Encore Electric helps Vail Health Unveil New Space and Name

Vail Valley Medical Center Unveils New Space and New Name
Encore Electric Team Members Participate in the Celebration

September 14, 2017- Vail, CO—  In Vail, Colorado, on the same day that they revealed an entirely new brand for the organization, Vail Valley Medical Center, now Vail Health, toured guests through the new addition and renovation (Phase I West Wing) of their primary facility in the heart of Vail, Colorado.  The hospital is world-renowned for its medical treatment, biomotion and biomechanics research and care as well as its Level 1 Trauma medical center.

Vail Health is one of Encore Electric’s longtime clients in the Mountain Business unit in Colorado.  In addition to the construction work we’ve completed, Encore completes service work in the facility each and every day.  Account Manager Brad Magnuson with Encore maintains an office right in the hospital.  “Vail Valley Medical Center maintains a very complex set of electrical and power systems,” said Magnuson. “And we are honored to provide electrical service for the hospital’s power and technology needs every day.”

In arguably one of the most beautiful settings anywhere, the hospital celebrates the treatment and recovery of its patients, many of whom are famous athletes.  From skiing and snowboarding to baseball, basketball and even ballet, former patients have given signed jerseys and shadow boxes with sports memorabilia to showcase in the hospital.  Floor to ceiling windows looking over the Vail ski area and town of Vail bring in natural light to add to the ambience created by interior lighting and design of waiting rooms and the Howard Head Sports Medicine Clinic.

And while the treatment and care of world-class athletes and Vail Valley residents is a standard for the medical staff at the hospital, bringing the renovation to this great place was no small feat for Encore Electric electricians and our general contractor partner, GE Johnson. As with any hospital project, there are considerable issues to work around and manpower/logistics to coordinate. But there were a number of things that made this project in particular stand out from other hospital projects.

“Imagine building a brand-new fourth floor onto the roof of an existing three-story hospital while keeping the hospital in full operation with no power disruption,” said Encore Electric Mountain Business Unit Leader Pete Palmgren. “To do this we built a special back-up system that moved power from the existing third floor roof to a generator that is in the hospital’s parking lot.  In addition, effective collaboration and communication was critical to the success of the project.”

“This project was successful because of the commitment and dedication from all the Encore Electric employees who worked on this project,” said Bob Bergman, Encore Electric Project Manager. “All of the electricians had to sacrifice their personal lives, weekends and time with their families to complete this work without any disruption in service for the facility.”

The project had some pretty tough challenges with logistics and weather.  Encore was permitted to bring materials and equipment through only one elevator for only one hour per day.  Knowing that wouldn’t work long-term, Encore petitioned GC partner GE Johnson to build an outdoor scaffold and knock a hole in the wall on the third floor to provide access and to bring materials directly from the outside.

“High altitude and winter weather elements are a given when working in Vail, Colorado,” said Encore Electric Preconstruction Manager Arnie Helsing.  “And we planned for that.  Heavy snowfall means heavy skier traffic, and that means limited parking.  To help our craftsmen get to the project, Encore Electric developed a shuttle system to bring employees to and from the project site.” There are no snow days!

With all that snow, healthcare certified Encore electricians on site know that it is not uncommon to shovel walking paths on the rooftop of projects that can be four-feet deep from one storm.  As a hospital project usually goes, considerable off-hours work had to be completed for the project to finish on its schedule and to accommodate operating room activity and patient needs. This included many man hours both after hours and on the weekend. Project plans and work times had to be scheduled accordingly. Some equipment could only be operated at certain hours during the day, with fire alarm testing and other work being completed at 2:00 a.m. to be sure patients were not impacted.

In addition to the dedication of our crews sacrificing time and working overnight, the project team credits great vendor and subcontractor support as well as the assistance from other area superintendents in times of need. The job would have had a different outcome without commitment from everyone.

The entire project covered 71,675 square feet of space.  Encore Electric team members worked safely with 45,286 man hours on the job with zero lost time accidents.

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