CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Construction has begun on a major hospital expansion and renovation for The University of Virginia Health System. Designed by Perkins+Will, the 520,000-square-foot hospital addition and renovation will feature a new emergency department, interventional platform, operating rooms and 180-bed patient tower that converts most semi-private rooms to private rooms with a keen focus on improving patient care through design. Skanska USA is general contractor on the project.
The project expands emergency department capacity, with separate areas for pediatrics, trauma and behavioral health and will speed patients to surgery, ICU and back home with their families. The new lobby will serve as the entry for the ambulatory emergency patient and provide access to the new patient tower, where each floor will connect to a like area of care in the existing hospital. The expansion also will add four new operating rooms and 12 interventional procedure rooms.
With open-view nursing stations and special accommodations for visiting patient families and direct passage between the new and existing bed tower, the expansion aims to create a village-like environment for more seamless integration of the various services involved in patient care. The designers have taken special care to provide families, physicians and clinical staff with day-lit lounges on each floor.
Resource conservation is a key ingredient at the new hospital, which is seeking LEED Silver certification. Among notable features, especially for a hospital, the facility will achieve net-zero water usage. A green roof planted with native species will capture water that will be stored in cisterns before being connected to the hospital’s cooling towers. Building materials are locally or regionally sourced, and connections to the larger campus context are made through the use of sandstone that is commonly used along walkways throughout the university.
Planning for the project is driven by a flexible planning module overlaid on a compact triangular site. The tower is sculpted to optimize daylight to new patient rooms while preserving views from the existing hospital. The lower levels are shaped to maximize usable space, create a clearly designated main entry and establish a new gateway to the medical campus.
A connection to nature is reinforced throughout the building. Interior graphics highlight recognizable features of the Virginia landscape and infuse the space with stories of people, place and healing. Large expanses of glass provide sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, with external shading devices to manage heat gain and provide daylight equality throughout the building.