As a leader in the healthcare construction industry, Reed Construction’s experience ranges from ground-up developments to clinical lab build-outs. Regardless of size or type, each project presents a new opportunity for creative and forward thinking. Reed’s latest project at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital is a prime example of this mindset.

This project included the transformation of an existing meeting room into a clinical lab space that featured significant MEP upgrades, grossing stations, laboratory equipment and what would prove to be the most challenging component, a new air handling unit (“AHU”).

During construction in an active hospital, eliminating disruption to workers and patients is of the utmost importance. Subsequently, the AHU removal and installation presented our team with the most challenges. In order to safely remove the existing unit from the third floor, the project team had to rig the building and remove via the roof.

The next step was ensuring that airflow to the rest of the hospital wasn’t disrupted. To remain on schedule, the team transitioned the existing ductwork into a separate backfeed, which provided continuous air circulation to the hospital while they moved onto the next phase of the project: the intricate installation of the new AHU.

A typical AHU installation involves taking the entire unit and simply placing it into the desired location. However, in this particular case, the new AHU was dismantled and needed to be completely reassembled in the exact spot. Over the course of multiple weekends, the project team utilized cranes and lulls to move the pieces of the new equipment into the third floor. From there, the AHU was successfully assembled and activated.

“When working with a complex scope of work such as this, proactive communication and collaboration are truly keys to success. This project could not have run smoother and the main testament to that was because of the collaboration with ownership, design and trade partners,” said Jake Anderson, Reed Construction’s Project Manager.

As demand for lab space continues to grow, finding a trusted construction partner who understands the complexities of life sciences projects is crucial. With an extensive track record working in this particular sector, Reed has the experience and resources necessary to bring any healthcare project to life.