UCSF Benioff Oakland Children’s Hospital Continues through the Chaos

Over the past 12 weeks, the Northern California Healthcare team has continued its consistent and steady progress on the UCSF Benioff Oakland Children’s Hospital Phase 1 renovation project, as the team continues to work through the chaos of COVID-19. Our work involves completing the Central Utility Plant (CUP) Expansion project, as well as the build-out of a 21,000-square-foot Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and roughly 15,000 square feet of support spaces, consisting of sterile processing, pharmacy, environmental services (EVS), and post box exchange (PBX). 

On the CUP project, we are in the final stages of commissioning the new chiller building, which houses two new chillers nicknamed Elsa and Anna from Frozen. We are also in the final planning stages for commencing work in the existing mechanical building, where we will demo the existing chillers and install new boilers. This work involves extensive shutdowns to the hospital’s existing utility infrastructure to accommodate the tie-in of the new infrastructure. The team also continues to install extensive hydronics piping and associated infrastructure between the CUP and the existing hospital.

Through optimization of the flow of work between individual interiors projects, the team has been able to maintain a consistent, collective crew size of almost 100, while implementing social distancing and Swinerton’s COVID-19 Plan. In addition, the team executed the fabrication and installation of 23 additional overhead boom support assemblies – no small feat given the widespread closure of steel fabrication facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area – and was able to mitigate schedule impacts despite the ongoing COVID-19 disruptions to the supply chain. This has allowed follow-on construction activities to continue in sequence, such as completion of the overhead MEP activities. We’ve been working around the clock to complete the reconfiguration of the overhead MEP infrastructure in an occupied corridor and returned it to use two weeks

In addition to these construction activities, the team is currently performing preconstruction services on the fourth-floor rehab project as well as the seismic separation of utilities between existing buildings, otherwise known as the Removal of Acute Care Services (RACS) project – an important component of the hospital’s pending 2022 compliance with AB90. 

Throughout the pandemic, the Benioff on-site and work from home teams have remained united and focused through regular morning check-ins, virtual happy hours, and sharing in an abundance of humor. A team that laughs together, stays together.