SAN DIEGO — Six years after receiving a naming gift from the Sulpizio family, the gleaming glass doors of the UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center will soon welcome patients from across the county and around the world. The recently completed center is the region’s first comprehensive, state-of-the art cardiovascular patient care and research facility. DPR Construction served as contractor of the facility and RTKL Associates served as project architect.
Over the two-year construction phase of the 127,000-square-foot facility, the team, including UCSD, DPR, RTKL and engineering and subcontracting firms embraced a collaborative, high-performance team approach and achieved unprecedented success in healthcare, sustainability and collaboration. The approach unites the project’s main players around a common mission statement and core values. An open dialogue is encouraged among the team, resulting in timely and non-traditional solutions to challenges, and helping to avoid costly delays and budget overruns.
The $227-million center was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The project is pursuing LEED-NC Certification.
“We appointed a board of directors made up of numerous senior managers from the project’s stakeholders to anticipate issues and develop solutions before they became a problem,” said Carlos Crabtree, project manager at DPR San Diego. “By establishing a level of trust among the subcontractors, engineers, design team and owners at the outset, they were free to voice their complaints and question the status quo, which transformed the process and enhanced the project.”
For example, 16 months into construction, UCSD determined that additional patient beds were required, and requested that the fourth floor — originally designed and permitted as office space — be converted into a patient floor with 27 additional patient rooms, including five positive pressure and three negative pressure rooms.
Since the steel framing, electrical and plumbing on that floor had already been set for office space, it was a significant challenge to accommodate the extensive design change at that stage. However, the team was able to successfully collaborate and adapt the space to the new requirements, and a four-month intensive redesign was successfully completed ahead of schedule.
DPR Construction began building the center in May 2008. The 76-patient bed hospital includes 22 daybeds for pre- and post-procedure care, 12 intensive-care beds, 15 intermediate-care beds and 27 acute-care beds. The center also features an expansive emergency department with four large operating rooms specifically designed for heart surgery, 14 smaller treatment rooms and an expanded area for heart-imaging services such as multi-slice CT scanning.