Groundbreaking for 3 hospitals took place in SF

October 26, 2010 7:31:31 PM PDT
Three new hospitals -- for women, children, and cancer patients -- are about to rise in San Francisco's Mission Bay. The new hi-tech hospitals will be part of University of California San Francisco, built with a state of the art design plan.

For a few hours on Tuesday morning, what will be UCSF's Mission Bay Medical Center did not look like a construction site, not with the valet parking, the French press coffee, not with the UCSF teamsters and clerical workers picketing, outside for raises, and not with the ground breaking by donors and dignitaries, inside. This was a festive formality, really, for the 289 beds that will be built on 57 acres that used to be a driving range in Mission Bay.

Physical construction of the three hospitals won't begin until December, but virtually in three dimensions people have been building them for more than a year.

"Right now I am modeling all the dry wall," says Matt Rayhbuck.

Rayhbuck and everyone else in trailers next to the site, worked right through the morning's festivities. The hospital project will cost $1.5 billion which will use money from donations, bonds, hospital reserves, and loans. However, they figure to save on construction costs with building information modeling. The engineers are working the future building in 3D on their computers.

"In the olden days you have a carpenter foreman come out there with a tape measure? and manually lay out every single opening, every single stud, the location of every single wall and that is an extremely time intensive process. With this, we can lay it out virtually long before anybody gets in there," says Rayhbuck.

In this case, UCSF took it a step further by building six mock-ups for the future hospitals from birthing rooms to intensive care. They want to see what might interfere with what, or when, or not.

"These mock-ups are to make sure that there aren't any big mistakes," says Holly Houston from UCSF Mission Bay.

Meantime, they have some time to get it right. The hospitals are scheduled to open in 2014.


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