February 23, 2011

New Medical Tower Construction Completed at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Clark Construction Group - California, LP, recently reached substantial completion on the $310 million, 400,000 square-foot John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek expansion and remodel project, The Tom and Billie Long Patient Care Tower. The new addition will open to patients in April 2011 

The project adds a five-story (plus basement), 242-bed medical tower, central utility plant, and underground loading dock to John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek's existing facility. The new tower is a steel-braced frame with concrete slab over metal deck with exterior finishes including curtain wall, storefront, punched windows, precast, stone, metal, and plaster systems. The new main lobby features a skylight with glass rotunda. The tower's main roof supports a helipad and primary mechanical equipment. Roofs at lower levels feature gardens with trellises. Within the new tower, Clark built an imaging area, three operating room suites, pharmacy, kitchen, neonatal intensive care unit, post-partum unit, pediatric unit, critical care unit, emergency department observation unit, cath labs and medical/surgical units.

Working in close proximity to John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek's existing operations was a major project challenge. To allow for the new tower, portions of the existing hospital were demolished. New structural members were slotted through the operating medical facility, which required uncovering the existing structure to interlock those members. Portions of the new addition that were not built within the demolished space were built within six inches of the existing hospital and connected to the old facility with expansion joints. Throughout construction, Clark worked closely with John Muir Health and other authorities to minimize impact to ongoing medical services and to ensure the most critical services - the helipad and emergency room - were never disrupted.

The project team relied on three-dimensional Building Information Modeling (BIM) to navigate several logistical challenges. A BIM model was used for clash detection, coordination, material fabrication, real time delivery, and installation. The existing hospital has 14-foot floor-to-floor heights, two feet lower than the current hospital industry standard. The project team used the BIM model to maximize the limited space for all systems and minimize conflicts.

From the start of construction in January 2008 through completion three years later, the John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek project underwent 13,000 inspections. By pre-planning the work, cultivating positive relationships with inspection teams, and establishing a quality control program, the project incurred zero non-compliance citations.

Ratcliff, Emeryville, Calif., was the project’s architect with their major consultants Ove Arup and Partners, California Ltd., San Francisco, structural engineer, and Mazzetti & Associates, San Francisco, MEP engineer. On the owner’s side, the project was managed by John Muir Health’s Facilities Development department with assistance from Jtec HCM, Oakland.