High Desert Regional Health Center

High Desert Regional Health Center

2015 | Healthcare Facilities | National Award — Merit

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

Frequent funding losses, cost overruns and leadership changes drove the use of design-build to streamline the process and efficiently complete the project on budget. For example, a delay in the county’s execution of the contract required the team to strategize different alternatives to its accelerated schedule. The team developed a multi-phased bid package approach that allowed for a head start on the site and structural packages. Getting a head start on several components allowed the team to expedite the start of construction while the design was still being finalized. And when late owner design changes added decorative elements and redesigns, the duration of the construction schedule was not impacted because the team’s trade partners were active team members throughout the project.


The people of the High Desert in Lancaster, California, have long relied on Los Angeles County Healthcare facilities to meet their healthcare needs. Until now, the only location for those services was set in the middle of a sprawling correctional facility community on the outskirts of town and through a network of clinics sprawled throughout the region. For this project, added value was about much more than just dollars, it was about the value this project provided to the Lancaster community and the High Desert region. Recent healthcare reform not only changed the focus away from hospitalization to a model driven more by outpatient care but also changed the nature of reimbursements and created health insurance exchanges. These changes now provided patients a choice in providers, thus creating a need for the County to compete for patients with other healthcare organizations. Using design-build, County Supervisors hoped to capitalize on the creative strength and construction expertise of a team to deliver a new cutting-edge facility that would provide better service, but also meet the higher expectations of the patient population. The County selected a new location in the heart of the city to emphasize their commitment to the region with a state-of-the-art medical care facility.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: County of Los Angeles – Department of Public Works
Design-Builder: Swinerton Builders
General Contractor: Swinerton Builders
Architect: Lionakis
Engineers: TK1SC, DPB Engineers Inc.
Other Key Professionals: AHBE, RBF Consultants, Veneklasen, Kate Keating Associates Inc., Criterion Systems, R.W. Smith and Co.
Duration of Construction: 25 months
Project Cost: $100,996,054