Garden View Medical Building

United Hospitals, Inc.
BWBR Architects
General Contractor
St. Paul, Minnesota
157,000 sq. ft.

The six-story medical office building houses several independent specialized physician groups, birthing suites, diagnostic centers and staff offices. The lowest level of the structure contains a chiller plant that cools more than one million sq. ft.

Prior to this project, United Hospitals hired Knutson to construct a large, multi-level parking ramp. It was the beginning of an ongoing work relationship. With construction on the Garden View Medical Building underway, Knutson broke ground on the John Nassef Heart Hospital — the third project with United.

The assignment was to move three chillers into a newly constructed basement. On paper, the task sounds simple. Use ample manpower and apply the right kind of heavy-duty equipment. When the site is a health-care campus, however, there are added layers of complexity. That’s why installing industrial-sized chillers in the basement of the Garden View Medical Building posed a unique challenge. Bordered by a parking garage and Children’s Hospital, the site offered little room to maneuver.

To maintain access to the hospital’s emergency and main entrances, Knutson needed to coordinate delivery of the chillers in stages. Each truck was driven inside the unfinished building — occupied by hundreds of construction workers — so it would not block traffic. Detailed preparation with the subcontractors, owners and hospital staff was essential to the plan’s success.