How long does it take to remodel a helicopter landing zone atop a hospital?
Actual down time? Eight hours.
Determined the trauma center should resume incoming and outgoing flights as quickly as possible, the San Diego-based contractor worked closely with UCSD project management and subcontractors to bring the existing helipad up to Caltrans and FAA standards.
“The helipad receives four to six hospital transfers per day, so it was extremely important that we minimize the time that it would be closed,” said Hollis Gentry, director of medical services for Pacific Building Group.
During the eight-hour work window, the construction team removed the wind cone and lighting and installed improved assemblies to include upgraded LED lighting.
Concurrently, the team reconfigured the landing pad through the demolition of perimeter curbing, removal of the existing finish, sealing and re-coating with a high-performance, nonslip coating.
This required a complete shutdown of the elevated heliport — which originally had been anticipated to last two weeks.
After returning the heliport to service, the construction crew applied the required heliport contrast color markings and designations over the next three days – while the helipad was operational, builders said.
During completion of this detail work, the team was required to suspend coating operations to allow for numerous Medevac Air ambulance landings and departures.
“To accomplish this project quickly and efficiently, we enlisted a construction and management team of 14 people during the eight-hour shift,” Gentry said. “We prepared for months in advance, worked diligently the day of and always kept UCSD and their patients top of mind. It was a challenge, and we’re glad we were able to deliver ahead of schedule.”
Pacific Building Group team members included Gentry, senior project manager Gary D. Rhoads and estimator Vince Gonzales.
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