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"With a project like this, Benchmark is here to orchestrate
the teamwork of a wide variety of subcontractors. We're
pulling from a highly-experienced team of more than two
dozen workers, but we also need people comfortable with
accomplishing something new, because there are many
aspects of this project that have simply not been
done before."

Early plans dictated that the Energy Center of the Future
would be built on top of the existing boiler house, on a roof
that was never intended to support the more than 1,000
tons of equipment and thousands of gallons of water that
would fill the boilers and cooling towers.

Benchmark Construction was chosen to manage the
project - one of several they've undertaken for LGH in the
past several years. Still, Troy Hafer is quick to point out the
Benchmark team is far from the only company involved.

Those familiar with LGH understand the physical limitations
of an ever-expanding facility surrounded on four sides by
neighbors and busy downtown streets. For LGH, upward
was the only logical way to expand.

Choosing subcontractors for healthcare means taking
special attention to select those who've been around active
patient environments before. As always, whenever possible,
Benchmark works with local firms.

To support the new equipment, 15 structural steel beams
were lowered by crane through the roof of the boiler plant
and secured to a new independent structural foundation,
creating a skeleton on which to build, all while the boiler
plant continued to run. The fit was often snug, with multi-ton
beams coming to rest inches from delicate equipment.

For the Energy Center of the Future, more than 10 of the
subcontractors selected hail from Lancaster County. Hafer
thinks that matters.

In many situations, the beams forced existing mechanical
and electrical work to be rerouted, forcing coordinated
power shutdowns with the hospital.

"Everyone on this job has an LGH story," he says. "Great subs
like Protech Mechanical out of Landisville and Enck Brothers
Drywall out of Quarryville haven't just worked at LGH.
They've been here as patients and family members. It simply
increases the pride and dedication our local workers bring to
the job."

"Hospital projects require tight communication," said Hafer.
"There's constant back and forth about what we'll be doing
and when we'll be doing it."
The structure of the facility wasn't the only challenge,
however. While trigeneration plants are becoming more
common, the vast majority are built on grade, not three
stories above the ground. Further complicating matters
was the reality that the gas turbine, measuring 35 feet and
weighing more than 40 tons, arrived from the factory fully

While coordination in all industries offers its challenges, in
construction an increasingly powerful tool to get multiple
subcontractors on the same page is BIM, which stands for
Building Information Modeling.
With BIM, each subcontractor submitted their own
electronic drawings where they indicated where their work
would reside in the finished building. Then Benchmark
pulled it all together, detecting "clashes" where, for instance,
a plumbing fixture might run exactly where an electrician
intended to run conduit.

Detailed BIM models on the Energy Center of the Future
detected key "clashes" in the office prior to them becoming
issues in the field.

14 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Winter/Spring2017

Clash detection on a project like this is a key time-saver
as problems can be solved in the office ahead of time.
According to Hafer, the first BIM models for the Energy
Center detected more than a thousand clashes. Through
meetings with multiple subcontractors, those clashes were
resolved prior to them becoming an issue in the field and
work could proceed on schedule.


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