Harbor-UCLA Medical Center breaks ground on new hospital building

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California Construction News staff writer

The Harbor-UCLA Medical Center held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its hospital building at the end of February.

The design-build team of Hensel Phelps, HMC Architects and CO Architects joined L.A. County and medical center representatives to launch construction at the site.

Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2028, the new Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will meet the growing demands of healthcare delivery and ensure structural resilience in compliance with Senate Bill 1953, which is set to take effect in 2030.

“Adding a million square feet to an existing 70-year-old campus creates significant planning and cost challenges,” said Kirk Rose, HMC healthcare practice leader. “Our design will optimize operational flow and throughput, arrange the program efficiently, and create a beautiful new outdoor space for community enjoyment.”

The new Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Redevelopment Program will consolidate medical services into new facilities on the 72-acre campus. The program ensures Harbor-UCLA Medical Center complies with Senate Bill 1953, which takes effect in 2030 and requires all California hospitals to be structurally resilient in the event of a significant earthquake.

Work consists of the new construction of a 545,000 SF acute care inpatient tower with 346 beds, a helicopter landing pad, and a warehouse; a 370,000 SF outpatient treatment and support building and 508,000 SF above-grade parking structure; a 23,000 SF facilities and IT support building, a 34,000 SF regional laboratory building, and a new 11,000 SF central plant.

Consolidating inpatient and outpatient services into new buildings that optimize operational effectiveness, the project will reduce operation and maintenance costs, provide outpatient facilities that accommodate planned patient visits, implement Los Angeles County’s LEED requirements by incorporating sustainable design features, and create a campus designed for the well-being of patients and staff.

Requiring LEED Gold certification, the medical center upgrade will develop a modern campus that serves the community’s healthcare needs while also aiming to protect the environment in which it is built.

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