JV Selected for $969M US Military Hospital
A $969 million contract was recently awarded to Züblin and Gilbane Joint Venture for the construction of a new military hospital at the Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
The contract was awarded by the German Construction Administration, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District and the U.S. Defense Health Agency.
“The U.S. invested approximately $350 million annually in construction projects in the past few years, which are executed by the Federal Construction Administration. This demonstrates the excellent reputation the German Construction Administration enjoys with our international partners,” said Sören Bartol, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction.
“Furthermore, these investments boost Germany’s economy and preserve jobs in economically distressed regions.”
Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center
According to the U.S. Army, the new modern medical facility is slated to be the largest U.S. hospital outside of the nation, totaling 985,000 square feet. Once completed, the hospital will replace and co-locate the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
Constructed in 1953, the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center was the 86th Medical Group Clinic to become the largest U.S. medical center on foreign soil. The facility currently continues to provide primary care, specialized consultative care, hospitalization and treatment for more than 200,000 U.S. military personnel, the Department of Defense, interagency civilians and other dependents in Europe.
“We are incredibly proud of our team’s contribution to achieve this critical milestone that will enable us to provide our service members and their families with the best facility modern medicine has to offer,” said Col. Patrick Dagon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District Commander.
The Landstuhl hospital replacement will be known as the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center. https://t.co/lWELdX2ZSA— Jason Foreman (@1jforemann) January 21, 2022
The U.S. Army adds that in co-locating the new hospital with the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the new Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center will be better equipped to serve as the only forward-stationed evacuation and treatment center for injured U.S. service members, civilians and contractors serving in Central and Southwest Asia, Europe and Africa.
In addition, the hospitals will also provide critical medical support to seven combatant commands.
Although being carried out through a partnering process, it is reported that the German Construction Administration is executing the large-scale project. During the design phase, however, construction industry expertise was brought on to assist.
As a result, leading construction firms Züblin and Gilbane Joint Venture were awarded the $969 million contract, which intends to bring German and U.S. perspective to the project quality, schedule and cost requirements.
The JV will primarily be working on design plans and construction for the medical facility, which is slated to include nine operating rooms, 120 exam rooms and 68 beds with a surge capacity of 25 additional beds. According to reports, almost $200 million of hospital infrastructure work, such as a new Access Control Point (ACP), bridge, utilities and roadways, have already been completed on the campus.
The German government is reportedly contributing $180 million for design and construction management. The new hospital is part of the U.S. Forces’ substantial investment in Germany.
Construction is expected to be completed in late 2027—five years after its original estimate. According to The Defense Post, in 2018 the Army Corps of Engineers officials said that the facility would be completed by December 2023 and operational by 2024. However, due to a variety of setbacks, including technical issues prior to awarding the contract, design and building codes complexities and non-incorporation of German energy and sustainability regulations, the project was delayed.
In 2020, it was announced that Congress cut more than $100 million from the Pentagon's $200 million request for the project and what was meant to be the final funding increment for the hospital. It is unclear at this time whether that money has been funneled back into the project or not.
“We recognize that this project has taken longer than expected, but we are extremely excited to take the next step forward in providing our servicemembers and their families the modern, world-class medical facility that they deserve — one that will serve this community for decades to come,” Army Corps of Engineers project official Catherine Bingham told Stars and Stripes.
Once completed, the hospital is expected to employ about 2,500 people. Germany is reported to host the second-highest number of U.S. troops in the world after Japan and the highest in Europe. According to 2021 estimates, the country hosts approximately 33,900 U.S. troops.
“The Defense Health Agency looks forward to the completion of the new Medical Center at Rhine Ordnance Barracks in 2027, which will continue to provide primary and specialty care for our beneficiaries around the world,” said CAPT Mark Lieb, DHA Division Chief for Facilities Enterprise. “This project is truly a large scale collaboration between the Defense Health Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the German government.”
Other Recent Gilbane Projects
In September 2020, the convention and sports authority for Washington, D.C., Events DC, announced that it had selected Rhode Island-based Gilbane Building Company to demolish the historic 59-year-old RFK Stadium. Gilbane was awarded the $14.2 million contract with a total project budget of $20 million.
For this project, Gilbane will be responsible for all labor, materials and equipment required on the project, beginning with demolition planning, which was expected to start in 2022 following COVID-19-related delays.
After regulatory approvals and pre-construction work, Gilbane would also be responsible for abatement, selective demolition, superstructure demolition, cutting/capping of utility infrastructure, removal and disposal of all debris and filling and grading the site.
About 40% of the work is to be completed by certified small business enterprises.
More recently, in December 2021, Gilbane was listed as one of the six JVs selected by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to develop detailed proposals to design and construct four modern, smaller, humane borough-based jails.
The new jails are slated to replace the aging facilities on Rikers Island, which will close permanently in 2027.
According to the Official Website of the City of New York, a panel of the Borough Based Jail team, which includes DDC’s construction professionals, evaluated the Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) based on firms’ financial capacity, experience, design-build approach and past performance.
The current RFPs and shortlist is as follows:
The firms are currently preparing responses to an RFP for each site. The RFP asks the design-build teams to provide more detail on their approaches for designing and constructing the new facilities, including how the team will achieve the vision for the humane facilities and innovative approaches to ensure efficient, cost-effective construction.
The City highly encourages participation in the jails program by Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and will set significant requirements for M/WBE participation in the program’s design-build contracts.
Following the RFP process, two firms will be selected as the sole respondents for Manhattan and Queens, respectively, based on evaluations of their SOQs. In addition, two firms will be selected to compete for the Brooklyn facility and two will compete to design and build the Bronx facility.
Due to restricted time and resources required to prepare detailed RFP responses, stipends will be provided to firms who are not selected to work on one of the facilities.
According to reports, work will already be underway at all four sites throughout this process as design-build contracts for dismantling of existing structures and site preparation were all registered at the end of December.
In Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, the design-build teams will dismantle existing facilities on the sites and construct temporary “swing spaces” to facilitate NYC Department of Correction’s transfers of detainees for court appearances during construction. At the Bronx site, where the former Lincoln Hospital used to be located, the design-build team will remove debris from the old hospital and perform environmental testing to prepare the site for future work.
The entire $8.2 billion program is to be handed over to the Department of Correction in 2027.