PALO ALTO, Calif.—Stanford Hospitals & Clinics embarked on the four-year construction of a state-of-the-art and seismically sound hospital. The hospital broke ground on a facility that will add 824,000 square feet to the existing hospital and expand inpatient capacity to 600 beds. The project is part of a $5 billion renewal project at the medical center, which also includes expansion of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The organization is paying for the upgrades with hospital funds—including cash and about $600 million in bond debt—and philanthropy. A group of Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, eBay, Intel Corp., Intuit, Oracle and NVIDIA, has committed $175 million so far. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2017, with patient care beginning in 2018. California lawmakers imposed new seismic-safety standards on hospitals after the 1994 Norridge earthquake in Los Angeles, which rendered several Los Angeles hospitals unable to care for people injured in the quake. The Legislature has allowed a series of extensions on the deadlines for the work, allowing compliance as late as 2020.