Miami Valley Hospital South (MVHS) opened as an outpatient facility and full-service emergency department in October 2007. A member of Premier Health Partners, the hospital added a sports medicine center and outpatient services in 2008, and a 10-bed inpatient wing a year later. Due to the growth of the southern neighborhoods of Dayton, Ohio (and the subsequent increase in emergency visits and related inpatient admissions), hospital leadership decided to further expand MVHS and commissioned Gresham Smith to design a new five-story bed tower addition.
Communicating and Collaborating
To help MVHS meet its long-term goals, a significant level of collaboration between the owner, designer and prime contractor was key. With speed to market a primary focus, the integrated team worked together to utilize multi-trade prefabrication and a unique parallel document delivery system (PDDS) to ensure that design and construction was completed efficiently and effectively within an 18-month window. This involved breaking construction documents into six work packages based on construction milestones. By using PDDS to issue design documents, the six work packages would serve as a continual method of accountability to ensure that design documents and construction milestones were completed on time, and that contractors received the information in sequence.
This integrated team approach throughout each phase of the project also included meeting a shared set of goals, and having each team member build toward a unified vision. The entire team—including subcontractors and the commissioning agent—were brought on board at the early design stages to assist with these goals which included: creating new reputable service lines; efficiency in design and construction; flexibility of design; increasing the quality of patient care; and speed to market.
Staying True to Form
To remain faithful to the hospital’s original design, the Gresham Smith team explored a number of design options to produce a look and feel for the new inpatient tower that would be similar to that of the existing campus. The main hospital building was right beside the planned addition and they were both five stories, so we visually blended the two structures by using the same brick and precast concrete, as well as color and materials that tied into the original facility.
Efficiency in Design and Construction
By utilizing multi-trade prefabrication, multiple building components—such as patient room bathrooms and headwalls; MEP corridor racks; vertical mechanical duct mains; and operating room ceilings—were constructed in an off-site, temperature-controlled warehouse while the bed tower was under construction. These vital pieces were trucked in and installed as soon as the building structure was ready to receive them. By prefabricating the components off-site, the team was able to drastically reduce the amount of noise, dust and vibration at the hospital, as well as eliminate a significant amount of construction traffic. Constructing the components in the warehouse also provided a safer work environment, allowing more construction to be fabricated at waist-height, and significantly reducing the number of trips up a ladder. The entire prefabrication process—along with PDDS—resulted in an estimated seven-month savings on the overall project schedule when compared to conventional construction.
Flexibility of Design
As part of the updated master plan, shell space on the tower’s second and third floors was programmed to accommodate 48 additional inpatient rooms. Along with 48 private rooms that are situated on the building’s top two floors, the new tower features decentralized work spaces on its patient floors. Located adjacent to patient rooms (so nursing staff and physicians can work together in close proximity to patients), these decentralized areas enable better care, more efficient communication and improved patient safety.
At the end of each 16-foot wide corridor on the patient floors, a large curtain wall of glass floods the space with natural light, creating an open and healing environment. Private rooms are also filled with daylight and feature three levels of electrical shade control allowing patients to adjust the room to his or her needs.
Subtle details throughout the inpatient tower seek to neutralize the stress that hospitals often evoke. These details include graphics of nature; frosted glass that masks work areas; and artistic glass used to represent flowing water. In order to unite the new building with the hospital and seamlessly combine the wayfinding systems, an existing landscaped area was modified and enlarged to become a courtyard. The stunning enclosure can be viewed from almost all public spaces, promoting a simple means of wayfinding.
Adding 220,000 square feet to the existing hospital, the five-story bed tower addition at Miami Valley Hospital South blends seamlessly with the original campus, and helps meet the ever-increasing demands of the surrounding community.