The eastern part of Jefferson County in
the Louisville, Kentucky, USA metro
area had experienced rapid growth, and
it became clear that the community
needed a new medical facility. A hometown healthcare giant offered a remedy:
the city’s first new hospital in 25 years.
Norton Healthcare has a network of
five hospitals and 11 immediate-care
centers. But executives at the not-for-profit organization were determined to
make this project unlike anything that
“In the past, hospitals were designed
primarily around the healthcare processes and the convenience of the hospital staff and physicians. The design
frequently is not the most conducive
to the patients, families and guests they
serve,” says Stephen A. Williams, president and CEO of Norton Healthcare.
“We wanted an entirely new-concept
hospital that was designed and built on
new thinking—from what the patients
and guests optimally wanted in a healthcare experience, to what the physicians
and staff desired in functionality and
maximally efficient work processes.
“The entire initiative was a tremendous challenge in that we would not
allow the planners to bring any tradi-
tional designs, programs, job descriptions or work processes to the job,” he
One such innovation is the emphasis
on peace and quiet. There’s no traditional overhead paging system; instead,
staff communicate via wireless devices.
In addition, carpeted hallways help
Like any project sponsors, though,
the Norton executive team also wanted
the project delivered on time and within
budget. With funding approved in
2005, the team set to work combining
construction, IT and training expertise.
Messer/TMG, a local firm, began construction on the 298,000-square-foot
( 27,685-square-meter) Norton Brownsboro Hospital in July 2007.
A construction project of this nature
usually takes 30 months to complete,
says John Megibben, senior project executive at Messer/TMG. The hospital’s
schedule was accelerated to 23 months.
“At the same time that the construction was heading down its path, we also
had the staffing of the hospital heading
down its path,” says Janice Weaver, PMP,
who led the US$146.3 million project.
Norton Healthcare went in with a bold vision of a cutting-edge hospital—but it
had to do so with a fixed budget of US$146.3 million.
“The first construction cost iteration was over-budget,” says John Megibben,
Messer/TMG, the Louisville, Kentucky, USA commercial construction company
working on the hospital project.
The team scrutinized all major aspects of the building, taking out the “
nice-to-haves”—such as a clear cover over the rooftop garden and Italian wall tiles—and
downsizing other features to keep the price down.
“For example, the parapet was originally designed to be 36 inches (0.9
meters). To reduce costs, the parapet was changed to 18 inches (0.5 meters),
with the understanding that workers would need to take special precautions
when working on the roof for safety,” Mr. Megibben says.