Since 1956, Amery Regional Medical Center (ARMC)—a nonprofit, community-owned medical facility—has provided quality healthcare services to the residents of Amery, Wisconsin. Due to its age, ARMC’s existing 25-bed critical access hospital was no longer able to adequately serve a growing community.

With a three-pronged approach to be as environmentally responsible as possible, provide an exceptionally high level of healthcare, and foster an environment of both emotional and physical healing, Amery Regional selected Gresham Smith to design a new state-of-the-art replacement facility. Through the guidance of the design team, the project became a Green Guide for Health Care project pilot—a program that tailors sustainable LEED design to healthcare facilities.

Because of the new hospital’s adjacency to the Apple River, stormwater management was of major concern. To address this central issue, Gresham Smith utilized low-impact development design techniques to contain stormwater within the boundaries of the site without the excessive use of piping or detention areas.

In addition, more than 50,000 square feet of green roof was installed on the hospital’s first floor roof, further reducing stormwater runoff and enhancing patient views. Recycled, sustainable and regional materials were used throughout the facility, while rubber flooring was utilized in the heavily trafficked outpatient clinic, providing a green construction alternative and reducing staff fatigue.

To enhance patient safety, the design team incorporated standardized patient rooms and workspaces as a way of reducing medical error and increasing staff efficiency. To provide nurturing and therapeutic spaces, calming areas designed for patient and family relaxation were integrated throughout the building.

Located in the hospital’s main lobby area, a two-story stone fireplace offers additional respite for patients, visitors and staff. A walking trail—leading directly to the public riverwalk system—provides further opportunity for reflection and access to nature, allowing users to enjoy the beauty of the scenic Apple River.

Completed in 2007, the award-winning 120,000-square-foot, 25-bed replacement hospital is integrated with a 52-room outpatient clinic and features: a state-of-the-art emergency department; a critical care unit; exam rooms; oncology services; and radiology.

Data analysis collected over a five-year period shows that sustainable design elements incorporated into the facility have seen ARMC operating at an ENERGY STAR equivalent of 83, qualifying the hospital as an ENERGY STAR high performer. Additionally, a post-occupancy evaluation conducted by Gresham Smith revealed that the new replacement hospital is experiencing vastly improved patient flow and wayfinding as compared to the old facility.


Amery Regional Medical Center


Amery, Wisconsin

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Jeffery Morris AIA, EDAC, LEED AP
Jeffery Morris AIA, EDAC, LEED AP
Senior Healthcare Principal