Photos of the Week
Courtesy of DPR Construction
New, highly efficient air handling systems arrived last week and are being installed atop the third floor podium roof. The large units will ensure the proper ventilation that meets the strict requirements for health care applications. As part of the project’s effort for green building, the system will improve energy efficiency while meeting the heavy demands for a hospital running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
We recently held an Open House for employees to learn more about the new hospital construction and explore the layout of the new facility and campus. It was at this event that many staff members learned for the first time that, when the new hospital opens in 2013, the campus will be smoke free.
A smoke-free campus means that smoking will not be allowed anywhere on the hospital property, including the grounds, gardens and parking areas, by any person – including employees, physicians, volunteers, patients and visitors.
We are taking this bold step because the new hospital brings a renewed and heightened commitment to our mission to improve the health of the individuals and communities we serve. Without a doubt, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. We believe that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue and promote a healthier environment.
Eden Medical Center has offered an array of smoking cessation programs for many years to help decrease tobacco use in our community. Looking ahead, we will multiply our outreach efforts and use coaching and support to address staff and visitors using tobacco on hospital grounds. Tobacco-free initiatives have the potential to improve the health of thousands, reduce health care costs, improve workplace safety and contribute to community health improvement.
Hospitals across the country are adopting smoke-free campus policies successfully by reaching out to staff, patients and visitors with effective alternatives to smoking to reduce stress. As a leader in improving health care in our community, we believe this effort is well worth undertaking.
This is just the beginning of this conversation about a smoke-free campus. We welcome suggestions from you and leading health experts on the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use and boost our outreach efforts.
“There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke is deadly.”
Dr. Richard H. Carmona,
U.S. Surgeon General Report, July 2006
In less than 36 hours, our Laurel Grove Hospital was completely demolished, leaving behind not just the debris for recycling, but also more than 45 years of memories.
My name is Bob Bosold, and I am the Project Director for Eden Medical Center. I’ve worked at Eden for 33 years, starting out as an engineer back in 1977. My career at Eden spans thousands of projects that define the buildings of Eden Medical Center. Early on I managed projects ranging from simple office designs and renovations to major expansions and development. Among them are the development of Baywood Court Retirement Community and the complete remodel of Laurel Grove Hospital back in 1990. More recently the renovation of the 6th floor Sutter East Bay Neuroscience Center and the Emergency Department.
Today, I manage projects on the hospital campus, including issues related to the new hospital construction. The demolition of Laurel Grove Hospital is perhaps one of the more bittersweet projects on campus. On the one hand, it symbolizes the progress of our new hospital. On the other, it means the end of a great facility that provided care for thousands of patients and was home to so many great employees. I was a patient at Laurel Grove following knee surgery five years ago, and the care I received was excellent. Yes, it was sad to see the old hospital go.
From a facilities perspective, the demolition of Laurel Grove was far more complex than the actual deconstruction photos show. Our last patient at Laurel Grove was discharged home in December 2009, and the final employee celebration was held December 30. From that moment on, our teams worked to identify and remove virtually every piece of equipment, furniture, fixture and countless other things people don’t even think about that support a hospital structure, such as boilers, propane and diesel fuel tanks, an emergency generator and air conditioning chiller.
Where Did It All Go?
While our patient care staff worked to transfer all patient records to Eden, our facilities team focused on assessing all of the equipment from the rooftop all the way down to the soil. We cleared out major rooms such as Radiology and the kitchen, and gathered the smallest of items found in desk drawers and cabinets. All equipment was identified and relocated according to areas of greatest need and value. In other words, some equipment was given new life where needed at Eden or San Leandro Hospital, or at another Sutter Health facility, or donated to another hospital or clinic in need. This by far was the most gratifying part of this project.
Some equipment was sold or stripped for parts for use where needed, but that represents a small percentage compared to what we were able to reuse or recycle. Although Laurel Grove looked small from the outside, it held a significant amount of furniture (hospital beds, tables, curtains, chairs), office equipment (desks, bookcases, filing cabinets) and supplies (wheelchairs, walkers, office supplies) and so much “stuff” in every room.
Fortunately, we found a home for almost everything. Our specialized LaserOptics equipment was donated to UC Berkeley Vision Sciences and their School of Ophthalmology. Physical and occupational therapy equipment, wheelchairs, walkers and related items were donated to Alameda County Medical Center and several other clinics. Much of our furniture, office supplies, cabinetry and kitchen equipment made its way to schools, clinics, local businesses and organizations including MedShare, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare through the redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to developing countries. I would have to say that about 95 percent of the interior equipment was donated or used elsewhere. The rest was recycled along with the building (more on this later).
Once the abatement was complete and the connection between the hospital and adjacent medical office building was closed and remodeled and new walkways installed, the old hospital was torn down in less than two days. From the street, what is left looks like a big pile of rubble. But what is really happening behind the fence is amazing. Over the next two weeks, virtually every part of the building and site will be recycled: metals, woods, plastics, concrete, vegetation, landscape materials, all of it.
The metal is separated from the fiber by a large sorter on site. All the metal will be recycled, and the fiber material will be sent to Waste Management, where it will be used in composting and come back to life as, among other things, potting soil! Some of the material will find new life as colored bark that is used in gardens. And best of all, the concrete (including Laurel Grove’s foundation), will be ground up, set aside and later used as site fill on the new hospital site. Laurel Grove will live on.
Here is a quick look at how the materials are separated for recycling at the site:
By April 15, the Laurel Grove site will become a paved parking lot for the hundreds of contractors working on the project. Once the underground utilities are taken care of, the site will have new landscaping that will enhance the aesthetics of the neighborhood. The lot will remain parking for contractors throughout the entire building project, and will convert to employee parking in 2013.
A Time of Change
From my perspective, seeing the end of Laurel Grove Hospital comes with mixed emotions. Eden purchased Laurel Grove in 1986, and from that moment I was involved in expanding, remodeling and upgrading the entire facility. And so, many years later, I watched it come down. I feel a sense of pride in being involved in creating a good facility that provided care to so many people, and a sense of sadness in seeing it go. But I am also excited, knowing this is progress and we are making way for our new hospital.
One project ends, another begins. I spend a lot of time putting things up and making them work, and a lot of time taking them down and making them work as something else. That’s the nature of my work and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
I will write more on the recycling in my next post. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions.
By Andrew Flanigan, Senior Planner/Designer with Devenney Group
One of our other main goals is to design a high performance, sustainable and truly green medical center. In fact we’re going for LEED Certification, which is the recognized standard worldwide for measuring building sustainability.
Progress towards this goal has been made through the integrated team process, which ensures that we are working together to achieve our desired certification level and build the new hospital in the spirit of LEED. Extensive team meetings focus on introducing the core LEED team and determining which credits were available and applicable to our project. As we move forward, the appropriate team member is extensively researching each credit, and the challenges and benefits are being discussed and worked through.
Some of the exciting goals we have identified as necessary to act as a role model in sustainability are listed below:
- Producing an active education program to showcase these efforts to the visitors of the hospital, while also highlighting the importance of sustainability in their lives.
- Reducing construction waste dramatically by diverting the debris away from landfills through reuse and recycling.
- Reducing water usage throughout the hospital with low flow plumbing fixtures.
- Optimizing energy performance before the building is even built with the use of a virtual energy model.
- Protecting our occupants from toxic chemical emissions by using Low VOC materials and having an indoor air quality management plan to improve air quality before the occupants even enter the building.
- Using a green roof and other strategies to reduce heat island effect.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by commenting on this post. We’ll be glad to respond within a few days, and we look forward to your comments.