Dell Children’s Medical Center was an ambitious project from the get-go. Its owner, the Seton Family of Hospitals, envisioned a forward-thinking, innovative facility offering premium paediatric care in a truly sustainable environment.
The resulting building is the world’s first hospital to achieve Platinum-level LEED accreditation, making it not just the premier healthcare provider for children and teens in Central Texas but an exemplar for the healthcare industry worldwide.
Watch the presentation on Dell Children’s Medical Center delivered by our healthcare expert Nolan Rome at the European Healthcare Design 2016 conference.
Dell Children’s Hospital Sustainability Features
Sustainability was central to the 170-bed hospital from the earliest design stages, when we were engaged to model the building’s energy use to maximize conservation and comfort. This encompassed the implementation of the facility’s on-site combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which boosts efficient energy generation and recycles waste products. It includes a 4.3 MW combustion turbine generator, steam generator and absorption water chiller.
By optimizing heat recovery, ventilation and lighting design and using as much daylight as possible, our designers cut net energy use by 40% compared with a similarly occupied building in the same climatic conditions. Thanks to our team’s innovative and collaborative thinking, as well as achieving one of the most energy efficient hospitals in the world, the owners saved $8M in capital outlay through the decision to outsource power, heating and chilled water needs to Austin Energy, which owns and operates the CHP plant.
A Place for the Community
Built on the former site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, the low, horizontal hospital blends into the landscape, setting a positive example for the rest of the brownfield size. Its courtyards and use of local materials reflect and celebrate the community it serves, not only as the region’s sole dedicated, freestanding paediatric centre but one of just four level 1 trauma centres in the state.
As evidence mounts that access to nature aids healing, the hospital has worked to harness outside space, serving its commitments to the environment and medical excellence. A 2013 extension to the hospital, also designated LEED Platinum, adds an outdoor labyrinth and sensory garden alongside an epilepsy monitoring unit, toddler rehab centre and therapy gym. We served as mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer on the $25M expansion.