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University of Virginia Emergency Room Expansion

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A rendering of the completed project (southwest view)

Growing hospital department gets much-needed new wing and tower.

The expansion of the hospital emergency department, operating rooms and inpatient beds at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia, involves expansion of the current emergency department into an adjacent site no longer in use, expansion of the surgical services suite on the second level, development of a six-story inpatient tower and expansion of ancillary spaces on the lower level. The estimated new construction is approximately 425,000 sq. ft., and the associated renovation is approximately 95,000 sq. ft. The work encompasses new drop-off and entry locations into the emergency department for ambulance and ambulatory patients.

Eddie Morris, UVA Elevator Maintenance senior supervisor, tells ELEVATOR WORLD the project will have 12 elevators total, 10 of which will be Hollister-Whitney Elevator Corp. overhead traction machines. All controllers will be Motion Control Engineering (MCE) products installed by the Richmond, Virginia, branch of KONE. The units break down as follows:

  • Two 5000-lb.-capacity hydraulic elevators providing access from the ambulatory entrance to the emergency room
  • A four-car group of 3500-lb.-capacity elevators for staff
  • A two-car group of 3500-lb.-capacity elevators for visitors
  • A two-car group of 5000-lb.-capacity elevators for service
  • A two-car group of 10,000-lb.-capacity elevators for the level-one trauma center, also serving as the new helipad elevators: they will have MCE iControl controllers because of the complexity of functions they will need to perform.

Work began in early June 2016 after two years of planning, with initial elevator work having begun in February of this year. The Daily Progress reported the project is a response to growing traffic in the emergency department and cramped conditions in the emergency room. At nearly US$400 million, the expansion is expected to give the emergency department enough beds to ensure patient privacy (eliminating the current need to share rooms) in normal conditions, roughly doubling its bed count to 80. The new ground-floor wing is being built on the site of a former helipad, and the tower with a rooftop helipad will rise above the new wing. The first three floors of the tower will support the emergency department, with the top three floors being filled as needed as the demand for more beds, laboratories or other facilities grows.

The project has projected completions of fourth-quarter 2018 for the wing, fourth-quarter 2019 for the tower and fourth-quarter 2020 for the renovation. All new elevators are tentatively expected to be operational in 2019.

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