Unique Construction Techniques Keep Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton Construction Project on Track

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pre-Assembled Bathroom Pods and Head Walls Help Hospital Project Avoid Weather Delays

Wet and cold days, as well as a confined workspace, can slow down a construction process, but innovative techniques are keeping construction of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton on schedule.  This month, the last of more than 70 pre-assembled bathroom pods and 96 head walls will be installed at the construction site located on the new State Route 347 just west of Hwy. 211. The bathroom pods and headwalls were pre-constructed by Mulkey Enterprises in a warehouse in Hoschton.

“Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Turner Construction are working for maximum efficiency and minimum waste on this project,” says Wesley Brown project superintendent for Mulkey Enterprises.  “These units have drywall, electrical and plumbing connections in place when they are delivered and installed. The work we do in the warehouse means fewer workmen in the limited spaces on the construction site, less debris to be removed from the site and standardization in the building and installation processes.”

Mulkey Enterprises, headquartered in Marietta, is a subcontractor for Turner Construction, who is building the new 100-bed hospital.  Mulkey Enterprises has done similar work around the Atlanta area, including projects for the Mall of Georgia and Discovery Mills.

“We both grew up and still live in this area,” says Mark Smith, another project superintendent, motioning to Brown. “It is important to the hospital, Turner Construction and Mulkey Enterprises for the project to involve local people whenever possible.  We rent our warehouse in Hoschton. Our work crews are local, and even our equipment, like the forklifts, are rented from local businesses.”

“Efficient workflow has been at the center of the design process for this facility,” says Anthony Williamson, NGHS Vice President of Greater Braselton Development. “Not only do we want the hospital to be efficient for physicians, nurses, patients and staff, but we also want the construction to move forward with limited waste of human or natural resources.  This pre-construction process of the bathroom pods and headwalls for each room allows for greater standardization of the construction process, in a controlled environment, vs. “stick” building the units one piece at a time on the site.”

"Turner analyzed the cost of buying turn-key bathroom pods and head walls from different manufacturers who specialize in this scope of work.  For this size of project, it was more cost effective to construct the pods and head walls with the use of key subcontractors who are already a part of the project in lieu of a third party source.  This would not have been possible without the intense collaboration of all parties." said Turner Construction Project Manager, Keith Merritt.

The new hospital is scheduled to open in Spring 2015 and will provide services including heart and vascular services, orthopedics and neurosciences, cancer treatment, surgery and emergency care. To learn more and view a brief video of the pod construction and installation,  click here.