Hospital Uses 3D Animation to Keep Project on Time and on Budget

An industry-wide standard is being set as a billion-dollar hospital uses BIM to hold down costs

Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago is building a new hospital (Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago), and is using BIM to hold costs down and ensure that the project is ready for a Summer 2012 move. Although BIM is often used on commercial construction projects, utilizing BIM technology to this extent for a hospital project of this magnitude is groundbreaking.  

By creating a virtual 3D model of the hospital to identify and address potential design and construction issues well before they impact the schedule and budget, BIM helps the hospital ensure that piping, ductwork, and conduit are being routed properly before any of the work actually happens. This technology also enhances the energy efficiency of the building in several ways, including the enabling of thermal modeling, which provides a virtual comparison of potential heat loss based on which materials are selected for the building’s enclosure.

“BIM helps us coordinate and schedule 50+ subcontractors inside the building, and has greatly helped this fast-track, 23-story, $1 billion project remain on time and on budget,” says Robert Nartonis, senior vice president for Mortenson Construction. “It saves money because it avoids site delays and change orders common to a project of this size and scope.”

BIM will continue to reduce costs for the hospital by providing a “digital blueprint” of the hospital and its complex systems. Any time a remodeling or renovation project needs to take place post-construction, hospital officials will use the BIM model to visualize the space, review possibilities, and schedule the necessary work before construction begins.

“The benefits of BIM on this project are likely to make it the new industry standard for complicated hospital projects around the country,” says Bruce Komiske, chief of new hospital design and construction for Children’s Memorial Hospital.

To see a 30-second demonstration of how 3D animation is used to plan for construction of an operating room, click here: