Press Release: 01.20.2012

Beating the Schedule

Innovation, technology and teamwork lead to early completion of new Kaiser Permanente hospital in Fontana, California.

Kaiser Permanente Fontana Hospital
Fontana, California

“The efficiencies and workflow innovations that we were able to leverage during the construction of the Fontana Replacement Hospital will allow us to provide cutting-edge healthcare to the residents of the Inland Empire much sooner than we had initially anticipated.”
—Theresa Ashby, transition director, Kaiser Permanente

McCarthy is nearing an early completion of Kaiser Permanente’s new replacement hospital in Fontana, Calif. Anticipated to complete construction in March 2012, the 554,000-square-foot project is trending to finish approximately eight months ahead of schedule.

Serving as general contractor, McCarthy’s contract entailed construction of a 314-bed, 490,000-square-foot hospital, a 50,000-square foot hospital support building, and a 23,000-square-foot central utility plant. The new seven-level hospital features a plaster and curtain wall exterior with a structural braced-frame core. Prior to beginning construction of the hospital in May 2009, McCarthy built a new member and doctor parking lot and relocated utilities at the site.

The new state-of-the-art hospital, built to meet the new, more rigorous seismic safety standards established by the state of California, replaces the existing Kaiser Permanente Fontana Hospital tower; some of which will be converted for outpatient use.

A key aspect to delivering this complex healthcare project on time and within budget was the design-assist delivery method, which Kaiser Permanente, McCarthy, HMC Architects, Saiful Bouquet, Ted Jacob Engineering Group and the project’s key subcontractors utilized to complete the project design documents before construction began. Helping to further the design-assist effort, the project team utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordination technology to manage the project’s complex structural, architectural, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

“The Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center project was fully coordinated utilizing NavisworksTM and its clash detection capabilities. All overhead utilities were completely modeled to assist the project team in efficiently coordinating the extremely complex systems designed for this project,” explained McCarthy Project Manager Lucy Villanueva. “The ability to resolve design and constructability issues effectively and early in the process, directly attributed to significant cost savings in the field and allowed for a faster, more efficient installation.

“The largest benefit to the 3-D modeling process was the ability to prefabricate the majority of the plumbing, HVAC piping, ductwork and electrical systems. Over 60% of these systems were prefabricated in off-site facilities and shipped to the project just-in-time for installation. The prefabrication process was another key contributor to the reduction of the project duration, as well as increased the quality of work due to the controlled fabrication environment.”

One of the most challenging aspects of the project was the proximity of the new hospital to existing structures, located only 25 feet away from the existing medical office building and 70 feet away from other operational medical facilities.

“Building a major hospital facility on an extremely tight site surrounded by an operational medical center took a great deal of planning and coordination,” said Villanueva. “A further challenge that could have impacted the schedule was that the existing long-term acute care facility needed to remain in complete operation until the patients could be relocated to another facility in Ontario, which occurred 30 months after the project began.”

In the initial project design, the existing facility was located over the new Central Utility Plant (CUP), Emergency Generators, Loading Dock and Bulk Oxygen Storage Yard - all projects that were required for the completion of the new hospital. During construction of these essential facilities, due to the potential schedule impact that could have resulted while mitigating disruption to existing operations, McCarthy worked with Kaiser Permanente and the design team to propose alternative solutions.

“Kaiser Permanente’s on-site management team was instrumental in the success of this project with timely decision-making capabilities to support the project schedule,” said Villanueva.

As a result of this collaborative process, the CUP and Emergency Generators were relocated to areas not impacted by the existing building. The project team also worked with Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) to revise the project scope and negotiated an agreement allowing the hospital to receive a Staff and Stock Certification prior to the completion of the building demolition and site rework. This process allowed for construction of critical buildings and systems to be started 18 months earlier.

Another time-saving measure used during construction of the project was the innovative sequencing of the project build-out schedule, which McCarthy Project Superintendent Ray Stiffler calls the “Dedicated Work Area Method.” This strategic scheduling method allowed for more manpower to be put on the project while increasing the overall efficiency of construction.

The facility was not only built efficiently, but it also incorporates numerous sustainable and energy efficiency design solutions. The project’s environmentally conscious features include: energy efficient lighting, electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems; use of reclaimed water for landscaping and cooling towers; light-colored sustainable roofing; dual pane exterior window glazing; and natural day lighting. Likewise, McCarthy incorporated sustainable building methods throughout the project such as recycling building materials, minimizing unrecyclable construction waste, and maintaining proper indoor air quality.

Furthermore, in an effort to streamline the submittal process as well as dramatically reduce the amount of paper used on the project, McCarthy utilized the Submittal Exchange online service to electronically process over 95% of all submittals.

“According to Submittal Exchange, the use of this software on the Kaiser Fontana project has saved more than 130 trees to date,” said Villanueva.

Additionally, McCarthy created a Digital Plan Room, replacing the stacks and rolls of drawings with two large monitors for viewing the drawings electronically. This not only saved space, but significantly reduced the reproduction costs and use of paper for printing the large quantity of drawings required for the project. To encourage the subcontractors to do the same, McCarthy distributed all drawing updates electronically.

Touted as one of the largest healthcare facilities in the Inland Empire when it opens in 2013, the new hospital will serve Kaiser Permanente members with a variety of specialty, state-of-the-art medial services including a cardiac surgery department, a 51-bed emergency department, pediatric and neonatal ICU, inpatient dialysis unit, pediatrics, ICU, labor and delivery, cardiac cath lab and surgery. The hospital support building will be attached to the hospital and includes medical offices, radiology, a pharmacy and a specialty clinic.

Architect: HMC Architects, Ontario, Calif.

Project Personnel:
Vice President: Greg Schoonover
Sr. Manager: Lucy Villanueva
Manager: Rashad Morton
MEP Manager: Eric Monsen
Asst. Managers: Dave Alford, Eric J. Hoffman, Phillip Kreiger, Mark Valenzuela
Superintendent: Ray Stiffler
Staff: Blake Acker, Christine Do, Sebastian Fellbeck, Shakenia Hall-Williams, Adam Hartwell, Miguel Havican, Brandon Kelley, Chrystal Kennelly, Greg Lepore, Cindy MaCalolooy, Jamie Marquez, Edward Meade, Zack Muir, Erika Munguia, Larry Pool, Ray Porter, Enoe Rodriguez, Mark Sandwall, Jesse Schmidt, David Smith, Dallas Smith, Keith Van Aalst, Margret Villalobos, Jordan Westendorf


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