January 2024

University Health Women’s & Children’s Hospital

In the rapidly growing city of San Antonio, JE Dunn and Joeris General Contractors embarked on a transformative mission to breathe new life into the University Health Women’s & Children’s Hospital. The challenge was to untangle the constraints of aging programmatic guidelines and envision not just an expansion in capacity but a hospital that operates with heightened efficiency.  At its core, this endeavor was fueled by a commitment to create a haven to better serve the women and children of San Antonio and South Texas.  

The new hospital now stands as a 14-story tower and podium, spanning 697,000 square feet, accompanied by a 400,000 square-foot garage. Art elements, particularly in public lobbies, involve intricate coordination of metal panel systems. Local artists were enlisted to ensure a meaningful and contextually relevant aesthetic within the building. Architects Marmon Mok and ZGF collaborated to create a masterpiece that harmoniously blends functionality with architectural splendor. 

The Joeris and JE Dunn team delved into the preconstruction and design phase, turning abstract ideas into concrete plans. Together, the two builders brought local knowledge and experience with complex healthcare to utilize the best construction practices for the hospital. University Health brought the design and construction partners together early in the design phase, bringing efficiency and alignment amongst design, cost, and constructability. All of this led to smooth decision-making before construction started. 

Thanks to virtual design and construction tools, the team could see the project in detail before it came to life. This digital approach ensured careful attention to every aspect, managing the visual side of things and addressing logistical and sequencing challenges. 

To maintain a safer and more efficient worksite while reducing impact to the operations of the existing hospital, the team embraced offsite prefabrication. This involved preparing key elements that included 1,200 curtainwall panels, 509 metal exterior panels, 281 patient bathroom pods, 251, sanitary piping trees and headwalls, 198 horizontal and four vertical MEP racks, and 12 modular electrical rooms. With more than 4-million-man hours invested into the project, prefabrication not only saved time, but minimized on-site hazards that skilled workers face on such a dense project site. 

The hospital emerged in the fall of 2023 as a symbol of resilience and progress, promising a brighter, healthier tomorrow for the community it serves. In the end, it wasn’t just a construction project but a testament to the enduring spirit of compassion, safeguarding the heartbeat of communities, one beat at a time.