PCL’s design-build hospital services are differentiated by a unique in-house group of consulting experts, including former health care professionals, who provide deep insight into the day-to-day operations of health care spaces. 

Design-build delivery models provide significant client benefits, including speed to market, risk transfer from the owner to the contractor and ready access to a unique and highly specialized group of industry experts.

“PCL assumes the risk and provides clients with certainty under the design-build model. We do so by contracting the team and – following an intensive bid phase – supplying the owners with a guaranteed price and schedule,” says Chris Rick, PCL project director. “Because PCL owns the risk, we are highly incentivized to innovate and improve processes to mitigate risk. This ownership has also necessitated PCL to develop design-build construction processes specific to health care.”

At the commencement of the RFP process, PCL’s strategy is to become a fully integrated team member who, with unparalleled design-build expertise and experience, guides clients through an intensive approach to achieve an optimized and technically compliant design.

“For design-build projects, our teams employ their expertise, proven processes and advanced tools to support the critical interface between design and construction,” says Ron Turner, PCL construction manager. “Our specialized approach allows us to be nimble and responsive to complex industry advancements, transforming client needs into world-class facilities.”

Every project team includes health care design-build subject matter experts who support PCL’s integrated delivery processes and ensure its clients receive an optimized result: maximizing value for the best price. PCL strategically builds its teams for every new project by leveraging long-term relationships and a best-in-class approach. Each team member is a recognized industry leader with a tremendous depth of experience on similar projects. In addition, the design firms selected are subject to an extensive review process to ensure they have the necessary expertise, experience and resources to manage stringent deliverables on aggressive schedules, ultimately producing compliant and budget optimized design solutions.

Collaboration is at the heart of every project, but it is essential in a complex design-build project. This delivery model is distinguished by the bid phase, which occurs after project pursuit teams have been prequalified but before the owners have selected their preferred proponent. When faced with project challenges, PCL collaborates with the entire design-build consortium to develop viable solutions through a unique partnering process.

“The real benefit of design-build is promoting innovation by having contractors and consultants work together to develop the best design possible,” Turner says. “The key to success is effective integration and coordination of team members to create a robust team environment through the project's bid phase – what we refer to as ‘collaboration on steroids’ – and through the project award, design development and construction phases.”

PCL’s unique partnering process engages its extensive network of consultants, trades and experts as trusted collaborators and innovators. This provides highly efficient and reliable means and methods from bid phase to project close-out. As risk owners, PCL is laser-focused on lean principles of continuous improvement and has learned valuable lessons over nearly two decades of successful design-build projects with a total value of more than $8 billion.

Strong communication is the secret to success when using a design-build delivery model.  Collaborating between key stakeholders on design-build projects through integrated partnering workshops, topic-focused user-group sessions and team meetings provides quality control, budget, schedule performance and value-based project feedback opportunities.

“On a billion-dollar design-build health care project, we led 900 user consultation design meetings with over 600 users to ensure the facility met their needs,” Turner says. “At the project outset and each major design phase, we also coordinated full day partnering sessions to lay the foundation for the success of the world-class hospital. These meetings were an invaluable opportunity for the design team to listen and respond quickly to feedback from key stakeholders to shape the facility’s design at the conceptual design stage.”

In addition to robust communication strategies, managing a successful design process requires engaging clinical users in meaningful and exciting ways. Using visual aids to express design intent and facilitate brainstorming – including full-scale physical mock-ups, computer models, and even total immersion 3D goggles – provides a simple, cost-effective opportunity to gather valuable user feedback that can be incorporated to advance project design decisions before construction begins.

Beyond the critical communication between project stakeholders, remarkable technological advancements also let buildings communicate.

From managing thousands of people on a single job site to ensuring buildings meet their owner’s requirements, technology has helped tame a project's many challenges. PCL uses innovative technology like digital dashboards, 4D planning, drones, 3D laser scanning, and augmented reality to increase efficiency, improve safety and ensure the quality of projects.

“PCL is trailblazing in digital construction,” Rick says. “We are developing proprietary and customizable digital solutions that lean construction processes and allow us to gather ‘big data’ from project sites. Using Artificial Intelligence and analytics, we now understand what our buildings are telling us. We can pass building performance data to our clients, enabling them to save money on everything from energy to insurance to operation and maintenance costs. It’s powerful stuff.” 

One such technology is Job Site Insights (JSI), a cloud-based smart construction platform that engages sensor technology to monitor, collect and analyze data from the project site. Construction sites are instrumented with sensors that stream data to the JSI cloud platform over the life span of a project. In short, JSI visualizes the construction site, mapping the devices to spaces, equipment, assets and people, giving project managers and owners a single-pane-of-glass view of the job site.

The “single pane” view is facilitated through Power BI, a data analytics tool that allows us to collect and aggregate data into one place for analysis. It generates compelling visuals and allows owners to readily track, compare and analyze data revealing actionable data trends such as schedule performance.

Among many other benefits, deploying JSI on more than 60 projects has demonstrated reductions in energy use, rework and insurance costs while capturing valuable data for future analytics.

Working with PCL, clients can achieve stringent technical outcomes and optimized design solutions that maximize value and mitigate risk through a tried and tested health care design-build delivery model. By engaging its customized partnering process, getting comfortable with intensive collaboration, leveraging its unique in-house specialists and embracing the benefits of advanced technologies, PCL’s design-build expertise assists clients in developing world-class hospital facilities and services that are at the heart of healthy communities.