Birmingham's Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children Ready to Open to Patients on August 4
August 3, 2012

Hospital staff for the new Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children has been busy readying the facility for patient move-in on August 4, 2012. The Joint Venture of KBR Building Group and Hoar Construction delivered the state-of-the-art healthcare facility on time and under budget in May 2012. In fact, the project team received the Certificate of Occupancy from the City of Birmingham on May 15 — one week ahead of the contractual commitment. The Certificate of Completion was received from the State of Alabama on June 1, as planned, enabling the Owner, Children’s Health System, to begin the licensure process.  A formal dedication ceremony was held in June 2012.

The $261 million facility is a noticeable addition to the city’s skyline, complete with helipad. The free-standing, high-rise pediatric expansion facility — constructed on the existing Children’s Hospital of Alabama campus — will increase the hospital’s number of licensed specialty pediatric beds from 275 beds to 332 beds. 

Mike Pierle, Executive Vice President, KBR Building Group, praised employees for being “one of the finest healthcare construction teams in the business.” He continued, “For three years they worked long hours, overcoming obstacle after obstacle to deliver a beautiful sophisticated facility that will serve the children of Alabama and surrounding states for years to come. Congratulations to this group for a job extremely well done.”

About the Project — The project was initiated to replace the existing, outdated space-deficient facility; enable the hospital to expand services provided to pediatric patients; improve operating efficiencies; address growth in the pediatric population served; and increase access to family-centered services, as well as provide an environment conducive to improving and expanding pediatric teaching and research. The 12-story Benjamin Russell Hospital covers a downtown city block directly north of the current hospital and incorporates existing buildings and the Children's Harbor facility.  It is linked to surrounding hospital and medical buildings via elevated enclosed walkways. Our team’s scope of work included the construction of four pedestrian bridges (i.e., enclosed walkways) and one under-street tunnel to plant operations.

“Patient-friendly” and “sustainable” were among Children’s Health System’s objectives for the project. BIM and lean construction techniques were utilized, and sustainable features include a 35,000-square-foot green roof. The Children's expansion is the largest healthcare construction project in Alabama state history and is on track to become the state's first LEED-certified healthcare facility; it is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The architect of record is HKS of Dallas. 

The mission of Alabama’s only pediatric hospital is to provide the finest health services to children of all ages — from 1 day to 18 years old. The hospital serves as a teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Photo: Proud project team at substantial completion in May 2012.