Hospital Achieves Safety and Fire Requirements with Lightweight Concrete

Denver CO

Although ground was broken on November 1, 2006 for the new Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, planning for this new facility began back in 1994 when the California State Legislature passed SB1953, which required by 2030 that all hospital buildings in the state of California be operational following a major earthquake.

Designed by Anshen & Allen of San Francisco, this six story, 450,000 square foot medical center provides a dramatic gateway to the city of Burlingame. Engineers for the project, Dominic Campi, Thomas Lauck, and William Holmes of Rutherford & Chekene in San Francisco maintained strict planning for fire and seismic safety under the guidelines of OSHPD.

To assist in achieving the goals of safety and fire requirements, use of lightweight concrete was specified. Central Concrete, a US Concrete company and a well known major supplier of both lightweight and standard weight concrete in the region, was chosen to supply this project with the required 5500 cubic yards of lightweight concrete needed. Partnering with Graniterock of San Jose, the Boulder, CO plant railed nearly 30 rail cars filled with vacuum saturated structural lightweight aggregate to Graniterock for this project.

With a maximum plastic (fresh) density of 125 pounds per cubic foot, Central Concrete needed to achieve the engineer's specified dry density of 116 pounds per cubic foot, which was done with ease.

The vacuum saturation process allows for immediate saturation of the lightweight aggregate, therefore minimal "maintenance moisture" was needed at the customer's batch plant. This allows for "ship it – use it" inventory control by the ready mix producer, greatly enhancing the pumpability while bringing enhanced inventory management capabilities to these producers.

Central Concrete has long utilized these advantages to aid their wealth of success in producing and delivering structural lightweight concrete throughout their Northern California service region.

Courtesy of Larry Kollerer, Senior Project Manager, here are a few interesting facts about the construction of Mills-Peninsula Medical Center expansion project:

  • An average of 308 people per day worked on the construction site. This totals over 1.6 million worked hours.
  • Approximately 250,000 pounds of copper wire (6.5 million feet) were installed to power lights and receptacles.
  • 1,200 miles of data cable were installed in the new facility. If this cable was stretched out in a straight line, it would run from Los Angeles to Dallas.
  • More than 60 million pounds of concrete were placed to construct the new hospital.
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