Carpenters on the cutting edge at Valley Med
The new Receiving and Supply Center at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center takes shape. An underground tunnel will connect it to the main building seen in the background
If you or your loved ones are ever sick enough to need hospitalization, you want the facility to provide first-rate support services, as well as the best health care. If the hospital you find yourself in is Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, that's what you can expect—and you will have, in part, your fellow union members to thank for it.
The voters of Santa Clara County overwhelmingly passed Measure A in November 2008, to provide funds to meet the state's mandate for earthquake safety at SCVMC. Fifty-three million of those funds were earmarked for a new Receiving and Supply Center, and construction of that 145,000 square-foot center is well underway.
Noe Cuadros (on the lift) and Sammy Quinones, both from Local 9144.
Construction began in April 2011, and is expected to be completed in July 2013. Hensel Phelps is the general contractor, and J&J Acoustics is the sub for the metal studs and drywall.
"We're about 35 percent complete," says Darren Leary, the Project Supervisor for Hensel Phelps. "We've got about 30 union members at work on the site right now, but at its peak, there will be about 50."
SCVMC is already well known as an important teaching institution, associated with both Stanford and UC medical schools. Most Stanford residency programs have rotations there. It also attracts some of the best medical talent in the state, and now those doctors and technicians will have one of the state's best medical facilities in which to practice—courtesy of some of the state's best craftspeople: union carpenters.
Nicacio Rios, Local 9144.
Miguel Barajas, Local 9144.
The new RSC will provide patients at SCVMC with state-of-the-art support services, including a thoroughly modern kitchen that occupies the entire first floor. Sophisticated modern labs will be housed on the upper floors, and the building will connect to the main hospital by an underground tunnel, so materials can be easily shuttled back and forth.
In addition to setting a new standard for earthquake protection, the entire building will have a Gold certification from LEED, the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
Walter Bachelor, Local 9068.
Edwin Dominguez, Local 9068.
General foreman Mark Zigarelli, Local 405, has been a union member since 1978.
Jose De Luna Jr., Local 9144, is the foreman for J&J Acoustics.
An enhanced exterior wall system will minimize heat loss and gain, and improve patient and staff comfort. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) building materials will reduce indoor air pollution. The building will have water efficient plumbing fixtures, use sustainably harvested wood in the construction, have a healthy, energy-efficient ventilation system, landscape design to minimize irrigation, and exterior lighting to reduce night-time light pollution. And, like other buildings on the medical center's campus, it will have a full array of solar panels on the roof. SCVMC will supply 10 percent of its own energy needs with its solar panels.
Besides the satisfaction of knowing they are building something that serves people in need, the UBC members at work on the project—and the rest of us—can be assured that first-rate medical support services will be available should the need arise.
Third-period apprentice Ryan Delgado, Local 405.
Jeremy Hennager, Local 405.
Bill Harks and Chris Osorio, both of Local 405, work on the loose form architectural wall.