Phoenix Children’s Hospital prizes comfort, not just for the children it treats but their families too. When its leaders decided to launch a major expansion to meet ballooning regional demand, their challenge to the design team was clear: create an efficient, sustainable facility that enhances the experience of patients, siblings and parents.
Watch Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s video on the Emergency Department & Level 1 Trauma Center Grand Opening
Increased Hospital Capacity
The ensuing $350m development, which increases capacity to 377 beds, includes a new patient tower designed by HKS Architects, plus an ambulatory care building, main entrance boulevard and expanded parking garage. We provided master planning and mechanical and electrical design services on the nearly 1 million square feet scheme.
After the tower opened in 2011, Hobbs and Black architects designed the new Emergency Department opened in 2017. WSP provided MEP/Low Voltage/Fire Protection services and continued providing master planning.
True to the mission, family-centred care was at the heart of all design decisions, from the illuminated façade that welcomes visitors to rooftop gardens providing a place of retreat, and the extensive use of day-lighting to create a calm atmosphere in waiting areas. All rooms in the new tower are private and fitted with amenities that allow visitors to control their own environment. Patient rooms and many of the public areas also enjoy stunning views over mountains and desert, connection the facility to the surrounding landscape. Stacking and grouping of functions within the tower meanwhile have made the hospital easier to navigate and cut travel distances. The facility also includes a Level 1 trauma emergency department and low temperature operating rooms capable of reaching -60 degrees F.
Comfort and Sustainability at the Core
Proving that comfort and sustainability are fully compatible, the design team also found a myriad of ways to minimise the facility’s carbon footprint. Building services were central to this. The new Central Utility Plant (CUP) and tunnel distribution system includes a unique 800-ton heat pump chiller. This allows heat from the cooling cycle to be ‘injected’ into the water-heating system, enabling significant heat recovery and saving around 5.5m gallons of water per year. Meanwhile, the new tower is designed to take advantage of the natural light provided by the Phoenix sun while avoiding excess heat gain, reducing the pressure on mechanical systems. The impact of this sustainable approach can be seen in the hospital’s utility bills– down a third per square foot in the first year after expansion.