Project Detail


Mercy Medical Center Merced Replacement Hospital

Merced, CA United States



Project Description

RBB was commissioned to provide a master plan, design and construction services for a 267,000 SF replacement hospital. The new hospital more than doubles patient capacity and offers services not previously available in Merced, including trauma care and future invasive cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgery. The vision for Mercy Medical Center Merced was to provide a holistic healing environment for the mind, body and soul of patients, their families, and staff. Design elements include all private patient rooms with ample space for family members. Interiors feature a positive distraction in artwork, natural lithing, and views of nature to improve morale in patients, their families and care-givers. There are four meditative gardens on the campus, a chapel, and extensive water features.

Integral to the success of this project, completed in one of the most difficult economic periods for construction in California, was a Lean Design strategy. Through Lean planning and Evidence Based Design strategies, extraordinary savings were achieved in the initial construction cost, energy use, and operational cost. It is estimated that the client will achieve a projected savings of $40 million.

Design considerations for operational efficiencies utilized benchmarking studies of similar facilities, and input from hospital staff during planning and programming phases. RBB identified opportunities to streamline circulation and support areas throughout the hospital. The overall hospital floor plan is 20% more efficient than comparable facilities, as a result. Well planned adjacencies also support improved flow of staff and patients. The optimized space planning contributes to staffing efficiency, and reduced costs over time. With no impact to the size of patient and procedure rooms, overall space efficiency was maximized to achieve a 1,400 SF per bed hospital, compared to the average of 2,150 SF per bed in most hospitals. Average construction cost per bed for this hospital was $850,000, compared to typical facilities in the region that cost $1,400,000 per bed. It is important to note that the efficient outcomes were achieved without affecting the size of patient rooms.

This project also overcame challenges of escalating construction costs, requiring teh project schedule to be accelerated. RBB and the client developed a hybrid approach to an Integrated Project Delivery. A negotiated GMP contract was established, and a project team evolved with early participation of design-assist trades led by the GC and a PM-CM. This integrated approach enabled an accelerated construction schedule. The hospital was completed 60 days ahead of schedule, on budget, with less than 1% in change orders.


Project Details

Mercy Medical Center Merced Replacement Hospital
Shared by:
Firm Name:
Project Team:
    Joseph Balbona, AIA, LEED AP, ACHA, Principal in Charge of Planning & Design; Arthur Border, AIA, LEED AP, Managing Principal; Olive Schroder, AIA, LEED AP, ACHA, Sr. Project Manager; Annie Laurie Becket, Director of Interior Design
  • Construction Manager: Harris & Associates 
  • General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies 
  • Structural Engineer: KPFF 
  • Mechanical Engineer: M-E Engineers 
  • Electrical Engineer: N.A. Cohen Group 
  • Civil Engineer: Freming Parsons & Pecchenino 
  • Landscape Architect: Carter Romanek 
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Treadwell & Rollo 
Project Type:
Project Status:
Year Completed:
Project Size:
    267,000 sq ft
Construction Cost:
Green Certifications:


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