The Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) was part of a campus transformation project, which involved constructing a new replacement hospital for children and adults. The new adult's tower adds 320 licensed beds to the medical campus, while the new children's hospital tower will increase the hospital's capacity. The project supports the concept of Whole Life Care and incorporates the Adventist organization's healthy lifestyle principles and mission. Loma Linda Health envisioned the project as an opportunity to modernize the campus and strengthen its area reputation as a faith-based Level One trauma academic medical center.
The new structure complies with California's stringent seismic performance requirements by replacing an existing but seismically deficient adult hospital with a new 16-story structure. It will be ready to withstand the region's needs in the event of a significant earthquake.
A low-weight yet resilient façade was required due to the nature of a high-rise hospital located in a high seismic zone. Vertical glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels were the best solution. The aesthetic versatility of GFRC was selected to complement the LLUMC Campus.
The prefabrication consisted primarily of GFRC panels that emulated the existing exterior character of the campus' cloverleaf tower. Working with Willis Construction in a Design-Build capacity, the team developed panel designs that reduced the overall erection schedule. To complement the GFRC, the project team worked with Tower Glass to develop a system of unitized curtain wall designs.
Deep vertical fins alternated with curtain wall strips are the dominant architectural expression featured at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Even though deep, the fins are lightweight, reducing the base-isolated structure's total load. The flexible GFRC frames allowed for substantial seismic floor-to-floor drifts while avoiding the need for horizontal drift joints on every floor running through the curtain wall. Manufacturing a multi-story panel size also resulted in cost savings by accelerating installation.
Another challenging aspect was determining how to handle these large panels during delivery and installation. The solution accelerated all handling erecting and aligning processes by ganging the GFRC fin elements three wide and three high. As a result, fewer total connections to the structure allowed the cost to stay within budget.
Utilizing the capabilities of GFRC panels has transformed the Loma Linda University Medical Center into a state-of-the-art healthcare facility with expanded services, earthquake-ready design, and increased treatment capacity.