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McCarthy and Walker Parking Take Home IPI Award for Hospital Parking Structure

RMH_Parking_StructureSAN DIEGO — McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of the nation’s leading parking structure builders, and Walker Parking Consultants, the country’s largest parking consultant, recently were honored with an award of merit by the International Parking Institute (IPI) for the design and construction of the Rady Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House parking structure, located in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego.

Each year, IPI recognizes world-class examples of parking design and program innovation. This year’s award competition cited a total of 13 winners with four awards of excellence, five awards of merit, and four honorable mentions during the opening breakfast ceremony of the 2010 IPI Conference & Expo held recently in Las Vegas, Nev. Of the 13 winners, the Rady Children’s Hospital parking structure was the only hospital/medical center use facility.
“The winning projects showcase the benefits of making parking professionals part of the planning, design and management team early in the process,” said Shawn Conrad, CAE, executive director of IPI. “When you plan parking well, you get more efficiency, which translates into reduced costs, better facility design, better transportation flow, and better user satisfaction.”

Built to address a critical parking shortage, the Rady Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House parking structure, said the IPI judging committee members, did much more than add parking spaces. Atop the new 332,279-square-foot structure is a new 47-bedroom, LEED-certified Ronald McDonald House, four times the size of the hospital’s previous patient parent/family housing facility. The new facility also houses a computer lab, teen center, laundry facilities, play room, dining services and even a beauty salon to serve patients’ family members.

Construction of the 1,038-car-space parking structure was completed prior to the final design of the Ronald McDonald House, requiring the design-build team to develop a unique concrete podium that could accommodate various structural and mechanical configurations above. A cast-in-place, post-tensioned structure design with a split-faced, block exterior facade ultimately was selected to reduce future maintenance cost. The rooftop level consists of a split slab with waterproofing for the Ronald McDonald House that prevents water migration to the lower levels.
All seismic sliding expansion joints have integral moisture gutters to prevent water from penetrating through the floor slabs. A portion of the first level of parking contains many of the Ronald McDonald House’s back-of-house operation rooms — including laundry, trash and storage — that are connected by a dedicated service elevator.

Situated on the side of a hill adjacent to the I-805 freeway, the Rady Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald parking structure encompasses one floor built above street level, and five floors built below ground. Building the structure into the hillside was a significant challenge of this project. More than 65,000 cubic yards of soil were excavated, and a 780-linear-foot soil nail wall reaching up to 50 feet in height was constructed against the embankment. A 50-foot-deep and 10-foot-wide “moat” exists between the parking structure and the grade entry to allow for seismic separation between the parking structure and the retaining wall.

Since the hospital and parking structure operate 24/7, particular attention was paid to passive security systems, with open architecture meeting many of the objectives of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The structure is well lit with energy-efficient light sources. Four elevators serve the parking structure and the Ronald McDonald House. Front and back cab doors were designed to orient pedestrians toward their destinations and provide better passive security in the lobbies.

Construction of the $25,400,000 Rady Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House parking structure was completed on budget and two weeks ahead of schedule. McCarthy Building Companies was the general contractor and Walker Parking Consultants was the parking consultant. Joseph Wong Design Architects was the architect-of-record, Integrated Design Services was the structural engineer, Randall Lamb Associates was the electrical engineer, Shadpour Consulting was the mechanical engineer, and Project Design Consultants was the landscape architect. Sentry Control Systems is the parking vendor.

McCarthy also received an honorable mention in the 2010 IPI Awards of Excellence competition for construction of the West Los Angeles College Lot 8 parking facility in Los Angeles. Choate Parking Consultants, Inc., was the parking consultant and architect-of-record and AC Martin Partners, Inc., was the architect.

McCarthy is the nation’s 10th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2009) and has been one of the nation’s leading parking structure builders since the advent of the modern parking structure in the 1960s. The company has delivered nearly 400 parking facilities throughout the United States, with parking spaces for more than 70,000 cars in California alone. The firm offers general contracting, construction management, program management and design/build services for parking structures; healthcare, educational, mixed-use, laboratory, biotechnical, retail, entertainment, industrial, multifamily and microelectronics facilities; office buildings; tenant interiors; and bridges and highways. In addition to San Diego, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Dallas and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at


Posted June 7, 2010

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