Clark/McCarthy Incorporates Medical and Construction Innovations on New Stanford Hospital
Construction of the new Stanford Hospital part of the extensive Stanford University Medical Center Renewal project will bring the campus a new 824,000-square foot replacement hospital designed to accommodate advances in medical technology, increase capacity, and meet new seismic safety standards. The hospital will have 368 individual patient rooms, and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment rooms including 17 operating rooms, 11 interventional/radiology image-guided rooms, five MRIs, four CTs and one interventional MRI. The building will also feature an expanded Emergency Department, and new employee parking structure.
Ground was broken in May 2013 with completion projected for 2017 and entry into service in 2018. Construction is currently on schedule. With structural steel and concrete in place, workers are now erecting the exterior wall structures.
Bert Hurlbut, Stanford Health Care's Vice President of new Stanford Hospital Construction, describes the build as "opulent," with its state of the art facilities, along with five gardens, walking trails and a meditation room for patients and guests.
The building was designed by Rafael ViÃ±oly Architects and is being built by Clark/McCarthy, a joint venture between Clark Construction Group and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Clark/McCarthy has previously delivered a number of other large, complex healthcare "megaprojects" throughout the state, including the $620 million LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, the $539 million California Health Care Facility in Stockton and the $450 million naval hospital Camp Pendleton Replacement project in San Diego County.
The new Stanford Hospital will meet the strict new seismic safety requirements set out by California Senate Bill 1953. The building will be supported by 206 base isolation pendulums, which sit below each steel column in the structure. In the event of an earthquake, the base isolators, produced by Vallejo EPS, allow the building to shift back and forth, minimizing impact. The facility is designed to remain functional after an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.
The hospital has other emergency preparedness measures that will allow it to be operational for 96 hours in the event of an incident. These include storage tanks for 100,000 gallons of water on the site, and five large emergency generators.
Greg Schoonover is a Project Executive for Clark/McCarthy, the general contractor building the new Stanford Hospital, pointed out that the base isolators allow for a total of 6 feet of lateral motion. The crawl spaces around all those units presented an opportunity. Schoonover explained that since the air needed to be circulated in any case, it made sense to use the low below ground temperatures to cool the specialized rooms in the hospital housing data processing and communications equipment.
Similarly, the design team has added a technology to reclaim water from condensation on A/C units and use that for irrigation of the hospital's rooftop gardens.
An attractive feature of the design is the use of glass panel walls from the fourth to the seventh floor. "The exterior glass walls are a safety laminate of two times 3/8-inch glass," explained Hurlbut, "Then there is a 6-inch cavity before the interior glass. The gap contains a venetian blind system that automatically lowers when outdoor temperatures rise."
Within the rooms, air quality is maintained by an efficient system that circulates air from registers at floor level and out return registers near the ceiling. It is not the usual design, Hurlbut noted, and said it required more space and ductwork in the walls between patient rooms.
Laser scanning is becoming an important tool in construction and Schoonover said the new Stanford Hospital team has utilized its Faro Focus 3-D Scanner in novel ways. The team is using the scanner to review and document the reaction of structural steel to loads imposed on them. Data is collected on the elevation of structural members prior to load, providing a precise pre-load elevation shot. The structure is then loaded with concrete dead weight. A "post-load" scan of the structure is then taken, giving an exact picture of the structure's reaction to this weight.
The new Stanford Hospital team is also using laser scanning to monitor floor flatness. By analyzing a scanned area's point cloud with respect to elevation, the team can reveal high and low points in the concrete floor. Schoonover said using the laser scanner to achieve floor flatness as precisely as possible is critical in the health care context, where floor flatness can impact intricate surgery procedures.
The construction team is also making full use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) techniques. BIM is a tool that allows users to create highly accurate 3-D models. It supports decision-making, helps identify spatial conflicts and facilitates communication on construction projects. The new Stanford Hospital project team is taking advantage of the latest version of BIM technology. BIM 360 builds on traditional BIM by allowing team members to tie a QR code to specific locations contained within the BIM model, such as an entryway to a specific room. Scanning the code with a tablet or other mobile device, the user has instant access to a list of all construction issues and model geometry associated with that location.
Implementing QR codes at all desired locations and equipment sites gives team members instant access to BIM data. That's an advantage over older BIM versions that require users to navigate to a new location every time they change rooms.
The construction team is facilitating information sharing in the physical environment, too.
"One of the unique aspects of the project is that we are collocating all of the individual entities from the designer, to the owner to the individual subcontractors all in one location," said Hurlbut.
Tallying up the builder, designer, inspector, subcontractor and Stanford Medicine teams on the project, he said here are 900 workers on site as of the end of September, with 260 people in the office. Prior to groundbreaking, Stanford had a contractor survey the property and commissioned a design for construction offices maximized for parking and office space.
They ended up with a combination of 42 trailers configured as one big building complete with meeting and conference rooms. The combined office is directly across from the building site. And contrary to some time-honored traditions, the facilities are cleaned daily, the cubicles match, and there is no jumble of second-hand furniture. "It's outfitted appropriately for a project that will last 5-6 years,: said Hurlbut,
With Stanford, Clark/McCarthy, and other team members literally down the hall from one another, it is easy to get all the stakeholders together and resolve issues quickly. "It's really helped operations," Hurlbut added.