Technology Solutions, Construction, and Prefabrication Teams Work as One Encore Electric at New UCHealth Inpatient Tower
March 29, 2021 – Nonprofit health care system UCHealth is known for its innovative and state-of-the-art facilities where staff provide care to more than 1.9 million unique patients each year. Encore Electric has been privileged to work with UCHealth on several complex and demanding projects and is now building a new inpatient tower at the University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus. This expansion project will increase the availability of critical health care services and specialize in advanced treatments and complex cases.
Encore Electric construction teams are working closely with prefabrication to meet challenging deadlines, and the Technology Solutions team is managing the expansion’s low voltage electrical construction, technology design and installation.
“Their facilities are state of the art, and we are implementing industry-leading technology,” said Hunter Lasko, Encore Electric Technology Solutions Project Manager. “It is extremely fulfilling to be a part of such demanding, large-scale health care projects. These projects are not just another construction site, but rather a part of something much larger.”
To enable the expansion, significant work was done at the hospital that allowed the project team to safely demolish part of the facility and begin building the new building. During this phase, the Encore Electric construction team worked on 33 different areas in the existing, fully operational hospital.
“While working within the constraints of an operational hospital you have to be creative,” said Encore Electric Project Engineer Jessica Linder. “In order to provide the hospital with their N+1 power redundancy, we flew the new generator in early. We navigated squeezing the generator through a tight window, having to turn the generator sideways to avoid an existing retaining wall. We took those challenges head-on and were able to provide the hospital with their new generator quickly and safely.”
Electrical upgrades required several utility outages. In close coordination with General Contractor partner Haselden Construction, those outages were completed during the off-hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“During this time, we worked hand-in-hand with the hospital to move departments around, all in preparation for the demolition of the existing Emergency Department (ED),” said Encore Electric Project Manager Brad Smiley. “The ED demolition required us to take existing offices and convert them into fully outfitted patient rooms to accommodate the temporary reduction in patient space needed to build Tower III. It has been quite the challenging and rewarding puzzle so far.”
Deep knowledge of the existing facilities and strong relationships with the teams from UCHealth facilities and the construction trades have been tremendously helpful to the project teams as they navigate this challenging project.
“Carrying over our past experiences and lessons learned within the UCHealth system, coupled with direct owner and designer coordination, has proven to be invaluable to the project team,” said Lasko.
The Encore Electric team was brought in early for drawing and design reviews and continues to work very closely with project engineers and architects. In a true One Encore approach, Technology Solutions is working alongside the construction team and both groups share lessons learned and insights daily.
Technology Solutions is managing everything from security integrations, to nurse call installations and audio-visual equipment, and are also responsible for managing all vendor-partner firms.
Prefabrication has been working closely with construction teams to help limit overtime and allow for the skilled workers on site to tackle more complex tasks.
“I am sure the schedule will get tight, but this is what makes the Encore team great. We work together to come up with solutions, and prefab has a huge role when it comes to solutions, time constraints, and manpower issues,” said Prefabrication Manager Jordie Klosterman.
Encore Electric has developed a reputation for taking on difficult, high-profile projects and the UCHealth system is no exception to that.
“The unique thing about this project is that we have to pull the wire now and set all the large equipment because once the steel structure goes up, we will no longer have that access,” said Encore Electric Superintendent Daniel Riepler. “The switchgear has to be placed before the structure is built.”
At its peak, the project will have between 80 and 100 Encore Electric team members on-site and is scheduled to finish in early 2023.