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Faith Technologies Project Spotlight: Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin

Faith Technologies was invited to partner with Mortenson on a vertical expansion project at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital’s Center for Advanced Care in Milwaukee, WI. The scope of the project was a four-story vertical addition to a nine-story existing and occupied critical care facility, to support Froedtert Hospital’s growing needs to care for patients.

Faith was involved very early on in the planning process and was able to convey to the project owner our vast experience; not just what we’ve done and can do, but what we’ve done and can do better. This was thanks to a history of collaboration Faith has had with Mortenson which built trust over the years, including the recent completion of three jobs simultaneously.

Multi-trade Collaboration

Some of the most visible results of Faith’s knowledge and experience were the multi-trade racking systems. During the early stages of design, the team envisioned using a trade racking system that would support both mechanical and electrical components. Faith’s virtual design team modeled these racks with BIM software. The model was then used by Excellerate Manufacturing to fabricate all electrical components for the trade rack.

Collaboration among multiple trades was key to success. Once the electrical components were completed, they were shipped to JF Ahern Company, the mechanical contractor. Faith‘s electricians worked alongside the Ahern team to collectively install the electrical and mechanical systems components into the racks. Once completed, the racks were delivered to the project, lifted to the floors and installed. The size of each was carefully planned – they were designed to be large enough to house all of the necessary system components (electrical, HVAC, plumbing, med-gas, sprinkler system), yet sized small enough to allow for shipment to the site and lifting into place. A focus on 3D BIM coordination, detailing, and fabrication of electrical conduit and systems directly impacted the success of this project.

Offsite Manufacturing

During the early planning stages, weekly meetings with all project partners were held to whiteboard ideas for prefabrication. For Faith, a large part of this prefabrication planning was to develop ways to use Excellerate. Some of the primary questions asked early on included:

  • What Excellerate builds have we done in the past that worked, and what didn’t?
  • What could be modified on past Excellerate builds for Froedtert Hospital?
  • Are we able to replicate these builds more than three times or make slight variations of an existing template?

Answering these questions provided us with the items we addressed immediately to complete the Excellerate components.

Operational Healthcare Facility Experience

One of the most important aspects that led to the project’s success was the extremely high level of communication among Froedtert Hospital staff, plant operations, Mortenson, and other trade partners. In an operational healthcare facility, it is critical to consider the impacts of changes or power shutdown at every single level – from an entire hospital wing or floor, to each individual patient room – as unplanned or unintended power disruptions can cause life threatening scenarios. Faith team members met regularly with Froedtert Hospital’s nursing team to coordinate disruption avoidance plans. This included facility walk-throughs to discuss where power could be turned off and how and where temporary power would be provided.

The Center for Advanced Care project at Froedtert Hospital has been a success as a result of working with like-minded partners who are willing to do things differently, with the same goals in mind. The willingness by all partners to invest time, thought-leadership and collaboration resulted in a well-executed partnership that saved time and money, and increased safety for all involved.