Creating a future-fit hospital that cares for the community and the environment was the guiding vision behind Waxahachie’s new $175m medical facility.
The Baylor Scott & White Medical Center provides a full range of health services, including an Emergency Department and intensive care units, from a building that exploits natural light and uses advanced systems to reduce its energy and water needs. The result is a facility that promotes the welfare of patients and staff, while minimizing its impact on the environment.
Doubled in Size
With a capacity of 129-beds, the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center has more than doubled the size of the century-old facility it has replaced in Ellis County. Furthermore, it has shell space for 25 more beds to meet future patient demand. The main hospital building covers 25,640m2, which includes a six-storey tower, along with a 1,490m2 dedicated Cancer Care Center and a separate 27,870m2 Central Utility Plant.
The acute care wards are located in the tower allowing for the immediate transfer of patients to these facilities from the Emergency Department below or the four operating theatres above. Designed to facilitate a healing environment, the 12 acute care suites are spacious enough to comfortably accommodate visitors so that patients can be near their loved ones. The suites are light and airy to engender a sense of positivity.
Designed in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, efficiency is at the heart of the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center. Our client wanted to create a building that would perform over the long run as well as the short, with detailed attention given to all its energy requirements.
Engineering Baylor Medical Center
Our response was to design a heat recovery chiller system that has a projected net energy saving of around 342,000 KWH per year. This system works by harnessing the heat generated from the hospital’s chilled water systems. We also installed a cooling coil condensate recovery system. In this case, cooling coil condensate from the air handling units is collected and pumped back to a central plant and then used as top-up water to the system’s cooling towers. The system has created an estimated potable water saving of over two million gallons per year.
Another key way to reduce the building’s consumption of resources was the use of a low voltage design for the hospital’s data centre on Floor 4 of the tower. Boosting efficiency in this part of the medical centre was important because of the high energy demands made on the data centre, which acts as the hospital’s nerve centre. It houses the hospital’s IT infrastructure, video surveillance equipment, nurse and doctor call systems and physiological monitoring systems.
A ‘Green’ Hospital
Additional ‘green’ features include the hospital’s light coloured (‘cool’) roofing to reduce the Heat Island Effect and energy efficient (highly insulated) windows. The building itself makes use of sustainably harvested wood and the landscape strategy uses a range of native plants to reduce the need for irrigation and support the local ecology.
The Baylor Scott & White Medical Center has achieved LEED Silver certification making it one of the greenest healthcare facilities in Texas. Its energy efficiency and advanced infrastructure, along with its potential to meet future patient demand, mean the centre is a model of future-fit acute and general healthcare.