- The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has announced a $2 billion investment in three new Pittsburgh specialty hospitals — a vision and rehabilitation hospital, a tech-driven heart and transplant facility and a cancer center.
- The healthcare system solicited bids for architects, reviewed conceptual presentations and awarded each of the three hospitals to a different firm. HOK's 410,000-square-foot, nine-story Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital at UPMC Mercy will serve patients with limited mobility and impaired vision and will include clinical, research and teaching space. The Heart and Transplant Hospital at UPMC Presbyterian, the design of which was awarded to HGA, will feature 900,000 square feet, 18 stories and 620 rooms, which will be customized with digital technology and modern communication systems. NBBJ won the design contract for the Hillman Cancer Hospital at UPMC Shadyside, and that facility will feature 240,000 square feet, an eight-story patient tower, 180 private rooms, a 160,000-square-foot outpatient center and diagnostic, treatment and research center.
- Construction start dates for the new hospitals range from spring to summer of next year, with the vision and rehab hospital scheduled to open in 2021 and the other two in 2023. “Our vision for health care of the future drew us to invite the most talented architects to create iconic buildings," said Jeffrey A. Romoff, UPMC president and CEO, "which will be the expression of our cutting-edge, translational science and the creation of treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases that our patients experience in cancer, heart disease, transplantation, diseases of aging, vision restoration and rehabilitation.”
Design and construction of specialty hospitals differ from that of traditional medical center construction in that the layout tends to offer certain patient populations comprehensive services under one roof, according to Healthcare Design. Whereas diagnostic, pharmacy and chemotherapy services might be located in different buildings of a traditional healthcare campus, designers and builders of specialty hospitals try to keep these departments close to patients, which makes care more convenient for them and more manageable for physicians.
Technology also comes into play when planning a hospital construction project, and not just dependable Wi-Fi for the plethora of iPads and connected devices that patients, visitors and staff use, the Commercial Observer reported. As hospitals' data storage and communication needs grow, so does the number of servers and routers, which also increases HVAC and electrical capacity requirements.
This led Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to build its own data center on the roof to accommodate the number of servers necessary to handle the hospital's needs. To ensure on-schedule completion, Sloan Kettering contractors took advantage of the prefabrication trend and built the modular data center structure offsite.