Photos courtesy of DPR Construction
Work is continuing quickly on the exterior of the new hospital. The pre-cast panels and curtain walls are the most prominent features, while the metal panel installation along the lower part of the building begins this week. The building is taking on a new look as crews work to ensure a water-tight building by year’s end and before the major winter storms. Great “Indian Summer” weather in the Bay Area and rigorous planning by the Project Team keep the project on schedule.
While the outward view of the new hospital is changing dramatically with each new day, there are teams of contractors throughout the building and grounds making progress in areas not so visible to the public. What else is happening around the construction site?
- Framing and drywall installation n the first floor
- Installation of punch windows on the second floor
- Installation of pipe hangers, fire protection piping, plumbing pipe, electrical conduit and framing walls on the first and lower floors
- Installation of the podium roof on the third floor
- Layout of all the walls on the 6th floor
- Installation of waste vent piping on the third floor
- Underground utility work in the Lake Chabot parking lot
And behind the scenes, Eden Medical Center leaders and staff are mobilizing for transition planning, looking at every detail of what it will take to move into the new hospital in two years. It’s never to early to plan such a major undertaking!
Watch for video coverage of the interior progress, coming soon.
The Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project has been recognized throughout the construction industry as a unique project in design and approach, catching the interest of architects and builders throughout the world. We sat down with Digby Christian, Sutter Health Project Manager, for a closer look at what makes this project unique.
Q. Why is this project different than other projects you and the team members have been involved in?
One of the unique features of the project team is that we have an 11-party contract, with the non-owner members putting all of their profit at risk. I’m very confident that’s a unique set-up in the United States.
Another unique feature is that the trade contractors involved in the design and construction of the new hospital have a goal of achieving a fully coordinated, constructable, affordable design, complete with fabrication drawings, before the facility is even built. We do not want to resolve issues in the field during construction. We want to resolve them all as part of completing the design rather than in the field during construction when change orders are costly and time-consuming.
Q. There is a lot of emphasis on the team approach to this project. Who participates in the regular project team meetings? How do they work together?
The Project Team is managed by a six-member team called the Core Group. I’m on it representing Sutter Health, as is Bryan Daylor, Eden’s Vice President of Ancillary & Support Services, representing Eden Medical Center. The other four members are from DPR Construction (general contractor), Capital Engineering (mechanical and plumbing design), Devenney Group (architectural design), and J.W. McClenahan (plumbing). We meet every two weeks to ensure the project is managing all the risks as optimally as possible. All decisions are required to be unanimous, and for the two years that we’ve been meeting, we have met that requirement.
A much larger group comprising all the designers, builders and specialty consultants meets at least every two weeks to resolve any strategic issues affecting the whole project. There are also subgroups that meet almost daily to keep information flowing fast and efficiently through the project team.
What are the benefits of this team approach?
You get a fully informed designed. You get an efficient plan for construction. But the main thing you gain is certainty about scope, cost and completion date. These large projects traditionally go a long way over budget and finish very late and with compromises to the goals that the owner had. We worked hand in glove with each other for close to 18 months to get the cost of the project down without altering any of the goals for the building, and now for at least a year I have been completely confident of our ability to get the triple victory of on budget, on time, and with all the goals intact. That’s a tremendous difference from traditional delivery of these complex, expensive, long duration projects.
What have you learned by this approach?
That it works. To make it work requires that a very large team of people works very hard all day, every day for years. But if the owner’s goals are clear, and the team is working under a contract that puts their interests completely in alignment with the owner’s interests, that that monumental level of effort is exactly what you can get out of a team. Hospital construction in California is some of the most complex, most strictly regulated, construction in the world and it is extraordinarily unforgiving of oversights and errors. To deliver a hospital on time, on budget with no compromises to what the owner and community want is about as ambitious as it gets in construction at this stage in our industry’s evolution.
How has this changed construction projects for the system? For the industry?
It’s been a tremendous proof of concept for how Sutter Health would like to deliver its projects. And because the project has been written about in various trade publications and has now won two awards for its delivery model, it does have the potential to be a game-changing project in the industry. I would like it to be just that. Our modern society deserves a rock-solid reliable delivery method for these critical facilities, and until now, in my opinion it has not had that.
If you have any questions for Digby or any member of the team, please feel free to let us know or send us your comments.
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.
Courtesy of DPR Construction
The contractors have finished drilling all 560 piers for the foundation of our new hospital! While more work continues around those piers, including concrete, pile caps, grade beams and the underground electrical and plumbing work, this is a significant step forward for the project. Very quickly, the crews will begin erecting steel at specific locations of the site (weather permitting). Later this week, perhaps as early as Friday if the weather permits, the largest crane yet on site will arrive to handle the steel loads. The crawler crane will reach a maximum height of 300 feet when it moves to the upper foundation.
Work is also moving along for the ramp connecting the garage to the main hospital driveway. Rain has caused delays in this area, setting the opening back to the end of February. This new access route will greatly improve traffic flow and convenience for our patients and visitors.
Also this week, the contractor took over Laurel Grove Hospital to begin abatement and deconstruction of the facility. A great deal of effort went into closing down the facility after the last patients were discharged at the end of December. Much of the equipment found new life at Eden, San Leandro Hospital and other Sutter Health affiliates. And many other organizations received supplies, equipment, furniture and more as staff cleaned out the last of the hospital before turning it over to DPR Construction. Some of the organizations that received supplies and equipment include MedShare (with much of the equipment going to Haiti relief efforts), Castro Valley Unified School District, Davis Street Family Resource Center, Fairmont Hospital and UC Berkeley Vision Sciences, to name just a few. We’ll share more information on this effort in a post from Eden Project Director Bob Bosold later this week. Laurel Grove is now secured by fencing as crews begin their detailed work before removing the building in March.
by Jeffrey W. Wright, Heliplanners, Aviation Planning Consultants
Heliplanners is proud to have been involved with the replacement hospital project at Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley. One of the first items in this major project was to relocate the existing at-grade helistop (helicopter landing area) to make room for construction of the new hospital building. Heliplanners was brought on board to assist the overall project team with the site selection, planning, design and permitting for the new helistop.
The selected site provides ready access to the Emergency Department while meeting all aviation design criteria including the all-important airspace obstruction-clearance criteria. The site presented some challenges to build in an area that will be used throughout construction, and then link to the new hospital once it opens in 2013. We had to take into consideration the airspace clearance, existing structures, ongoing construction and most direct access to the Trauma Center. The first step was for the construction crews to prepare the site, which was to grade a small hill just 150 feet from the existing location.
With a nod toward overall community disaster preparedness, the new helistop is designed to accommodate aircraft as large as the Sikorsky Blackhawk, which is used by most military branches including the Coast Guard and National Guard. This allows the Medical Center to accommodate that helicopter for disaster relief in event of a major earthquake, wildfire, terrorist attack, airline or train accident, etc. Of course, the typical patient transports would be provided with much smaller helicopters locally by REACH, CALSTAR, Stanford LifeFlight and CHP.
Heliplanners assisted Sutter Health‘s project team by providing liaison and permitting assistance with the Federal Aviation Administration, Caltrans Division of Aeronautics and the Alameda County Airport Land Use Commission. We also assisted the project team with countless details related to construction of the helistop to ensure that, when completed, it would qualify for the Heliport Permit issued by Caltrans Division of Aeronautics during its final inspection. Caltrans inspected the helistop and issued the permit on October 27, 2009.
Heliplanners, based in Temecula, California, has assisted hospital, law enforcement, fire department and corporate clients with heliport development throughout the United States since 1987. In that time, we have been involved with well over 125 heliport projects in over 20 states. We congratulate Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley on the excellence of its approach to the entire hospital reconstruction project, providing a state-of-the-art medical center for Castro Valley residents.
By Bryan Daylor, Vice President, Ancillary & Support Services, Eden Medical Center
In my previous posts, I described how our “user” team approach to planning the new hospital Those of us who head up different functional areas at Eden worked in teams (consisting of managers, supervisors, staff and physicians) to determine the best way to improve the delivery of patient care in the new hospital by implementing industry best practices.
Our focus all along has been on patient safety and quality of care, efficient patient flow and effective use of skilled resources. This work has been an important opportunity to design a building that supports the process of care and enhances the experience for patients and caregivers. We were challenged with the puzzle of creating work space and flow in a new building, but in the end we feel we have achieved an excellent design for the new hospital.
While the construction teams are busy working on the visible sign of progress, we are planning for what goes inside the new building. Our teams are working with the project engineers and architects and some of the key users on what fills the space that we have so carefully designed: the structures and equipment that will be in each room of the new hospital. This space planning includes reviewing the elevations of casework, cabinets, counter tops and work surfaces to ensure that the work areas and surfaces align with work flow and support functions.
Although we have not selected the final medical equipment, we must plan for the equipment that goes into every room. We are taking inventory of the equipment needed and documenting the space allocation and utility needs (electrical, plumbing, data, cooling and ventilation) required for every piece of equipment in every room. There are more than 8,500 pieces of equipment inventoried for the new hospital that must be accounted for in the room-by-room layouts. Over the past four weeks, the team has worked together to review each floor to ensure the drawings are accurate and inclusive of the specific details required to support the equipment and functionality of the space.
The group is also researching and evaluating technological advancements in every discipline to anticipate changes and ensure that, when the new hospital opens, we will have the most up-to-date equipment for our staff and our patients.
I welcome you comments and questions.
Photos courtesy of DPR Construction
Construction continues this week as workers focus on a temporary pedestrian bridge from the parking garage to the hospital entrance. This is a critical part of the walkway changes that make way for new access roads and fire lane to the site and to the parking garage. Work is also continuing on the relocation of the helipad, moving approximately 150 feet north.
The most noticeable work is with the large drill, crane and cement truck on site to drill and pour the piers. The work is steady, with 10 to 12 piers poured each day until all 570 are complete. We’ll post soon about the purpose of these piers and what to expect over the next month as the work advances.
Sutter Medical Center Faces Costly Delay, Loss of Construction Jobs as State Deadline Looms
The California Nurses Association (CNA) has filed a lawsuit that threatens the future of the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley now under construction.
“That the nurses union would sue to stop us from building our new hospital after a decade of planning is extremely frustrating to our employees, physicians, volunteers and patients who have worked so hard and so long for this,” said Eden Medical Center President & CEO George Bischalaney. “This political action by the union hurts everyone, puts thousands of jobs in jeopardy, threatens the future of the hospital and could cause irreparable harm to the community.
“This type of action drives up the cost of health care for everyone. After an exhaustive and inclusive public process, the union’s lawsuit could mean will not be able to meet the State’s 2013 deadline to replace the Eden hospital. Not meeting the deadline could result in closure of current hospital before the new hospital is completed and certified for occupancy.”
The Environmental Impact Report and land use entitlements were approved by the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council, the Alameda County Planning Commission and Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The first phase of construction has been approved by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Alameda County granted necessary permits and construction started July 1.
The new medical campus will create more than a 1,000 union jobs during the three years of construction and pump millions of dollars into the local economy benefiting many local businesses.
Construction crews demolished the vacant Pine Cone Apartment complex and began relocating the helipad and are readying the site for the foundation of the $320 million, seven-story, 130-bed hospital and regional trauma center. The new medical center will expand needed emergency and urgent care services. A new 80,000-square-foot medical office building for physicians is also planned. Sutter Health is financing the entire project with no public taxes or funding.
Sutter has invested more than $200 million in capital in Eden Medical Center’s facilities since acquiring the hospital from the Eden Township Healthcare District in 1998. The new hospital and medical office buildings would bring this investment in the regional medical campus and trauma center to more than $600 million by 2013.
By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center
Health care reform is on the agenda, again. The stakes are high, but our President is determined to make some significant changes. As the discussion moves from general to specifics, special interests are staking out their positions. None of the stakeholders—hospitals included—wants to feel the impact or be at a disadvantage.
Amidst the demand for cost reduction and health care coverage for all, there is and must be continued investment in care. Physicians demand it. They expect to be able to practice with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to produce outcomes that meet national, state and local quality standards. Patients demand it. They want to know that their local hospital has the right number of well-trained staff as well as the latest diagnostic and treatment equipment, and contemporary facilities.
With this backdrop of conflicting needs, Eden Medical Center is about to begin a three-year project that will result in the replacement of the Castro Valley hospital. The project cost is estimated to be $320 million. The current 55-year-old building is anything but contemporary. With few private rooms, small operating rooms and inadequate support space for clinical services, a new hospital is very much needed.
Eden Medical Center has served the community well, but it was not designed for patient comfort and needs, more for staff needs and functionality. While our project may seem ill timed given the uncertainty of hospital reimbursement, we are required to meet California legislated standards for seismic safety in hospitals. And it truly is needed.
We’ll celebrate our long sought goal with a ground-breaking ceremony on July 1st. Then we’ll spend the next three years continuing the investment in the new buildings and equipment, while observing and hoping that decision makers do not enact legislation that essentially penalizes us for the commitment we are making. When we celebrate the grand opening and our new beginning early in 2013, it should be with the same hope and dreams as those who celebrated the first ceremony in 1954.
By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
After what has seemed like a very long journey, we now have permits in hand, and contractors have already mobilized on the Eden Medical Center campus to get it ready for construction of the highly anticipated new hospital. We want to keep you informed about the project, and let you know what you can expect in the next week and throughout the month of July.
Fencing around the perimeter of the construction area is almost complete! The fencing goes along our property line on Stanton Avenue, through our campus, and along the adjacent apartment buildings. We are also installing a gate at one of our Stanton Avenue entrances to limit access to the area only to construction vehicles.
Tree stump removal on the future helipad site will begin later this week. The new site is approximately 150 feet north of the present location, as close as possible to the Eden Medical Trauma Center. Two days have been allocated for this work. Grading of the new helipad site will begin as early as June 26th, and will take up to three weeks to complete.
Demolition of the vacant Pine Cone Apartments on Stanton Avenue will begin July 1st. The structure will be demolished in one day, and it will take about two full weeks to break down and remove the debris.
Hours of work will be from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but is subject to change as work moves into subsequent phases. We will keep you posted on construction schedules.
The Alameda County Fire Department has requested use of the vacant Pine Cone Apartment building for training purposes on June 29 and 30, prior to demolition. Firefighters in training often use vacant buildings to practice search, rescue and simulated fire control. You will see firefighters on site on these dates, using smoke generators (no real fire) and equipment. Their life-saving work is a benefit to the community and we are proud to support their efforts.
If you have any questions or concerns about the preparation phase of construction, please comment on our blog, and we will respond promptly.