The neonatal intensive care unit replacement is a 37,612 gsf renovation on the fourth floor of the North Building of the University of Maryland Medical Center campus.  All NICU services currently being provided in other areas of the campus will be moved to this location ensuring expansion of space allocated per patient.  The new space will have the capacity for 52 patient care spaces with parent rooming-in capability.  Also included in the project: waiting area/lounge, kitchen for meals, laundry, designated bathrooms with shower capacity, and family consultation area.

Each room has a patient care area with medical headwall and space for the baby, care provider, ventilator and other medical equipment as well as space to allow medical teams to access the baby to perform NICU procedures. One room is an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR) with negative pressure. Also included are provider work areas with wall mounted computer, a hand washing lavatory, clean area for patient supplies, and staff work areas outside of each room. 

Single family rooms are organized into five neighborhoods that will include a clean supply room, medications room, soiled holding room, staff restrooms, and cart park for at least five carts (code, defibrillator, procedure, admissions, etc.).  Other spaces will include breast milk processing/storage, laboratory, team room, staff offices, security/reception, copy room, consultation room, workspaces, and conference room.

Project Challenges

  • Working while the hospital was occupied above and below the 4th floor.
  • Having limited lay down and storage areas during construction.
  • Working in occupied spaces after hours, to work around the schedules of doctors and patients.
  • Maintaining clean air, through the use of stringent site cleaning and numerous HEPA filtration machines, so as to not have construction dust mitigate to other areas of the hospital. 
  • 12’-0” floor to deck heights provided for extremely congested ceiling spaces – particularly corridors – where ductwork supply and exhaust mains spanned wall to wall. Ceilings coordination for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection was exceptionally difficult.
  • Low-wall exhaust and return air ductwork required in-wall risers in each of the (52) Single Family patient rooms increasingly created conflicts with other utility systems and with casework and wall-mounted finishes, which required in-wall blocking.
  • Frequent shutdowns to minimize excessive noise and sequencing work to eliminate impact to occupants, during their normal work hours.
  • 10’-6” finished ceiling heights and existing structural beams in the single family patient rooms left little vertical space, to the 12’-0” deck above, for routing of MEP services to the patient headwalls.
  • Wood feature bulkheads and dropped ceilings limited access to MEP above the ceiling but, also limited the downward adjustment of the base ceiling elevations.