1. Project Description
In early 2015 E.W. Howell completed a renovation and addition project for Southampton Hospital which consisted of a 5,000 SF CORE lab renovation and 6,000 SF OR Addition/Renovation. The new Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center provides sophisticated diagnostics and interventional treatment of stroke and vascular disease to residents of Long Island’s East End. The Center offers emergency cardiovascular surgeries on aneurisms and other procedures—something patients previously had to be transferred to Stony Brook, more than 45 minutes from the Hamptons, to receive—as well as an education center for healthcare professionals, an advanced endovascular suite, a hybrid operating room, and the latest imaging technology.
2. Overcoming Challenges and Teamwork
The main challenges we faced during construction of the new OR Suite had to do with existing unforeseen conditions underground, unforeseen conditions of the existing facility, as well as the coordination between construction and the hospitals operating staff.
The addition to the OR suite required major underground alterations to accommodate the new building foundations. There was an existing grease trap that needed to be relocated and the new location, once uncovered, was in conflict with other underground structures. Many coordination meeting were held with the civil engineer, Vincent Gaudiello of The Raynor Group, to assist and resolve these issues satisfactorily with the Suffolk County Department of Health. Other safety issues had to be considered when excavating below the existing footings so as not undermine the existing building. These were handled with underpinning and creating new footing adjacent to the older footings.
During construction above ground, the challenges that arose were due to unforeseen conditions within the existing building and tying the new with the old. Conflicts arose with existing steel or concrete beams with new pipe runs, ductwork and lighting, and were handled with many coordination meetings amongst the Plumbing, Electrical, Sprinkler and HVAC contractors with the final approval from the hospital and engineers-of-record.
Communication between all parties was critical to the success of this project, and the hospital operating staff was very accommodating. They were included in our weekly meetings that helped resolve issues with existing conditions, as well as assist with their end use needs. They accommodated our needs to get into their operating areas, as required to complete the project. This resulted in a very harmonious atmosphere through a long 2-year project.
There were a total of 11,000 hours worked by E.W. Howell personnel during the 24 month duration of this project. Our full-time Superintendent Charlie Badagliacca was responsible for ensuring safety on the jobsite at all times. He monitored and responded to all safety issues on the site on a daily basis throughout the project. Also, unscheduled periodic visits were made by our Safety Director and General Superintendent to make sure that all safety standards were being met at all times. Weekly safety meetings were conducted using Safety Toolbox Talks, where any project specific conditions were reviewed.
4. Innovation & Contribution to the Industry/Community
The Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center provides sophisticated diagnostics and interventional treatment of stroke and vascular disease to residents of Long Island’s East End , helping them get treatment as quickly as possible. The Center offers emergency cardiovascular surgeries on aneurisms and other procedures—something patients previously had to be transferred to Stony Brook, more than 45 minutes from the Hamptons, to receive—as well as an education center for healthcare professionals, an advanced endovascular suite, a hybrid operating room, and the latest imaging technology.
According to the architect, Victor Famulari, the Hybrid Endovascular Surgical Suite, is the largest surgical suite in the Northeast. The advanced endovascular surgical suite contains the latest imaging technology in a sterile operating room environment. The Hybrid OR provides interventional treatment with the Siemens Healthcare Artis Zeego, an angiography system, using robot technology that allows flexibility to move around a patient and visually see organs from every angle.
5. Construction Quality & Craftsmanship
E.W. Howell excels at providing the most experienced and qualified subcontractors for a construction project. This requires conscious effort placed on details and coordination amongst the trades as well as the hospital staff. The construction team was always cognizant of the fact that they were working within an existing operating hospital, specifically the operating rooms, and that one mistake could potentially jeopardize someone’s life.
The project ran over a few months due to local Authorities having Jurisdiction, ie. Suffolk County Department of Health (SCDOH), for the install of the new generators and the associated underground piping. This resulted in a delay on both the exterior portion of work as well as the interior. As a result, the new life safety systems could not be put on line until these generators were completed.
6. Function and Aesthetic Quality of the Design
Victor Famulari Architect, PC created a state-of-the-art, contemporary facility within mostly existing space, and construction by E.W. Howell has taken place without interruption of hospital services. Additional space was created by taking the hallway that housed the Centennial exhibit and expanding that space north toward Meeting House Lane. The newly created corridor running along the stretch of exterior glass wall houses the updated and re-installed historic Centennial exhibit. The new exterior, while more contemporary in design, is on scale with the rest of the Hospital’s ground floor and its brick façade is harmonious with the Hospital’s existing building.
The design maximizes the opportunity for optimal ceiling height, efficient flow and spacious work areas for operating surgeons, anesthesiology, and nursing staff. An internal nurses’ station within the OR will enable patient flow through the daily procedure schedule and allow for visual control accessibility. A sterile core area services both the existing ORs and the two new ORs. The majority of surgeries that will be performed in one new OR will be orthopedic, bariatric and general surgery. A second new OR, a hybrid endovascular surgical suite for interventional treatment of stroke and vascular disease, includes a Siemens Healthcare Artis zeego, an angiography system with unprecedented flexibility. The industrial robot technology integrated in Artis zeego allows the physician to move its C-arm to almost any position around the patient, making it easier than ever before to visualize internal organs from various sides if, for example, tumors or vessel diseases have to be diagnosed. Some of the procedures that surgeons will be performing include arterial intervention and treatment of aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease, as well as cerebral vascular studies and interventions. The newest technology is ideally suited for endovascular surgery and many of these procedures and repairs can now be done through minimally invasive techniques.