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MCCARTHY 9/13/07 4:29 PM Page 42


until 2013, and must be in substantial to streamline the approval process, says the owners/designers have the plans in
full compliance by 2030. Patrick Sullivan, OSHPD’s assistant direc- their possession for “back checks” or revi-
However, during the approval process, tor of legislative and public affairs. sions.” To reduce the overall time,
documents are often sent back and forth “As we near the 2013 deadline, OSHPD OSHPD is looking at a “phased-review
between OSHPD inspectors and the has been ramping up its staffing levels process” at a hospital in San Diego
designers and builders for revisions. This and working to streamline the plan County. “We are hoping it will reduce
can delay schedules and result in cost review process to meet the increased the approval process by as much as five
overruns. workload,” Sullivan says. “Recognizing months,” he says.
“So much of the code is interpretive the volume of buildings that need to be
and that results in additional costs and upgraded and employing the most Pleasing the Client
delays, so by the time things are caught, advanced tools to assess risk, Governor Constructing the buildings to code can
you have to go back and do more work,” Schwarzenegger’s healthcare reform pro- be expensive regardless of other con-
Dumke says. posal embraces the use of HAZUS, the flicts, Dumke says. To meet seismic
Several requests for extensions beyond latest risk assessment technology, to requirements, McCarthy’s team in
the 2013 deadline have already been more accurately prioritize which build- Panorama City erected 900, 50-foot con-
made and approved by OSHPD. ings pose the most risk of damage dur- crete piles to help brace the frame.
Of the 415 requests for extensions to ing an earthquake. “These buildings are expensive, and
the seismic safety deadlines, 400 were “This new tool could reduce the num- they are quite heavy; all of the utilities
approved, according to the organization. ber of buildings that need to meet the need to be braced and secured,” Dumke
A major surge in construction is 2013 deadline by 40 percent.” explains. “The industry is just catching
expected as hospitals hurry to meet the Sullivan says HAZUS could “help hos- up to how difficult it is to build these
upcoming deadlines. Hospital construc- pitals better prioritize their needs and types of jobs.”
tion applications approved by OSHPD reduce overall demand on the system. But meeting strict code requirements
have increased 16 percent from 2004 to “Based on our current records, on aver- was not the biggest challenge for
2006. To assist owners, contractors and age, OSHPD holds the plans for 40 per- McCarthy on the Panorama City project.
designers in meeting the deadlines, cent of the approval process,” Sullivan “The biggest challenge for us is that it’s
OSHPD is increasing its efforts to says. “The other 60 percent of the time built on the existing Panorama City
Medical Center campus,”
Dumke says. The company
had to keep the adjacent,
functioning hospital accessi-
ble to the general public in a
safe manner. What made the
challenge less frustrating was
the fact that very little demo-
lition existed at the site and
they had excellent coopera-
tion from the Kaiser
Permanente staff and its
McCarthy is scheduled to
secure the certificate of occu-
pancy in November, and
expects that the hospital will
open in 2008. “At the end of
the day, we’ve got a happy
client, and that was the No. 1
goal: leave the site with our
largest client being happy,”
Dumke asserts. “I think that
all parties involved, including
the surrounding neighbors
and community were
impressed with what we have
accomplished as a team. It
went beyond what some peo-
ple may have imagined.” ■


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