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The team at the new General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital is leveraging virtual reality to give users an immersive experience to ensure efficient hospital design.

As excitement builds around the region for the new General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, JE Dunn Construction and RLF Architects are busy building some early innovation to help guide the design and construction of the new Facility. 

In a warehouse in St. Robert, MO, the team is putting the finishing touches on a mock-up of select hospital rooms.  These mock-ups are temporary spaces designed to replicate the final product for the review of space planning, patient flow, medical equipment selections and overall function.  This process is a culmination of many Lessons-Learned from both the Government and JE Dunn + RLF to ensure that only the best design practices, detailing and equipment selections are used. For a week in mid-September, JE Dunn + RLF, DHA/HFPA and USACE hosted tours to gather feedback from the numerous agencies and individuals interested in the new facility.  The collected feedback will be reviewed by the Project Delivery Team and taken into consideration in the final design. 

To overcome the challenges presented by the world of ever-changing medical equipment, JE Dunn built facsimile medical equipment (made out of foam) to represent the current industry practices and design criteria to allow the visitors to get full-scale, touch-and-feel review of the room.  For USACE to finalize the equipment selections with JE Dunn and other equipment contractors, this mock-up phase is a crucial piece in understanding the needs of Departments and the coordination with the other spaces and equipment.  This innovative approach allows many medical professionals to comment on locations of medical gas outlets, boom lengths, door location/sizes and numerous other design decisions that could impact comfort and operation in the new space. 

As the first contract within the Department of Defense Medical to require Virtual Reality, this project is utilizing this tool to allow visitors and reviewers to “walk” the new facility before it is constructed.  The VR mock-up is intended to provide the same scale and immersion as the physical mock-ups but allows for greater access to spaces that cannot necessarily be created in the warehouse.  Everything from medical equipment to chairs in waiting areas has been modeled for users to see.  Through a combination of the VR headset and 3-D modeling, the guesswork of interpreting 2-D construction drawings is removed, makes the user feel as though they are in the building and allows medical professionals to quickly understand the end-product that will be delivered.  To date, this tool has proven extremely useful in developing the design details of this project.

The innovation of the full-scale mock-ups, virtual reality mock-ups and facsimile equipment has been useful to the Project Delivery Team and Hospital Staff in making certain the finished product will serve the region with World Class Healthcare.