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UCSF Breaks Ground on Sustainably Designed Medical Center

The University of California in San Francisco celebrated the groundbreaking yesterday for a $1.5 billion state-of-the-art sustainably designed medical center in the city's Mission Bay area.

William McDonough + Partners and Anshen + Allen collaborated on the design of the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. Located on a 14.5 acre parcel south of the 43-acre Mission Bay life sciences complex, the new medical center is expected to exceed sustainability benchmarks set by other advanced hospitals and top the green building goals of the UC system.

A 183-bed children's hospital, a 70-bed cancer hospital for adult patients, a specialty women's hospital with a 36-bed birth center, ambulatory care services, a central utilities plant, 500 parking spaces and support facilities -- which comprise the first phase of the project -- are expected to be completed in 2014.

From the solar panels and vegetated roofs atop the complex to the "healing gardens" at the ground level, the complex will showcase design elements that are intended to maximize natural light, ventilation and efficient use of energy, water and other resources to create a balanced, healthy environment for patients and staff.

Care in design and material choice is being taken throughout the project from components that the public generally does not see -- such as mechanical, plumbing and irrigation systems -- to the highly visible interiors of patient rooms, as shown in the chart right.

The project team includes structural engineers Rutherford and Chekene and Arup, which provides mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering expertise, and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), the global sustainability consulting and product certification firm known for its materials assessment expertise and development of the Cradle to Cradle framework.

Ground was broken for the project on Tuesday and public festivities were held yesterday afternoon.

Across the bay in Oakland, ground also was broken this week for a $350 million project to build the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Patient Care Pavilion for Sutter Health, a new emergency department, a 1,000-space parking structure and additional green space for the urban hospital campus.

The project will be built by DPR Construction according to green designs that call for an 11-story patient care tower (pictured right) and rooftop central utility plant.

With two stories below ground and a height of 184 feet, the project will occupy a 1.5-acre site and will be attached on three sides to existing buildings, which will remain in operation throughout the construction project, according to DPR.

The new 230,000-square-foot patient care pavilion is designed to accommodate 238 medical/surgical and acute rehabilitation bed and is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.

UCSF Medical Center renderings courtesy of McDonough + Partners. Alta Bates patient care pavilion rendering courtesy of DPR Construction.

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