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Virginia Commonwealth University James W. and Francis G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center

Gilbane Constructs New Facility on Busy Urban University Site

Gilbane provided construction manager at risk services for the new School of Medicine on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. This project added administrative offices; classrooms; state-of-the-art simulation teaching lab; and research laboratory space.

The primary project challenge focused on a tight urban site with limited laydown and immediately surrounded by two (2) animal research buildings, three (3) hospitals, and a footprint that was adjacent to a 17-story administration building.

Initial reviews showed more than 1,400 people per day used bridges connecting these buildings while others utilized the tunnels below the street. To manage these impacts and ensure a safe work site and surroundings for the active campus, several packages were awarded early on a modified integrated project delivery approach and design-assist basis with advantages:

  • Site safety planning included in the specifications
  • Early commitment of costs and design to budget
  • Constant review of the drawings and specifications to meet design intent
  • Early resolution of issues with team-based solutions
  • Review by facilities management for accessibility and use of gray spaces
  • Detailed trade contractor input and coordination
  • Constant cost-saving analysis within every discipline of design
  • Incorporate all required LEED elements into the design

The approach resulted in project bids coming within 1% of the final estimate and ultimately allowed Gilbane to return significant savings back to VCU.