Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, dubbed "The Hospital of the Future," is the first greenfield hospital built in North San Diego County in more than five decades. Completed in April 2012, the $956-million, 750,000-sq-ft project is one of the largest buildings in the country to use integrated project delivery principles and one of just two U.S. hospitals with daylighted operating rooms, according to the nominating firm.

Photo by Tom Bonner Photography
Palomar Medical Center won Best Health Care Project

In 2008, nine months into construction, the owner changed construction managers and the DPR team worked closely with all members, including California's Office of Statewide Health and Planning Development, to reshape the construction process midstream and still meet all targets.

Many design and planning decisions were guided by patient-centric experience-based design, which calls on the experience of many professionals to ensure a healing environment. As a result, the 11-story building integrates elements of the natural world—daylighting, gardens, courtyards and landscape. A 1.5-acre rolling green roof with local plants mimics the adjacent hillsides of Escondido.

The hospital is designed to be significantly more energy efficient than a typical hospital in a similar climate, thanks to efficient mechanical equipment, lighting systems and envelope design, including fiber-reinforced cement panels, aluminum louvers and panels and stainless steel.

Brian K. Gracz, project executive for the general contractor, the San Diego office of DPR, says Palomar will provide essential services to a large, diverse community and has the flexibility to allow it to use the latest health care technologies as they become available.

Gracz adds, "Assuming control of a large, complicated hospital that was well under construction in the state of California is not an easy task and one that we did not take lightly."

He adds that while the early days of the project "were long, the results speak for themselves, and we are all honored to have been a part of this unbelievable project."

Palomar Medical CenterEscondido Key Players

Contractor: DPR Construction, San Diego

Owner: Palomar Pomerado Health, San Diego

Lead Design: CO Architects, Los Angeles

Structural/Civil Engineer: KPFF, Los Angeles

MEP: ME Engineers, Culver City

Mechanical/Plumbing: UMEC, El Cajon

Electrical: Bergelectric Corp., Escondido

Roofing: BEST Contracting Services, Gardena

Structural Steel: The Herrick Corp., Stockton

Landscape Architects: Spurlock Poirier, San Diego

Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Culver City

Submitted by DPR Construction