A modified integrated project delivery method—including the use of a board of directors, mock-up facility and oversized jobsite trailer—is propelling teamwork at the $839-million University of California, San Diego Jacobs Medical Center (JMC) in La Jolla.

"From Day 1, this project has encouraged a very collaborative environment for all project partners, with a level of intense self-evaluation and stakeholder scrutiny," says Dan Pierce, president of Phoenix-based Kitchell, the project's contractor.

The 550,000-sq-ft campus expansion is the largest health care project in Southern California and the second largest statewide. A single 10-story structure will combine three new hospitals: Advanced Surgery, Cancer Care and Women and Infants.

Because of its complexity and longevity, construction is being managed as four distinct projects: site preparation, completed in November 2012, on time and within budget; the 245-bed hospital building, which includes two additional lower levels; a 40,000-sq-ft central utility plant (CUP); and 70,000 sq ft of renovations at the campus' existing Thornton building, opened in 1993 as a community hospital.

Construction began in April 2012, and the hospital building is scheduled for completion in February 2016. The CUP should be operative by August 2014. The Thornton updates are expected to finish in late 2017.

JMC incorporates a design-assist curtain wall with 1,315 unique units and 376 pieces of vent glass in 44 different radius dimensions, both convex and concave. The structure is formed by 8,000 tons of steel.

Board of Directors

All aspects are being facilitated by IPD. "The modified IPD approach allowed us to build our team under a set of shared core values," says Michael Roush, UCSD principal architect. "It is these values, along with our mission statement, that define how we work together, address conflict and solve the normal day-to-day project issues."

While commonly used in the private sector, the modified project delivery method for a public hospital is unique, says Michael Wolfe, project director with Kitchell's La Jolla office. "We are confident in stating that this level of IPD is unprecedented within the public sector."

The modified IPD agreement doesn't include contractual ties, but does follow a traditional business model. It's led by a project board that includes representatives of UCSD's Facilities Design & Construction; Kitchell; CannonDesign, Los Angeles, serving as both design and project architect; and key subcontractors.

In turn, this board oversees the project through an executive leadership team reporting to it. The team comprises Kitchell's Wolfe; UCSD's Roush and Jim Cleaton, project director; and Bill Hamilton, CannonDesign's architect of record.

Finally, each of the four major project components is overseen by onsite core leadership teams comprising representatives from UCSD, Kitchell and CannonDesign, all facilitated by team builder Lou Bainbridge, principal of Lou Bainbridge Consulting, Denver.