This design-build project with Turner Construction repurposed an aged 20-bed Med/Surg inpatient unit, being used for storage on the eighth floor of Metro General Hospital, for a complete conversion into a 40-bed non-critical COVID unit with support spaces. Designed like an observation unit, patient spaces include three walls, a curtain enclosure and prefabricated headwall units. During the four-week construction process, the three walls around each bed space were adjusted to six feet to avoid modification of the sprinkler heads within the space. This also brought natural light into the central floorplate. Second floor renovations accommodate mechanical upgrades for both the new COVID unit and 24 additional beds treating COVID patients on the second floor.

ESa designed this unit in 36 hours and demo began immediately. This required maximum coordination between the architect, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Turner Construction, I. C. Thomasson, Structural Design Group, the TN Department of Health and the Fire Marshal’s Office within a minimal timeframe. ESa was represented on site 24/7, with construction contract administration (CCA) team members working in three daily shifts throughout the project. Submittals/RFIs and document changes were both addressed in real time.

The teamwork and camaraderie between the Owner, architect and general contractor is a superb example of how the design-build process should be conducted. Despite a highly aggressive, 28-day schedule, this project was delivered one day early and overwhelmingly meets users’ needs and expectations, while also serving the Nashville community during an unprecedented time.

Photos: © Ford Photographs