Landscapes of the Month: Creating a Healing Environment for a Health Care Facility - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Landscapes of the Month: Creating a Healing Environment for a Health Care Facility

Photo: Patrick McBride

Located in Kansas City, Kansas, this client desired to create a world-class healthcare facility that could house multiple divisions with their healthcare delivery system. The state-of-the-art medical facility is designed to provide flexibility and scalability to the healthcare community as well as use sustainable development and landscape techniques to shrink the effect on the environment and create an inviting atmosphere for their patients and employees.

Due to the difficult nature of this project, the client hired Hermes Landscaping, based in Lenexa, Kansas, to take on this project. This client has an existing relationship with Hermes Landscaping, and they have worked with each other for several decades.

Photo: Aaron Leimkuehler

Since the project had an incredibly successful outcome, Hermes Landscaping received a Gold Award in the 2022 Awards of Excellence.

“It stirs a great deal of pride in (Hermes Landscaping/our landscaping company) because it shows the commercial real estate development market and hospital market that our team is capable of installing beautiful, large and demanding landscaping projects,” says Eric Soriano, a senior commercial sales rep at Hermes Landscaping. “We enjoy telling our customers, potential customers and employees what a great honor it was to be selected for this project and it shows the level of quality and beauty of landscapes that we are capable of installing.”

Existing condition challenges were created by other trades that preceded the landscaping installation process. Significant damage had been done to the underdrainage and irrigation systems after the pipe and wires had already been installed in the ground by tradespeople coming onto the site.

“The most challenging aspect of the project was coordinating our work with the various underground utility contractors that we were working around throughout the project,” Soriano says. “Many times, the site utility contractors were late getting in and our superintendent and crew leader were called on many times to coordinate closely with other subcontractors to prevent them from damaging our underground work.”

Photo: Patrick McBride

The greatest difficulty during project execution was encountered during the installation of the landscape and irrigation system. The final grade had not been set correctly, which caused a great deal of rework since the elevations of the irrigation and drainage equipment had to be adjusted after they had been installed. This was caused by a lack of communication between the subcontractor companies and their field personnel, meaning that several areas of work needed to be reworked to complete the irrigation and landscaping.

This project included a green roof, which allowed patients in the hospital to overlook an attractive green atmosphere outside their windows instead of a gray roof. The membrane of the roof had been penetrated by another contractor, which required significant rework of the green roof membrane system.

The issues were addressed by sending in Hermes Landscaping’s expert crews to assess the damage that had been done to the irrigation and underdrainage equipment and then revising the shop drawings as needed to ensure the repairs to these systems were installed per manufacture specifications.

Photo: Aaron Leimkuehler

Multiple meetings were held with the other sitework subcontractors on site and the general contractor superintendent to make sure that there was no additional damage to the irrigation and drainage equipment.

Change orders had been requested for the work needed to correct the damage that had occurred in the irrigation and drainage system equipment by other tradespeople. Specialist irrigation technicians were brought in to make detailed repairs to the irrigation equipment so that the mainlines throughout the site could continue to work. The specialist irrigation technicians brought in testing equipment to ensure that the irrigation system repairs were made correctly and would operate long term.

“This project took almost two years in the field to complete,” Soriano says. “This long duration on the project was a result of several additional floors getting added on to the hospital in the middle of the construction process for the hospital.”

Interested in participating in the Awards of Excellence? Be sure to enter your projects by July 10, 2023.