Virtual reality ‘sneak preview’ of California Tower allows employees to provide feedback on design


As design development for the new California Tower at UC Davis Medical Center progresses, the design team recently conducted a series of mock-up tours for UC Davis Health physicians and nurses using physical models and virtual reality technology.

The staff was able to experience full-scale three-dimensional models of proposed rooms in the California Tower and actually walk through the space using virtual reality headsets and models. Staff provided feedback on the structure design based on functionality for delivering patient care in those areas.

“Having the ability to not just imagine a 3D space, but actually experience it is very different,” said Kenneth Furukawa, a clinical professor of anesthesiology. “This experience has given me great confidence that the work we are doing building the California Tower really makes sense in enabling us to provide exceptional patient care.”

A mock-up is a full-size structural model created with the exact construction dimensions that will be used on a project. The mock-up gives designers, contractors and clients the opportunity to assess a three-dimensional representation of the design. This allows functionality, aesthetics and quality to be assessed down to the smallest detail.

Operating room border
In tasting rooms, Post-It notes capture staff ideas for ways to make improvements to each item

The virtual reality mock-up allows the teams to be in the rooms and experience the setup and configurations, even interacting with devices.

“By creating physical and virtual mock-ups, we can see the space and get a real feel for it,” said Chee Keong Lin, an architect at SmithGroup. “Our team and customers can see how big a bed will feel in that space or how big it will feel with five other bodies in the room. Getting customer feedback on the design helps us anticipate and resolve issues before they get to big. scale.”

When completed in 2030, the California Tower will include a 14-story hospital facility and a five-story pavilion adjacent to the existing medical center. It will add approximately one million square feet of space, including new operating rooms, an imaging center, new facilities for existing pharmacy and burn departments, and approximately 400 private rooms for patients.

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