By Eric Althoff
OMAHA—McCarthy Building Companies has completed constructing the $86 million Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center, the general contractor announced this month. The veterans care facility, which was designed by architect Leo A. Daly, encompasses 157,000 square feet of outpatient care space spread out over three floors. The new healthcare space will connect directly to an existing veterans hospital already located on the site.
Completed four months ahead of schedule, McCarthy applied an expedited delivery schedule to ensure that the care facility would be up and running in August, while also ensuring that its work fully met the specifications required by the Veterans Administration. Accordingly, McCarthy said that the Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center is the first such project in the country to utilize funds set aside by the C.H.I.P.I.N. for Vets Act, which was passed in 2016 in Congress to allow the VA to accept private donations for construction. Furthermore, the law requires the builder to “use innovative delivery techniques that fall outside federally prescribed specifications and methods,” according to McCarthy.
McCarthy applied various techniques to ensure that the VA care center would meet its expedited delivery date and projected budget, including subsurface utility mapping and virtual design. The construction team also utilized advanced virtual design & construction (VDC) technology to keep the construction running timely. The general contractor said they used
building information modeling (BIM) as the buildout continued to ensure that, if the project wasn’t running on time and budget, necessary changes could be made on the fly. Three-dimensional virtual mapping precisely sketched out the layout of the project and ensured that “self-performing concrete” would be set within those parameters.
“Breaking from the traditional design-bid-build delivery format allowed for creative solutions, more efficiency and functionality, a shorter timeline and ultimately, greater value for the VA,” Ryan Sawall, vice president of McCarthy Building Companies at the company’s Omaha offices, said in a statement. “We were able to take advantage of the technical and economic innovations commonly used in private-sector projects, including performance specifications, modern quality assurance, and quality construction processes and strategic partnerships.”
The building’s north facade will feature a 12,000-sq.-ft. folded glass “curtain wall” in the shape and design of the American flag. Meanwhile, the western facade features 9,000 square feet of glass panes that will shine in colors reminiscent of the ribbon bars awarded to those who have served.
In addition, the facility will feature artwork specifically selected by the Omaha area’s more than 40,000 veterans. Tranquil design elements include widows that allow for better natural light as well as so-called “healing gardens.”
Seven primary care units, an outpatient surgery suite and a specialty medical unit onsite will allow for an additional 400 outpatient visits every day. The new facility also offers medical care space specifically tailored to the needs of female veterans.
Construction of the veterans care facility commenced in early 2018, and the building was officially delivered to the VA on August 1.