New Military Medical Aid Facility Built Through Innovative Process

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New approach has made possible opening of healthcare facility at an Air Force base near Las Vegas. The facility was built in Tennessee, then shipped to the base for installation on an awaiting foundation. "Component construction" produces quality facilities in fraction of time and cost, according to former Air Force Surgeon General.

amazingly short period of time.

A new approach is being credited for making possible opening of a new healthcare facility at an Air Force base near Las Vegas. The 4,161 -square foot medical aid facility at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was actually built in Tennessee, then shipped across the country for placement on an awaiting foundation.

The concept is called "component construction," says Lieutenant General P.K. Carlton (retired), former US Air Force Surgeon General and part of the collaborative team that completed the project. According to General Carlton, "The project was struggling. It sat idle for several years because traditional builders couldn't complete the project within the budget allocated."

The turning point came during a 2007 project at Texas A&M University that explored innovative ways to re-build Iraq's healthcare infrastructure. During a discussion of "component construction", it became clear that the concept could be used for military healthcare facilities in the U.S., particularly in rural areas where the pool of construction contractors is limited. "It makes perfect sense. Component construction can produce quality facilities in a fraction of time and costs of traditional approaches," says General Carlton who is now Director of Homeland Security for Texas A&M's Health Science Center.

A collaborative team was formed by Texas A&M, Modern Renovators of Tennessee, healthcare integrators U3 Innovations of San Antonio, and Aspen Street Architects of Angels Camp, California. The team presented a concept to Creech Air Force base that would result in a completed project in only four-and-a-half months.

"The key," says Modern Renovators Principle Gary Housley "is our ability to build the six components in the controlled environment of our factory in Tennessee, lay the foundation in Nevada while construction was underway in Tennessee, then ship the components to the site to install on the foundation." Marc Sager of U3 Innovations, who spent 26 years as a US Air Force hospital administrator, says "Creech got a great building quickly within budget without compromising on the strict standards enforced by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers." Sager says the Army Corp, "showed innovation using a different approach."

Architect Dave Hitchcock who specializes in healthcare facility design says Modern Renovators responded in an "amazingly short period of time." Of Modern, he said, "I don't know of anyone else who could have put together such a quality product in such a small amount of time."

Hitchcock sees use of component construction in healthcare as a trend. He says, "Component construction can provide costs and time savings while satisfying demanding requirements. Healthcare facilities need communications, electrical systems, medical gases and fire protection, and often other qualities such as special shielding for radiological and MRI technology."

Representatives of various military operations, federal healthcare facilities programs such as Indian Health Service, and Congressional staffers attended last week's ribbon-cutting at Creech Air Force Base.

Texas A&M Health Science Center, Office of Homeland Security: The Office of Homeland Security addresses homeland security issues related to health. The Office provides services, conducts evaluations, brings new products to the market place, and conducts symposiums.

Modern Renovators is a Loretto, Tennessee-based company that specializes in component construction for healthcare. Modern has completed hundreds of projects around the U.S.

U3 Innovations is an integrator with special expertise in healthcare project management, healthcare administration, and architecture. The company is based in San Antonio, TX.

Aspen Street Architects, Inc. is a full-service architectural/engineering firm specializing in healthcare and educational projects for rural areas, as well as research and development of component design solutions for various applications. The company is based in Angels Camp, CA.

Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada is home to the 432d Wing and 432d Air Expeditionary Wing "Hunters" under Air Combat Command's 12th Air Force. The 432d also reports to U.S. Air Forces Central. The 432d Wing and 432d AEW consists of combat-ready Airmen who fly the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft to support American and Coalition warfighters.


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