Kaiser Permanente benefits from Mission Bell's craftsmanship & dedication

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Contractor: Mission Bell
Client: Kaiser Permanente
Project Type: Architectural Millwork

Mission Bell Manufacturing is on a roll – a Kaiser roll, to be exact.

Over the past three years, Mission Bell has completed more than 30 architectural millwork projects for Kaiser Permanente, including its most recent workmanship: a $3.1 million job at Kaiser Permanente's Modesto Medical Center, which serves about 150,000 customers in south San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties of California.

Despite a long history of delivering quality work for Kaiser, this particular job had a little more riding on it: This would be one of Kaiser’s first new “template” hospitals, making it not only large and complex, but also giving it very high visibility and importance to Kaiser and all involved.

Mission Bell Manufacturing is a California-based company that employs trained craftsmen from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC). The company specializes in quality architectural woodwork, millwork and custom casework – from the most intricate, one-of-a-kind quality woodwork fixtures to standard production plastic laminate cabinets.

Their string of Kaiser projects include: Kaiser Santa Clara, Santa Teresa, Oakland, Richmond and Tantau, as well as other hospital projects like Sutter Regional Medical Center, Alta Bates Summit, Lucille Packard Medical Center and John Muir Medical Center. Still more work for Kaiser is being done at Kaiser’s Vacaville Medical Office Building and Medical Center, Roseville Emergency Room and Radiology, Pinole Medical Office Building and Kaiser Hospital Santa Rosa.

This latest project, like the others, garnered Mission Bell high praise for their work done in the Medical Office Building and Health Service Wing, completed with Harbison Mahoney Higgins Builders, Inc (HMH). The project featured multiple projects on a 50-acre site, including a 254,000-square-foot, four-story hospital support building that includes an ambulatory surgery center and a 400,000-square-foot, five-story hospital with two nursing towers. The overall project, designed by architect, Lionakis Beaumont Design Group, measures 683,000 square feet.

Mission Bell provided extensive plastic laminate casework and custom millwork throughout the project, including exam rooms, offices, radiology, pharmacy and surgical rooms.

“The fact that this project is a template hospital for Kaiser meant that it had been in planning for several years. By the time it came for Mission Bell to do shop drawings, some of the specifications were already outdated. As a result Mission Bell’s team worked closely with HMH to make sure everything came together as intended,” said Kevin Schaefer the Mission Bell Project Engineer responsible for the Modesto site.

One of the challenging aspects of the job was a specific cabinet that had full overlay retractable glass doors with a combination lock. Simultaneous template hospitals were being built for Kaiser, and in some cases other millwork manufacturers had determined that the requested cabinet would be impossible to build. Fortunately for Kaiser, Mission Bell’s team worked closely with the architect and helped develop solutions.

“Not only did Mission Bell design a way to build these cabinets that functioned as requested, but we developed a way to build them more efficiently. We had a real collaborative attitude that paid off for everyone,” Schaefer said.

Mission Bell also coordinated custom graphic art panels to integrate into the Marlite Paneling System. These custom panels – including photographs, drawings and watercolor art turned in to plastic laminate panels – needed to be easily removed. It took special coordination and the collaborative efforts of Mission Bell, Marlite, HMH, Smith-Chong Architects and key people from Kaiser to make it happen in record time.

Mission Bell was also instrumental in refining the design of Pharmacy and Optical Departments in the hospital and throughout the medical office building. By manufacturing all drawers and cabinets so that locks could easily be added in the field, Mission Bell streamlined security for Kaiser.

“We also worked with the lock manufacturer to develop a keying scheme that makes it easier for Kaiser’s Facilities Department to make future keying changes,” Schaefer added.

Curtis Johnson, HMH’s vice president of operations, said: "We had been involved in the initial planning stages of the overall template program, so the Kaiser Modesto project was extremely important to HMH Builders. We knew it could set the benchmark for healthcare construction of the future. We're proud to have been a part of it, and proud of our people for their dedication to meeting every challenge and working with all stakeholders in a collaborative fashion so that everyone on the project could be successful."

Donnie Martinez, the Mission Bell foreman responsible for the Kaiser Modesto Health Service Wing, said that because the Modesto project was Mission Bell’s first projects with, HMH, “It was our opportunity to show HMH that Mission Bell was a capable company with the ability to take on a project this big and complete it on time.”

“This project began before we had opened Mission Bell’s Tracy manufacturing facility, which meant that we were about two hours away from the job site. By having a small job trailer on-site that was equipped with internet access and telephone, we were able to respond quickly to requests for information whether on the job site or back at the Morgan Hill headquarters,” Martinez said.

A key Mission Bell philosophy is to serve by appreciating the worth of every person within Mission Bell, as well as every partner. The management team offers highly qualified and experienced personnel to ensure excellent service. In the production and fixture shop, technology is combined with craftsmanship to ensure high-quality products and on-time schedules. In the field, professionally trained union installation crews ensure a high quality finished product. Mission Bell not only strives to meet customers’ expectations, but exceed them every time.

That philosophy came into play in a big way during the Modesto job.

“Everyone on the Mission Bell Team worked together – from Estimating and Project Management, Engineering and Manufacturing, to Delivery and Installation. We overcame a mountain of obstacles and worked collaboratively with HMH and other subcontractors as a unified team who all respected one another,” said Adam McPhillips, the Mission Bell Foreman responsible for the Kaiser Modesto Medical Office Building

"Mission Bell was excellent to work with. We had a challenging schedule which was revised late in the project, and they adapted quickly to meet the needs. I was really impressed with their management and the quality of their shop drawings. They were really exceptional," said Kevin Kaanehe, HMH Builders Assistant Project Manager.

Excelling Across the Industry

The Hewlett Foundation also benefitted from Mission Bell workmanship when it tapped them to create and manufacture the millwork and custom casework for the Foundation’s new 48,000-square-foot headquarters building in Menlo Park, California. The project included the use of recycled material such as wheatboard and soyboard for counter tops, and approved wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for the millwork, formwork, interior doors and frames, office furniture, workstations, roof framing and exterior siding. Mission Bell delivered everything on schedule, including the comprehensive documentation required to obtain the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings.

One of the first in the industry to become certified for “Green Building” manufacturing – a rating system based on creating environmentally responsible buildings – Mission Bell is capable of completing projects that meet requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council, and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The company is recognized as fully compliant with the stringent standards of the LEED rating system, and company officials use resources and experience to work together with developers, contractors and architects to help achieve the highest LEED ratings for clients.

The Hewlett Foundation project was the first green building in California, only the fifth building in the nation, to earn the prestigious USGBC – Gold level LEED v2.0 certification rating. Since this project, Mission Bell has completed several others, including the San Mateo Youth Center and Chartwell School.

About Mission Bell

Mission Bell is a $24 million dollar enterprise, with a 61,000 square foot, highly automated production facility headquarters in Morgan Hill, and a second 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Tracy, and a showroom in San Francisco.

Both manufacturing facilities create custom woodwork fixtures, plastic laminate casework and counter tops. Along with more commonly requested woods such as cherry and maple, Mission Bell also works with rare, exotic woods, including eucalyptus, sycamore, anegre, zebra wood and pearwood as well as many types of laminates, metals, stone, granite and glass.

Engineering and Fabrication is done in-house to ensure full compliance with all industry standards and architectural specifications, and to maintain control of a project’s overall quality. Experienced, trained UBC craftsmen provide fabrication, delivery and installation of all products.

One asset that differentiates Mission Bell from other shops is the design and lay-up of their own veneer panels. This, together with relationships developed with major veneer suppliers, enables Mission Bell to find the best logs available, and provide customers with the matched veneer faces specified for high end projects.

The people of Mission Bell create products that deliver function and beauty in workspaces. Every piece is precisely made to order and conforms to exacting details. Mission Bell employees strive to work together with clients, from the beginning stages of planning to the manufacturing and installation of the finished product. Utilizing the latest technology Mission Bell’s data network integrates with our manufacturing machinery, enabling the over 130 highly skilled craftsmen and experienced staff to meet the architectural requirements for quality workmanship on large or medium-sized projects, and meet tight schedules often times when others cannot.

This end-to-end approach ensures a single point of responsibility for every project, resulting in consistent quality, service, materials and workmanship.


Mission Bell work is found in prestigious professional offices, modern manufacturing headquarters, educational institutions, medical facilities, distinctive country clubs, hospitality sites, fine retail stores and multi-unit complexes. Mission Bell partners with many of the top architects, developers and general contractors to serve companies and organizations throughout Northern California.

Mission Bell’s diverse customer base includes: Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield, Cisco Systems, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Foundation, Intel, KPMG, Stanford Museum, Hewlett Packard, Ruby Hill Country Club, Google, eBay, and many other discerning customers that chose Mission Bell’s woodworking craftsmanship.

For more information about Mission Bell Manufacturing, visit the company web site at www.missionbell.com.


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