Project Description


The largest medical facility expansion in the history of Alabama

The 69,677 square-meter expansion, designed to expand Children’s Health System of Alabama’s current campus, is located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The new hospital facility consists of a 12-story hospital building and a remote Central Utility Plant (CUP).

The hospital building includes private adolescent inpatient rooms, surgical services, a pharmacy, catheterization laboratories, a cardiac intensive care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit, respiratory therapy, hematology, oncology, burn units, intensive psychiatric care, stem cell and emergency services.


Ranked in the Top 10 Pediatric Medical Centers

BRHFC provides 57 extra bed licences enabling the hospital to accommodate 332 beds in total with an additional 48 neonatal bassinets. The total of 380 beds and bassinets ranks BRHFC in the top 10 pediatric medical centers in the USA, based on bed count. Additionally, the hospital accommodates larger patient rooms, rooming-in accommodation for new families to have the opportunity to practise home-care routines, a larger emergency department and two additional general operating rooms.

Fit-for-the-Future Design

The LEED Gold Certified building aims to provide space for projected growth in patient volume, anticipated medical technology needs, planned consolidation of pediatric services and a family-centered design improving patient and family comfort. It also houses a Patient Education Center including a playful Room of Magic theatre, meditation spaces, a family resource center and green spaces. New crosswalks within the hospital help patients, staff and visitors to get across the hospital on just one floor.

Maximizing Energy and Water Savings

This project was delivered using a modified integrated project delivery method with the contracting and design teams sharing full BIM models on an ongoing basis. MEP design and construction documents were produced in Revit.

The CUP is remotely located 1 block north of the facility, connected to the hospital with an underground utility pathway. The CUP includes a 700bhp central heating water plant to serve the facility’s heating and domestic hot water needs. A 6,000-ton chilled water plant utilizing centrifugal chillers and an 800-ton heat pump chiller which provides unique heat recovery features and a variable-primary pumping scheme provides cooling service to the campus’ central station air handling units. Contained within the CUP are three two-megawatt emergency standby diesel engine generators, with space for a future fourth two-megawatt unit.

Energy savings projections for the facility and CUP are estimated to be $650,000 per year and water savings at over 5,000,000 gallons per year through the use of the heat pump. Additionally water savings is achieved by reclaiming condensate from the cooling coils for supplemental make-up water to the CUP’s cooling towers.

Quick Facts

Location Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Client Children’s Health System of Alabama
Architect HKS
Services Building services
Fire engineering
Project Status Completed in 2012