McCarthy News & Events

Integrated Project Delivery and Innovative Technology Tools Foster Team Success on New Children’s Hospital Colorado East Tower


Children’s Hospital Colorado marked its fifth anniversary on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., by announcing the official completion of a new 10-story, East Tower addition completed by the joint venture team of McCarthy and GH  Phipps Construction Companies. The tower project reunited the joint venture with design partners H+L Architecture and ZGF Architects LLP, the same design and construction team that completed Children’s in 2007. The new 335,000-square-foot tower was completed under an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) tri-party agreement that minimized cost and schedule risk for the hospital. 

The new East Tower initially adds 94 beds to Children’s, with later expansion available in five floors of shelled space in order to reach a capacity of 500 beds for Children’s Hospital. The new tower helps the hospital expand its focus on specialty services, including housing the innovative Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health, which begins seeing patients this month. The addition also provides space for the hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, the Children’s Colorado Heart Institute, Orthopedics Institute, Neurosciences Institute, Digestive Health Institute, Breathing Institute, and intensive care.

The Maternal and Fetal Institute cares for mothers and newborns throughout a high-risk pregnancy and allows both to remain in the same facility after delivery. The institute has its own entrance to the East Tower, with labor and delivery rooms equipped for full care of mother and child, a maternal operating room, a suite for fetal care and procedures, and infant stabilization rooms.  The Institute is a partnership involving Children’s, the University of Colorado Hospital, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The new tower is the anchor for the $230 million project, which also includes renovations to the existing hospital that will continue through 2014.  In bringing the East Tower on line, Children’s comprises 1.8 million square feet on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“The reassembly of the original Children’s project team created a situation where all three parties could begin right where we left off only two years earlier,” said McCarthy Project Director Doug Mangers. 

“By consolidating the contracts through a tri-party IDP contract we were able to create an integrated project team and harness the strengths of each of the team members,” Mangers continued. “The collaboration and focus on a shared set of project goals allowed our team to complete the East Tower on schedule and under the budget, while maximizing the scope that was included in the project. The integrated project delivery method was a success with this team.”

The construction team used Bluebeam® document control for collaborative document management and used mobile kiosks in the field to enable all field staff to have access to project information in real time.  Unlike the use of only tablet PC’s and iPads, the mobile kiosks were available to all jobsite personnel when needed.  Rapid changes were tracked and documented as they were developed with the design team and implemented in the field to minimize rework and improve overall project efficiency.

For GH Phipps employees involved in the East Tower project, the opening also was a reminder of five decades of work at Children’s.

“Throughout the process of fast-tracking the construction of the new East Tower and continuing into the ongoing renovations at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Phipps/McCarthy team keeps one simple truth in mind: There is nothing more traumatic for a family than having a child in the hospital,” said GH Phipps vice president Gary Constant, who has been involved with Children’s for 24 years and has had both his sons treated at Children’s.

“The leading-edge level of care provided in the new East Tower’s Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health will provide immediate care for sick newborns as well as many other significant advances in prenatal care.  The lifesaving procedures that will be taking place here makes our attention to detail even more critical, and our purpose more clear. We believe in the mission of Children’s, and must respond with dedication that matches their own.”

Since its move to the new hospital in September 2007, Children’s says it has experienced a 60% increase in the size of its medical staff, a 36% inpatient volume increase, and a larger than 50% growth in its number of annual outpatient visits. 

In remarks at the East Tower opening, Children’s President and CEO Jim Shmerling cited the need for growth as key to the decision to move forward with construction of the East Tower. 

“If you think back when the decision to build this tower was made several years ago, we were in the peak of the worst recession in our history. And yet our Board, and the leadership, came together and said, ‘We need more space.’ Our programs are growing, we’re getting more and more children coming to us for care, from Colorado, from surrounding states and around the country, we need more space.

“In the middle of a recession – the hospital was three years old at the time – we took a bold leap of faith and agreed to invest in the future of our children and the healthcare of these kids… It took a tremendous amount of courage to take that risk, for our needs today and for our needs of the future of the hospital.”

About McCarthy Building Companies Inc.
Recognized as one of the nation’s premier true builders, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the country’s 8th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012) and a leading healthcare builder. The company is committed to the construction of high performance green buildings; progressive job site technology, and safer, faster and more cost-effective execution. McCarthy has full-service offices in Atlanta, Albuquerque, Collinsville, Ill., Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Newport Beach, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and St. Louis. McCarthy is 100 percent employee-owned. More information about the company is available online at