University of Iowa airs possibility of broader Children’s Hospital window replacement

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,580
50,070
113
In assessing the scope of faulty windows the University of Iowa discovered were installed in the $392.7 million Stead Family Children’s Hospital five years ago, officials have decided to at least replace every window in a new bridge connecting the Children’s Hospital with the main UIHC campus.


Officials Wednesday also suggested the possibility they’ll need to replace all windows in the 14-story, 507,000-square-foot Children’s Hospital — not just specific non-inpatient floors, as originally thought — requiring Board of Regents approval for a “construction manager at risk” to coordinate what could be a larger project.

Advertisment



“In that investigation, it is not determined as to whether or not it's all windows,” UI Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz told regents on Wednesday, noting UIHC knows for certain, conversely, that “we'll be replacing all the windows on the bridge.”


“That is not necessarily the case in the design process on the Stead Family Children's Hospital,” he said. “That is why we're requesting by this action engagement of a construction manager at risk, so we can put all of the experts in the room at the start of this process and make sure that it is delivered appropriately and successfully.”


Regents on Wednesday approved a UI request to spend $3.6 million to replace all the bridge windows — part of a larger plan to spend $10 million to $15 million on cracking, delaminated, or blemished windows on what initially was thought to be the bridge and just two floors of the Children’s Hospital, which opened in 2017.


Costs for the bridge-window replacement will be covered through UIHC building use funds, “as the university seeks reimbursement from the responsible parties,” Lehnertz said.


The board OK’d planning for the broader window replacement in April 2021. Regents in November approved spending $771,516 to apply safety film to 77 more windows experiencing delamination. But Lehnertz said Wednesday that construction on the bridge won’t start until September.


Work will come later on damaged Children’s Hospital windows — which UIHC months ago began covering with a protective film.


The university on Wednesday received regent permission to use a “construction manage at risk” delivery method for that larger project, indicating it’s a more complex effort.


“Because it's an existing building and existing systems with which to integrate the final solution, having a contractor not only engaged at the beginning but also responsible … to deliver these methods according to the needs of the university and university hospitals and clinics is of benefit to this specific project,” Lehnertz said.


Answering a regent question about whether the window issues are a result of a design flaw or product flaw, Lehnertz said, “It may be related or both or all of that.”


“We are working with designers, producers, the manufacturers, responsible parties related to this,” Lehnertz said. “We have officials with UIHC and the university working with those responsible parties to one, make sure that what is put in from a replacement perspective is reliable and according to the specifications that we have for performance of the windows, but also looking for the causes and the responsibilities for reimbursement.”

 

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,580
50,070
113
Sounds like shitty product and/or installation. Shouldn't this be covered by warranty/insurance. Why are they buying new again?


 

B1GDeal

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Jan 21, 2005
7,064
7,904
113


“We have a definitive root cause that it has something to do with the fabrication and manufacturing of the window itself,” he said. “We’ve completely excluded that this has something to do with the Children’s Hospital structure.”

So, UIHC should get the cost back eventually. I'd assume this is already in process.
 

onlyTheObvious

HR Heisman
Jan 3, 2021
5,872
6,854
113
Maybe architect should be a two year degree.

once you get to “let’s make it all round” you have gone too far.

or hire Mike Brady. Dude made a fluffy building that opened up on a hinge.




bradybunch1.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: mstp1992

Jcchawk

HR All-American
Gold Member
Oct 29, 2001
4,172
6,575
113
Sounds like shitty product and/or installation. Shouldn't this be covered by warranty/insurance. Why are they buying new again?
The University has botched this whole project from the beginning. The place itself is wonderful. The design and execution of the process of the construction is a disaster. Many people should have lost their jobs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cigaretteman

Old_wrestling_fan

HR Legend
Mar 2, 2009
10,716
10,393
113
Iowa City
I am not on the front lines on this situation, so what I have to say about those windows would likely fail the "hearsay test" in court. :) I am not 100% of the all of the physics at play here, but I have some fairly good guesses from afar.

But I will say this...grand plans made by bigwigs to have beautiful, distinctive looking buildings often come with an associated price tag that is REE-DIK-U-LUS. This is one of those scenarios IMO. The idea to build an oval building was exceptionally stupid and I bet that those at the root of that decision will lay pretty low at this time...way LOW.

I have heard, can't personally confirm, that the windows are delaminating. Which seems like something that a design person, engineer and/or architect, should have been able to predict and design for. But, for all I know...someone did predict this and advised against this design, but was overruled by the "pretty committee". IDK. Things like this do happen though...but then once the fancy design fails...everybody gets amnesia. :) Seen it.

Glass, like about every other physical material, will expand and contract some when heated and cooled...it sounds to me that the design failed to account for this. Also, I would also be curious as to how the glass is "seated" on the edges. If it is mounted "ridgidly", then yes, I can see how thermal movement would work its' thing and eventually rupture(delaminate). Are the edges fastened in a way that allows for some movement, but not enough? There are MANY potential variables here, but I would be willing to bet that "movement", and a failure to properly design/build to accommodate it, will be in the mix.

Beings as how this correction could cost, I dunno, but many millions of dollars...the Iowa taxpayers deserve some answers here and someone(s) needs to be held accountable.

Being in the construction business myself, but not anything related to windows, I am sure that there is plenty of finger pointing going on between those who installed them, those who spec'ed them, those that manufactured them, those that thought they looked beautiful, etc.

I hope all of the innocent participants "saved their emails" on this subject, because they are probably going to need them. :) With this many millions of dollars AND potentially the visage of the building at stake...the fur is going to be flying and the "I told you so's" and "no you didn't's" will be legion.

For me...this is why you don't build oval buildings...which leads to the necessity of construction materials and/or techniques that are way out of the norm...opening up the great possibility of very serious, large scale design flaws...like this one IMO.
 

GOHOX69

HR Legend
Sep 26, 2009
13,072
16,009
113
Besides the $$$, I wonder why Suresh and Saby Singh ran the f out of here. Haha, somewhere John Colloton chuckles.