New health facility in San Francisco takes a community approach to health care
South of Market Health Center (SMHC) is a non-profit community clinic providing quality health care to under-served members of this San Francisco neighbourhood. Serving as Executive Director since 1990, Mr. Charles Range leads SMHC with the philosophy that all people deserve the same high level of health care. Together with key community stakeholders, Mr. Range set out to construct a new community clinic that elevates the health care delivery experience for all: patient, caregiver and staff.
SMHC selected Polytech Associates, Inc. to design a clinic whose environment supports the high quality of health care they provide, and identified these design criteria at the project’s outset; connection to nature, flexibility, durability and sustainability.
Research documenting the healing properties of the natural environment informed the design. A double-height main lobby floods both floors with light, utilising glass throughout gives users views to the outside. Natural materials, such as stone and wood, are used throughout.
The new clinic allows SMHC to double the number of patients it serves and accommodates expansion. Utilising a modular space plan, offices and examination rooms share the same proportion. Plumbing and electrical are stubbed out to expedite future expansion. All materials were chosen for their durability. The lobby floor is non-absorbent porcelain tiles. Carpet squares are easily rotated for maintenance.
SMHC required the clinic meet or exceed LEED Silver standards. This was accomplished by integrating Greenguard-certified materials, natural light, and operable windows. Alternative transportation is encouraged, the new clinic is located near public transportation, and bicycle storage is available. SMHC participates in San Francisco’s recycling and composting program, and manages medical waste according to California Department of Public Health guidelines.
The architects say of the project: "We believe our team’s design program embodies SMHCs philosophy, and are proud to have contributed to achieving their mission." The new building will open to patients on May 2, 2011.