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Steel’s Up in SoCal
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM.

Steel framing has topped out recently for two Southern California healthcare projects.


mlk_high-res-102.jpgIt happened just last week for the new $150-million Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Los Angeles. Over the past few months, steelworkers installed 1,500 pieces (totaling 1,000 tons) of structural steel to create the frame for the new facility.


Photo: A steel worker secures the ceremonial steel beam to the top of the structure (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy of the office of L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.


During the topping out ceremony, Michael Wiggins, project director for general contractor McCarthy Building Companies, said, “In just six months, the contract was awarded, design was completed, permitting was obtained and topping out of the structural steel was accomplished.”


The design-build team of McCarthy and HDR Architecture, Inc. is building the new 132,550-sq.-ft facility to meet LEED Gold standards. The four-story medical facility, which broke ground in January, will house five operating rooms plus dentistry, oncology and physical and occupational therapy services. Additionally, the project will include a 31,000-sq.-ft LEED Silver-rated renovation to existing administration space.


Scheduled for an early completion in July 2013, the project is highlighted by a mix of modern green features and BIM. “The BIM process is currently in progress,” said Wiggins. “All major subcontractors participate in 3D coordination of systems to avoid issues in the field, and the project team is using a web-based paperless submittal system and will provide the owner with an Electronic Facility Maintenance Guide at closeout.”


For more information about the project, visit McCarthy’s website, (direct link:


McCarthy is also the general contractor for the new $450-million Torrance Memorial Medical Center Patient Tower in Torrance, Calif., which topped out in March. During the steel erection phase, ironworkers from Herrick Steel, an AISC member and AISC Certified Fabricator, placed 5,820 pieces of structural steel within three months for the new tower’s framing system.


The hospital, designed by HMC Architects, will replace Torrance Memorial’s original tower built in 1971 and will feature the latest medical technologies, more beds and space and a modern design. The seven-level patient tower will house 256 private rooms, 18 surgical and interventional treatment rooms and a basement with a central utility plant, as well as a tunnel connecting the existing hospital to the new facility.


Expected to be completed in late 2014, the design-build team is using BIM, including NavisWorks 3D project modeling, for clash detection and coordination to assist with extensive MEP overhead and in-wall coordination, as well as seismic bracing and exterior skin systems.

McCarthy has created a video series that tracks the project’s construction progress. Several videos are currently available, including one of the topping out celebration showing the final piece of steel being raised into place on top of the tower. Check them out at



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