University of Iowa Children’s Hospital finds more damaged windows needing ‘safety film’

cigaretteman

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The University of Iowa has identified 77 more damaged or at-risk windows in its Stead Family Children’s Hospital that need an emergency “safety film” — costing another $771,516.


UI Health Care revealed the discovery of additional damaged windows in its 4-year-old, 14-story Children’s Hospital this week in asking the Board of Regents to OK emergency authorization of a contract with Marv’s Glass of Iowa City to apply the 3M safety film.


Typically, the board must put out for public bid projects topping $100,000 — unless “a delay in undertaking a repair, restoration, or reconstruction of a public improvement might cause serious loss or injury,” according a portion of Iowa Code that UIHC cited in its regents request.


The new UIHC request, which the board is scheduled to consider next week, comes after the university in April sought approval to spend $10 million to $15 million replacing two floors of delaminated or cracking windows — discovered in July 2019, just two years after the facility opened.


At the time of its window-replacement proposal in April, UIHC reported it already had installed “a protective film on all windows that have been identified as potential safety hazards to provide an additional margin of safety.”


UIHC, at the time, said it would actively monitor all windows — while a permanent solution is determined — and UI Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz told regents the hospital might discover more affected windows.


“The work that we're doing is wider than just the windows that are impacted,” Lehnertz said in April, adding, “We will continue to monitor and investigate any other occurrences. But it is not just the windows that are visibly damaged, but rather more widespread.”


Regents spokesman Josh Lehman confirmed for The Gazette on Tuesday that the 77 windows identified as needing a safety film — requiring emergency authorization next week — are in addition to windows on floors 4 and 5 that UIHC in the spring said needed replacing.


Although the university hasn’t yet received that emergency contracting authorization, it reported in regent documents that, “Installation started in October 2021.”


UIHC on Tuesday declined to answer The Gazette’s questions about where the $10 million to $15 million window-replacement project stands; if the 77 additional windows are on different floors than those originally identified as affected; how much UIHC has spent on the replacement so far; and if it has a timeline for the project.


The university in April reported looking into possible causes, including manufacturer and installation questions, and Lehnertz said UIHC intends to “hold responsible the causing parties.”


But officials on Tuesday didn’t answer The Gazette’s questions about pursuing insurance or warranty coverage.


“As part of its commitment to a safe, high quality care environment, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics proactively performs regular monitoring and maintenance of its facilities,” UIHC officials said in a statement. “This monitoring identified an issue in the performance of some windows. UIHC immediately took steps to install protective film, conduct expanded monitoring of the windows, and replace windows as needed.”


The Gazette in April reported UIHC had paid a consultant nearly $1 million to assess the damage and offer solutions. It also, at that time, already had paid Marv’s Glass $577,751 to install temporary protective film.


Those costs, officials said, were included in the $10 million to $15 million replacement project — which pushed an already-inflated Children’s Hospital budget to $407 million, $137 million over its original $270 million budget.

 

cigaretteman

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Where are these windows at?

Unless the installation or manufacturing was defective in some way this sounds like an architectural screw up. But architects in my experience are experts at weaseling their way out of responsibility.
The way the construction of that building was handled, designing it while it was being built was a disaster leading to millions in cost overruns and problems like these windows.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Rough math but why does it cost 10,000 dollars per windows. Seems outrageous

Depends on the size of the window and the type of film applied.

Plus you have to pay for labor which isn't cheap.

I'm curious because this is my industry we are talking about here but the article does not seem to give a great deal of information.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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The way the construction of that building was handled, designing it while it was being built was a disaster leading to millions in cost overruns and problems like these windows.

Sounds like the fault lies with the architect. Maybe the construction manager has some responsibility too, but I would blame the architect mostly.
 
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On Iowa

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Sounds like the fault lies with the architect. Maybe the construction manager has some responsibility too, but I would blame the architect mostly.
Doubtful. I have an inkling suspicion that the specification didn't call for windows that randomly fall out of the frames. They are individually made curved glass that were all manufactured in, I believe, Italy. Each one has to be custom remade and shipped to the building for replacement. Was it a specification that was tough to meet? Yes. Is it the fault of the architect that the company who said they could meet the spec didn't? No.
 
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Hoosierhawkeye

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Doubtful. I have an inkling suspicion that the specification didn't call for windows that randomly fall out of the frames. They are individually made curved glass that were all manufactured in, I believe, Italy. Each one has to be custom remade and shipped to the building for replacement. Was it a specification that was tough to meet? Yes. Is it the fault of the architect that the company who said they could meet the spec didn't? No.

Ok so are they falling out of the windows? I would say that would be on the glazing sub if that's the case but all I heard was that they where "breaking".

But if they are falling out of the window frames, safety film isn't going to do anything.

It sounds to me almost like they have annealed glass in places where the glass clearly should have been tempered.
 

On Iowa

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Ok so are they falling out of the windows? I would say that would be on the glazing sub if that's the case but all I heard was that they where "breaking".

But if they are falling out of the window frames, safety film isn't going to do anything.

It sounds to me almost like they have annealed glass in places where the glass clearly should have been tempered.
I'm not sure the falling out thing is what this is about, but I know some of the windows have fallen. They've had the perimeter of the building taped off several times to keep them from landing on people.

It's either the glazing sub or the manufacturer. But the U has no contractual relationship with the either, so they can only sue the GC or the CM. Then it has to run downhill from there.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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I'm not sure the falling out thing is what this is about, but I know some of the windows have fallen. They've had the perimeter of the building taped off several times to keep them from landing on people.

It's either the glazing sub or the manufacturer. But the U has no contractual relationship with the either, so they can only sue the GC or the CM. Then it has to run downhill from there.

They didn't have a contract with the glazing sub? Usually on projects of this size most of the sub contractors would have a contract directly with the owner. Certainly the glazing contractor would.
 

UKGrad93

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Where are these windows at?
They're on the outside of a 12 story building. The windows are large and curved.

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Hoosierhawkeye

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I'm not sure the falling out thing is what this is about, but I know some of the windows have fallen. They've had the perimeter of the building taped off several times to keep them from landing on people.

It's either the glazing sub or the manufacturer. But the U has no contractual relationship with the either, so they can only sue the GC or the CM. Then it has to run downhill from there.

Well if the exterior windows break from an impact on the inside and glass falls out that would happen.

But that could happen and not be the fault of the glazing contractor.

It certainly is if they are coming out of the frame. But if that is the case than safety film does nothing.

If glass is breaking because of impacts on the inside than there is an issue about the strength of the glass which means either the manufacturer is at fault or the wrong type of glass was specified.
 

Old_wrestling_fan

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Rough math but why does it cost 10,000 dollars per windows. Seems outrageous
It is outrageous, BUT...that is what you get when you build an oval building with curved windows. For anyone with half a brain, problems like this could be foreseen. But the process to design public buildings somehow too often produces eye catching designs that are also expensive to build AND MAINTAIN...this is one of those.

The problems with the windows on the Children's Hospital, while very appealing to the eye, are severe and will cost a bundle to fix once and for all. I challenge any reporter to drill down and find out who is responsible for the DESIGN on those windows. They were not, to my knowledge, improperly installed and/or poorly made...it was a pretty, but physics defying, design that sunk them.
 

On Iowa

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They didn't have a contract with the glazing sub? Usually on projects of this size most of the sub contractors would have a contract directly with the owner. Certainly the glazing contractor would.
The U had a contract with the CM. The CM had contracts with the various subs. I have never seen a building where the Owner had individual contracts for each sub on the job. Every public job I've ever worked on was a single prime contract with someone, either a GC or a CM. There is no way the owner could manage the number of subs on a project of this magnitude.
 

On Iowa

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Well if the exterior windows break from an impact on the inside and glass falls out that would happen.

But that could happen and not be the fault of the glazing contractor.

It certainly is if they are coming out of the frame. But if that is the case than safety film does nothing.

If glass is breaking because of impacts on the inside than there is an issue about the strength of the glass which means either the manufacturer is at fault or the wrong type of glass was specified.
You may certainly be correct here. I'm not an architect or a glazing guy. I only know what I've heard through industry channels here in IC.
 
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Jcchawk

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This has been a disaster from the start. Everyone who had any decision making authority over this project should have been fired long ago.

That's to take nothing away from all the good the Hospital does. Talking design and construction.
 

On Iowa

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This has been a disaster from the start. Everyone who had any decision making authority over this project should have been fired long ago.

That's to take nothing away from all the good the Hospital does. Talking design and construction.
For the most part, they were.
 
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Hoosierhawkeye

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The U had a contract with the CM. The CM had contracts with the various subs. I have never seen a building where the Owner had individual contracts for each sub on the job. Every public job I've ever worked on was a single prime contract with someone, either a GC or a CM. There is no way the owner could manage the number of subs on a project of this magnitude.

Actually I believe that the contracts are actually to the owner and the CM's job is to manage it all. But our public contracts are directly to the owner and not the CM.

Now when we do submittals and the like we still report to the CM, but the contract is actually with the owner. I assume it's for the purpose of liability if one contractor screws up their job.
 

onlyTheObvious

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It’s ridiculous to have the high cost of college and healthcare and then go out of the way to have overpriced construction.

not saying you need to build Morton buildings but how about a happy medium.

and Bla bla bla about donations funding the building. How about donations going into a trust with proceeds being used for projects.
 

Old_wrestling_fan

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It’s ridiculous to have the high cost of college and healthcare and then go out of the way to have overpriced construction.

not saying you need to build Morton buildings but how about a happy medium.

and Bla bla bla about donations funding the building. How about donations going into a trust with proceeds being used for projects.
I agree with you 1000% here, but this is too common. A public building being designed in a way that is more expensive to build and maintain, but with little, if any, additional functionality.
 
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UKGrad93

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It’s ridiculous to have the high cost of college and healthcare and then go out of the way to have overpriced construction.

not saying you need to build Morton buildings but how about a happy medium.

and Bla bla bla about donations funding the building. How about donations going into a trust with proceeds being used for projects.
My thoughts exactly. When my daughter was in the hospital, I kept thinking that her care would have been just as good even if the building were square vs oval. The 30% or more saved could have been used to treat more kids.
 

desihawk

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At least the children's hospital isn't concave on the Kinnick side.
 
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Rifler

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Actually I believe that the contracts are actually to the owner and the CM's job is to manage it all. But our public contracts are directly to the owner and not the CM.

Now when we do submittals and the like we still report to the CM, but the contract is actually with the owner. I assume it's for the purpose of liability if one contractor screws up their job.

Pure CM, vs CM as Agent, vs CM at Risk,... all different approaches.
 
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