The state-of-the-art education and research facilities consisting of the UCSD Medical Center’s cardiovascular ambulatory, clinical and inpatient care represented the first of its kind in San Diego, given that they are housed under one roof. The finished center, pursuing LEED-NC certification, features 28 intensive care and intermediate care rooms, 22 daybed rooms, 18 emergency department exam rooms, 21 clinic exams rooms, seven echocardiogram rooms, four cardiac-catheterization labs, four cardiac-sized operating rooms, imaging labs and research facilities.

The team, including UCSD, DPR, RTKL and the engineering and subcontracting firms, embraced a collaborative, high performance team approach and achieved unprecedented success in healthcare, sustainability and collaboration. “At the onset of the project, we determined that the only way to succeed was to do this as a team,” according to Randy Leopold, the university’s principal architect for the project.

Recognizing the need for a roadmap to drive the team towards the same goals, the stakeholders developed a mission statement: “As a team, inspire.” They also set core values - integrity, openness, enjoyment, progressive, and determination - which provided a clear focus for the entire team. Delineation between companies was blurred, and the team was able to function as a collective unit and perform effectively in the office and in the field. When ever-changing activies ensued, individuals joining the project observed the level of cohesion and followed suit.

“As unexpected and highly complex issues arose while building the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, our foundation of trust allowed our team to find timely and non-traditional solutions to problems that could have led to delays of many months,” said DPR Project Manager Carlos Crabtree. “Because of our creative strategies, this project is ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Also contributing to the success and taking collaboration even further was the use of full-scale Building Information Modeling (BIM). Leadership from all disciplines pooled resources to accomplish pipe routing, conduit and ductwork, systems, assemblies, and sequencing for use by all trades, including interior drywall partitions and equipment supports.

The construction was completed in December 2010—four weeks ahead of schedule, with a public opening in spring 2011.

BIM Features

  • MEP Coordination
  • 4D Sequencing
  • Constructability Analysis

Green Features

The project achieved LEED Gold certification. The facility design takes full advantage of the movement of the sun with shading devices and massing elements to minimize heat gain and reduce energy consumption.  The design also embraces the idea of blurring the lines between interior and exterior regions, to provide the facility with a “natural” feel that picks up on the stunning geography of the nearby coastal canyons.


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