Have you heard the story about the Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center-Riverside—one of the largest construction projects in Rockford, Ill., history? Let me tell you a little something about this unique project, it leveraged technology in a truly progressive way.

A quick look at the project specs shows it encompasses a three-wing, six-story hospital, spanning 451,000-sq.ft., and a five-story, 81,500-sq.ft. medical center sitting on approximately 65 acres. Led by Mortenson, it boasts 192 beds and state-of-the-art specialty units and adult sub-specialties.

Here’s where the project gets interesting. It had an accelerated pace, which meant it needed strategic technology implementation in order to keep the team on track. Cost, site logistics, schedule management, quality and safety, and facilitating an easier method to access information for onsite workers were all considerations in determining the right course of action.

Mercyhealth also required visual documentation of the project’s progress and access to images of as-built conditions. Initially, this request only allowed a method to view static photos, which were saved in digital folders and required the viewer to manually sift through the files to find a particular photo from a particular date, with no specific data linked to it. As you can imagine, this was costly and the process to locate the photo proved to be time consuming.

Enter technology. In order to gather the information needed to estimate certain scopes of work, workers had to manually survey an area, leaving a higher possibility for error that would possibly lead to costly excess of materials, equipment, or manpower. So the company used visual documentation technology to capture the data and visuals. It also leveraged a drone to capture and record data of the site.

Within two days, multiple deliverables were available that were more useful than anything that could have been produced using virtual design practices. This all led to more accurate communications with clients and field personnel and the drone images and information were more accurate.

Here’s where the story gets really cool. Mortenson estimates the solutions saved $1.496 million in software costs and 79.5 manpower hours. Mortenson also took home last year’s Constructech Vision Awards’ Project of the Year award.

Its success stories like this one that keep the construction industry humming along. Do you have a success story you want to share? Did your project leverage technology in a really innovative way? Submit it for the annual Constructech Vision Awards. The deadline is tomorrow. Let’s help move the industry forward, ensuring a greater tomorrow, today.

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor