Highland Hospital Creates Energy-Efficient Acute Tower

OAKLAND, Calif. — The second phase of a three-phase, $668 million design and construction project is currently underway at Highland Hospital in Oakland. The Acute Tower Replacement project is crucial for Alameda County to be able to provide quality health care services to the community. The state-of-the-art Acute Tower Replacement is anticipated for completion in 2017, according to Highland Hospital.

The new nine-story, 169-bed acute-care tower will house intensive-care patients, medical/surgical beds, labor, delivery, neonatal intensive care, and other diagnostic, treatment and support functions, which are currently located in the existing acute tower, according to Bethesda, Md.-based, Clark Construction Group, the construction manager on the project. The current departments will be demolished in the third stage of construction. During construction, the hospital will remain fully operational to continue providing quality care to the community. The tower as well as the other two phases has been designed with an emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors put into place a green building ordinance that requires all new buildings in the county to be built to achieve, at a minimum, LEED Silver certification. To meet these requirements, the hospital has created an energy-efficient plan that includes installing high-efficiency mechanical equipment, low-emissivity glazing, smart air-conditioning zones and long-life lighting that uses less electricity and minimizes replacement costs, according to Highland Hospital. The hospital will also install a high-efficiency water system that will reduce water consumption. While building the facility, the construction team will use green building materials whenever possible and will work to recycle materials from the hospital’s demolished buildings to minimize the amount of materials that will go to a landfill.

The conservation efforts of the construction team and Highland Hospital will allow the hospital to focus its extra resources on providing patient care and quality services to the Alameda County residents, now and in the future. The project will also include thermal storage that will lower energy costs by operating chillers at night to cool and store water, according to Clark Construction Group. Exterior green screens will provide transitions for patients and visitors, while cooling the interiors.

The three-stage project includes the Highland Care Pavilion, a three-story pavilion with underground parking that was finished in 2013; the acute tower (currently underway); and the demolition of the existing acute tower as well as construction of the Link building and a new courtyard. When the project is complete, the facilities will unify the hospital’s 14-acre campus, both functionally and architecturally, according to Highland Hospital. To unify the historical aspects of the hospital campus, the exterior façade that was original to the facility since it opened in 1927 will remain the same, while the facility will still focus on the needs of the future.

National construction company Clark Construction Group LLC is working with national architecture firm SmithGroup JJR and locally based Ratcliff Architects and Shah Kawasaki Architects to complete the project.

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