The Harman Group Celebrates the Grand Opening of the St. Barnabas Medical Center’s West Wing Expansion  

The Cooperman Family Pavilion Brings New State-of-the-Art Facilities to the Award-winning Hospital.

The Harman Group celebrated the grand opening of Cooperman Family Pavilion, a five story, 240,000 square foot expansion of the St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey on September 7th. The $200M west wing expansion and parking garage adds much-needed space, 114 private rooms, an outpatient surgery suite, public atrium, parking, and a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit to the over 150 year-old, award-winning hospital.

The Harman Group provided structural engineering and parking planning and design services for the expansion, working with Francis Cauffman Architects and contractor W.M. Blanchard Co.

“The Harman Group’s extensive healthcare experience and innovative structural engineering models enable clients like St. Barnabas to expand their facilities to provide increased access and superior services to the community,” said Chris Gottschall, project engineer for The Harman Group. “The new wing will allow for enhanced patient care, particularly in the maternity and neonatal units.”

The original wing of the hospital’s low floor-to-floor height presented a challenge for the new addition, which requires higher ceilings to accommodate the critical performance requirements of a modern-day hospital. The new west wing of the hospital was constructed with a thin concrete filigree and drop beam structural system, which allows for a slim structural depth. This is a departure from traditional methods used in hospital builds, which often call for a more traditional structural system like composite steel and slab on metal deck.

Creative engineering also allowed for long span concrete (minimizing columns) and no interrupting lateral systems (shear walls). The concrete structure created extra room between floors, which will provide the necessary space for the hospital’s modern technology, while aligning the new levels with the existing hospital structure.

Named the Cooperman Family Pavilion after the generous $25 million pledge to the project from Leo and Toby Cooperman, the new addition also includes a walkway which connects the maternity ward in the existing wing of the hospital to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the expansion wing. This walkway was one of the most challenging aspect of the project, as the bridge structure spans the roof of the existing hospital wing. Not only did the design team have to work within the structural grid of the existing building to determine load placement, they had to work above an active hospital and minimize distractions to patients and staff.

The expansion project also includes a four-level, 400-space open, precast parking structure. The facility is designed for a future one-story overbuild expansion.

After breaking ground in the spring of 2015, the project finished well ahead of the projected second quarter 2018 completion date.

Learn more about the project at Healthcare Design.