Brooklyn Hospital Center Expansion: A Historic Transformation
Founded in 1845, The Brooklyn Hospital Center has served a diverse population within downtown Brooklyn, New York City’s third-largest central business district. After more than a century, the hospital has expanded its emergency department to support operational improvements while enhancing patient experience.
After several successful projects and partnerships with The Brooklyn Hospital Center, LF Driscoll HealthcareGo to https://stobuildinggroup.com/lf-driscoll-healthcare/ was once again selected to modernize the facility’s emergency department. The project included three phases, all of which were conducted before and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to LF Driscoll Healthcare project manager Kristopher Pomilla, staying nimble and meticulously clean throughout the everchanging circumstances of the pandemic was critical. “Our first plan of action was to get set up and make sure we were invisible on-site,” says Pomilla. “Any dust or debris created within our space, as well as noise, were all limited as much as possible.”
The team also coordinated with the emergency department director and the head of the facilities to understand and follow the regulations and guidelines for construction in the hospital. Although a challenge, the project team installed temporary walls that separated their work from occupied areas to avoid affecting patient care areas. “If there was a shut-down at any time, it was planned several weeks in advance to adjust hours of operation or shift appointments,” says LF Driscoll Healthcare account executive Marissa Kelly.
Over the past decade, the 177-year-old facility has undergone piecemeal construction work to restore and upgrade several elements of its main infrastructure, including the mechanical services that weren’t up to energy code. With each phase of the renovation, there were plenty of discoveries made and lessons learned—both for the hospital and the project team. The LF Driscoll Healthcare team took great care to communicate well in advance with in-house engineers about any needs for renovating or updating existing conditions.
“It’s always a logistical challenge working within an existing hospital and the unknowns of what we will discover once construction starts,” says LF Driscoll Healthcare project manager James Bickerstaff, Jr. “It wasn’t easy, but we had a lot of help from The Brooklyn Hospital Center and especially their engineering departments, who assisted us with each process.”
The project team also adjusted their schedules and tasks based on those lessons learned from past projects, which resulted in speeding up the remaining phases. While conducting site work, the team used 3D virtual construction modeling to locate existing underground utilities as well as PlanGrid for drawings to help coordinate with trades and upload documents.
FROM OLD TO NEW
By the second phase of the project, the team installed a new, full-glass storefront for the emergency department and a new ambulance bay to increase emergency department access. The last phase involved external site work such as footings, underground plumbing work, and the addition of asphalt and concrete for the hospital’s renovated driveway.
Additional highlights of the expansion include new wood-look accent ceilings and skylights, improved terrazzo flooring, and isolation rooms. These updates helped bring this 177-year-old fixture of the Brooklyn community into a new era of providing top-notch care and a welcoming experience to visitors, patients, and staff alike.
“This neighborhood is growing,” says LF Driscoll Healthcare vice president Christopher Shaw. “Thanks to these projects, The Brooklyn Hospital Center has accomplished what many hospitals and emergency departments in other communities have not: upgrading to meet the requirements of their community.”
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Client: The Brooklyn Hospital Center
Architect: NK Architects
Engineers: Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers PC (MEP), KPFF Consulting Engineers (structural/civil/site)
Completed: June 2022