Construction Underway on Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center

MLKLOS ANGELES, Calif. — The design-build team of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and HDR Architecture, Inc. have recently begun construction of the new $150-million Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Los Angeles. The new 132,550-square-foot facility was designed to meet LEED-Gold standards.


The four-story medical facility will house five operating rooms, dentistry, oncology and physical and occupational therapy services. Additionally, the project will include 10 acres of site parking and landscape, offsite signalization and street improvements as well as a 31,000-square-foot LEED Silver-rated renovation to existing administration space.

“The MLK, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center project will provide a necessary upgrade for how healthcare is delivered to the community,” said Curtis Lockwood, vice president, HDR Architecture, Inc. “ The new facility will be key to delivering outpatient care and connecting the inpatient and outpatient services to the new state-of-the-art facilities.”

Located on the existing Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center campus in the Willowbrook community of Los Angeles, delivery of the design-build project is highlighted by a mix of modern green features and sophisticated Building Information Modeling.

“The BIM process is currently in progress,” said Michael Wiggins, McCarthy project director. “All major subcontractors participate in 3-D coordination of systems to avoid issues in the field, and the project team is using a web-based paperless submittal system and will provide the owner with an Electronic Facility Maintenance Guide at closeout.”

Wiggins said coordination meetings are being conducted in a BIM Collaboration Room called BIM Theater, and the team is using modeling software such as Revit, Navis Works, and AutoCad among others.

To meet the standards of LEED Gold, the MLK, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center will pursue a variety of LEED credits. These include use of products with recycled content, locally manufactured products, 95 percent construction waste stream recycling, elimination of light pollution, water use reduction and an elaborate rain water recycling program.

“One of the most interesting green features on this project is the onsite storm water retention system,” says Wiggins. “This recharge system allows stormwater to go into the soil beneath the parking lots as opposed to the being discharged offsite.”

Wiggins said the water containment feature was designed to hold a typical 10-year storm, or about one inch of rainfall over the site.

The project will be built with a conventional foundation on concrete piers, and a structural steel moment-frame with concrete-filled metal deck. The public-facing façade will be glass curtain-wall with stone accents at bottom level. “Back-of -house” facades will be plaster with punched window openings.

At the project peak, approximately 250 construction workers will be involved in construction, and many will be members of the local community.

In addition, McCarthy has joined forces with the National Association for Equal Justice in America and Centennial High School in Compton to provide a student intern and construction project management training program for high school students interested in a career in construction.  This program is intended to provide an educational experience for the students, as well as to aid the shrinking construction industry workforce by exposing a new generation to the field of construction. Projections show that the construction industry is expected to have a shortage of skilled workers as the baby boomer generation (1946-1964) retires over the next five years.  In addition, many construction industry professionals and trades-people left the industry during the economic downturn which further exacerbates the worker shortage. The Construction Labor Research Council estimates that each year during this decade (2010 – 2020), the construction industry will need approximately 95,000 replacement workers and another 90,000 new workers.

Currently scheduled for an early completion in July 2013 (ahead of the contractual completion date), the Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center project is now completing the deep foundation work. By summer, Wiggins says the project will be about 30 percent complete, with the structural steel work completed, the foundation and superstructure finished, and the shell beginning to take shape.

This is the second project McCarthy has completed at the medical center. The first was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health budgeted at $20 million, which opened in October 2011. This design/build project, located on the north end of the MLK, Jr. campus, replaced the existing South Health Center, and included construction of a two-level, 31,000-square-foot medical office building and an adjacent 76-car parking lot.

Other project team members involved in the current Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center project include: HDR Architecture, Inc. – architect and interior designer; KPFF – structural engineer; Psomas – civil engineer; SASCO – electrical design-builder; TMAD – mechanical and plumbing peer reviewer; Lynn Capouya – landscape architect; ACCO – Mechanical design-builder; Murray Company – plumbing design-builder and Sharpe Interiors/Eagle Summit – drywall/light-gauge framing subcontractor.

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Posted April 26, 2012

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