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CHOC Children’s Launches Campaign to Fulfill Destiny of the Hospital

CHOC Children’s Patient-Care Tower on Target to Open Spring 2013

Construction of CHOC Children's new sevenstory hospital tower, designed to provide a flexible platform to serve this region now and into the future, stands more than 70 percent complete. The state-of-the-art facility enables CHOC to take its place among our nation’s premier children’s hospitals with the ability to advance the research and practice of pediatric medicine.

When officially open in April 2013, the tower will add 425,000 square feet and up to 142 additional inpatient beds in future phases as part of an effort to boost the capacity and services of the top twenty busiest children’s hospital in the U.S. The tower will also feature dedicated pediatric surgery suites, radiology and laboratory facilities, and a new emergency center.

The new tower’s design is flexible enough to adapt to new technologies, new methods of care, and new treatments as they evolve and develop. The 100,000 square feet of “shelled spaces” were intentionally included in the tower’s design so that, in time, they can accommodate and be outfitted with the most up-to-date technologies.

At this point in the construction, the structural steel has been erected and the concrete slab has been poured on the metal decks. The primary design elements to enclose and weatherproof the building—the glass, exterior metal panels, and stucco—as well as the water, gas, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems are near completion. Installation of medical equipment, information technology, furniture, and exterior landscaping are scheduled to begin in late 2011. After substantial completion of construction in Fall 2012, the next six months will be spent orienting and training the hospital staff, as well as partnering with state and federal agencies to license the tower’s programs and services.

The tower’s impressive appearance and functionality are made possible by the exacting standards used to plan, design, and build it: In 2008, CHOC was one of the early adopters of 3D modeling software that takes the blueprints and “builds” them in threedimensional space to better coordinate the systems, and minimize conflicts and delays between contractors and teams during installation, says Waldo Romero, CHOC’s vice president of design, facilities and construction. “The software has since become almost fundamentally a requirement for major construction projects,” says Romero.

While the construction techniques are painstakingly precise, the tower has been planned and built from the ground up with children in mind, says Romero. “Everything was designed to give children and families the most supportive and safest care available.” That includes using vibrant colors and patterns for each floor, and soothing interactive media in public spaces and play areas, all to create an ambience that will help alleviate a child’s fear of being in a hospital.

Unlike adult hospitals, the furniture, hardware, and technology are kid-sized and equipped for children and their unique needs. Doing so adds to the safety that pervades all aspects of the tower. The layouts of all patient rooms are identical, with the beds and sinks in the same positions to eliminate errors and avoid confusion with staff. Although this increased construction cost, it added a layer of patient safety through standardization, a practice used in aeronautics and other industries.

“The new tower represents the future and will serve our pediatric healthcare needs for a very long time. For me, it’s not just another hospital; it’s the right hospital in the right community at the right time.” says Romero.


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chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .