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C.W. Driver Tapped For Three Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Projects

Spielberg Wet Lab at Cedars Sinai
C.W. Driver, a premier builder serving the Western U.S. since 1919, has been awarded three construction projects for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center located at 8700 Beverly Blvd., in Los Angeles. The projects include a renovation of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center and the reconfiguring of the medical center’s Thalians Mental Health Center. These come on the heels of C.W. Drivers’ completion of two other projects on the Cedars-Sinai campus: a conversion of the hospital’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit and a series of projects in the Steven Spielberg building, which is also located on the campus.

“Working at a complex as widely known and respected as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been a tremendous experience,†said C.W. Driver Project Executive Richard Freeark. “The C.W. Driver team is thriving in a functioning hospital that provides a challenging working environment. In order to not impact any patients or staff, we are literally working behind the scenes during non-peak hours to make all of this happen. To build projects such as these around a fully operational space without causing disturbances or seeking out a lot of relocations is something we are taking great pride in.â€

On tap for C.W. Driver is the recently awarded, 6,000-SF Thalians Mental Health Center project, which consists of reconfiguring and remodeling its existing outpatient psychiatric and administrative office spaces, as well as the conversion of an existing dining room into a new conference room. Completion is slated for summer 2011.

C.W. Driver’s scope of work at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center comprises an MRI equipment replacement, also scheduled for completion in summer 2011. The location of the 800-SF imaging center provides a special challenge for construction crews: Due to the nearly 14,000-pound rating of the MRI magnet, a structural analysis was done to determine a suitable path to transport the equipment, which did not exceed the elevated decks weight capacity. Since the imaging center’s corridor doorways were too small to swap out the MRI equipment, new, larger doorways had to be created. C.W. Driver literally paved its own path from the exterior of the medical center to its core through busy, occupied locations. Additional room renovations are also included in the scope of work at the imaging center.

C.W. Driver will do similar work in facilitating the replacement/removal of existing R/F (radio frequency, or, X-ray) equipment in another, 400-SF portion of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. That project’s phase will be completed by summer 2011, as well.
These new C.W. Driver projects come on the heels of the company’s completion of two other Cedars-Sinai projects. The builder just completed the construction of the 20,000-SF, 3rd Floor Wet Lab at the medical center’s Steven Spielberg Building. There, the company used 3-D BIM technology to convert the third floor of the building from office space to a wet lab and make interior seismic improvements, as well. An exterior upgrade using brace frame reinforcements was added, along with an exterior building enhancement that included creating a 40-foot decorative screen that hid the newly installed exterior frames. To top it off, C.W. Driver painted the entire building, often having to do so in a crowded parking lot.

“We helped give the building a bold, modern appearance that the campus can be proud of,†said Lee Watkins, C.W. Driver project manager.

The interior Spielberg building work included new exterior windows, new equipment platform on the roof, structural upgrades to the floor, column strengthening, new electrical systems, air handlers, plumbing and compressed air and vacuum systems.

“The most challenging part of this project was completing the intense structural upgrades and seismic retrofit work while ensuring the clinics below us were fully operational and safe,†Watkins said. “We did a portion of the work after-hours while no one was in the area. It’s mind boggling to think we crammed about 175,000 pounds of steel in this space to strengthen the existing structure and then planted 190,000-pound roof platform on top of that.â€

Also recently completed at Cedars-Sinai was the conversion of the existing cardiac suite to six new operating rooms at the hospital’s 27,000-SF 5th Floor OR/PACU, or, Post Anesthesia Care Unit. In addition to the conversion there were support areas, as well as a 24-bed PACU. The project consisted of demolition, interior build-out and the shifting of medical equipment.

Joining Freeark and Watkins on the C.W. Driver team is Senior Superintendent Tom Toalson, Superintendent Jim Cox, Senior Project Engineer Jeff Ivey, Assistant Project Manager Thanos Sakavellas and Assistant Superintendent Jim D’Amico. Consultants include architect Perkins+Will, structural engineer Nabih Youssef and Associates and mechanical/electrical/plumbing consultant IBE Consulting Engineers.

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