Ochsner West Tower Expansion interior

Ochsner Medical Center West Tower Expansion

Client: Ochsner Clinic Foundation

Location: Jefferson, LA

Architect: Rozas Ward

Date of Completion:  2018

Winner of the Associated Builders and Contractors New Orleans/ Bayou Chapter, Excellence in Construction Award 2018 – Healthcare.

What if a client asked for a building addition of 186,000 sq. feet, spread over seven-stories of an existing elevated structure?

What if this building was for the largest private, not-for-profit healthcare systems in the region, and housed multiple operating rooms on a surgical floor?

What if the expansion project was intended to house ICU level patients, but challenged you with protecting these same ICU patients currently occupying all existing levels below, including the campus’s most at risk transplant stepdown unit on level seven (located directly under the expansion)?

What if the building required one new elevator and eight modernizations to existing elevators, all to receive extended access to these new seven levels, and how would one create an algorithm to accomplish this work?

Imagining this prospect, and understanding that a more difficult and unique opportunity does not typically present itself in our region, allows us to truly understand the challenges and unique circumstances that were overcome to successfully complete this project. When a project of this kind presents itself, it takes a considerable team effort to even approach a solution, and present at the interview table. It starts with a mission statement, a goal, or more like a mantra, to maintain the patient experience, just as the client strives to do with every decision they make. A mission to provide a safe construction site for the hospital staff, patients, visitors, and construction team. A goal to minimize the overall impact to a nurturing operation that cannot shift course like some clients may have the opportunity to do. All of these circumstances, requirements, and mission statements set the stage for Broadmoor’s construction of the Ochsner Medical Center – West Tower Expansion.

As mentioned above, this vertical expansion adds seven floors and over 186,000 square feet to their existing seven story hospital, at the institute’s main campus on Jefferson Highway. The first three floors of the expansion are acuity-adaptable nursing units capable of housing ICU level patients. Each of these floors adds 34 single patient rooms for a total of 102 new rooms. The fourth floor is a complete mechanical floor, with the remaining three floors being shelled for future use. The project consisted of one new elevator installed in an existing shaft that had to be modified and enlarged to accommodate the equipment, in addition to eight existing elevators requiring modernization in-place to allow for service to all new floors. The elevator construction sequence had to be revised to accommodate only three elevators under construction at any one time due to the operational impacts arising from this eventual increase in capacity.