Trio of Projects for World-Renowned City of Hope
Starting with Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center in 2005, DPR Builds Collaborative Relationship with Biomedical Research, Treatment and Educational Institution Using Building Information Modeling
With construction underway a mere 50 yards from the busy main patient drop-off area on City of Hope’s Duarte, CA campus, DPR is nearing completion on one of the largest medical research facility projects it has built in the region. At the same time, crews are fast at work on another major project on the same campus. The projects are:
Project: Amini Transfusion Medicine Center
Client: City of Hope
- 119,000-sq.-ft. Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, and
- 45,000-sq.-ft. Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes and Genetic Research Center expansion, which kicked off construction in August.
Earlier this year, DPR also completed the new 60,000-sq.-ft. Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center, its first project for this world-renowned biomedical research and treatment center. City of Hope has pioneered some of the most important scientific advances of the past century and is now working with DPR and its project teams using some elements of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP ON AMINI
DPR won the negotiated Amini Center project in 2005. DPR had a strong relationship with architect, EwingCole, and a successful working relationship on the American Red Cross blood processing center project in Atlanta. “The success story on the Amini project was really the ability of EwingCole and DPR to perform as a team and execute the client’s goals,” said DPR’s Dave Seastrom.
The Amini Center is one of the largest, hospital-based donor centers of blood and platelets in the country. Targeting LEED®-NC Silver certification, the Amini Center consolidates City of Hope’s blood collection and processing programs and provides a modern, comfortable environment for patients, donors and staff within a facility that will be the owner’s first LEED-certified building on campus. Through its collaborative approach, the project team completed the project on budget and ahead of the original schedule in April.
BUILDING BECKMAN RESEARCH CENTER
The relationship that DPR began with City of Hope on the Amini Center project, combined with its experience on other research facility projects, led to the win of the Beckman Research Center, a highly complex job with challenges that the project team has met at every juncture.
Project: Arnold & Mabel Beckman Cancer Research Center
Client: City of Hope
Some of the foremost challenges relate to what DPR Project Manager Michael Konetzke describes as the building’s “postage stamp size site.” The project is boxed in on all sides, requiring precise logistical coordination from a construction standpoint. “Have you ever tried to lick a postage stamp that you’re standing on?” Konetzke asked. “To do it, you have to be extremely flexible. That’s the key. Our team has been very flexible working right in the middle of an operating campus.”
Because the site is surrounded by buildings on all sides, a shoring system was needed in the heavily rock-laden subsurface that the facility sits on—a task that involved excavating and drilling through 35 feet of dense rock material. Crews then placed a mat slab for the foundation that averaged 5.5 feet thick and encompassed more than 5,000 cubic yards of concrete, poured in a single 12-hour period on a Friday night. The massive pour required some 500 truck trips and full use of three batch plants with four pumps rolling simultaneously.
Another significant challenge on the project has been the intensive coordination effort required to install the two rooftop air handler units that feed the building. The footprint of the units alone is enormous, spanning roughly 2,500 sq. ft. and taking up about a third of the available square footage on the roof. The project team’s use of BIM proved to be an essential tool on this, as well as the other two projects. It was particularly useful in the MEP work on the rooftop, which not only included the massive air handlers but also a large expansion of ductwork, some 20 feet wide by 12 feet tall.
“The roof would have been virtually impossible to construct using a traditional light table or paper-type coordination process,” said Eric Larsen, DPR MEP engineer on the project. “Even as it is, it’s a bit of a jungle gym. It is truly amazing when you climb up there and start looking at duct work that is 24 feet up into the air on these huge steel members.”
Despite additional challenges, which included rerouting a host of existing underground utilities around the footprint of the building, crews have not created any unplanned shutdowns more significant than a sprinkler on the fully operational campus.
Designed by architect Perkins+Will, the facility’s intended usage is reflected in its unique and striking design, both inside and out. The sleek building features a curved glass façade. Glass patterns in the punched out windows on the west side simulate DNA strips, while some of the interior flooring reflects genetic marker signs among other touches.
BUILDING AN INTEGRATED PROJECT DELIVERY TEAM
DPR’s third project on the City of Hope campus is the Gonda Center, which broke ground following a highly successful design phase aided by the team’s adoption of an IPD approach. EwingCole, also the architect on the Amini Center project, the owner, and DPR initially contemplated proceeding under an Integrated Form of Agreement, a multiparty contract where the owner, designers and contractors share risks and rewards.
Project: The Leslie & Susan Gonda
(Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Center
Client: City of Hope
While the parties ultimately entered into a different form of agreement for the project, they did employ certain processes consistent with principles of IPD.
“DPR has worked on several IPD projects, and we are a huge supporter of lean, integrated project delivery systems, along with the use of BIM,” said Seastrom. “City of Hope, particularly Dick Thompson, wanted to implement processes consistent with IPD on the Gonda project.”
During the design phase, the team brought on design/build MEP subcontractors to participate in the Target Value Design (TVD) process, a lean construction tool that incorporates cost as a factor in design to minimize waste and create greater value. The idea is that once a target cost is set for a project it should never be exceeded.
Currently under construction, the Gonda Center project is slated for completion in September 2010. The new four-story research laboratory facility, targeting LEED-NC Silver certification, will be connected to an existing structure, doubling the space for investigations into diabetes and other serious metabolic diseases.
Posted on June 8, 2011
Last Updated August 23, 2022