Project Management

The Pandemic Sparks Project Delivery Innovation

Kwang Lee and Sarah Markovitz

One of the challenges facing hospitals across the country has been the urgent need for space due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased emergency psychiatric visits. In this context, it is especially important to deliver projects as quickly as possible, all while maintaining social distancing measures during design and construction. According to a Health Facilities Management survey, almost a third of recent hospital projects have been fast tracked. This critical need for faster delivery has spurred new virtual and logistical approaches to project management. One example: a 7,050 square foot Acute Psychiatry Service project at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The project team, led by NBBJ (design) and Walsh Brothers (general contractor), worked with a compressed schedule which enabled Mass General to finish the project more than 30% faster than initially planned, while accommodating changes requested by the hospital during construction. From this experience we have distilled three key strategies, described below, that can deliver projects faster and more efficiently:

  • streamlining the request for information and user engagement process
  • developing Building Information Models (BIM) in collaboration with engineers and consultants early in the design process
  • using platforms like Open Space to rapidly track on-site progress virtually


Streamline the Request for …


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