Saint Joseph Hospital retained Cator, Ruma and Associates to perform the MEP design for a $405 million campus redevelopment project in Denver. The replacement hospital integrates the former Children’s Hospital site into the former SCL Health Saint Joseph Hospital’s Campus. The intent of the Saint Joseph Hospital Project is to create a comprehensive urban healthcare campus through an integration of hospital, medical office and general office uses, supporting retail and open space with respect to the Uptown Healthcare District. The hospital is an 860,000-square-foot space, which features 348 patient beds, a roof top helipad, centerpiece chapel structure, central courtyard, and a roof top garden. It also includes a free-standing central utility plant, as well as two parking structures.
Overcoming Challenges with an Eye Toward Sustainability
The St. Joseph’s Replacement hospital is set in a unique urban setting which required cutting-edge innovative mechanical solutions. The creative solutions literally began at the foundation of the building. Built in an area with historically poor storm water infrastructure, the new hospital allowed the opportunity for the design team to address pre-existing conditions and upgrade the neighborhood storm water drainage. New sub-surface piping was installed to accommodate the neighborhood improvements.
Another unique opportunity associated with this project was the opportunity to salvage recently upgraded equipment at the existing hospital that is to be demolished. By salvaging this equipment, the project was able to re-purpose the savings to other budget-starved areas of the project. However, salvaging equipment from an operational hospital created enormous design and phasing challenges. With careful thought, the design team was able to salvage a chiller, and multiple generators.
The central utility plant for a project of this magnitude presented challenges such as noise, pollution discharge, and maintenance disruption. The design team was able to minimize these impacts on the hospital, its fresh air intakes, and occupants in general by locating the central utility plant in a location across the street from the hospital. This location took advantage of the city sub-surface storm system infrastructure improvement and the Downing Street realignment to create space and utility pathways. The strategy of locating the plant across the street also allows the maintenance staff to perform maintenance, receive high visibility deliveries, and interact with the building’s systems in a way that is undetectable by the building occupants.
Innovative Electrical Systems
Dual utility feeders from separate downtown substations provide utility power to the campus via an Automatic Throw Over Switch. Power is distributed throughout the hospital from three centralized substations. A busway riser system distributes normal, life safety, critical and life safety branches of power to each floor. The busway system was chosen to provide maximum flexibility when remodel of the interior spaces is required in the future. Electrical cross connects between risers provides dual pathways at essential systems for repair and maintenance.
Careful consideration was given to hospital patient rooms in regard to receptacle layouts. Where the outlets are located in a room is a very important part of the electrical design, as it will affect the layout of the room in general. Multiple meetings were held with the hospital user groups to establish clinical and utility requirements. A complete mock-up room was constructed for the users to evaluate the final layout and allow last minute “tweaks.”
Lighting will be concealed or blended into the architecture. The intent is to express the textural and architectural forms that define the space. Indirect lighting reflecting off of the ceiling plane will provide “fill” light within the volume of space. Lighting levels will be flexible, layered, and personalized as to be restful and appropriate for the time of day. An automated lighting control system will be provided to control banks of luminaires and individual circuits of selected areas.
This is a BIM project. The power of visualization, coordination, simulation, and optimization from 3D, 4D, and BIM computer technologies allow us to more effectively meet customer, design, construction, and program requirements. Cator, Rum and Associates is committed to 3D, 4D, and BIM technologies.