June 10, 2015
By Bernita Beikmann, AIA, EDAC, LSSBB, Principal and Senior Vice President, Director of Lean Strategy, HKS, Inc.

This May, Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital celebrated the opening of Kay Jewelers Pavilion, a nearly 370,000-square-foot facility featuring a neonatal intensive care unit with 75 private beds, an emergency department, an outpatient surgery center, and a high-risk labor and delivery unit. The $180 million project was completed two months ahead of schedule for $60 million less than the original cost estimate. 

The building’s opening marked the culmination of a four-year journey by the Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD) team that created the facility. HKS Inc. served as the pavilion’s design architect, along with Hasenstab Architects Inc., Akron, local associate architect; The Boldt Company, Appleton, Wisconsin, ILPD construction manager; Welty Building Company, Akron, construction manager; and CBRE Healthcare, Dallas, on-site project manager. Akron Children’s Hospital documented this extraordinary project in the book L3: Lean Operations, Lean Design, Lean Construction: Building a Lean Hospital Facility (Tonya Vinas, ed.). 

The month before the pavilion’s grand opening, team members met to reflect on the project. Participants included hospital administrators and end users, architects, engineers, interior designers, medical planning professionals, contractors and major subcontractors — basically anyone involved in the facility’s design and construction. We wanted to look beyond metrics like dollars saved or square footage reduced to discover what made the project successful and what could have been improved. These are lessons learned that we can take with us to future jobs for the betterment of the design and construction industry as a whole. 

The project retrospective looked at five main areas related to integrated project delivery: the team’s Big Room; partnership, including the contractual agreement and handoffs between phases of work; the structure, interaction and tools used for Target Value Design; education sessions and activities; and communication. 

The comments received, which were condensed and consolidated, identified some big success stories. Highlights included the use of speed pulling, a planning process similar in structure to speed dating — groups working on specific tasks were directed to meet for brief, fixed time periods (approximately 20 minutes). We learned the time constraint prompted focused, intentional conversations among team members and didn’t allow for procrastination; people had to discuss issues and move on. Another important aspect of the project was the use of A3 documents to record information and aid in decision-making. Hiring construction trades early in the project was very valuable. 

Educational programs were also highly valued by team members, who found learning about Lean tools and principles, as well as more detailed information about each other’s roles on the project, was important to team building, quality and efficiency. By more fully understanding what other professionals require to complete their jobs, people are less likely to overproduce useless material and more likely to provide what’s needed. This type of understanding can eliminate a lot of waste from the design and construction process. We can do a better job of meeting cost and schedule constraints if we work well together. Integrated project delivery results in a better process and a better product.

To read the full project retrospective, click here: Akron Children's Hospital Kay Jewelers Pavilion ILPD Team Retrospective

Posted in Health
Tagged Akron Children's Hospital Kay Jewelers Pavilion, Bernita Beikmann, Integrated Lean Project Delivery, Lean Design