UC Davis' $579M ambulatory center on schedule despite weather, supply challenges

Construction of the largest ambulatory care center in the country is currently underway on the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento, Calif., according to a Nov. 7 report from the Sacramento Business Journal. 

Builders topped out the facility, named the 48X Complex, in August, and it is still on track to open in mid-2025, its original expected completion date, despite breaking ground months before historic winter storms delayed construction projects statewide. 

The $579 million complex will have 268,000 square feet and 14 operating rooms. The facility is expected to cut down on wait times for several outpatient procedures, especially for orthopedics. 

The facility will also free up UC Davis' hospital operating rooms for more extreme and severe patients. 

The project design-build team is being led by DPR Construction and the SmithGroup, who are working to make sure the facility is completed on time, despite weather, supply chain and cost challenges. 

A DPR project executive told the Journal that his team has been keeping the project's importance in mind to keep it on schedule.

One of the things the construction team did to prepare for poor weather was pour a three-inch "mud slab" over the site after they finished excavation. That kept the site dry and usable over the winter, when the massive rainfall would have otherwise turned the dirt worksite into a mud hole. 

The construction team is also using prefabricated elements to keep the project on track, including building the bathrooms and walls off-site in a warehouse. 

When the infrastructure is in place to support them, they will be moved into place. 

"A bathroom that would normally have taken three weeks is done in about four hours," Abe Sipes, a DPR project executive, told the Journal. 

The team also worked to get ahead of things like supply chain issues and the steel shortage so they didn't end up impacting the project.


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