Messer Construction Co.’s recently completed Clinical Sciences Pavilion construction project for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center was named by the Associated General Contractors of America as the best new construction project valued at over $200 million and built in the U.S. within the last year.

Project team representatives from Messer, the design-build contractor on the project, and Cincinnati Children’s attended a luncheon event on March 10 to accept the Build America Award, which took place during the AGC’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. The annual awards event honors the nation’s most significant new and renovation construction projects that complete each year, and is considered throughout the industry as the most prestigious recognition of construction accomplishments in the U.S.

Charged with the vision to create a state-of-the-art facility that embodied Cincinnati Children’s mission to connect researchers and clinicians, Messer utilized integrated project delivery (IPD), an innovative construction delivery method that harnesses the talents of multidisciplinary teams to reduce waste and optimize efficiency through all phases of design and construction.

“Having completed an IPD project prior, we knew that with a project of this scope and complexity that this was the optimal way to structure the team to deliver the highest quality building at the lowest cost for Cincinnati Children’s,” said Bernie Suer, senior vice president for Messer Construction Co. and project lead for the project. “And we found that it worked very well — early involvement of key contractors and users of the space resulted in better design and construction, and ultimately a better investment of capital dollars.”

Over the 36-month design and construction period, all eight IPD team stakeholders co-located at the project site design studio, allowing them to collaborate, discuss issues and develop solutions as they arose — something much harder to do in traditional design and construction delivery methods. 

Through the unprecedented level of collaboration and dedication that was fostered through IPD, from the executive suite down to the craft workers in the field, the Clinical Sciences Pavilion — one of the largest pediatric research facilities in the country — was completed on schedule and $20 million under budget.

“We are very proud of the recognition the team has achieved with this award, and for Messer’s leadership in proposing a new way to deliver design and construction at Cincinnati Children’s,” said Kristine Justus, Ph.D., vice president of Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation . “This particular research facility was a complex project, and as an IPD project it was in in a league of its own, in terms of knowledge and commitment from the project team and the depth of the collaboration they brought to ensure the best outcome.”

The 445,000-square-foot Clinical Sciences Pavilion sits between the hospital’s main clinical care center and its companion research tower, the William Cooper Procter Pavilion. At 15 stories tall, it rises above all other hospital and neighborhood buildings, making it a beacon in the community.

A panel of judges representing all areas of construction and made up of a contractor’s toughest critics — other contractors — based Build America Award selection criteria on projects that excelled in complexity, project management, use of innovative construction techniques and/or materials, client satisfaction, sensitivity to the environment and surroundings, and community impact. Attendees include contractors, suppliers, executives and partners of the nation’s commercial construction industry.

Messer served as the design-build contractor for the job, and the other seven Cincinnati-based IPD project partners included: GBBN – lead architect; Fosdick and Hilmer – mechanical, plumbing electrical engineer; THP Limited – structural engineer; Pioneer Glass and Glazing – window and metal pane contractor; Nelson Stark – plumbing contractor; Peck, Hannaford, Briggs – HVAC contractor; Archiable Electric – electrical contractor.