Judi’s House was founded on the belief that all bereaved children and families should have access to effective and compassionate care. Former NFL quarterback Brian Griese was just 12 years old when his mother, Judi, died from breast cancer. Brian and his wife, Brook Griese, PhD, a clinical child psychologist specializing in trauma and loss, founded Judi’s House in her memory in 2002. Judi’s House has supported more than 14,500 youth, ages 3-25, and caregivers, toward its vision that no child should be alone in grief.

The purpose-built facility, spanning 26,245 square feet, features therapeutic spaces, family and assessment therapy rooms, a kitchen and dining area, conference rooms, and offices. PCL Construction, in collaboration with Davis Partnership Architects (DPA), embraced a community-based philosophy. As the home to a beloved local non-profit, the building's construction costs were entirely funded by philanthropic donations. PCL strategically optimized materials by working with vendors and subtrades who donated 12% of the project's costs to help meet the budget set by Judi's House.

PCL's primary objective was to help Judi’s House’s donated dollars good go further without compromising quality. This goal ultimately resulted in $1.25 million in carefully selected value engineering alternatives of equal or superior quality.  

Key efforts included the selection of building materials that not only met budgetary constraints but also enhanced aesthetic appeal. For example, the team carefully evaluated brick and window manufacturers to find a balance between design requirements, thermal efficiency and affordability. Additionally, the team’s decision to order light fixtures directly from manufacturers further contributed to cost savings, ensuring that every aspect of the project was aligned with both fiscal responsibility and quality.

With the construction of the non-profit building taking place in a residential neighborhood, safety considerations were addressed through community coordination, detailed laydown plans, and a residential site-specific crane plan. There was also close consideration of the needs of the people who would use the facility, tailoring to the comfort of grieving families and opting for an all-electric building, easy-to-follow pathways, and spaces designed for comfort. These features were to ensure ease of movement and minimize the risk of accidents. Both signage and visual cues such as large installation vinyl wall graphics were installed to help children navigate the space independently.

In the construction of Judi’s House, Building Information Modeling (BIM) played a pivotal role in ensuring efficient collaboration and coordination. This innovative method was especially effective for detailing below-ceiling mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) construction activities, leading to the creation of precise 3D renderings. These renderings, showcasing below-ceiling elements like light fixtures, access panels, and projector screens, facilitated exact MEP coordination and clash detection. BIM was also instrumental in overcoming supply chain challenges, enabling effective scheduling and installation planning.

The award-winning project also emphasized eco-friendly features. These sustainable elements included high-efficiency mechanical air systems, daylighting, low-flow toilets, and lighting occupancy sensors, all designed to reduce energy costs. Notably, Judi’s House is entirely powered by electricity, foregoing the use of natural gas. This focus on sustainability offers not only long-term cost benefits for the client but also serves the community by fostering a building that is more efficient and less reliant on natural resources.

This collaborative endeavor represents a holistic approach to construction, community engagement, and philanthropy, leaving a lasting impact on Judi’s House and the wider community.

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