Medical center armed with new patient tower

Amanda Kelly
03 Nov 2009

$556 million project designed to meet LEED® Silver criteria

Construction has begun on a new 88-bed patient tower at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) at Fort Sam Houston. Designed by the Dallas office of RTKL, the US$ 556 million project also includes renovations to the existing Brooke Army Medical Center, a new parking structure, and a new central energy plant. The entire project totals 1.1 million sq ft.

“The original planning documents called for two separate patient buildings, but our team worked with the military to consolidate the two towers into one,” said Wayne Barger, AIA, vice president of RTKL and principal-in-charge of the project. “The new design is a logical extension of the zoning found in the original hospital, and it will provide more flexibility for future campus expansion.”

The previous plan also called for two parking garages, but future growth would have been hampered by two structures. As a result, one larger, 5,000-space garage was designed.

In addition to master planning for better growth, RTKL incorporated evidence-based design features in both the new and the renovated facility designs. These include daylighting, larger patient and visitor areas, and healing gardens. The project has also been designed to meet the criteria for LEED® Silver certification.

Once completed, the campus will include a state-of-the-art burn center and rehabilitation clinic, expanded operating room capabilities, a new emergency department, and clinical and administrative spaces. The new patient tower will connect to the existing medical center, of which 302,000 sq ft will be renovated, but all medical services will remain completely operational during construction. Approximately 78,000 sq ft of swing space will give departments flexibility during times when construction may interfere with regular medical spaces.

The project is the result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) recommendations. Completion is anticipated in autumn 2011.

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