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VIDEO: Silver Cross Hospital Created in a Virtual World

The hospital being built in New Lenox was first designed to perfection seven times using a new software program called Navisworks.

The new Silver Cross Hospital going up is on time and under budget, and a lot of that has to do with the cutting edge design software.

News media members toured the hospital Thursday to see it at about 95 percent completion. Silver Cross is moving from its current location in Joliet to Route 6 and Interstate 355 in New Lenox. The $325 million hospital will open Feb. 26, 2012.

Ground broke nearly three years ago, but the real construction began on a computer screen using a software program called Autodesk Navisworks project review, which aids construction by producing a precise design that can be shared among all the stakeholders, including construction crews and parts manufacturers.

"Gone are the days of buildings laid out and someone comes out with a tape measure," said Jeff Janicek, executive of Mortenson Construction, which is working the Silver Cross project.

The hospital was actually built seven times in a 3D computer program to lay out all the floor plans perfectly, including all wiring and duct work. If something needed to be changed it was remodeled in the computer version before construction, which was then done by laying out the plans using GPS to make sure they were as accurate as possible.

Janicek said his company is on the leading edge of this sort of work, specifically with the Silver Cross project, which is actually featured on the cover of the Navisworks software packaging.

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