Palomar Health’s New Palomar Medical Center in San Diego County Receives National and State Design and Construction Awards

San Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) December 27, 2012

The new Palomar Medical Center in Escondido has been named the 2012 national Best of the Best Health Care Projects, as well as Californias Best Health Care Project and Best Overall Project by Engineering News-Record (ENR), the premier publication for design and construction news.

The awards were presented to Palomar Health, CO Architects and DPR Construction for their exemplary and innovative work on the new hospital. Projects were judged by design and construction professionals. Palomar Medical Center, known as “The Hospital of the Future,” is featured in the December edition of ENR California.

In February, the editors of ENR will select one project from the national Best of the Best Projects winners as the Editors choice. Palomar Medical Center, as the winner in the Health Care category, is eligible for this award.

According to ENR editors, the Best of the Best Projects winners are truly outstanding examples for the entire construction industry of teamwork, safety, overcoming challenges, innovation and quality.

Palomar Healths flagship hospital opened on August 19, about four months after construction was completed and was paid in part through a bond passed by North San Diego County voters in 2004. The 11-story, 288-bed Palomar Medical Center is one of the largest buildings in the United States to use an integrated project delivery method and one of two hospitals in the nation with day-lighted operating rooms. At its groundbreaking in 2007, it was the largest project under construction in California. DPR took over construction management in 2008.

Many design and planning decisions were guided by patient-centric, experience-based design, which included documented input from individuals in all hospital departments. Flexibility was built in so the hospital can continually accommodate the changes to equipment, technology and treatment through the lifetime of the hospital. In addition, the hospital features a 1.5-acre rolling green roof, wireless access throughout the facility, expansive gardens and a large custom chandelier in the main lobby that makes a dramatic first impression for those visiting the hospital.

Project leaders said they were honored to receive the prestigious awards on behalf of all project participants and hailed the many people involved for their outstanding teamwork. The project tallied 4 million work hours, 6,000-plus craftspeople, 2,600 safety audits and more than 40,000 inspections. Twenty-five million pounds of structural steel and 5 million feet of electrical cable were used during construction.

These recognitions are a testament to everyone involved in the creation, planning and design of the new hospital including our Board and staff, said Palomar Health President and CEO Michael H. Covert. It represents a unique achievement and the next stage of development in the building of hospitals and the way we care for individuals in such settings.

DPR Construction Regional Manager Jay Leopold said the only thing that rivals the building and the achievement that were being recognized was the journey.

It is validating to be recognized for a truly significant accomplishment, not only for its complexity and scale but for the manner in which this project was delivered, collaboratively and as a united front, Leopold said. This major undertaking was a true example of high performance as a team.

CO Architects Principal and Project Director Tom Chessum, FAIA, said the dedication and focus on creating the best health care delivery, architectural design and construction processes resulted in a project that will revolutionize the face of health care design and delivery.

Palomar Medical Center represents a huge leap forward in the ongoing pursuit of innovations in health care architecture that contribute to better patient outcomes, Chessum said.

The design simultaneously embraces the natural world and the world of medical technology in a flexible, sustainable, and evidence-based environment of care, Chessum added. This visionary hospital of the future was realized through an integrated form of project delivery involving building information modeling and advanced teaming practices.

To read more about the national “Best of the Best Health Care Projects” award, visit To read more about the California awards visit,


Palomar Health is the largest public health-care district by area in California and the most comprehensive health care delivery system in northern San Diego County. It is governed by a publicly-elected board of directors, and its primary service area in Inland North San Diego County has more than 500,000 residents.

A Magnet

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