remaining work, with intermediate inspections. This process was critical with the amount of millwork in exam rooms, reception areas, procedure rooms and operating rooms.
Healthcare projects are also subject to stringent state building standards and restrictions, department of health standards, and healthcare industry accreditation. Life safety was also scrutinized, including safety lighting on the property, path lighting systems and sidewalks.
Another first for this facility is the inclusion of a protected corridor with a skylight in the linear accelerator used for cancer treatment. Typically, these rooms have heavy doors with massive surrounding concrete walls where a patient is confined for radiation treatments. In designing a protected corridor leading into the vault to eliminate the need for heavy doors, the architects noticed a corner of the space that was naturally protected from radiation rays so a skylight was included. Patients now enter the area through glass doors with natural light and plants that help reduce patient anxiety.
Aesthetics and Design
The building incorporates patient-centered innovations in healthcare design. Unlike traditional medical facilities with a clinical atmosphere, with large waiting rooms, congested hallways, and complicated circulation patterns, the center’s clinics and treatment areas are organized around an atrium into simple “pods” with a feeling more akin to hospitality than a hospital. Each pod contains a dozen exam rooms, procedure rooms, provider areas, a lab and restrooms. Patients access the exam rooms from the building atrium via quiet patient hallways, while the providers have an active work/collaboration space accessed from the back side of each exam room. The result is a tranquil patient experience with easy wayfinding.
The building offers a wide array of medical services divided by function between the two wings of the building. The building offers a wide array of medical services divided by function between the two wings of the building. Quasi-hospital functions (endoscopy, surgical center, imaging and Huntsman Cancer Center) are located in the south wing, while primary and specialty services occupy the north wing. The wings intersect at a light-filled atrium space that serves as the hub to welcome visitors.
All five of the senses were taken into consideration in designing the interiors. Regardless of the weather outside, the inside always feels like spring with an abundance of natural light, bright colors, live trees, soft piano music and pleasant aromas from the café. The pleasant atmosphere promotes healing and a sense of well-being.
The facility used rapidly renewable resources like organic resilient flooring and recycled-content flooring. Other materials used have high post- and pre-consumer recycled content, are regional materials, and are FSC-certified wood products.
The exterior skin of the building is composed of brick, terracotta tiles and composite panels in a rain screen configuration where the building insulation is installed continuously outside of the framing, sheathing and waterproof membrane. The rain screen maximizes the effectiveness of the insulation and provides a free-ventilating cavity behind the exterior skin to reduce heat gain through the wall.