Following several months of structural steel installation, the crews from Herrick Steel have dismantled the massive 300-foot crane and removed it from the site, off to another project. The crane was a familiar sight – visible from miles away – as crews quickly built the structural steel tower that now defines the new hospital building.
Work is continuing now on a critical phase of the project, the shear wall installation. This work will continue through fall 2010, and is a time when the building really begins to take shape. Several crews are also on site at once, working with steel, welding, concrete, rebar, drainage, utilities, and more.
The Laurel Grove site has been cleared and is now paved to serve as parking for the construction workers through 2013. The former parking area across from the Emergency Department will serve as a construction staging area until crews begin work there on the medical office building. As part of the project’s commitment to responsible “green” practices, virtually 100% of the Laurel Grove Hospital building, materials, foundation and landscaping has been recycled.
Question of the week: What will happen to the flag and the tree used in the Topping Off Ceremony?
The flag will move to the peak of the south side of the building, at the height of the main tower, throughout construction. The tree, a Weeping Norway Spruce, is being cared for by the landscape architect and will find a new home in the gardens of the new hospital landscape.
Courtesy of DPR Construction
The crane has left the building! The 300-foot crane brought on site as part of the structural steel erection has been dismantled and removed from the site, now that the crews from Herrick Steel have reached the highest point.
Work continues on the shear wall installation, underground electrical and plumbing installation, metal decking and much more on site.
With hundreds of workers on site daily, parking is critical. The Laurel Grove site is graded and ready for pavement, and will be home to construction parking for the remainder of the project.
Topping Off Ceremony on April 27
The construction of the new Sutter hospital is quickly reaching another major milestone. On Tuesday, April 27, we will have our Topping Off Ceremony at the site at 10:00 a.m. We invite our employees, physicians, volunteers, neighbors and friends to join us for this special event.
The topping off ceremony is a tradition within the construction industry that marks the moment when the highest structural point in the building construction has been attained. The last steel beam is signed and hoisted into place. An evergreen tree and US flag are placed on the beam to symbolize that the building project has proceeded well and safely, and to bring good fortune to the future inhabitants of the building.
You can also be a part of history in the making!
Join us at one of the dates and times below to add your signature to the steel beam that will be affixed to the top of the steel tower. The beam will be located inside the construction parking zone across from the Emergency entrance, with convenient public parking in the nearby garage. Our staff will be on hand with markers at these time:
Friday, April 23
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, April 26
7:00 -9:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27
7:00 – 9:00 a.m.
You may also sign the memorial book that will be placed in a time capsule for the new building. If you miss our beam signing, the book will be available all year at various events for signatures and messages.
Our thanks to DPR Construction and every worker on the project for bringing us one step closer to a new hospital.
Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
While California earthquake safety legislation is the driving force behind new hospital construction such as ours, earthquake safety doesn’t begin or end with new construction. For many years, Eden Medical Center has participated in the California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) by placing seismic motion sensors in the building to gather vital information when an earthquake strikes.
Recently, the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project team reached agreement with the California Department of Conservation to place sensors in the new hospital once it is completed. The agreement is good news for seismic research, and it ensures that Castro Valley joins other Sutter hospitals with seismic sensors, including Sutter Coast Hospital, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Novato Community Hospital. New construction at Mills Peninsula and California Pacific Medical Center will also have seismic instrumentation to provide essential data on San Andreas fault activity and to record the performance of the unique seismic structural systems employed at these facilities.
The instruments are part of a statewide network of strong motion instruments that ensures any strong ground motion, from a moderate to larger size earthquake, in California will be recorded.
Monitoring the Data
The CSMIP installations are advanced earthquake monitoring devices called accelerographs, which are placed at various representative geologic foundation materials to measure the ground shaking. When activated by earthquake shaking, the devices produce a record from which important characteristics of ground motion (acceleration, velocity, displacement, duration) can be calculated.
Accelerographs that are installed in buildings such as hospitals, bridges, dams, utilities and industrial facilities are selected by engineers and scientists representing industry, government, and universities. The program has installed more than 900 stations, including 650 ground-response stations, 170 buildings, 20 dams and 60 bridges. Many of these installations can be found locally along the Hayward fault (see map for more information).
The Office of Statewide Health and Planning and Development (OSHPD) arranged for CSMIP to begin instrumenting hospital buildings in 1989, and the program has instrumented 29 hospitals and health facilities throughout California.
Significant strong motion records have been helpful in shaping California’s seismic safety standards. Data gathered from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, for example, led to changes in California’s Uniform Building Code and gave engineers a greater understanding about the integrity of building structures after an earthquake.
The CSMIP is a program within the California Geological Survey of the California Department of Conservation and is advised by the Strong Motion Instrumentation Advisory Committee, a committee of the California Seismic Safety Commission. Current program funding is provided by an assessment on construction costs for building permits issued by cities and counties in California, with additional funding from the California Department of Transportation, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the California Department of Water Resources, and other agencies.
To learn more about the data collection and dissemination process, visit the CSMIP Website. To view existing data gathered from recent California earthquakes, visit the Center for Engineering Strong Motion Data.
All photos courtesy of the California Department of Conservation.
Courtesy of DPR Construction
This week the sun is shining on the project site as crews work on the most critical part of the project: the sheerwalls. The fast pace of the steel erection has made the project visible from the surrounding communities and helped the new hospital entrance take shape:
The steel erection for the main patient tower was done quickly enough to allow a two-week break for more steel production while crews work on the exterior sheerwalls. Below is the first wall completed last week:
From a distance, the steel tower overshadows the detailed work that takes place throughout the site. Here, a welder works to weld the edge steel to the deck beams:
We’ll take a closer look at the workers in our future blogs. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments for the Project Team, staff or hospital leaders.
Photos courtesy of DPR Construction.
It’s been a busy week since the opening of the new helipad site on October 28. Construction continued right through the ceremony and is in full swing again this week. Here are a few highlights, with more to come!
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.
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.
Many of you may be wondering why we chose the existing site of Eden Medical Center to build the replacement hospital. In Chapter V of the Environmental Impact Report, the project architect and environmental impact report consultant (ESA) prepared and analyzed alternative sites and concluded that 20103 Lake Chabot Road was still the best choice for building Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, an affiliate of Sutter Health.
However, building a new hospital next to an existing one presents some interesting challenges. The construction and design teams had to come up with a multi-phased approach to building the medical campus while keeping the existing Eden Medical Center in full operation. The construction of the hospital is to occur in seven main phases. So, it is necessary to provide seven sets of civil construction drawings where one set is normally provided!
For example, phase one begins with the demolition of the Pine Cone Apartments at 20004 Stanton Street, and four existing medical office buildings located next door to Eden. Right now, we have no access to portions of the site because certain structures are in the way. Demolition of existing buildings is a logical and intuitive start to the construction process.
Phase two consists of what is referred to as “make ready” work. This is work that must be completed before construction on the main hospital can even begin. A good example of “make ready” work is the relocation of the existing helistop (helicopter landing pad, used for the emergency transport of trauma patients). The existing helistop is located next to the new hospital. Helicopters cannot land safely at the existing helistop location during construction of the new hospital. Therefore, the helistop must be moved just 150 feet before work can start on the new hospital. In order to move the new helistop, we need to level a hill, provide drainage, provide flight path clearance, ensure adequate lighting, etc. And remember, full access to the new or existing helistop must be maintained at all times during the construction process!
Other types of “make ready” work include:
- Construction of a large retaining wall to surround a portion of the site. The wall supports a critical roadway around the new hospital site.
- Construction of a temporary path from the new helistop to the existing Eden Trauma Center so that patients can have access to the existing Trauma Center
- Build a new bridge from the new road to the existing parking garage (where handicap parking will be relocated during construction)
- Finally, demolition of the current helistop.
These are just a few examples of “make ready” work that will need to be performed. As you can see, it can get pretty complicated. The need for significant construction phasing is what creates a lot of the site design complexity.
We estimate that phases one and two will take six to eight months to complete! Hospital construction can begin in earnest upon completion of the “make ready” work.
Where are all the pipes & wires?!
Even more complex than all the preparation to erect the new hospital is figuring out where all the underground utilities are. We’re talking about 50-plus years of modifications of pipes, wires and sewers, some of which have been abandoned and no one knows exactly where they are. The contractor needs to know where all critical utilities are located so they can abandon or re-route them to fit the needs of the new construction. In order to locate them, the contractor needs to “pothole” (dig them up) to make sure that they are located where we think they are. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. We’ll also have to build a temporary storm drain system to capture rainwater during construction. The final storm drain system will not be completed until 2012, with the completion of the new hospital.
Taking Down Eden—It’s Not a Quick Good-Bye!
Demolishing the existing hospital—a process we call deconstruction because of the selective, targeted work involved and the recycling process—won’t take place until the new hospital is up and running and all patients have been safely transferred. Since the main entrance road to the new hospital is just ten feet away from the existing hospital building we can’t exactly get in there with a wrecking ball or explosives! So special safety precautions will be provided by the contractor to ensure that the hospital is removed safely and efficiently. We are all concerned about getting things done safely, so deconstruction will be slow and methodical over a six month period.
Being in compliance with environmental safety laws also presents challenges during deconstruction. Eden’s ripe old age means that there will be a certain amount of hazardous material that needs to be removed and properly disposed of before demolition and recycling of the old materials can begin.
When the deconstruction is finally completed, the bottom basement floor will most likely be left in place (to save money) and stay intact since it will be located underground. So you could say, a little bit of Eden will remain forever!
If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below this post. (Click on the title of the post, and the comment box will appear below it.) We will respond as quickly as possible. We want to hear from you.
My name is Bryan Daylor, and I am Vice President of Ancillary and Support Services at Eden Medical Center. I’m also on the “user” team that has had significant input on the design of the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley. Those of us who head up different functional areas at Eden worked collaboratively with our respective 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 is on patient safety and quality of care, efficient patient flow and effective use of skilled resources. This work was 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.
It’s noteworthy that the replacement hospital for Eden will serve as a prototype for “best practices” operating models to be deployed to other Sutter Health affiliates that are building new hospitals of similar size and scope.
In the beginning…
When our user teams initially convened, the project size and scope had already been defined. We were challenged to look at how we do things today, and then be creative in how we could design this building to improve they way we provide care in the future. Some of the key goals of these teams were to look at quality and safety of care, efficiency for providers and an enhanced experience for the patient. All of these concepts had to be balanced with ways to drive down the operational cost of the hospital—hence efficiency! We looked at things like distances traveled by providers, adjacency of departments and services that work together, etc.
Acting as stewards of already-scarce resources, we decided that the hospital building would be designed for predominately clinical and direct patient care services, while almost all administrative functions would be housed in the adjoining medical office building. Hospital space costs more than twice that of regular medical office space to build and operate. So, our goal was to maximize clinical areas within the hospital and minimize the administrative functions. With the convenience of the connecting medical office building, placing the administrative services there helped us meet our budget goals without compromising the project or the future operations of the organization.
We deployed twelve different teams representing the various functional areas of the hospital, each looking at their role along the patient continuum of care and planning the layout of the hospital to support the care process. The user group contributed a wealth of knowledge that was invaluable to the development of the design of functional spaces for patient care.
Staff from all functional areas, including nursing, interventional services (surgery), sterile processing, radiology and imaging, women’s health, emergency and trauma, cardio-diagnostic testing, therapeutics, pharmacy, laboratory, and support services such as plant operations, facilities, food service, housekeeping and shipping & receiving, worked on the design of their respective units and then determined which services fit together. Efficient processing, and patient flow and experience, were key factors considered in these collaborative design sessions. Physicians from the emergency department, surgery, medicine, obstetrics and radiology also participated in the design discussions to ensure the efficiency of their part of the care process.
We worked with architects from The Devenney Group on the rough design of these areas, examining the most effective alternatives for organizing these services with consideration of services that are complementary to one another. The teams worked through several iterations of plans, building on the previous ideas and concepts from team members. The architects revised these layouts several times in draft form before a final schematic design was reached. This collaborative approach brought together years of healthcare delivery experience, as well as years of hospital and operational design experience to result in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing design that met Sutter Health’s project and budget goals.
The management team and physicians are proud of the work they have done and are excited to be a part of building the health care services of the future. Please feel free to comment here, or email me if you have any questions about the internal layout of the new medical center.