Originally posted Monday, 13 September 2010

COAA Project Leadership Awards

Project Leadership Award

The Project Leadership Award is COAA’s annual awards program that recognizes Owners’ excellence in project delivery.

The Award is given to the Owner who achieves excellence by demonstrating exceptional leadership and project management skills which includes; visioning, integrity, team building, communication, fairness, problem resolution, decision-making and plan implementation.

Silver Award

Kaiser Foundation Hospital—Kaiser Downey Medical Center

After a master plan and extensive study, Kaiser Foundation Hospital proceeded with the design and construction of the new Kaiser Downey Medical Center to replace the existing Kaiser Bellflower Medical Center, in response to state-mandated seismic requirements. HMC Architects conducted an extensive study of the campus to determine the validity of upgrading existing facilities, versus building an entirely new campus on a virgin site. The team evaluated three potential sites along with cost options and schedules for a 352-bed hospital, medical office buildings, and supporting parking structures. The study considered cost, time, and the disruptive nature of an upgrade project to the daily operations of a hospital. The outcome resulted in the new $390 million Kaiser Downey Medical Center Replacement Hospital project, which consisted of a 650,000 square foot hospital, a medical office building and a 43,000 square foot central plant.

The Owner led a team of HMC Architects and McCarthy Building Company, starting in 2003 with a traditional design/bid/build process. The team quickly embraced a much more integrated project approach; long before integrated project approaches became main stream.

With this collaboration and the owner’s outstanding leadership, this state-of-the-art hospital was completed three months ahead of schedule and approximately 17 percent under budget without changing the project scope. Even more impressive is that this was accomplished during a period when construction costs, material costs and labor shortages were escalating at unprecedented rates.

Over 95 percent of the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center hospital beds are in family-friendly private rooms featuring pull-out beds for overnight stays. It is also equipped to handle the more than 3,400 annual births that were typical at the former hospital. The new hospital has 18 private birthing and recovery suites and one of the region’s largest and most advanced neonatal intensive care units.

The six-story facility meets stringent state seismic requirements, which will allow it to continue providing its services to the surrounding communities in the event of an earthquake. The new hospital has a full-service emergency department and a 24-hour pharmacy. It includes a variety of environmentally friendly features such as large windows to allow for an abundance of natural light and thereby reduce the dependence on artificial lighting, carpeting made from recycled materials, use of 100 percent fresh air and no recirculation, and paint made from non-toxic materials.

“The Kaiser Permanente Medical Center coalesces with existing outpatient facilities through a concourse that runs along the spine of the site, creating an integrated campus,” said Brian Menke, Associate Project Manager with Kaiser Permanente. “Heavily utilized departments, including admitting, outpatient labs, pharmacies, and cafeterias are located off this concourse, which provides unmistakable way-finding for patients and visitors.”

One of the most notable achievements of the project was development of a design that abided by Kaiser’s new templated building system while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future changes in Kaiser’s delivery of healthcare services.

“Kaiser’s commitment to discovering and delivering better ways to ensure the health and safety of its patients, doctors and staff is to be commended,” said Robert Kain, Senior VP, Healthcare for HMC Architects. “This unique design process challenged the team of architects, engineers, users, and other stakeholders to develop creative, cost-effective solutions while maintaining a commitment to providing standardized care across various hospital locations and cities.”

“Kaiser’s confidence in our team and willingness to consider options was invaluable to maintaining a smooth construction process,” added McCarthy VP Greg Schoonover. “Also having the foresight to have the entire project team located onsite contributed greatly to the communication, motivation, monitoring and training for the project. Regular meetings were held to tackle any open issues and ensure timely resolution. To further reduce inspection deficiencies, daily meetings were held with inspectors, quality control staff and superintendents to review the previous day’s inspection results, prioritize that day’s inspections to make sure the work was on track, and review upcoming inspections.”