Originally constructed in 1951, this 12-story former hospital—now a research lab—sustained significant damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Crews performed multi-phased renovations to meet current seismic safety requirements and improve the building’s functionality and also carried out  extensive demolition and abatement and constructed or reinforced 29 shear walls and performed shell upgrades.

The construction team overcame hurdles to locate the existing shear walls and excavate the slab-on-grade to reinforce existing foundations.

All project team members, from the contractors to the designers and owner, promoted a strong safety culture. General contractor PCL encouraged partnerships between senior management and subcontractors. For example, trade workers participated with PCL’s senior managers to perform joint site inspections to identify hazards and come up with corrections to identified issues.

Pre-job safety instruction allowed the team to identify task hazards and specify control measures to mitigate or eliminate them. In addition, trades were required to prepare project specific job hazard analysis prior to implementing the work. PCL says it placed special focus on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools and the work environment. The process aided with potentially challenging tasks such as erecting the stair curtain wall.

As a result, crews worked nearly 1 million hours with zero recordable incidents and no lost-time accidents.

New mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems—including 51 make-ready lab spaces designed with isolated air flow—join new restrooms and a refurbished lobby and elevators. The structure incorporates single-glazed ribbon windows, louvered external shading and wall areas of un-insulated brick-clad concrete

By retrofitting the structure instead of rebuilding, UCLA saved $78 million, according to the project team.

University of California, Los Angeles Center for the Health Sciences (CHS) South Tower Seismic Renovation and Tenant Improvements

Los Angeles

Key Players
UCLA Campus Capital Program
Lead Design Firm ZGF Architects LLP
Contractor PCL Construction Services Inc
Structural Engineer Englekirk & Sabol Consulting Structural Engineers Inc.
MEP Engineer Stantec