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New hospital at Camp Pendleton starting to take shape

Structure is largest Navy project funded under the AARA

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View of the replacement naval hospital at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The retaining wall will display the hospital’s monument sign and borders the main entry from Vandergrift Boulevard, for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.Photo by Jesse A. Lora/U.S. Navy

Like the U.S. armed forces it is being built to serve, construction of the new Naval Replacement Hospital Camp Pendleton is a model of safety, proficiency and teamwork.

The Clark/McCarthy Joint Venture (CMJV) broke ground on the $451 million, 500,000-square-foot hospital in December 2010. In July, it passed the halfway completion mark. The signature project of the base’s $3.1 billion modernization includes a 2,500-space, four-story parking garage, central utility plant, surface parking and site development.

As of March, CMJV had awarded $208 million in contracts to small business enterprises (or about 69 percent of the $301.3 million contracts awarded), exceeding the Navy’s required small business participation goals of 45 percent.

With construction productivity reaching its peak this summer, CMJV project director Carlos Gonzalez estimated that as many as 800 to 1,000 tradesmen are working at the 70-acre site on any given day.

CMJV passed an important milestone June 28 when more than 1 million cumulative man-hours of work were completed without a single Days Away, Restrictions and Transfer (DART) incident. Established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), DART is used to calculate the number of days away from work, work activities that are restricted by an injury, or when a worker is transferred to another type of work due to an injury.

The Navy/CMJV team attributed this achievement to a strong, cooperative culture of safety, essential for a project of this size.

"It is truly an honor for the entire blended hospital construction team to witness the results of the innovation and collaboration we have achieved to date,” said Cmdr. Whit H. Robinson, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest Resident Officer in Charge (ROICC) for the Replacement Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. “If there was ever a single theme that contributed to our success, it has been the clear sense of purpose and the incredibly strong desire by all team members to truly work together in order to achieve what many thought was impossible.”

According to Robinson, the NAVFAC team visited and studied hospitals throughout the country, including Escondido’s Palomar Pomerado Hospital and the UC San Diego Medical Center. Research garnered and lessons learned from those facilities have guided all aspects of the replacement hospital project.

A team of engineers, inspectors, technicians and safety professionals from San Diego-based Advantech has been coordinating with the Navy on the project since February. A Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, Advantech provides engineering, environmental and construction management, construction materials testing and other supplemental services to support the ROICC at Camp Pendleton.

In July, the Navy exercised a contract option authorizing the 12-member Advantech staff to continue providing its services.

“The choice to augment the Navy field team with contracted expertise was a clear step in the right direction to provide flexibility and specific skill sets when needed, while providing proficiencies in areas that NAVFAC normally does not possess,” Robinson said. “The composite organization now provides a blended team of employees familiar with NAVFAC business procedures, Camp Pendleton-specific organizational knowledge, hospital construction and design, medical gas, hospital commissioning and proficiency in OSHPD certification for California.”

Although the hospital is not required to be OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) certified, Robinson said many aspects of the hospital design were required to meet the stringent requirements of the California safety code for seismic design.

This spring, installation of the exterior skin got under way. Crews have also started interior framing and drywall. CMJV is on track to complete the four-story parking structure this summer, which will include a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system to help power the hospital.

Sustainability is a key component to the Camp Pendleton modernization, and it is a top priority in new construction projects as part of an effort to meet the Secretary of the Navy’s mandatory renewable energy goals.

Designed by Los Angeles-based HKS Architects Inc., the hospital is projected to achieve LEED Gold certification by reducing energy consumption through a variety of features and construction practices. Incorporating green roof systems on the hospital and central utility plant will reduce cooling and heating costs, and manage stormwater runoff. A 170-kilowatt photovoltaic system will provide about 3 percent of the hospital’s electrical demand. The solar water heating system will provide 30 percent of the facility’s hot water needs, and exterior cladding will add 30 percent insulation value.

Installation of the exterior skin is on track for early completion this fall. Also on deck this fall is startup/testing of equipment systems and the start of exterior landscape installation, which will include native and drought tolerant plants.

The hospital project, the largest Navy project funded under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will replace the existing hospital built in 1974. The new hospital will address deficiencies in the existing facility including shifting from inpatient-based care to outpatient-based care; non-compliance with current Anti-Terrorist/Force Protection (ATFP) code requirements; and non-compliance with seismic code requirements. The hospital supports a beneficiary population of 151,000 with a military and civilian staff of 2,100.

When operational, the 54-bed hospital will house inpatient medical facilities along with emergency, primary and specialty care clinics, operating rooms and support spaces. Expected to be completed in January 2014 and operational later that year, the facility will feature open spaces for natural light and a central atrium. A reflection and meditation area will have a wall inscribed with the names of Medal of Honor recipients.

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Jesse A. Lora 3:38pm October 10, 2012

Sir ~ Mr. Peters, Thank you for your dedication, your unwavering service to our country, and your extra ordinary believe that our colors will never run. I am the Public Affairs supervisor for the Replacement Naval Hospital, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. With gratitude, honor and pride I wanted to thank you for adding that small bit of wonderful history. Wishes well accepted and cherished. Mahalo, Jesse A. Lora Public Affairs Supervisor ROICC Hospital Team Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA Naval Facilities Engineering Command Cell (760) 578-2188 Office (760) 763-0949

John Peters 11:45am August 31, 2012

July, 1964, the date I reported to U.S. Navy Hospital, Camp Pendleton. Difficult to find next to Lake O'Neil. The hospital was mistaken for barracks, one story wood structure raised upon concrete blocks. In fact, the Obstetrical unit was not part of the hospital, but a separate cottage on the periphery. After two years of duty, I returned to Chicago and private practice. Another two years went by and I returned to San Diego. Best Wishes for the New Hospital. John W. Peters, Col, USAF, Ret