Walsh VA Loma Linda Project: Bringing quality care to veterans

Walsh VA Loma Linda Project: Bringing quality care to veterans

The Walsh Construction Company has practiced general building construction since its foundation in 1949 by Matthew Myles Walsh. Since then, the company has gone through four generations of leadership and established itself as the largest construction firm in Chicago and one of the nation’s top 15 contractors.


With experience in a wide variety of sectors, the group’s health care division has grown substantially over the past decade, now representing one of the largest single building disciplines in which the company performs work. 


Most recently, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) awarded a major contract to Walsh Construction to build a 345,000 gross square-foot Ambulatory Care Center for the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System.


The three-story outpatient clinic will be run day in and day out and will be located on Redlands Boulevard in Loma Linda, California.


As project manager, Randy Moon has a number of priorities when it comes to overseeing the entire project: ensuring the safety of his employees, remaining below the $117 construction budget and completing the project by March 2016. But with over 10 years experience at Walsh Construction, Moon is prepared and proud to oversee a project of this size.


“This is, for me personally as a veteran, a good thing to be a part of,” said Moon. “I’m proud to be part of the VA group to build hospitals for veterans.”


Safety Procedures

Currently, there are a total of 50 individuals working on the project and Moon’s first and foremost priority is safety.


“We hold several weekly meetings. One is called a Safety Stand-In Meeting and we have that every morning on Tuesdays,” said Moon. “It collects all the workers together and we do a quick 15-20 minute topic discussion for that day with things to look for that week. It’s a forum where workers can express their opinions or concerns and it’s also a venue to congratulate workers for doing well.”


Additionally, Walsh Construction has laid out a Safety Matrix that helps outline what management needs to be trained on in order to meet safety requirements. From various classes to recertification periods, the matrix allows team members to stay compliant.


Innovative Technology

Walsh Construction is completing all of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems on the care center. In order to be successful, the company is implementing BIM (building information modeling) technology to model the design in 3D prior to executing the work.


“We also have a channel-based punch list that we’ve developed internally that we’re going to be using for the project and we’re going to be putting up two webcams to help monitor the overall process of the program,” said Moon.


The project will incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design elements and water-wise landscape which Moon describes as being “very important.”


“When you go for any sort of LEED accreditation (which is part of the lease agreement), you have to comply with trying to save water,” said Moon. “One item that the city of Loma Linda is eventually going to provide is reclaimed water to use for the irrigation system. We have low-water plumbing fixtures as well so it all ties into qualifying for the LEED requirements themselves.”


Six Goals for the Project

With a year and a half still pending for the project’s completion, Randy Moon outlined six goals he has for the project.


“First and foremost, safety,” said Moon. “To ensure that everyone goes home safe and we have a safe project. Number two is schedule – we want to definitely make sure that we finish on time and we are meeting the dates that we have set forth and are meeting certain milestones. Three would be budget – to make sure we stay within budget. Five is to make sure my staff is growing internally and six would be developing good subcontractor relationships.”


Walsh Construction continues to focus its efforts on expanding its presence in the health care marketplace and the Loma Linda project will certainly continue that dedication.