Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital, Regional Reference Lab, Haiti

Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital, Regional Reference Lab, Haiti

Budget: $1.875 million

Size: 15,700 sfLDN_NewProjects_RegionalReferenceLabx500

Project team: Shepley Bulfinch (architect); JML Engineering (structural engineer); Mazzetti (MEP engineer); Build Health International (GC).

Description: Designed for Partners In Health, the new home for Haiti’s National Pathology and Microbiology Reference Lab provides high-level lab space for clinical pathology and microbiology, including BSL-2 and BSL-3 labs, and addresses the critical need to diagnose and treat disease in Haiti. To provide sophisticated lab space in a resource-limited environment, the design strategically zones “high-tech” environmentally controlled spaces and “low-tech” naturally ventilated spaces, while providing flexibility and capacity for future change and expansion.

Located across from the main hospital, the Reference Laboratory occupies two floors within a simple linear structure, organized “anatomically” into three sections: at the “head”, the main entrance serves as patient intake for testing and triage of test samples, with lab offices and conference/classroom above. Within the “torso” is a long flexible space with open bays for diagnostic labs, which include modular benches, zoned to support chemistry, hematology, immunology and virology testing and equipment. On one side of the lab are a series of rooms for anatomic pathology and microbiology. Along with regularly spaced alcoves for fume hoods, these are clustered and stacked on each floor to concentrate necessary exhaust fans. At the “tail” are located support functions, including a break room, staff lockers and showers, waste handling and storage at the ground floor, with a specialized BSL-3 lab above. The building organization allows for naturally ventilated spaces to be concentrated at the head and tail of the building, with conditioned space concentrated in the torso. A linear open air circulation gallery, shady and north facing, provides an outdoor respite area for lab technicians and staff. The most technically demanding lab space, located on the top floor, benefits from a high-bay roof that lets natural daylight penetrate deep into the interior spaces. Deep roof overhangs provide shelter from direct sunlight and driving rain.

Completion date: January 2016

Contact: Gerard Georges, Project Manager, Shepley Bulfinch, ggeorges@shepleybulfinch.com

Originally published by Laboratory Design Newsletter:  http://www.labdesignnews.com/news/2015/10/mirebalais-national-teaching-hospital-regional-reference-lab-haiti

Structural Gymnastics Feature in Civil + Structural Engineering Magazine

JML-engineering-articleRecently, Civil + Structural Engineering Magazine printed an article featuring the work of John Looney and JML Engineering on the cover.

We were excited to see OUR work on the front page of your publication, but our name was never mentioned anywhere in the article. We wanted to clarify that we were responsible for the structural gymnastics featured in the cover article and not Arup.

The site is in the middle of busy Dudley Square in Boston Massachusetts. Traffic and construction issues prevented the placing of the wall bracing on the exterior of the building. JML Engineering designed all the bracing needed in the interior of the building. Shawmut Design & Construction and JML Engineering working closely together to coordinate the brace locations to avoid the existing structure and the proposed new structure. This bracing could not interfere with the erection of the structural steel. At some locations the building was so deteriorated additional bracing had to be added to prevent a collapse.

Shawmut was the low bidder on a public bid project with our design the cost of the wall bracing was over million dollars less than other bidders. The City of Boston benefited from these savings.

I would like to state that it was JML Engineering of Winchester MA, not Arup that did the structural design work for the wall bracing featured. Accuracy should be an essential part of any publication.

You can read the full article featuring our work here. Structural Gymnastics


University Hospital Changes Haitian Health Care

University Hospital Haiti A collaboration between Partners in Health and the Haitian Ministry of Health has lead to a turning point in the history of Haitian health care. Last month, a patient received the first ever surgery in Mirebalais’ newly opened University Hospital. It was the first of many surgeries in the new, fully equipped public hospital with a state-of-the-art operating room. JML Engineering was proud to help make this hospital possible.

“We’re thrilled that construction of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, in Mirebalais, Haiti, is complete. The 205,000-square foot, 300-bed facility—called HUM for short—will fill a huge void, locally and nationally, for people who previously had limited access to quality health care,” said physicians for PIH/Zanmi Lasante and members of the executive leadership team of Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital.

Haiti Hospital Uses Solar PowerHaiti’s first ever teaching hospital, University Hospital is also expected to be the largest solar powered hospital in the world that creates over 100% of it’s energy during daylight hours. Energy is expensive in Haiti and this solar roof is estimated to save the hospital’s operating costs $379,000 a year. “The challenge was in the design and engineering, and getting the solar power produced to mesh with the often unstable grids and the backup generators,” said Jim Ansara, University Hospital’s director of design and construction. “At each step of the way, we were attempting things that had never before been done in Haiti.” John Looney and JML Engineering were an integral part of the project and building the hospital. There were construction obstacles while building the hospital, Looney says the hospital’s 24-ft to 28-ft spans and load-bearing walls are unlike the 10-ft by 10-ft un-reinforced modules that typically are found in Haiti.

Article Sources and Images from Partners in Health:

Plum Island Beach House Turned Into A Home

Beach House

The new 1,963-square-foot home is elevated, built on driven steel pilings so water and sand can move freely under and around the home. [Trent Bell Photography]

Mark and Teresa Richey enjoyed a small beach house on Plum Island as a conveniently located part-time ocean-side cottage. After deciding to transition this tiny space into a full-time home, they needed help getting the most out of their amazing view,  maximizing the square footage, and deciding what building materials would work well with the beach-side environment. Expertise was sought from Boston-based engineer John Looney and JML Engineering.

High water levels, zoning ordinances, and weather storms and conditions were all major concerns to be addressed in order to make this house a year round home. The new 1,963-square-foot home is elevated, built on driven steel pilings so water and sand can move freely under and around the home. The home’s exterior has no coatings or finishes, keeping maintenance to a minimum. The deck, made of a dense tropical hardwood similar to ipe, will turn gray over time, as will the Alaskan yellow cedar shingles on the home’s exterior. The other main features, making this home a beauty, are the lookout tower that offers a 360 degree view; an open floor plan with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors facing the ocean; and the home’s deck with a curved silhouette that mimics the natural contours of the sand dunes around it.

Today, Mark says, there is more sand around the home than when they bought it, and the new construction has proved sound, weathering Hurricane Sandy without a hitch. “We’ve been having storms like this forever,” he says. “The one in 1978 was even more powerful than recent ones; we just need to be prepared. . . . The key is to build correctly. Ours is as good as technology allows.”

Full Boston Globe Article.

JML Engineering’s Support Steel

JML Engineering designed the gray steel supporting the buildings that you see as they demo the brick buildings.

Two Hospitals in Haiti Tell Very Different Stories

Mirebalais’ new world-class facility contrasts sharply with Port-au-Prince’s crumbling General Hospital.

Jean Pharés Jérôme | December 28, 2012 06:15

MIREBALAIS, Haiti — Under the leadership of the American NGO Partners In Health, led by Dr. Paul Farmer, the largest post-earthquake health project has finally materialized: the construction of the University Hospital of Mirebalais (HUM).

The Haitian government and its international partners, however, are still struggling to begin reconstruction of the Hospital of the State University of Haiti (HUEH) — the main hospital in Port-au-Prince — about three years after the earthquake of January 12, 2010.

The rebuilding of HUEH, commonly known as the General Hospital, was one of the first projects to be approved by the now-defunct Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (IHRC). Created after the earthquake, the IHRC was co-chaired by former US President Bill Clinton and the Haitian prime minister, but it disappeared before the start of the hospital’s reconstruction.

Three years after the disaster, HUEH continues to function in buildings that were badly damaged. Buildings that represent a real danger to the hospital have been demolished, including pediatrics, laboratory and maternity. All these services are currently housed in tents.

Patients in this public health facility believe that destroying some parts of the building gives hope that construction will begin soon. But nobody knows when that day will come.

“I do not know why the construction has not yet begun,” said Christophia Saint-Jean, general secretary of the Union Employees of HUEH.

After a visit to Washington, DC in early 2012, former Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille announced the start of construction for the month of May. Seven months later, there has not been any progress. The minister of health, Dr.Florence Duperval Guillaume, cited technical complexities to explain the delay in starting work, while others have reported disagreements between the major donors who fund the project—the US, French, and Haitian governments.

In fact, the causes of blocking the reconstruction of HUEH seem to be deeper than what is currently known. Director general of the Ministry of Health (MSPP), Dr. Marie Guirlène Raymond Charité, declined to be interviewed on the subject, stating, “the reconstruction project at HUEH is a political issue.”

At a press conference last October, the minister of health announced that construction on the hospital would start before the second half of 2013 and would be completed in 2015.

“We know that the work will take three years, but we do not know when they will be launched,” said another member of the board of the union of the hospital. He added, however, that he has had several meetings with members of hospital management regarding the reconstruction project. According to information provided by the Minister Duperval at the press conference, the work will be funded by the French, American and Haitian governments for $82 million. The initial cost of the project was $53.2 million, but the Haitian government agreed to contribute to the total.

“The Haitian government was under pressure from donors and will add the other $30 million,” said an official of the Ministry of Health, on the condition of anonymity.

The other side of the coin

Although the reconstruction of HUEH has been slow to start, the construction of the University Hospital of Mirebalais (HUM), 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince, has had more success. Conceived after the 2010 earthquake, HUM’s construction is already completed. The inauguration ceremony for the hospital, the largest project of post-quake reconstruction to date in the health sector, was held on November 6.

The construction of the new hospital is a sign of hope for the Haitian health system, which has struggled to provide quality services to the Haitian people.

“This hospital is the culmination of a dream dating back a quarter century, and underlines our commitment to the country and people of Haiti, which is stronger than ever after the earthquake,” said Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health.

HUM is a 205,000-square foot, 300-bed facility. When fully operational, the hospital will be able to serve 500 patients a day. It will provide primary care services to roughly 185,000 people in Mirebalais and two neighboring communities with “30 outpatient consulting rooms and six operating rooms,” according to information provided by HUM.

Approximately $17 million has already been invested in the construction of HUM, and Haitian authorities and their partners plan for it to rise to the rank of a world-class hospital and a national center of education.

Construction Contributions Drive Hospital’s Rise in Haiti

building of Haitian construction using JML Designs.

Haitian workers are learning U.S.-style construction, tempered by budget and supply-chain realities.

As Seen in ENR.com
By Tom Sawyer

Constructing any major hospital is a challenge, but building a 320-bed state-of-the-art teaching hospital for $16 million in the highlands of Haiti is fraught with difficulties.

Yet the aid group Partners in Health (PIH) is doing just that, using funds that come not from the government or the United Nations but from donations collected by the Boston-based group, which has worked for 23 years to boost the capacity of Haiti’s public health sector. The materials, services and cash contributions are coming from private companies and organizations, especially from companies in the U.S. construction sector.

The hospital, which will have six operating rooms, is rising in Mirebalais, 35 miles north of Port-au-Prince. “This is one of the first major public-sector projects to start in Haiti since the earthquake,” says Jim Ansara, PIH’s director of construction on the project. Founding Shawmut Design and Construction, based in Boston, in 1982, Ansara sold the business to its employees in 2006. While he still serves as Shawmut’s chairman, his main job these days is pushing the Haiti project. “I go down every week,” he says.

This is not new territory for PIH. Prior to the quake, the organization was co-operating 12 facilities with the Haitian Ministry of Health. But the Mirebalais hospital is its biggest project yet and requires construction of a safe, sustainable, high-tech facility in rural Haiti, where materials are scarce and workers are untrained in sophisticated construction. “The first day we started to lay block,” Ansara says, “we had 1,500 to 1,800 men line up to see if they could get jobs.” Thirty were hired. “We have people who are really good at stone, masonry and tile,” he says, but not so skilled in electrical systems, control wiring, acoustical ceilings and millwork. “We are desperately trying to gather volunteers willing to go to Haiti and work for a week.”

Planning for the project predates the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake that killed an estimated 220,000 people and flattened much of Port-au-Prince. Originally, PIH aimed to build a 108-bed regional hospital. But the quake destroyed Haiti’s main teaching hospital in Port-au-Prince, killing an entire 150-student nursing class, so at the request of the ministry, PIH scaled up plans for the Mirebalais facility. The design was donated by Nicholas Clark Architects, Chicago.

Construction of the 180,000-sq-ft teaching hospital for all of Haiti began in July. Plans call for it to be operational by Jan. 12, 2012. Despite challenging conditions, including a refugee crisis and a raging cholera outbreak that began in a camp a mile away, work is well under way. “We are about to pour our first big roof slab, which is a milestone,” said Ansara in early April. “It is a complicated slab—complicated reinforcing for what is normally done on the island. We are very particular about connections between beams and columns, which is really important seismically,”
Even with the oversight of a fairly well-trained general contractor and engineers brought in from the Dominican Republic, it is a challenge to create reinforcing plans that can be executed by untrained workers, says John Looney, principal of JML Engineering, Winchester, Mass., the structural engineer. “The labor pool in Haiti is extremely unskilled,” he says. Designs for roof slabs, such as the one about to be poured, need to be straightforward so that they can be applied to all situations. While a more complex solution may require less rebar, it is more prone to error.

Looney says the hospital’s 24-ft to 28-ft spans and load-bearing walls are unlike the 10-ft by 10-ft unreinforced modules that typically are found in Haiti. “Imagine a table with four legs on it … a building that is a concrete slab with ring beams around it and four columns. For a larger building they add more modules. To go taller, they stack them up,” Looney says.

New techniques have to be learned. In a country where even large concrete pours are hand-mixed by big crews filling and passing along buckets, the proper use of a concrete mixer became a priority. At first, Looney says, they were getting very low strength because of poor mixing. “Instead of getting 3,000 psi concrete, we were lucky to get 1,000,” he says.

Workers also had to improve their block-laying skills. “It didn’t seem to bother them that joints are 3/8 inches thick in some places and up to three inches in others,” Looney says. Now, not only is the block work better, but the walls also are vertically reinforced with rebar, bonded to columns and grouted internally to serve as bearing walls and resist lateral loads. “The idea is to train the locals in a different type of construction than they are used to and to use as little material as we could,” Looney says. “It’s been a steep learning curve.”

But Ansara says it is working. “After we show the Haitians what’s expected, they get it,” he says, although he admits some of the workers think the project team is “overbuilding and too fussy.”

“We’ve had incredible participation from the American building industry,” Ansara adds. Thirty companies are on the donor list, including Hubbell Inc., Shelton, Conn., which supplied lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, boxes, plugs and switches, and the New England Council of Carpenters, which refurbished 400 salvaged wooden doors. To see a full list, as well as more on the project and a slide show, visit ENR.com.

Nepal in November

Nepal Hotel November 2010

Nepal Hotel

View John’s (AMC) Appalachian Mountain Club Trip to Nepal in November, 2010 and the 442 photos as he chronicled his hike through Nepal.

Partners to build Haiti hospital — JML is one of those Partners

Partners In Health, the Boston-based global health initiative that has been the face of health care in Haiti after the devastating earthquake six months ago, is building a new teaching hospital there.

The 320-bed, seven-building hospital will rise in Mirebalais in the rural Central Plateau, a 45-minute drive from the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the hard-hit capital. It will become a national referral center when it opens at the end of next year, seeing as many patients as are seen at the other 12 clinics in Haiti where Partners in Health currently works.

The new hospital will also train doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Teaching hospitals were among the 60 to 70 percent of health care facilities destroyed by the earthquake.

The project is the biggest in the 23-year history of Partners In Health.

“It’s ambitious,’’ Dr. David Walton, the group’s deputy chief of mission in Haiti and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said by phone yesterday. “We are dealing with a tragedy that is unprecedented, so our response has to be unprecedented. This hospital is really going to be a centerpiece of our earthquake response.’’

Partners In Health had been planning to build a 108-bed hospital in Mirebalais that would bring comprehensive primary and prenatal care to more than 160,000 people in the region, treating people suffering from tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, and malnutrition. But after the earthquake, the Haitian Ministry of Health asked the organization to expand its plan, leading it to add improved diagnostic capabilities, an intensive care unit, and six operating rooms equipped for thoracic surgery.

While private hospitals in Haiti offer such facilities, they are beyond the reach of most Haitians, 80 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day, Walton said. The new hospital, which will cost Partners In Health $15 million to build, will treat all comers. Partners In Health has raised $85 million for Haiti earthquake relief.

Walton, echoing former president Bill Clinton’s words as the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, said the project will “help Haiti build back better.’’

Partners In Health is working with its Haitian sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, on clinical care. On medical education, it has formed alliances with such US medical schools as Duke and Dartmouth, Walton said, in addition to its original relationships with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s.

Engineers On the Move

JML Engineering was listed in the SEAMass Newsletter (STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION OF MASSACHUSETTS) under the Engineers On the Move, as a SEAMass/BASE member with individual professional advancement accomplishment and recognition.