In order to improve patient care and streamline efficiencies, HealthSouth Chattanooga Rehabilitation Hospital elected to provide an addition to its existing facility that would effectively relocate patient rooms to the two-story building’s ground-floor level. A trusted advisor to HealthSouth, Gresham Smith was selected to provide planning and design services for the design-build effort.

Because the hospital was connected to an abandoned medical facility that was located on a corner lot with major traffic intersection restricted points of access, the project was a complex undertaking. To allow for the addition, the scope of work required fire-separating the addition from the existing building by a 2-hour-rated fire wall, as well as demolition of the derelict structure. This demolition cleared the way for a revised parking lot layout that provided space for the hospital addition which utilized HealthSouth’s prototypical patient-bed wing.

The project also included a complete refresh of the existing hospital’s interior. Through a series of short, strategic work sessions with BLOX, a prefabrication company located in Bessemer, Alabama, Gresham Smith was able to identify cost- and time-saving floor plan modifications, including adjustments to layouts, modular-constructed patient-room toilets and headwalls, and wall thicknesses—all changes that economize fixture piping and ease of construction. By utilizing a prefabrication process, architects and designers were able to coordinate directly with the craftsmen, plumbers, and electricians to maintain a level of cost and quality control that would have otherwise been unattainable when dealing with multiple trades over an extended period of time.

Headwall units and the modular patient-room toilets were constructed off-site and then installed and sheeted with protective plastic to be removed upon final completion. Since the majority of the labor-intensive work occurred at the fabrication warehouse, the project required less contractor oversight which supported a faster schedule and lower cost.

Conveniently providing rehabilitation services and patient-sleeping areas on one level, the comprehensive 50-bed addition comprises 30 private beds and 20 semiprivate beds, as well as the renovation and expansion of the existing dining area and therapy gym. Designed to return patients to active and independent lives, HealthSouth Chattanooga Rehabilitation Hospital now provides patients and staff with a more efficient and modern facility that benefits the people of Chattanooga and its surrounding communities.


HealthSouth Corporation


Chattanooga, Tennessee

Project Type