George Washington University Hospital Renovations


George Washington University Hospital Universal Health Services


Completion Date

George Washington University Hospital Renovations

District of Columbia

In 2013, George Washington University Hospital was in need of major renovations to maintain its status as one of Washington, DC’s premier healthcare facilities. Walter P Moore was selected to provide ongoing structural engineering and diagnostic services for the hospital. Improvements included renovations of the hospital’s third through sixth levels, as well as the addition of both an MRI surgical suite and a helipad.

The scope of the interior renovations included adding 42 patient rooms to the shell space on the sixth level as well as a new operating room to the third. During the renovations, over 400 penetrations were made to concrete floor slabs to guide new utilities from floor to floor. To ensure these slab penetrations did not weaken the structure, we leveraged our digital workflow process to quickly locate the best areas for the holes. Our workflows allowed us to develop penetration guidelines for the contractor and saved the team valuable field coordination time.

The addition of an MRI surgical suite would allow neurosurgeons to utilize state of the art, real-time imaging during brain surgery, but this sensitive equipment needed to be added to the hospital’s sixth floor. Walter P Moore determined that the building’s structure would need to be strengthened significantly to support the sensitive equipment. It was essential that hospital operations not be interrupted during the MRI’s installation, so Walter P Moore evaluated various options of how to get the machines into the building. Our team determined the most cost-effective solution would be to lift it to the proper height and then push it in through the side of the building. We then designed a scaffolding system supported off the new MRI retrofit framing to safely accommodate the equipment while it was pushed into place.

The final challenge faced by the team was the incorporation of a helipad and extension of an existing elevator to the hospital’s rooftop, which had not been designed to accommodate such heavy loads. Walter P Moore identified a location where the new helipad structure could be supported by the building’s existing columns and evaluated these columns to ensure they could support both a helipad and a helicopter. We ultimately designed a new steel frame supported on the existing building columns that was capable of handling the weight, as well as a steel framing system for the elevator contained within the existing penthouse roof.

Walter P Moore blended healthcare expertise and creative problem-solving to address the challenges shared by many medical owners who must renovate existing facilities while remaining operational. With renovations now complete, the George Washington University Hospital continues to serve patients in Washington, DC and throughout the region with accessible, high-level healthcare services across a broad spectrum of needs.