Expanded Medical Center Tackles Seismic Requirements

By Dan Hounsell
June 9, 2021

New healthcare construction projects already are unbelievably complex undertakings, but for California’s hospitals, everything became even more complex after Senate Bill 1953 became law in 1994. The law requires that all hospitals meet certain seismic standards. Now, one healthcare facility is about to put its seismic technology and preparations to the test.

At Loma Linda University (LLU) Medical Center, officials initially planned to modify the existing buildings, according to Highland Community News. But retrofitting the three towers, which had been built in the late 1960s, became challenging. So in 2010, the hospital board approved the construction of a new hospital and the expansion of the LLU Children’s Hospital tower. LLU Medical Center recently received its certificate of occupancy, meaning the hospital now can pursue licensing from the California Department of Public Health.

The whole building sits on 126 base isolators, which allow the building to accommodate movement during a seismic event.

Smaller ancillary projects, including the construction of parking structures and a retrofitting of the entire utility plant to meet the new standards and increase the capacity of the utilities that feed the hospital, were all done first.

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