The new 112-bed hospital at St. Joseph’s Hospital South (SJHS) officially opened to the public in February 2015. Capable of expanding to 300-plus beds, the new hospital includes an emergency department, surgery, imaging, ICU and an obstetrical unit. An attached 85,000 SF, three-story medical office building was also designed adjacent to the hospital to provide seamless integration to outpatient services for both staff and patients. This new, 335,000 SF, four-story hospital is located on a 72-acre site, positioned to take full advantage of views of nature. 

Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology in both the design and construction phases allowed subcontractors and the design team to review, monitor and coordinate clash detections. By utilizing a modified Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach in which the contractor and sub-consultants were on board from the very beginning, the team was able to provide seamless, efficient design services, eliminating waste and streamlining communication.

BIM technology was not only used for clash detection, but also used throughout the duration of the project as a means of keeping the project construction documents up-to-date with the latest project changes, RFI’s and construction bulletins.  Both Barton Malow & its major subcontractors all utilized tablets that were uploaded with the latest drawing and project information so they always had access to the most current project information at the touch of a button.  In addition, BIM Stations were set up inside the building that were available for anyone to use in place of the usual out dated and torn printed blueprints. 

Upon completion of the project a fully integrated computer model was turned over to the Owner that pulled together information from many sources such as: As-Built drawings, shop drawings submittals, product data, operation and maintenance Manuals, finish schedules, etc.   This enables the Owner with the ability to “click” on a wall in any room and know what color paint was used, click on a door handle and know which specific hardware set was installed, or click on an Air Handling Unit and know when the last time the air filter was changed and the unit was serviced.


Protecting the Endangered Gopher Tortoise

Twenty seven gopher tortoises living on the St. Joseph’s project site were relocated to a conservation area around Lake Okeechobee. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) listed the gopher tortoise as threatened in 2007. Permits for relocating the tortoises had to be obtained from the FWC before any land clearing or development began. The state-certified tortoise relocators at the St. Joseph’s site were part of Stantec’s civil engineering branch. The relocation, which costs approximately$1000 per tortoise, was part of the civil engineering package.

The 88 burrows identified on the St. Joseph’s site were between 15 and 45 feet long each and as deep as 14 feet. Each site was excavated by backhoe and hand digging. It took as long as two hours per hole to excavate the tortoises, and the entire relocation process took two weeks. The tortoises were weighed and examined by the relocation team and the information was logged for future research. They were relocated to a state-identified conservation area around Lake Okeechobee.

John Sulser is the superintendent of the St. Joseph’s project and was on hand for the entire excavation. He said, “This is a very cool thing to be involved with.  In the past, construction companies and owners just paid a fee to the state and buried the tortoises where they were. The burrows they make are also home to burrowing owls, toads, indigo snakes and other wildlife that all share the home together. They are our privilege to save.”