The Mission Hospital - St. Joseph Health System


The Mission Hospital Patient Care Tower in Mission Viejo, California is 4 stories over a basement for a total of 94,176 square feet. The Basement includes a central plant, tunnel to the existing tower, and a shelled space. The first floor includes the Imaging Department and a Chapel. The second floor contains more shelled space. The third floor houses the ICU. And the fourth floor is dedicated to medical / surgery beds and associated functions.




Determining Constructability of a Complex Design

Already well into construction on this exterior cladded addition to the hospital campus, the Owner did what any good patient would do they asked for a second opinion.


The first opinion was a $150,000 floor-to-floor height physical mock-up managed by the architect. This mock-up was built on-site to help the General Contractor, subcontractors, architects and owner’s representatives on the project to visualize the interaction of the glass curtain wall, the steel cladding, the gusset plate, the waterproofing, and the fireproofing solutions.





Realizing that the waterproofing and fireproofing systems were causing interference with the design, the Owner determined that the constructability risk was too much to bear. In the worst case scenario, leaking and mold could compromise the entire hospital’s infection prevention program and incur significant warranty work.


The Challenge and Solution

Vico Services provided an on-site project manager to build a virtual mock-up, a highly-detailed model of the precise steel and glass intersections. This model was used in the trailer for stakeholder meetings to identify constructability issues and solve RFIs.


Vico used the steel shop drawings to design the custom connection of all materials and the transitions between elevations. With the baseline model from the shop drawings, the field team was able to come up with resolutions for the conflicts and model those potential fixes in real-time. Tolerances were amended and RFIs were resolved and documented.




Says St. Joseph’s Jim Bostic, “What I learned, working with Vico, is that a very high level of detail model can replace most of the requirements of a physical mockup. Even though we were late starting the modeling process, Vico was able to work with the project team to schedule and meet aggressive delivery dates for the detailed modeling and avoided costly changes and delays.”


Quantifiable Benefits

In addition to moderating team meetings at the jobsite, Vico’s onsite project manager also directed a team of dedicated modelers for the Mission Hospital project, The Vico 5D BIM Team. The team worked together to answer Requests for Information (RFIs) and clarifications that the field team had for the model.


As described above, by modeling the complicated material intersections, the entire construction team discovered that the exterior skin simply did not fit over the detailed steel structure. Instead of accusations, change orders, construction delays, and playing the blame game with lawsuits, the team worked together to solve the issue. Assisted by the honesty of the model, the team leaders put their expertise towards a solution and got the project back on track.


Working together, the Mission Hospital Team saved:

• Rework of over 1,000 panels
• 10 project work weeks

by identifying coordination problems of the skin before manufacturing and installation had started. This saved the project team over $1.8M in cost and time, for only an $80K investment in the modeling expertise.


Perhaps even more importantly, by identifying these issues in advance of the fabrication of the metal panel cladding system, the project team curtailed a mold infection problem and avoided years of contentious litigation. The good news is that we are unable to put an exact number on the cost of litigation because we resolved the issues virtually and no litigation was required. Had we not resolved the issues virtually, there would have been hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by all parties involved.