|Group Health Bellevue Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington|
|Wednesday, 30 March 2011 06:47|
A primary objective of the planning process for the new facility was to promote operational changes that would generate efficiencies and create a superior patient environment. As such, the visioning sessions with the client focused on how Group Health wanted the medical center to function rather than on the building itself.
All photographs by Benjamin Benschneider Photography
Designed to accommodate up to 1,000 patients and 125 physicians, the 200,000-square-foot, four-story medical center houses outpatient practices for Group Health physicians in more than 20 specialty areas, including cardiology, orthopedics, sports medicine, physical therapy, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, and women’s health. The center also features a 26,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center and provides diagnostic imaging, laboratory and pharmacy services as well as a retail store for home medical products.
Located on the Overlake Hospital Medical Center campus, the medical center has a direct pedestrian tunnel connection to the 104-bed Overlake South Tower inpatient facility and emergency department for Group Health members requiring inpatient or emergency care. Parking is provided for 680 cars in a four-story garage below the building.
Two entries provide access to the building along the east side. The entry to the north provides access to the urgent-care service, while the southern entry accesses the main public elevators. A soaring two-story glass-enclosed great room along the south side of the building forms a dynamic gathering space. Visitors and staff have access to the landscaped gateways and to an exterior, elevated plaza on the south side of the building.
Working with senior Group Health team members, the Ellerbe Becket-NAC|Architecture team developed a modular clinic design that provides daily flexibility in clinical assignment, clarity in patient treatment, and easy conversion to meet future needs. Based on a large universal exam room designed to strengthen the connection between patient and staff, the clinic module has been adopted as the standard for all future Group Health development.
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The modular nature of the design permits any specialty to provide services in any patient room. The rooms house standardized equipment; additional medical supplies are brought in if specialty treatment is required. The modular grid extends to office areas, permitting Group Health to convert these spaces to patient rooms in the future in order to accommodate an increase in patient population.
The new medical center’s prominent location in Bellevue’s burgeoning medical district posed an opportunity to showcase Group Health. Inspired by the region’s natural surroundings, planners coined the term "Northwest Elegance" to describe the design theme. Tree-like wood trusses support a canopy on the building’s façade, echoing the area’s forests.
Recognizing that a connection to the natural environment can have a positive impact on healing and recovery time, the Group Health Bellevue Medical Center connects visitors to the natural environment through large expanses of glass and extensive use of sustainable wood products on its interior.
As landscaping matures over time, green views will be available from throughout the building and the landscaping will become an urban oasis for birds who had abandoned the original paved urban site, formerly a parking lot. The added landscaping and water features contribute to a healing environment for patients visiting the facility. Other sustainable features include the use of low-VOC paints, a reflective white roof membrane, advanced commissioning, and provisions for alternate forms of transportation.
The project team worked diligently to design a building that presented a small energy footprint and then worked to meet that energy need with highly efficient HVAC systems. The design exceeded the Washington State Energy Code, which is more stringent than ASHRAE 90.1.
Utilizing approaches such as condensing boilers and hot water heaters, variable primary pumping for hot water and chilled water systems, and premium-efficiency chillers, the building is designed to provide a 38% reduction in energy use compared to the energy code requirement.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 09:34|