Anschutz Medical Campus Health Sciences BuildingUniversity of Colorado
Size: 394,419 sq. ft.
Year Completed: 2021
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Type: Education, Science, Healthcare
Client: University of Colorado
Key Systems Integrated
Technology Vendors Managed
As a busy hub for education, important medical research, health care services, data storage, and campus-wide collaboration, it was critical for the multiple technology components throughout the building to achieve seamless connections and operate flawlessly on day one.
Aptitude designed and installed five of the building’s technology systems. But even more critical to the success of the project was Aptitude’s leadership in coordinating integration and planning for the technology package as a whole – which included ongoing communication, project management, and design review.
Systems included in Aptitude’s design and installation scope of work included the atrium’s 64’ wide by 16’ tall video wall, distributed antennae system, access control, structured cabling, and the nurse call system in patient care spaces.
Aptitude’s work as technology coordinator was even more in-depth. With dozens of systems and many interests at play, the Aptitude team was the main point of contact and liaison between owner, IT, facilities, trade partners, and construction team. This involved design review, consultation, and ongoing communication to ensure proper placement of fiber optic and cable pathways, hardware, and the countless network connection needs for each system in the building.
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class destination for education, research, and health care. It is the site of two top-ranked hospitals, six leading health professional schools, and it is where scientists are conducting life-changing research to solve health problems, from heart disease to cancer, to Alzheimer’s disease and Covid-19. When CU Anschutz added a new Health Sciences building to its campus, the university’s goal was to create a space that could serve multiple purposes…classrooms, patient rooms, offices, a campus data center, vivarium laboratory, and a place to gather for events and collaboration.
What made this project both rewarding and challenging was that the multi-functional goals also created more complex technology needs. It was not enough for the building to feature the bells and whistles of the latest high-tech systems; every one of the many systems also needed to connect centrally to the campus network and be fully functional and efficient on day one.
This is what the Aptitude team does well: think about how a built environment will be used, and design and manage the implementation of the technology that will make the user’s experience seamless. To make this project more challenging, the city was on an expedited schedule – breaking ground in February 2019 and finishing in April 2020 – a timeline that was condensed by several months compared to similar projects.
Due to this aggressive schedule, the technology design was not complete prior to the start of construction, creating unique challenges associated with rough-in, routing, and just-in-time delivery of critical materials and equipment.
Leadership and Project Management
Aptitude designed and delivered five systems for the new building: audio-visual, distributed antennae system, structured cabling, access control, and nurse call. Yet, equally if not more important was the leadership and project management the Aptitude team provided by acting as the overall technology coordinator before, during, and after construction. This included managing and planning for each technology system with ongoing design review and as the go-to liaison between every party involved – owner, facilities, IT, trade partners, and construction team.
“Where we really add value is our ability to communicate and collaborate with owners, IT, and construction crew,” said Andrew Gates, Aptitude Senior Project Manager. We have IT backgrounds and construction expertise, so we know what is required and give clear direction to everyone involved. If someone like us is not owning technology as a whole, nobody leads it, and it does not come to fruition the way it’s supposed to.”
Today, the Anschutz Health Sciences building is a bustling center of activity for the campus and larger surrounding community. With gleaming windows throughout that give a glimpse of the learning and research taking place within the beautiful building as well as the top-of-the-line technology features, the space is truly an example of science on display.