HGH Construction Team Vying for Design Award

The hospital’s construction team is hoping an international design publication will agree their project is deserving of recognition.

Sletten Construction Project Manager Dustin Keyes recently submitted Humboldt General Hospital's latest building project in the Engineering News Record Best Projects of 2016 for the healthcare sector.

Keyes put the application together with help from CTA Architect Lindsay Erb and HGH Owner Rep Mike Sheppard.

The project, which includes a new memory care facility, centralized rural clinics space and expansions to the OB, ER and OR departments, will be judged by a panel of judges using five criteria including safety, innovation and contribution to the industry/community, construction quality and craftsmanship, and functionality of design and aesthetic quality.

The team also had to address how they have overcome challenges. Keyes said this criterion was likely the hallmark of the project since constructing around a functioning hospital on a confined block of property surrounded by active surface streets was very difficult.

Additionally, Keyes said bringing an older hospital into compliance with the latest building standards required a great deal of thought, planning and work—not to mention concerns with patient and staff safety, infection control issues, and other more minor issues like keeping noise levels down.

“Those have been very real challenges,” said Keyes, “and I know that without total buy-in from our team, the architects, hospital administration, staff and the public’s patience and cooperation, we could not have been successful.”

Keyes said another element of the competition, teamwork, also came into play during the design project.

“I know I can speak for our company and CTA Architects in stating that the whole design process was driven from the ground up by the people who would actually work in these new spaces,” he said.

“On a typical project, the architect draws up the plans on what they think the building should be and the construction begins. On this project, the hospital staff worked closely with CTA to bring their ideas and needs to the table, so there was a lot of innovation, safety addition, functionality and aesthetic decisions that went into that. Certainly we can say that this project was also about teamwork.”

Zach Lester, an architect with CTA Architects, highlighted some of the notable features of the construction project, including the entire building’s energy efficient design with regard to heating, cooling, insulation and air and moisture barrier construction technology.

Lester said everything from interior finishes, air filtration and exchanges, and access to fresh air and daylight, also contribute to a healthy building design.

There are some key safety features as well, including handrails and heated sidewalks, entry ramp and stair improvements, adequate space for staff to navigate equipment, and security features such as cameras and electronic door controls.

A parking garage also offers improved convenience and safety for the public and staff through additional parking for accessibility and pedestrian safety.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind project that we are very proud of,” said Keyes. “I think it’s something this community can be very proud of. In terms of innovation, functionality, sustainability and more, it’s got it all—and that helps translate into great patient care.”

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony later in the year and will be featured in the regional editions of ENR. Projects deemed best in category will automatically compete in the Best of the Best Projects 2016, a national juried competition appearing in ENR.

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