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posted: 2/9/2021 2:43 PM

Northwestern Medicine updating office building with pods

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BLOOMINGDALE -- In a first for Northwestern Medicine, the renovation of a medical office building in Bloomingdale features prefabricated modular exam rooms. More than 70 exam rooms are being built as pods off-site in an assembly-line fashion and delivered nearly complete to the medical office building construction site, where they are slid into place for final connections.

The project is a complete renovation of more than 50,000 square feet in an existing building at 231-235 S. Gary Ave. The space will house a Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care, Physical Therapy and Diagnostic Imaging; as well as Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group specialties, including Primary Care, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Orthopedics and Gastroenterology.

The 70+ exam rooms are being mass produced in an assembly line at the Hill Mechanical shop in Franklin Park, in conjunction with Walsh Construction. The pods are delivered to the Bloomingdale building three at a time on a flatbed truck, where a crane lifts them onto a loading dock. The pods are pushed into place using industrial dollies.

The pods are 95% completed at the off-site shop with drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, cabinets, sinks, electrical wiring and plumbing. Computer arms, blood pressure monitoring equipment, Sharps needle containers and coat hooks are attached to the walls before delivery.

"The main advantage of modular pod construction is a more advantageous speed-to-market solution for project delivery, as well as the efficiency, safety and quality control of building in a controlled environment compared to a traditional construction setting," said Dan Callaghan, construction project manager for Northwestern Medicine.