Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in San Diego, California, has broken ground on a seven-storey Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Services Pavilion.

Scheduled to open in 2027, the 500,000ft² building will comprise paediatric, neonatal and cardiac intensive care units, as well as an expanded emergency department and four modern operating rooms.

It will have a total of 140 intensive care unit beds and an 86-room emergency unit, up from the existing emergency unit’s capacity of 46. 

The building will also include space for behavioural health services, as well as child-friendly areas.

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego senior vice-president and chief operating officer Nicholas Holmes said: “Having a child in the hospital is a stressful time for families.

“From the beginning of this project, we knew how important it would be to provide families and children with comfortable and soothing spaces that didn’t feel like a traditional hospital setting.”

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The tower’s construction will cost between $1.2bn and $1.4bn, which will be supported by a $200m pledge from Ernest and Evelyn Rady.

Each level of the tower will serve different functions, including emergency care and specialised intensive care units.

The tower will also feature a helipad on its roof.

The expansion is said to be the biggest construction project in the hospital’s 70-year history, with a portion of a 1950s-era structure due to be demolished to support the project.

Rady Children’s senior vice-president and chief external affairs officer Stephen Jennings said: “The Rady family’s unparalleled investment in the health of children has translated into unprecedented advancements in care for young patients.

“As we begin construction, we know that the Rady family’s legacy will continue to improve the lives of children, families and communities for generations to come.”

Earlier this year, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego introduced a new procedure to treat portal vein thrombosis in children.