Rebuilding After the Storm

Joplin JF Ahern Project

It’s been a little over two years since the devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, causing casualties and severe damage – including the loss of its major hospital. Mercy Hospital’s new facility is progressing as scheduled, with an estimated opening of spring 2015. Ahern is proud to be a part of that fresh start.

In the past 12 months, the hospital’s steel structure has been erected and topped off, and precast walls and panels continue to be put in place. Ahern is tracking ahead of schedule, with its 3D modeled fire protection design complete and over 2,500 fire sprinklers already installed. Between all MEP trades collaborating on the 3D design, thousands of system interferences have been prevented by correcting clashes in the design phase versus installation.

“Our 3D capabilities were significant in acquiring this project, and continued to be critical throughout the design,” commented Vice President John Schotz. “Not only has this prevented installation errors and delays, but through 3D collaboration with the entire construction team, we’ve identified aspects of the building construction that have now been revised to better accommodate the systems being installed.”

Ahern is utilizing its in-house prefabrication capabilities to improve its on-site efficiency. Once complete, the hospital will include over 9,000 fire sprinklers. In addition, fire protection support systems, such as the fire pump and main water service will be housed in the central energy plant that is connected to the hospital through a buried tunnel. With portions of the energy plant underground or shielded from the wind, the hospital’s generators and power supply will now be protected should another act of nature strike. The central energy plant is expected to be online in early 2014.

“This project is moving quickly, with good collaboration among each trade,” Schotz continued. “With the designs all approved, we expect to complete the remaining milestones without delay and to finish the project on – or ahead – of schedule.”