In 2018, Martin-Harris was given the humbling opportunity to begin the renovation, expansion, and modernization of UMC’s emergency room. This project ensures UMC will not only continue to provide top tier health services but will be able to enhance their overall level of patient care and capacity.

The project was broken down into three phases including the demolition of old walls and finishes, the expansion of new space, and the renovation of facility including a re-configuration of the floor plan and new finishes. Since this part of the hospital hadn’t seen an update since the late 90’s, an upgrade to technologies was also well overdue.

All mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were suspended by a strut system to avoid penetrating the pan deck above. An emergency power panel was added to support all new systems provided on the new patient headwalls. Expanded medical gas systems were installed with multiple zone valves as well as 2 LCD digital alarm panels. The fire alarm system was completely upgraded with new devices and wiring. A new state-of-the-art Nurse Call System makes it fast and easy for a patient to directly contact hospital personnel. This is especially useful for patients who are bedridden, in case of an emergency, or for basic needs. New digital LCD screen alarms actively display med gas information and accurately detect gas type. They also have the capability to self-diagnose and display error messages for ease of maintenance.

The team utilized a prefabricated DIRTT modular partition wall system allowing for both easy installation and removal/relocation in the future. The DIRTT system also offers hanging options to move technology and accessories off the floor, facilitating stronger sanitary conditions.

The UMC Hospital’s dedicated team provides 24/7 care. It was essential to work with extreme caution during renovation and expansion to protect patients from all construction activities. The logistics of working in an active hospital environment required constant contact and organizing with owner reps, department managers and subcontractors throughout the entire project.  Because space is a premium, working in defined areas with multiple trades at the same time meant extensive coordination was essential.

Infectious Control Risk Assessment was implemented on this project from start to finish. Multiple HEPA filtered negative air machines were used at all times to ensure no dust migrated into the hospital. The entire work area was fully sealed to maintain negative air pressure. Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) were constantly maintained and updated as the project progressed. MHC also implemented an anteroom for all workers to dust and clean off before leaving the job site in order to quarantine potential dust, mold, spores, and other contaminants disrupted due to construction activities from entering the hospital.

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