Rising to Healthcare Challenges
St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center
When land around healthcare facilities restricts expansion, building up provides the room for growth and advancement. Unmatched in its sophistication in this region, the new 10-story tower has greatly expanded the hospital’s capacity and technological capabilities. It houses a range of advanced healthcare functions from an emergency department that doubled in size and the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute to a new rooftop heliport. The remaining areas include new operating rooms, four floors of private inpatient rooms, and rehabilitation gyms.
Several challenges involving utilities, soil type, and ongoing operations characterized the process. Essential utilities were re-routed out of the construction area and replaced with temporary services supported on the roof and façade of adjacent buildings. The project site’s deep clay deposits posed foundation challenges due to their poor engineering characteristics. Pile cap foundations with deep piles and interconnecting grade beams were designed for the 10-story tower, and conventional spread footings over low-density concrete fill were utilized for the three-story section. Strategic coordination and constant communication with hospital staff throughout, especially during potentially disruptive activities, such as pile driving and tie-ins, were developed to minimize impact on hospital operations.