McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of the top healthcare builders in Texas and nationally, has completed a two-floor buildout within the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (Duncan NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. The project included 32,000 square feet of auditorium and conference space to host research symposia, scientific seminars, and other programs featuring the world’s leading experts in genetics, neurology, and neuroscience. Construction on the project began in December 2018.
Texas Children’s Duncan NRI level seven and eight project consisted of structural demolition and reinforcement of existing structural deck between the two levels and a partial buildout on level eight for balcony auditorium space. This project also included four levels of monumental staircase that connects levels six through 13. The steel stringers for these stairs were flown in through an opening on level seven and then lowered through the stair shaft and welded in place from the bottom up.
A major challenge was minimizing disruptions to sensitive equipment and ongoing research as the project called for the demolition of 600,000 pounds of structural reinforced concrete. The team undertook several mitigating measures including continual communication with building occupants, the installation of noise and vibration monitors near sensitive research equipment, took regular 3D scans of the structure to monitor deflection, installed a 5,000-square-foot waterproofing membrane to contain concrete slurry, and used advanced robotic demolition equipment and wire saws, among other efforts.
“We are glad to continue our partnership with Texas Children’s and the Duncan NRI in building world-class facilities. Obviously completing this project in an existing, occupied laboratory building took careful consideration but projects with these types of challenges enable McCarthy to work creatively and collaboratively,” said Preston Hodges, McCarthy Houston division vice president.
McCarthy’s extensive portfolio of multi-phase healthcare and research facility projects makes it ideally suited to take on healthcare and research projects of any size or complexity, while allowing the facility to remain operational while under construction. In addition to the previous build-out of 23,000 square feet of lab space on level nine of Texas Children’s Duncan NRI, some of McCarthy’s other healthcare projects include CHRISTUS Spohn in Corpus Christi, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Alkek Hospital Expansion and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center The Pavilion expansion.