Healthcare

Good Samaritan Children’s Therapy Unit exterior in Puyallup, Washington
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Designed to emulate the shape of Noah’s Ark, the Dr. Donald & Beret Mott Children's Center provides an apt metaphor for children and their families—a safe haven as they navigate difficult health challenges. The 42,000 square-foot, two-story facility houses exam and therapy rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, research labs, and related spaces for children requiring physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other developmental services. The exposed, curved and sloping wood structure used throughout the building provides an emphasis on welcoming and uplifting children of all ages. This project was featured in Building Design & Construction (August 2001) and Architectural Record (July 2002).

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Illustrated above are decade snapshots that highlight six chapters of the 54+ year PCS story. Building on over 50 years of experience delivering structural solutions to our clients across the Pacific Northwest and beyond, present-day PCS Structural Solutions continues to grow and set our sights on a bright future. As you click through the images above, you will see snapshots of our history over the decades. We have marked only a handful of the projects, partners, and milestones that shaped the growth and development of our firm - the complete narrative includes our entire staff, great clients and industry partners who have shared in moments of the first 50 years.  

 
Our first decade as a firm: In 1965, Ray Chalker and Skip Bush established Chalker Engineers—the same year the Beatles released four new albums including “Help”, gas was 31 cents a gallon, and an attempt to move the Cleveland Indians to Seattle fell apart.

 

In the early 1980's, Chalker Engineers (known today as PCS Structural Solutions) designed a network of glulam arching trusses to span further than ever before and incorporated pre-cast concrete hollow core planks to shave time off construction schedules.  At the same time, big hair and neon dominated fashion, the average cost of a new home was $82,200, and Bill Gates was hired by IBM to create an operating system for a new PC.

 

2nd generation of leadership: in 1987, Dan Putnam, Jim Collins, and Don Scott took over the reins as firm leaders with the support of their associates depicted above (left to right) Aaron Goodwin, Gary Beckner, Rick Oehmcke, and Jack Pinkard. 1987 was also the year that Bon Jovi was topping the charts with his smash hit "Livin' on a Prayer", the cost of Superbowl ad was $600,000, and the Seattle Seahawks signed "The Boz", Brian Bosworth, to the biggest rookie contract in NFL history.

 

Our 4th decade as a firm began with key projects that marked the revitalization of downtown Tacoma, the growth of our Seattle office, and ended with PCS championing and embracing the soon-to-be BIM revolution. The turn of the century also brought us reality TV (50 million viewers watched the first season finale of Survivor), oil topping at $30/barrel for the first time, and banking software that used four digits to represent the year.

 

Celebrating our 5th decade: In 2007, after collaborating with Dan, Jim and Don on a legacy rebrand campaign, Brian Phair and Craig Stauffer transitioned into CEO and President of PCS Structural Solutions  ushering in a new era of 3D design tools and pushing a culture of enhanced collaboration. 

 

Looking ahead from 2016 and beyond to the next 50 years, we eagerly look forward to future decades and the stories and relationships they will bring. The opening of our new Portland office and expansion of our Seattle space will enable us to continue working as one unified firm with national reach and a singular passion.

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Illustrated above are decade snapshots that highlight six chapters of the 54+ year PCS story. Building on over 50 years of experience delivering structural solutions to our clients across the Pacific Northwest and beyond, present-day PCS Structural Solutions continues to grow and set our sights on a bright future. As you click through the images above, you will see snapshots of our history over the decades. We have marked only a handful of the projects, partners, and milestones that shaped the growth and development of our firm - the complete narrative includes our entire staff, great clients and industry partners who have shared in moments of the first 50 years.  

 
Our first decade as a firm: In 1965, Ray Chalker and Skip Bush established Chalker Engineers—the same year the Beatles released four new albums including “Help”, gas was 31 cents a gallon, and an attempt to move the Cleveland Indians to Seattle fell apart.

 

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Our 4th decade as a firm began with key projects that marked the revitalization of downtown Tacoma, the growth of our Seattle office, and ended with PCS championing and embracing the soon-to-be BIM revolution. The turn of the century also brought us reality TV (50 million viewers watched the first season finale of Survivor), oil topping at $30/barrel for the first time, and banking software that used four digits to represent the year.

 

Celebrating our 5th decade: In 2007, after collaborating with Dan, Jim and Don on a legacy rebrand campaign, Brian Phair and Craig Stauffer transitioned into CEO and President of PCS Structural Solutions  ushering in a new era of 3D design tools and pushing a culture of enhanced collaboration. 

 

Looking ahead from 2016 and beyond to the next 50 years, we eagerly look forward to future decades and the stories and relationships they will bring. The opening of our new Portland office and expansion of our Seattle space will enable us to continue working as one unified firm with national reach and a singular passion.

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Illustrated above are decade snapshots that highlight six chapters of the 54+ year PCS story. Building on over 50 years of experience delivering structural solutions to our clients across the Pacific Northwest and beyond, present-day PCS Structural Solutions continues to grow and set our sights on a bright future. As you click through the images above, you will see snapshots of our history over the decades. We have marked only a handful of the projects, partners, and milestones that shaped the growth and development of our firm - the complete narrative includes our entire staff, great clients and industry partners who have shared in moments of the first 50 years.  

 
Our first decade as a firm: In 1965, Ray Chalker and Skip Bush established Chalker Engineers—the same year the Beatles released four new albums including “Help”, gas was 31 cents a gallon, and an attempt to move the Cleveland Indians to Seattle fell apart.

 

In the early 1980's, Chalker Engineers (known today as PCS Structural Solutions) designed a network of glulam arching trusses to span further than ever before and incorporated pre-cast concrete hollow core planks to shave time off construction schedules.  At the same time, big hair and neon dominated fashion, the average cost of a new home was $82,200, and Bill Gates was hired by IBM to create an operating system for a new PC.

 

2nd generation of leadership: in 1987, Dan Putnam, Jim Collins, and Don Scott took over the reins as firm leaders with the support of their associates depicted above (left to right) Aaron Goodwin, Gary Beckner, Rick Oehmcke, and Jack Pinkard. 1987 was also the year that Bon Jovi was topping the charts with his smash hit "Livin' on a Prayer", the cost of Superbowl ad was $600,000, and the Seattle Seahawks signed "The Boz", Brian Bosworth, to the biggest rookie contract in NFL history.

 

Our 4th decade as a firm began with key projects that marked the revitalization of downtown Tacoma, the growth of our Seattle office, and ended with PCS championing and embracing the soon-to-be BIM revolution. The turn of the century also brought us reality TV (50 million viewers watched the first season finale of Survivor), oil topping at $30/barrel for the first time, and banking software that used four digits to represent the year.

 

Celebrating our 5th decade: In 2007, after collaborating with Dan, Jim and Don on a legacy rebrand campaign, Brian Phair and Craig Stauffer transitioned into CEO and President of PCS Structural Solutions  ushering in a new era of 3D design tools and pushing a culture of enhanced collaboration. 

 

Looking ahead from 2016 and beyond to the next 50 years, we eagerly look forward to future decades and the stories and relationships they will bring. The opening of our new Portland office and expansion of our Seattle space will enable us to continue working as one unified firm with national reach and a singular passion.

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Illustrated above are decade snapshots that highlight six chapters of the 54+ year PCS story. Building on over 50 years of experience delivering structural solutions to our clients across the Pacific Northwest and beyond, present-day PCS Structural Solutions continues to grow and set our sights on a bright future. As you click through the images above, you will see snapshots of our history over the decades. We have marked only a handful of the projects, partners, and milestones that shaped the growth and development of our firm - the complete narrative includes our entire staff, great clients and industry partners who have shared in moments of the first 50 years.  

 
Our first decade as a firm: In 1965, Ray Chalker and Skip Bush established Chalker Engineers—the same year the Beatles released four new albums including “Help”, gas was 31 cents a gallon, and an attempt to move the Cleveland Indians to Seattle fell apart.

 

In the early 1980's, Chalker Engineers (known today as PCS Structural Solutions) designed a network of glulam arching trusses to span further than ever before and incorporated pre-cast concrete hollow core planks to shave time off construction schedules.  At the same time, big hair and neon dominated fashion, the average cost of a new home was $82,200, and Bill Gates was hired by IBM to create an operating system for a new PC.

 

2nd generation of leadership: in 1987, Dan Putnam, Jim Collins, and Don Scott took over the reins as firm leaders with the support of their associates depicted above (left to right) Aaron Goodwin, Gary Beckner, Rick Oehmcke, and Jack Pinkard. 1987 was also the year that Bon Jovi was topping the charts with his smash hit "Livin' on a Prayer", the cost of Superbowl ad was $600,000, and the Seattle Seahawks signed "The Boz", Brian Bosworth, to the biggest rookie contract in NFL history.

 

Our 4th decade as a firm began with key projects that marked the revitalization of downtown Tacoma, the growth of our Seattle office, and ended with PCS championing and embracing the soon-to-be BIM revolution. The turn of the century also brought us reality TV (50 million viewers watched the first season finale of Survivor), oil topping at $30/barrel for the first time, and banking software that used four digits to represent the year.

 

Celebrating our 5th decade: In 2007, after collaborating with Dan, Jim and Don on a legacy rebrand campaign, Brian Phair and Craig Stauffer transitioned into CEO and President of PCS Structural Solutions  ushering in a new era of 3D design tools and pushing a culture of enhanced collaboration. 

 

Looking ahead from 2016 and beyond to the next 50 years, we eagerly look forward to future decades and the stories and relationships they will bring. The opening of our new Portland office and expansion of our Seattle space will enable us to continue working as one unified firm with national reach and a singular passion.

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In the aftermath of a major earthquake, it’s crucial that hospitals remain fully operational. How did PCS improve seismic resilience at the Central Utility Plant (CUP) at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital?

Our task was to make sure the hospital could keep running during and after a seismic event. Like many hospitals, Tacoma General runs on hydraulic power produced by the CUP. Many steam lines begin and end at the CUP, so they were an Achilles heel for the hospital: if the lines broke during an earthquake, then the hospital would effectively shut down. We had to seismically anchor the piping so it would stay in place and continue to function after an earthquake.

 

What was challenging about this particular project?

Our engineers needed an accurate model of the space to determine the best locations to place the seismic anchors, but the piping was so complex and densely interwoven that it simply wasn’t possible to use traditional as-built methods to determine the existing piping layout.

 

What bold solution did you use to solve this problem?

We used point cloud scanning to create an accurate 3D visualization of the space, then generated our Revit model based on the scans.

 

How does point cloud scanning work?

A 3D scanner on a tripod uses laser beams to record the X-, Y-, and Z-coordinates of millions of points on surfaces that the scanner can “see” from its vantage point. All those points are then assembled to create a fuzzy 3D image of the space.

 

What other challenges did the project team overcome?

The scanner’s lasers can’t record anything beyond the first object they hit – so the pipes behind the ones in front will only be recorded in bits and pieces where the lasers can “see through” gaps in the array. Our Revit model had to show every pipe flowing continuously through the space, not just the incomplete segments from the scan. Our process was a bit like a Sudoku puzzle in 3D: model the obvious pieces captured by the scan first in small chunks, then piece them all together and use deduction to fill in the gaps of missing pipe. I wrote some custom software especially for this project that helped streamline that process.

 

What did you take away from this project?

How invaluable point cloud scanning can be! The point cloud gave us a way to “see” the site from many angles with perfect accuracy while we modeled it, reducing mistakes in the modeling process and allowing for smoother and less disruptive installation of the seismic anchorage. With our Revit model, the engineers were able to design anchors to secure the piping—ensuring Tacoma General Hospital will keep on running regardless of rain, shine, or earthquakes.

 

 

Sage Cowsert is a Senior BIM Technician with more than 20 years of experience at PCS. Sage is a valued resource for his coworkers as well as his clients; with an eye for streamlining everyday processes and complex modeling challenges, he frequently builds custom programs that boost efficiency firm-wide.

 

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In the aftermath of a major earthquake, it’s crucial that hospitals remain fully operational. How did PCS improve seismic resilience at the Central Utility Plant (CUP) at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital?
Our task was to make sure the hospital could keep running during and after a seismic event. Like many hospitals, Tacoma General runs on hydraulic power produced by the CUP. Many steam lines begin and end at the CUP, so they were an Achilles heel for the hospital: if the lines broke during an earthquake, then the hospital would effectively shut down. We had to seismically anchor the piping so it would stay in place and continue to function after an earthquake.
 
What was challenging about this particular project?
Our engineers needed an accurate model of the space to determine the best locations to place the seismic anchors, but the piping was so complex and densely interwoven that it simply wasn’t possible to use traditional as-built methods to determine the existing piping layout.
 
What bold solution did you use to solve this problem?
We used point cloud scanning to create an accurate 3D visualization of the space, then generated our Revit model based on the scans.
 
How does point cloud scanning work?
A 3D scanner on a tripod uses laser beams to record the X-, Y-, and Z-coordinates of millions of points on surfaces that the scanner can “see” from its vantage point. All those points are then assembled to create a fuzzy 3D image of the space.
 
What other challenges did the project team overcome?
The scanner’s lasers can’t record anything beyond the first object they hit – so the pipes behind the ones in front will only be recorded in bits and pieces where the lasers can “see through” gaps in the array. Our Revit model had to show every pipe flowing continuously through the space, not just the incomplete segments from the scan. Our process was a bit like a Sudoku puzzle in 3D: model the obvious pieces captured by the scan first in small chunks, then piece them all together and use deduction to fill in the gaps of missing pipe. I wrote some custom software especially for this project that helped streamline that process.
 
What did you take away from this project?
How invaluable point cloud scanning can be! The point cloud gave us a way to “see” the site from many angles with perfect accuracy while we modeled it, reducing mistakes in the modeling process and allowing for smoother and less disruptive installation of the seismic anchorage. With our Revit model, the engineers were able to design anchors to secure the piping—ensuring Tacoma General Hospital will keep on running regardless of rain, shine, or earthquakes.
 
 
Sage Cowsert is a Senior BIM Technician with more than 20 years of experience at PCS. Sage is a valued resource for his coworkers as well as his clients; with an eye for streamlining everyday processes and complex modeling challenges, he frequently builds custom programs that boost efficiency firm-wide.
 

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In the aftermath of a major earthquake, it’s crucial that hospitals remain fully operational. How did PCS improve seismic resilience at the Central Utility Plant (CUP) at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital?

Our task was to make sure the hospital could keep running during and after a seismic event. Like many hospitals, Tacoma General runs on hydraulic power produced by the CUP. Many steam lines begin and end at the CUP, so they were an Achilles heel for the hospital: if the lines broke during an earthquake, then the hospital would effectively shut down. We had to seismically anchor the piping so it would stay in place and continue to function after an earthquake.

 

What was challenging about this particular project?

Our engineers needed an accurate model of the space to determine the best locations to place the seismic anchors, but the piping was so complex and densely interwoven that it simply wasn’t possible to use traditional as-built methods to determine the existing piping layout.

 

What bold solution did you use to solve this problem?

We used point cloud scanning to create an accurate 3D visualization of the space, then generated our Revit model based on the scans.

 

How does point cloud scanning work?

A 3D scanner on a tripod uses laser beams to record the X-, Y-, and Z-coordinates of millions of points on surfaces that the scanner can “see” from its vantage point. All those points are then assembled to create a fuzzy 3D image of the space.

 

What other challenges did the project team overcome?

The scanner’s lasers can’t record anything beyond the first object they hit – so the pipes behind the ones in front will only be recorded in bits and pieces where the lasers can “see through” gaps in the array. Our Revit model had to show every pipe flowing continuously through the space, not just the incomplete segments from the scan. Our process was a bit like a Sudoku puzzle in 3D: model the obvious pieces captured by the scan first in small chunks, then piece them all together and use deduction to fill in the gaps of missing pipe. I wrote some custom software especially for this project that helped streamline that process.

 

What did you take away from this project?

How invaluable point cloud scanning can be! The point cloud gave us a way to “see” the site from many angles with perfect accuracy while we modeled it, reducing mistakes in the modeling process and allowing for smoother and less disruptive installation of the seismic anchorage. With our Revit model, the engineers were able to design anchors to secure the piping—ensuring Tacoma General Hospital will keep on running regardless of rain, shine, or earthquakes.

 

 

Sage Cowsert is a Senior BIM Technician with more than 20 years of experience at PCS. Sage is a valued resource for his coworkers as well as his clients; with an eye for streamlining everyday processes and complex modeling challenges, he frequently builds custom programs that boost efficiency firm-wide.

 

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In the aftermath of a major earthquake, it’s crucial that hospitals remain fully operational. How did PCS improve seismic resilience at the Central Utility Plant (CUP) at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital?
Our task was to make sure the hospital could keep running during and after a seismic event. Like many hospitals, Tacoma General runs on hydraulic power produced by the CUP. Many steam lines begin and end at the CUP, so they were an Achilles heel for the hospital: if the lines broke during an earthquake, then the hospital would effectively shut down. We had to seismically anchor the piping so it would stay in place and continue to function after an earthquake.
 
What was challenging about this particular project?
Our engineers needed an accurate model of the space to determine the best locations to place the seismic anchors, but the piping was so complex and densely interwoven that it simply wasn’t possible to use traditional as-built methods to determine the existing piping layout.
 
What bold solution did you use to solve this problem?
We used point cloud scanning to create an accurate 3D visualization of the space, then generated our Revit model based on the scans.
 
How does point cloud scanning work?
A 3D scanner on a tripod uses laser beams to record the X-, Y-, and Z-coordinates of millions of points on surfaces that the scanner can “see” from its vantage point. All those points are then assembled to create a fuzzy 3D image of the space.
 
What other challenges did the project team overcome?
The scanner’s lasers can’t record anything beyond the first object they hit – so the pipes behind the ones in front will only be recorded in bits and pieces where the lasers can “see through” gaps in the array. Our Revit model had to show every pipe flowing continuously through the space, not just the incomplete segments from the scan. Our process was a bit like a Sudoku puzzle in 3D: model the obvious pieces captured by the scan first in small chunks, then piece them all together and use deduction to fill in the gaps of missing pipe. I wrote some custom software especially for this project that helped streamline that process.
 
What did you take away from this project?
How invaluable point cloud scanning can be! The point cloud gave us a way to “see” the site from many angles with perfect accuracy while we modeled it, reducing mistakes in the modeling process and allowing for smoother and less disruptive installation of the seismic anchorage. With our Revit model, the engineers were able to design anchors to secure the piping—ensuring Tacoma General Hospital will keep on running regardless of rain, shine, or earthquakes.
 
 
Sage Cowsert is a Senior BIM Technician with more than 20 years of experience at PCS. Sage is a valued resource for his coworkers as well as his clients; with an eye for streamlining everyday processes and complex modeling challenges, he frequently builds custom programs that boost efficiency firm-wide.
 

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The South Sound Behavioral Hospital will bring 108 much-needed new beds for psychiatric health services to Lacey, WA. What was PCS’s approach to this project?

This project is actually an adaptive reuse of an existing 1980s office building which required extensive seismic upgrades. The owner wanted to save costs by letting the seismic retrofit drive the final design, so we realized that determining the pressing questions early on was key to leveraging this approach.

With early facilitation of retrofit options with the building department—leveraging our longstanding relationship with the agency—we knew we could achieve an early structural permit, fueling an aggressive project schedule. This was particularly key for the out-of-state developer.

 

How did you achieve that early structural permit?

We reached out to the building official at the City of Lacey to discuss our process. After we gave him our preliminary scope, we coordinated a meeting at 60 percent progress to show how our design had evolved, followed by a permit intake. At that point, if everything was similar to our 60-percent progress drawings, he told us that he could approve our structural permit in 48 hours or less.

We pushed a lot of work through in a short amount of time and came to the permit intake meeting at 95 percent construction documents. The building official was impressed with our presentation and how little our retrofit approach had changed between 60 percent and 95 percent. Both those factors enabled him to approve the permit almost immediately.

 

How did the early permit affect the construction process?

The structural permit was approved a full two months ahead of the building permit, which enabled the contractor to get an early start on shop drawings, groundwork, foundations and slab strengthening. Our proactive work provided added value by buying back some time in the schedule.

 

What was your bold solution to retrofit this building within the budget and schedule constraints?

The existing building was constructed very economically with a braced frame structure. To save costs and replace the braced frames with a safer, more resilient system, we “cut” the building in two to seismically isolate each half and redirect load. Then we replaced the braced frames with one strategically placed concrete wall, which balanced the force distribution across the separate buildings.

 

What tools did you take away from this project?

We learned that it’s possible to achieve a tight schedule by engaging early in discussions with the permitting jurisdiction. With early research and maintaining a consistent retrofit strategy, we achieved an “over-the-counter” structural permit on a $25 million hospital.  This early structural focus and intensity added significant value by providing more time and flexibility for the broader design team.

 

 

Todd Parke is an Associate Principal with PCS and has been with the firm since 2006. As one of PCS’s Healthcare Team leaders, his extensive background in hospital and medical office design informs his efforts to expand the firm’s healthcare market presence across the Northwest.

 

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The South Sound Behavioral Hospital will bring 108 much-needed new beds for psychiatric health services to Lacey, WA. What was PCS’s approach to this project?
This project is actually an adaptive reuse of an existing 1980s office building which required extensive seismic upgrades. The owner wanted to save costs by letting the seismic retrofit drive the final design, so we realized that determining the pressing questions early on was key to leveraging this approach.
With early facilitation of retrofit options with the building department—leveraging our longstanding relationship with the agency—we knew we could achieve an early structural permit, fueling an aggressive project schedule. This was particularly key for the out-of-state developer.
 
How did you achieve that early structural permit?
We reached out to the building official at the City of Lacey to discuss our process. After we gave him our preliminary scope, we coordinated a meeting at 60 percent progress to show how our design had evolved, followed by a permit intake. At that point, if everything was similar to our 60-percent progress drawings, he told us that he could approve our structural permit in 48 hours or less.
We pushed a lot of work through in a short amount of time and came to the permit intake meeting at 95 percent construction documents. The building official was impressed with our presentation and how little our retrofit approach had changed between 60 percent and 95 percent. Both those factors enabled him to approve the permit almost immediately.
 
How did the early permit affect the construction process?
The structural permit was approved a full two months ahead of the building permit, which enabled the contractor to get an early start on shop drawings, groundwork, foundations and slab strengthening. Our proactive work provided added value by buying back some time in the schedule.
 
What was your bold solution to retrofit this building within the budget and schedule constraints?
The existing building was constructed very economically with a braced frame structure. To save costs and replace the braced frames with a safer, more resilient system, we “cut” the building in two to seismically isolate each half and redirect load. Then we replaced the braced frames with one strategically placed concrete wall, which balanced the force distribution across the separate buildings.
 
What tools did you take away from this project?
We learned that it’s possible to achieve a tight schedule by engaging early in discussions with the permitting jurisdiction. With early research and maintaining a consistent retrofit strategy, we achieved an “over-the-counter” structural permit on a $25 million hospital.  This early structural focus and intensity added significant value by providing more time and flexibility for the broader design team.
 
 
Todd Parke is an Associate Principal with PCS and has been with the firm since 2006. As one of PCS’s Healthcare Team leaders, his extensive background in hospital and medical office design informs his efforts to expand the firm’s healthcare market presence across the Northwest.
 

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["entity_type"]=> string(4) "node" ["entity"]=> object(stdClass)#227 (36) { ["vid"]=> string(3) "551" ["uid"]=> string(2) "78" ["title"]=> string(44) "PCS Stories: South Sound Behavioral Hospital" ["log"]=> string(0) "" ["status"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment"]=> string(1) "1" ["promote"]=> string(1) "0" ["sticky"]=> string(1) "0" ["nid"]=> string(3) "285" ["type"]=> string(15) "project_details" ["language"]=> string(3) "und" ["created"]=> string(10) "1534871275" ["changed"]=> string(10) "1610056654" ["tnid"]=> string(1) "0" ["translate"]=> string(1) "0" ["revision_timestamp"]=> string(10) "1610056654" ["revision_uid"]=> string(2) "78" ["body"]=> array(1) { ["und"]=> array(1) { [0]=> array(5) { ["value"]=> string(3489) "

The South Sound Behavioral Hospital will bring 108 much-needed new beds for psychiatric health services to Lacey, WA. What was PCS’s approach to this project?

This project is actually an adaptive reuse of an existing 1980s office building which required extensive seismic upgrades. The owner wanted to save costs by letting the seismic retrofit drive the final design, so we realized that determining the pressing questions early on was key to leveraging this approach.

With early facilitation of retrofit options with the building department—leveraging our longstanding relationship with the agency—we knew we could achieve an early structural permit, fueling an aggressive project schedule. This was particularly key for the out-of-state developer.

 

How did you achieve that early structural permit?

We reached out to the building official at the City of Lacey to discuss our process. After we gave him our preliminary scope, we coordinated a meeting at 60 percent progress to show how our design had evolved, followed by a permit intake. At that point, if everything was similar to our 60-percent progress drawings, he told us that he could approve our structural permit in 48 hours or less.

We pushed a lot of work through in a short amount of time and came to the permit intake meeting at 95 percent construction documents. The building official was impressed with our presentation and how little our retrofit approach had changed between 60 percent and 95 percent. Both those factors enabled him to approve the permit almost immediately.

 

How did the early permit affect the construction process?

The structural permit was approved a full two months ahead of the building permit, which enabled the contractor to get an early start on shop drawings, groundwork, foundations and slab strengthening. Our proactive work provided added value by buying back some time in the schedule.

 

What was your bold solution to retrofit this building within the budget and schedule constraints?

The existing building was constructed very economically with a braced frame structure. To save costs and replace the braced frames with a safer, more resilient system, we “cut” the building in two to seismically isolate each half and redirect load. Then we replaced the braced frames with one strategically placed concrete wall, which balanced the force distribution across the separate buildings.

 

What tools did you take away from this project?

We learned that it’s possible to achieve a tight schedule by engaging early in discussions with the permitting jurisdiction. With early research and maintaining a consistent retrofit strategy, we achieved an “over-the-counter” structural permit on a $25 million hospital.  This early structural focus and intensity added significant value by providing more time and flexibility for the broader design team.

 

 

Todd Parke is an Associate Principal with PCS and has been with the firm since 2006. As one of PCS’s Healthcare Team leaders, his extensive background in hospital and medical office design informs his efforts to expand the firm’s healthcare market presence across the Northwest.

 

" ["summary"]=> string(0) "" ["format"]=> string(13) "filtered_html" ["safe_value"]=> string(3375) "

The South Sound Behavioral Hospital will bring 108 much-needed new beds for psychiatric health services to Lacey, WA. What was PCS’s approach to this project?
This project is actually an adaptive reuse of an existing 1980s office building which required extensive seismic upgrades. The owner wanted to save costs by letting the seismic retrofit drive the final design, so we realized that determining the pressing questions early on was key to leveraging this approach.
With early facilitation of retrofit options with the building department—leveraging our longstanding relationship with the agency—we knew we could achieve an early structural permit, fueling an aggressive project schedule. This was particularly key for the out-of-state developer.
 
How did you achieve that early structural permit?
We reached out to the building official at the City of Lacey to discuss our process. After we gave him our preliminary scope, we coordinated a meeting at 60 percent progress to show how our design had evolved, followed by a permit intake. At that point, if everything was similar to our 60-percent progress drawings, he told us that he could approve our structural permit in 48 hours or less.
We pushed a lot of work through in a short amount of time and came to the permit intake meeting at 95 percent construction documents. The building official was impressed with our presentation and how little our retrofit approach had changed between 60 percent and 95 percent. Both those factors enabled him to approve the permit almost immediately.
 
How did the early permit affect the construction process?
The structural permit was approved a full two months ahead of the building permit, which enabled the contractor to get an early start on shop drawings, groundwork, foundations and slab strengthening. Our proactive work provided added value by buying back some time in the schedule.
 
What was your bold solution to retrofit this building within the budget and schedule constraints?
The existing building was constructed very economically with a braced frame structure. To save costs and replace the braced frames with a safer, more resilient system, we “cut” the building in two to seismically isolate each half and redirect load. Then we replaced the braced frames with one strategically placed concrete wall, which balanced the force distribution across the separate buildings.
 
What tools did you take away from this project?
We learned that it’s possible to achieve a tight schedule by engaging early in discussions with the permitting jurisdiction. With early research and maintaining a consistent retrofit strategy, we achieved an “over-the-counter” structural permit on a $25 million hospital.  This early structural focus and intensity added significant value by providing more time and flexibility for the broader design team.
 
 
Todd Parke is an Associate Principal with PCS and has been with the firm since 2006. As one of PCS’s Healthcare Team leaders, his extensive background in hospital and medical office design informs his efforts to expand the firm’s healthcare market presence across the Northwest.
 

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