Project Profile: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Firm name: Affiliated Engineers Inc.

Project building name and location: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago--Chicago, Illinois

Type of building and type of project: Hospital, New Construction

Project completion date and project duration: Project completed: Opening June 2012


Engineering challenges and solutions:


Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago resolves a unique set of technical engineering challenges emerging from a 23-story structure standing on a site of less than 1.8 acres in a dense urban setting. The already complex equation of safety, reliability, and efficiency in a sensitive healing environment for children is compounded by an aggressive fast-track schedule, the vertical reorganization of conventionally horizontal spaces, and the demanding integration of engineered systems and structural strategies.

Mechanical spaces are distributed in the basement, on the 23rd floor, and – in the greatest concentration, including 54 air-handing units and supply air intake – on the 10th floor. The cantilevered construction necessary to create a sheltered off-street patient drop and preserve identical nursing modules, however, required ten transfer trusses passing through the 10th level.

This project is among the largest hospitals to date to use BIM alone for MEP delivery (1.25M sf), representing a 50-75% reduction in coordination RFIs and achieving more coordinated and more serviceable engineered systems. Lurie Children’s Hospital will provide 288 beds, 22 ORs (4 hybrid), expandable imaging facilities, offices that convert into additional patient rooms and a fully flexible clinical BSL-3 laboratory.

AEI’s role began in pre-design, organizing primary mechanical, electrical, and piping space allocations, integrating fundamental distribution strategies into optimal system networks, and identifying opportunities for incorporating compatibility, efficiency, and flexibility into the design.

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