Hospital homeowners face ongoing challenges in updating their amenities. There’s stress to remain aggressive by providing bigger and extra versatile surgical suites and remedy areas, streamlined emergency departments, extra single-patient rooms, and improved an infection management. With the present COVID-19 pandemic, it’s extra crucial than ever for hospitals to deliver their communities the newest healthcare advances whereas being agile sufficient to reply to unanticipated emergencies.

Most of the 6,200 hospitals within the U.S. are housed in growing older buildings that must be modernized to deal with greatest practices, improve service strains, and improve power effectivity, reviews the American Hospital Affiliation.

Confronted with an current constructing with limitations, management might imagine {that a} new facility will remedy all of its issues. That could be true, however a phased renovation and enlargement can present the identical options whereas spreading the price over time, making this strategy simpler to include into fiscal budgets.

The large choice

Constructing a alternative hospital means discovering and buying out there land in a fascinating location for building whereas occupying and working the prevailing facility. In dense city areas, it may be difficult to search out area applicable for a brand new hospital. Moreover, the plan will want the approval of assorted state and federal regulatory entities. That is true whether or not constructing a brand new hospital or renovating an current one, however the regulatory hurdles are often easier with a renovation/modernization of an current facility.

Hospital modernization—which might contain a whole constructing or only a part or system—permits a facility to maximise current property by bettering performance, power efficiency, and aesthetics. It’s additionally extra sustainable and sometimes extra inexpensive to renovate current buildings and campuses.

The choice to modernize the prevailing facility or construct new typically hinges on what the shopper’s drivers are, and on the circumstances particular to that facility. Additionally, each shopper is completely different, so it’s important to cater your response to satisfy their expectations. For instance, an current facility may need “good bones” or a superstructure that’s sound and complies with present allowable building varieties for a hospital, however the facility has dated MEP+FP techniques, inadequate care fashions, and even outdated supplies. If the shopper doesn’t want to extend capability to satisfy rising volumes, updating the power by bringing the techniques, care fashions, and aesthetics as much as present requirements may be the perfect resolution.

If the shopper is reacting to rising volumes and must broaden past the capability of its present website, whether or not restricted by present constructing stock, out there land, or zoning restrictions, then a brand new constructing might higher swimsuit their wants. One other issue is {that a} hospital system trying to improve capability to satisfy mission volumes must file a authorized request for a “Certificates of Want,” which is usually met with fierce opposition from rivals. It may be a formidable course of and, relying on a hospital system’s confidence in acquiring the CON, the shopper might decide to improve or modernize an current facility to extend the extent of care.

Assessing current circumstances

If a phased renovation is chosen, the subsequent step is a scientific and thorough documentation of current buildings by all the design group. This course of will present a deeper understanding of how a company makes use of its present buildings, determine how the power can function throughout building, and contemplate what’s wanted to assist future care wants.

A techniques evaluation of the prevailing facility entails an in-depth evaluation of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, hearth safety, and power effectivity from the engineers. For instance, does the central utility plant want an improve to assist the renovation? Moreover, hospitals eat giant quantities of power, and plenty of older buildings are much less environment friendly and don’t meet present energy-efficiency requirements, which might drive the necessity for extra energy-efficient approaches.

Through the discovery part at first of the mission, it’s important for the mission group to bodily go into the constructing to doc the area. Even throughout COVID-19, when visitations are restricted, this course of may be possible by limiting workers; visiting throughout off-hours, nights, and weekends to scale back disruptions; and utilizing security protocols, akin to carrying private protecting gear. Know-how can even help this course of. For instance, utilizing 360-degree image-capture expertise, the mission group can take a whole picture of the power that may be referenced at any time all through the mission, decreasing the necessity for added facility visits and the period of time the mission group spends within the constructing.

The complete design group, together with MEP engineers, architects, laboratory and medical planners, and inside and graphic designers, ought to be concerned in constructing documentation and evaluation to know the constructing’s present workings in addition to examine notes, level out points, and determine areas of concern. Current supplies are additionally evaluated to find out what’s outdated and desires alternative. For initiatives involving a building supervisor (CM) constructor or CM in danger, it’s additionally advantageous to deliver that member on board through the discovery course of to supply perception into constructability points.

It’s additionally essential to know how the present constructing works throughout the context of the campus and surrounding areas, akin to parking buildings and emergency division accessibility. Enter from the neighborhood, which may be gathered by means of on-line surveys and brainstorming periods, supplies super worth and perception to assist this evaluation and can assist residents perceive the advantages of the choices chosen.

One other vital step is conducting a grasp plan train with the shopper to stipulate current and projected affected person volumes and providers whereas contemplating the newest evidence-based analysis on affected person care, security protocols, expertise, sustainability, and infrastructure. Right here, it may be useful to do a comparative evaluation with a couple of of 1’s friends. For instance, a world-class most cancers institute would contemplate different world-class medical amenities, whereas a neighborhood hospital would consider different hospitals within the area that meet certificates of want. The method analyzes what the shopper has in the present day, in contrast with its objectives and business greatest practices. Years later, leaders can come again to this report back to ask in the event that they’re reaching these objectives, offering a information for the place they need to be and tips on how to know after they get there.

Case research: Kids’s Hospital New Orleans

Kids’s Hospital New Orleans is present process a 400,000-square-foot enlargement and renovation inside a 600,000-square-foot mixed inpatient and outpatient facility. The multiphased modernization mission, which is beneath building and anticipated to be accomplished by fall, will take roughly seven years, from grasp planning to completion, incorporating 34 distinct phases. Throughout modernization, the hospital will stay totally operational with no interruptions to day-to-day operations.

EYP Structure & Engineering was introduced on board in 2015 and labored carefully with the hospital’s administration group—and in collaboration with the neighborhood, clinicians, and CM in danger—to judge the prevailing buildings and develop a radical understanding of hospital operations and aspirations. Early consideration was to construct a completely new constructing. A fundamental conceptual massing research and visualization renderings had been performed to permit everybody to get an thought of what the brand new constructing would appear like, in addition to a price estimate based mostly on sq. footage and the professionals and cons of constructing new in opposition to the shopper’s wants. In the end, this course of confirmed that by means of modernization the shopper may get practically all the pieces it needed at about half the price of constructing new.

Transferring ahead, the group determined to make use of a phased-approach to maintain some current buildings to protect historic significance whereas including new buildings to modernize and harmonize all the campus. EYP developed the graphic instruments to stroll hospital administration and contractors by means of every of the 34 phases and outlined a plan to maintain the hospital working whereas renovations came about. One of many first steps was to free area on and across the website to make room for the renovation work and tools. To this finish, a brand new parking deck was constructed throughout from the hospital to maneuver most automobiles off-site. Additionally, workers workplaces on the scientific facet of the campus had been consolidated into historic buildings on the landmark website, liberating up area internally. Moreover, the lab was moved to create room for a brand new principal foyer. After the brand new enlargement was constructed, the ICU and a number of the eating had been moved into the brand new tower whereas renovations to current areas for brand new providers started.

All through the development course of, the group was cautious about what was being shut down to make sure the hospital remained totally operational. EYP up to date the phasing plan each week with an eye fixed on consumer expertise and adjusted the schedule in mild of rising modifications, akin to value financial savings, operational efficiencies, program modifications, and unexpected circumstances akin to climate occasions that might have resulted in delays. There have been additionally cases the place the pandemic delayed supply of kit, and even labor, as a result of nobody may come onto the positioning, creating the necessity to revise the timeline to permit sure areas to hurry up and others to be prolonged.

Shared imaginative and prescient

The crucial choices that hospital homeowners ponder—tips on how to keep aggressive, keep compliance with up to date rules, and rise to present requirements of care and security—can all be met by modernizing an current hospital. Nonetheless, making the choice to pursue a renovation instead of constructing new requires a powerful partnership between the design professionals and contractor, and a deep understanding of the constructing and the shopper. All group members have to be on board with the plan and work collaboratively to deal with points that inevitably floor to attain a shared imaginative and prescient for a brand new mission.


David A. Deis, AIA, LEED AP, is managing principal and senior mission director at EYP Structure & Engineering (Atlanta). He may be reached at








Matthew Chalifoux, FAIA, is senior historic preservation architect and senior principal at EYP Structure & Engineering (Washington, D.C.). He may be reached at

Supply hyperlink