Methodist Olive Branch Hospital Celebrates Grand Opening

New, Energy-Efficient Hospital Features Geothermal Heat Pumps and Photoelectric Glazing

August 22, 2013   |   Nashville, Tenn.   |   Projects

Gresham, Smith and Partners, a leading multi-disciplinary design and consulting firm for the built environment, announces the completion of Methodist Olive Branch Hospital (MOBH) in Olive Branch, Mississippi, designed and constructed by an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team including GS&P, Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR) and Turner Construction Company. Set to be opened to the public on August 26, 2013, the new 210,000 square-foot, 100-bed hospital, which is on track for LEED Gold certification, offers Northern Mississippi residents state-of-the-art healthcare in a sustainable setting that features several energy-saving innovations only rarely seen in U.S. hospitals

"The northern region of Mississippi has grown tremendously over the past two decades, but many residents have still traveled across state lines to seek healthcare in Memphis. Looking at this trend, we saw an important opportunity for a top-quality, full-service hospital to better serve area residents," explained David Rosenbaum, Vice President, Facility Management, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. "Our team was committed to providing a new hospital that would play a vital role in the community and that would also reflect our organization's commitment to building innovative, sustainable facilities."

MOBH is the first hospital in the U.S. to use a dynamic, photoelectric glaze that can transition from clear to a variable tint at the touch of a button, enabling operators to instantaneously reduce glare and solar gain. The glaze, which is produced by local manufacturers, was installed in the hospital's two-story lobby to minimize the energy needed to heat and cool the large atrium space. MOBH's geothermal heat pump system represents another leading-edge innovation, used in only two other hospitals in the country. 211 geothermal heat pumps were installed throughout the building, including one in each patient room. The pumps take advantage of the earth's natural heat sink and use water to distribute heat throughout the facility – a strategy which is seven times more efficient than air at carrying heat.

"Understanding Methodist's commitment to sustainability, our team designed an innovative building that uses cutting-edge energy-saving strategies while also maintaining an overall focus on patient comfort and satisfaction," commented GS&P Principal Greg Gore, AIA, NCARB. "For example, our designers created specially-designed soundproof closets to house the geothermal heat pumps in each patient room, allowing the patient to enjoy both individualized climate control and a consistently quiet, calming atmosphere. We wanted to create an environment that was both efficient and serene, and I am proud of how our team worked to fulfill that goal."

The IPD delivery method created interdisciplinary teams among all stakeholders, with the goal of fostering collaboration and delivering the best results in the most timely and cost-efficient method possible. With the IPD structure in place, Olive Branch Hospital was designed, constructed and opened within in 23 months, on schedule and under-budget.

"The new hospital was designed to be cost-effective and energy-efficient in both the short and long-term, and I believe it will be an asset to the community for many years to come. Our team was proud to be a part of the project, and it is exciting to see it come to fruition," commented R. Clay Seckman, P.E., senior principal at Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. SSR provided engineering design, medical communication system planning, commissioning and LEED facilitation services for the project.

Turner Construction Company provided construction management services for the project and served as the general contractor. Randy Keiser, vice president of Turner Construction, commented, "Our team enjoyed being a part of the IPD process and working with designers and engineers to deliver a great project in a timely, cost-effective manner. Residents of Olive Branch should be very proud of their new hospital."

About Gresham, Smith and Partners:
Gresham, Smith and Partners provides design and consulting solutions for the built environment that contribute to the success of national and international clients. For more than 45 years, GS&P has focused on enhancing quality of life and sustainability within our communities. GS&P consists of industry-leading professionals practicing architecture and engineering design as well as scientists and highly specialized strategic and management consultants in Aviation, Corporate and Urban Design, Environmental Services, Federal, Healthcare, Industrial, Land Planning, Transportation and Water Resources. GS&P consistently ranks among the top architecture and engineering firms in the world. For more information regarding GS&P, visit

About Smith Seckman and Reid, Inc.:
SSR is a nationally recognized engineering design and consulting firm, with more than 460 staff members in 15 offices across the country. Founded in 1968, SSR has maintained a core focus in the design and operation of healthcare facilities, and has added services targeting the environmental, transportation, and sports and entertainment market sectors. For more information, visit SSR's website at

About Turner Construction Company:
Founded in 1902, Turner Construction Company is recognized as the nation's leading general builder. Turner provides building services to clients who value diligence, resourcefulness, and creativity in a partner. We maintain a network of offices in North America and around the globe, with a staff of 5,200 employees who work on more than 1,200 projects each year. With $9 billion in annual construction volume, we rank first or second in the industry’s major market segments. Turner is proud of our decades of service and successful project experience in the Mid-South. For more information, visit Turner's website at

“Understanding Methodist's commitment to sustainability, our team designed an innovative building that uses cutting-edge energy-saving strategies while also maintaining an overall focus on patient comfort and satisfaction. We wanted to create an environment that was both efficient and serene, and I am proud of how our team worked to fulfill that goal.”

Greg Gore, AIA, NCARB, Gresham, Smith and Partners Principal

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