Imagine building a 250,000-square-foot, 166-bed hospital in merely 15 months. That’s what Universal Health Services Inc. was able to accomplish when it completed Henderson Hospital on the outskirts of Las Vegas nearly four years ago. 

Impressively, the project came in nearly $2.5 million under budget and wrapped up three days ahead of schedule.

Henderson Hospital serves as the focal point for the 155-acre Union Village development that, when completed, will also feature a medical office building, hotel, restaurants, retail spaces, a promenade, hundreds of condos and apartments, and an athletic club facility. The new greenfield facility fills an important need in the surrounding community by offering emergency care, women’s services, surgical services and comprehensive care. 

To accomplish its aim of building a high-performance facility in record time for under $800,000 per bed, the team assembled focused on incorporating lean and integrated project delivery (IPD). 

“IPD embraces a collaborative design and construction approach, which was the best way to remove the barriers that often come with traditional design-then-build practices,” says project manager George Zettel. “In this environment, innovation and teamwork became the fuel that allowed for numerous considerations to assist with cost and time savings, while still providing the quality and performance demanded by the owner and team.”

Henderson Hospital

Project Info

  • Square feet: 250,000
  • Number of beds: 166
  • Cost: $127.8 million
  • Start date: June 2015
  • Completion date: August 2016

Team Members

  • Mark D’Arcy, Universal Health Services Inc., King of Prussia, Pa.
  • George Zettel, project manager at Turner Construction Company, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Joe Garcia, CHC, DBIA, LEED AP, project executive for health care at SR Construction, Las Vegas.
  • George Vangelatos, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, lead design principal at HMC Architects, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Danny Boh, project executive at Southland Industries, Las Vegas.
  • Bill Peot, principal at Bergelectric, Las Vegas.
  • Ron Migliori, structural engineer at Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers, Sacramento, Calif.

Zettel and crew also incorporated evidence-based best practices, full-scale foam-board room mock-ups, and new technology to improve operations, including special soundproofing measures, infection-fighting light fixtures and silent nurse call systems.

“We were able to set a new construction industry standard for the Las Vegas area, as evidenced by a 90% positive response rate to our team surveys and a percent plan complete (PPC) level of 90% or higher,” says Zettel, who explains that PPC is a measure of a team’s reliability in completing all planned work each week; by comparison, the industry average PPC is 54%. 

These and other strategies led to fantastic outcomes, including zero lost days during construction, an ENERGY STAR® rating averaging between the 93rd and 95th percentile since opening, the highest HCAHPS score among 14 southern Nevada hospitals, a health care-associated infection rate under the national average by 10% for the first 12 months, and zero maintenance costs related to design or construction flaws or omissions during the first year of operation.

What’s more, the Leapfrog Group bestowed Henderson Hospital with its Top Hospital Award in 2018, marking it as one of the 35 best general hospitals in the country, and also named it one of the safest hospitals in the United States in 2018 and 2019.

Earning a 2020 Vista Award for new construction is yet another accolade worthy of celebration for the hospital.

“We are extremely excited that [the American Society for Health Care Engineering] has recognized this project and our team. This is a testament to what we were able to achieve,” Zettel says. “We’re proud of the fact that we continue to get very high compliments from patients, staff and the community as well. This proves that no reasonable goals or expectations for a project are out of reach if you have the right environment.”