Altman CTRI Building Update

Altman update

March 27, 2014 - In the shadow of two cranes, the building rises.

Two hundred and fifty days into construction, workers have set down the concrete foundation of the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) building and begun installing the lower levels, which are 10-inch-thick concrete slabs reinforced with steel rebar. “The project is on schedule and we are aiming for move-in the first quarter of 2016,” said Michael E. Downs, A.I.A., UC San Diego principal architect and project manager for the Altman CTRI Building.

The $269-million, seven-story, steel-and-concrete building will encompass 359,000 gross square feet on the medical campus of UC San Diego in La Jolla. Named in recognition of a leadership gift from Steve and Lisa Altman, it will establish a central facility that enables laboratory and clinical researchers to work side-by-side and share resources in their efforts to better understand and treat disease. For the purpose of developing the translation from bench to bedside, this unique, multidisciplinary building program includes wet research, dry research, and general clinical research components, as well as a large animal vivarium. More than 100 principal investigators will be accommodated. The building will also house administrative offices, conference rooms, and a lecture hall.

Recently, the School has agreed to provide a research MRI to the scope of the project, creating a Center for Translational Imaging at the Altman Building in the lower level.

In the photo (provided by the project manager), the area surrounded by purple bars on the right marks the location for a thermal energy storage tank, anticipated to be the largest of its kind on campus. The purple bars are specially coated, rust-resistant rebar for the lower-level concrete walls. The middle area with a brown-and-orange base shows the framing for the second level; the structural slab on grade for the first level below it is complete. The left area shows yellow waterproofing materials being readied for the walls and the light gray, slab-on-grade first level. Shown across from the Altman building site is the Jacobs Medical Center (JMC) construction site, and to the right of JMC is the East Campus Office Building, which presently houses the CTRI clinic.

Construction on the Altman CTRI building broke ground in early 2013. Since July, all the earthwork and major grading have been completed, and the concrete foundation has been installed. The construction team presently includes 76, but the number will increase to about 200 when plumbers, drywallers, electricians, cabinet makers, and other trades join the team to work on the interiors, beginning on the lower, completed floors. “We already have some mechanical sleeves being installed in that very first floor,” Downs said. “By summer we will see lots of working going on.”

The project manager added that progress on the building is very good. “You start with some lines on paper and end up with this unbelievable building.”