Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital Replacement Project

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In December 2010, contractors broke ground on a new $394-million Naval Hospital at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Receiving funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the team has three-and-a-half years to complete what would typically be a seven-year construction project.

The new facility is being built on a new 67-acre site near the main gate and will include a 500,000-square-foot hospital, a 500,000-square-foot parking structure and ancillary facilities including the central utilities plant.

Tightening the timeline

The design team went to work and found innovative ways to speed up design elements and begin construction very quickly. The government team developed a robust bridging document that contained a fixed floor plan, layout, and exterior aesthetics, taking out uncertainty for the bidders. Contractors were given 30 days to review the RFP and make a proposal for the project.

Clark Construction and McCarthy formed a joint venture to produce the successful proposal. HKS is serving as the architect and designer of record to ensure the success of the design-build procurement. These established companies, along with the government staff involved, established an experienced team to manage all aspects of the project. Clark/McCarthy and the government team mapped out a schedule for design reviews and early-site, equipment, procurement, and construction activities to ensure the January 2014 deadline is met.

“We have done process mapping so that we can hold people accountable to what they are asked to do and when,” said Cmdr. Whit Robinson, resident officer in charge of construction. “We immediately do a root-cause analysis to identify and correct bottlenecks. We have close coordination and co-location of players to facilitate the tight turnaround times for design packages.”

Another way the team has sped up the process is by planning medical equipment into the facility design and then assigning the contractor to procure the equipment. Commander Robinson anticipates this will save time, money, and coordination.

“We have streamlined the process of how we can deliver a hospital of this size in the amount of time given” said David Williams, project manager for design. “This streamlining has allowed us to go forward at this speed. We integrate all information from the design side to the construction side to make sure what we’re building is what we planned.”

The designers are also using building information modeling (BIM), an interactive 3-D simulator that helps designers find and fix space conflicts before they reach the construction phase.

“Using BIM, our designers search for clashes in the design, then we can have offices in different geological locations collaborate to solve the problem,” Cmdr. Robinson said. “We plan to take these models at the end of the project and deliver them to the final user so they can use it for facility maintenance and repair.

Using evidence-based design and other standards

The Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Replacement Project is following evidence-based design to increase throughput and promote healing through lighting, private rooms, design, and other elements commonly used. The team also looked at other military hospitals including the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to compile lessons learned.

The new hospital will be all electronic, using a fiber-optics network, an electronic health record that communicates with outlying clinics on and off-base.

In addition, the project will meet LEED Gold standards. There is clean-power generation, PV panels, green roofs, low-impact landscaping on-site and solar hot water. Camp Pendleton also has high standards for low-impact development. The design incorporates ways to protect the surrounding habitat. During the design, the team searched for endangered species in the area that might be affected by the project. This research led the team to purchase 40 acres of mitigation land for an endangered bird species, and the new hospital will have a vernal pool to support endangered shrimp.

During construction, the project has two biomonitors available and a resident archaeologist in case anything is uncovered.

Even with the tight schedule and considerations for land, equipment, and design, the team never loses sight of what’s most important — the people for whom the hospital is being built.

“The real stakes in this project are the wounded warriors, those who have given so much,” Cmdr. Robinson said. “We will have plaquards on site dedicated to those warriors. We are staying dedicated to the folks who give so much on a daily basis.”

-by Patricia Chaney

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