Bernards Tackles Tricky Hospital Expansion

The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital needs more space

In 2014 the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, California, which has been serving the Santa Clarita area since 1975, decided to embark on a $150 million expansion. To effectively continue to serve the community, their plans called for a new patient tower with 120 additional beds, plus a loading dock and central utility plant. Through a collaborative design-build delivery method, Bernards and HMC Architects designed the project and began construction in the fall of 2015. To achieve the goal of a 2019 opening, they have maintained a tight schedule and implemented site logistics strategies to allow continuous hospital operation with minimal impacts to day-to-day patient care.

Design-build “to the extreme”

Bernards’ Project Manager Ryan Tauro, who has been working on the hospital addition since the beginning, describes Bernards and HMC’s approach to the project as “design-build to the furthest extent you can take it.” Risk was shared across the parties, from the architect to the GC to the subcontractor, and everybody had to make the project, not their own interests, priority No. 1. It wasn’t easy to get all the parties to understand, as Ryan put it, “that hey, you’re going to win some and lose some.”

A high level of trust was a must for a complex project that required so much meticulous coordination. In addition to clear communication and constant collaboration, documents were edited and shared so that they were consistently up to date and easily accessible.

Keeping plans current to stay on schedule

For document viewing, Bernards turned to Bluebeam Revu, the latest PDF editing and markup software. They used Revu to post and hyperlink RFIs so that anybody viewing the drawing could zoom into details and understand systems issues with just a click of the mouse. Regulatory agency reviews resulted in numerous modifications. By using the overlay function,  team members were able to meticulously identify and update these modifications from one sheet to the other. Bernards also used Revu to create detailed work plans and site logistics plans, which were of the utmost importance as they had a very limited amount of space, and an even more limited amount of time, to perform all the necessary work.

Adding to their difficulties were the heavy rains of 2016-2017, which caused work stoppages. However, since Bernards and HMC had built time for weather-related events into their schedule, and because they were able, through advanced technology and careful planning, to stick to their schedule as well, the new patient tower is still due to open on time, and on budget. Residents of the Santa Clarita area will no doubt be happy to learn that the new 160,000-foot-square, six-story facility plans to open its doors in 2019.