Akron Children’s Hospital opens $180 million patient care facility ahead of schedule, under budget


AKRON, Ohio (April 27, 2015) – Akron Children’s Hospital is set to open its new $180 million Kay Jewelers Pavilion May 5 – ahead of schedule and under budget. The seven-story, 368,735 square-foot facility enhances and expands Akron Children’s services as the hospital celebrates 125 years of delivering family-centered care this year.

The building features a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with 75 private rooms, a new emergency department, an expanded outpatient surgery center, and a labor and delivery center for high-risk births – the first such dedicated space in the hospital’s history.

“Akron Children’s launched our expansion project to transform the way we deliver patient care, including streamlining outpatient visits, expanding clinical services and managing a higher volume of emergency department visits,” said William Considine, president and chief executive officer of Akron Children’s. “In designing the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, we focused on what truly matters to patients, their families and our healthcare providers, allowing us to optimize the facility for family-centered care and ensure a positive patient and family experience.”

The companies assisting the hospital with project management include:

  • CBRE Healthcare (Dallas, Texas): On-site Project Manager
  • HKS, Inc. (Dallas, Texas): Design Architect
  • Hasenstab Architects, Inc. (Akron, Ohio): Local Associate Architect
  • Welty Building Company (Akron, Ohio): Construction Manager
  • The Boldt Company (Appleton, Wisconsin): Integrated Lean Project Delivery® (ILPD®) Construction Manager

Integrated Lean Project Delivery process saves time, money and space

The Kay Jewelers Pavilion was completed two months ahead of schedule and with $60 million in cost savings from the original estimate.

“Throughout the project, we were able to implement – and stick to – an accelerated construction schedule by following various Lean practices in the design and construction of the building,” said Ray Walker, managing director, CBRE Healthcare. “On a project of this size, it’s a testament to the processes and teams in place to finish ahead of schedule and significantly under budget.”

Akron Children’s used a nontraditional approach for the building’s design and construction that allowed the people who use the building – patient families and staff – to help design it. This approach – called ILPD, as developed by The Boldt Company – brought everyone involved in the project together to offer input before any designs were finalized.

“The goal of the collaborative ILPD process is to eliminate the waste that typically exists in a conventionally delivered project. The result is a project that can be delivered at a lower cost with increased quality in a shorter period of time,” said Dave Kievet, group president, Boldt. “We looked at everything from rearranging department flows for efficiency to reducing the height of floors to lower construction costs.”

ILPD teams had a goal to reduce baseline space and cost needs by 20 percent. In the end, they trimmed more than 34,000 square feet of building space from the NICU, emergency department and outpatient surgery center combined – a nearly 21 percent space savings and $20 million in cost savings.

“Teamwork and a culture of transparency and accountability were central to reducing duration and costs from the design and construction processes,” said Patrick Oaks, project executive, Welty Building Co. “Throughout the project, teams engaged in collaborative planning, testing and redesigning to eliminate any potential constraints before they had the opportunity to impact actual construction.”

Staff, parents help design new building

Team collaboration is at the heart of the transformational ILPD model. Long before turning the first shovel of dirt, Akron Children’s and its project partners brought together an array of individuals to design the Kay Jewelers Pavilion.

From mid-2012 to early 2013, Akron Children’s executives, physicians, nurses, clinical staff and patient families met regularly with architects, builders and the hospital’s in-house Lean Six Sigma experts to discuss ideal spaces for patient care delivery. The intent was to catch design flaws early and solve problems before it was too late to make changes.

“Project teams addressed such issues as minimizing walking for patient families, doctors and nurses, ensuring efficient movement of supplies in and out of operating rooms, and providing a calm environment that promotes privacy,” said Jeff Stouffer, AIA, principal-in-charge, HKS, Inc. “Following multiple design iterations, the final plan for the hospital greatly improved patient flows, offered easy access to supplies and minimized steps throughout the building. Wherever possible, we also built in flexibility for future growth and change.”

Critical input came from a series of kaizen events, which were two- to five-day workshops aimed at designing the most efficient and flexible spaces within each service area in the new building.

Department teams first used small-scale models to design floors of the facility. Later, the teams tested these blueprints in full-scale cardboard mock-ups constructed in a local warehouse.

The replicas of each floor allowed the ILPD teams to try out the spaces, such as in a mock trauma scenario, and make layout adjustments to improve the building’s space, flow, equipment and furniture – before the real construction started.

“Obtaining the perspective of parents was one of the most valuable aspects of the kaizen events to help the hospital deliver better family-centered care,” said Marge Zezulewicz, AIA, project manager, Hasenstab Architects. “For example, parents participating in the emergency department kaizen suggested having more restrooms, providing a larger waiting room, giving security a stronger presence and improving overall flow and wait times.”

Designing child- and family-oriented spaces in “The Backyard”

The building’s “backyard” theme echoes the joys of childhood. Each floor represents a different aspect of the backyard, with unique décor supporting the following themes:

  • The emergency department, or “The Puddle,” features a cool, calming aqua palette
  • The two-floor NICU, or “The Treehouse,” includes tranquil, inspiring green and raspberry hues
  • The GOJO Outpatient Surgery Center, or “The Sandbox,” has lively orange colors
  • The new labor, delivery and recovery center, or “The Garden,” features a soothing yet cheerful color palette

“A soothing and engaging atmosphere is such an important part of caring for children, as it’s been proven to help them with recovery and ease pain,” said Mr. Considine. “We used colors, paintings, sculptures, photographs and interactive displays to actively engage a child’s imagination, which is the most powerful tool a child has to envision an encouraging future outside the hospital.”

More than 400 pieces of colorful, child-friendly art, including 285 pieces created by local school children, adorn the building’s walls and match its backyard theme. In addition, backyard fences in the main lobby and outpatient surgery center waiting area feature peek-a-boo holes placed at various eye levels, providing age-appropriate graphics and interactive elements based on the height of the holes.

About Akron Children’s Hospital

Ranked among the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, Akron Children’s Hospital is the fastest growing children’s hospital in the U.S. according to Modern Healthcare. We own and operate two pediatric hospitals in northeast Ohio and more than 80 primary and subspecialty care locations. We have the second busiest emergency department in the state and perform more pediatric surgeries than any other hospital in northeast Ohio. With more than 800,000 patient visits each year, we’ve been leading the way to healthier futures for children and communities through expert medical care, prevention and wellness programs since 1890.

Learn more at akronchildrens.org.

About CBRE Group, Inc.

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2014 revenue). The company has more than 52,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 370 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting.

For more information, visit www.cbre.com.

About Hasenstab Architects

As one of Ohio’s leading architectural firms, Hasenstab Architects provides professional design services for the healthcare, educational, science/technology and commercial industries, as well as a wide variety of other projects. Since 1982, Hasenstab Architects has designed many notable facilities in the region, including projects for Akron Children’s Hospital, The Cleveland Clinic, Akron General Hospital, Summa Health System and Aultman Hospital.

For more information, visit www.hasenstabinc.com.

About HKS, Inc.

HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top five architectural engineering firms, according to Building Design + Construction magazine. Since its founding in 1939, HKS has completed construction projects totaling more than $77 billion in more than 1,648 cities located in 84 countries. The firm operates from 26 offices worldwide.

For more information, visit www.hksinc.com.

About Welty Building Company

For more than seven decades, Welty Building Company has served Ohio with superior construction services. Over that course of time, Welty has had the distinction of creating some of the most prestigious community assets, including renovations to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the world-renowned Goodyear® Tire & Rubber Company’s new Global Headquarters, The University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium, Akron Art Museum and many others. Welty’s experience, iconic projects and superior customer service are among the many reasons when Ohio thinks construction, they “Think Welty.”

For more information, visit www.thinkwelty.com.

About The Boldt Company

The Boldt Company, headquartered in Wisconsin, has 14 offices throughout the United States. The firm provides professional construction services to customers in a variety of power, industrial, healthcare, education, commercial and renewable energy markets nationwide. The firm has been recognized as one of the safest companies in America. Boldt was founded in 1889 and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2014.

For more information, visit www.theboldtcompany.com.

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