Parkland Health and Hospital System

The list of improvements at Dallas’ new Parkland Memorial Hospital complex compared with the previous facility will be long. Built in 1954, the old hospital has many semi-private rooms – approximately 70 percent without showers – low ceilings, only 18 operating rooms and no room for expansion. 

“We were landlocked, and if we attempted to renovate the existing facility to current standards, we would reduce the number of beds by about 40 percent,” Senior Vice President of Facilities Planning and Development Walter Jones points out. “That was going the wrong way from our strategic plan, which said we were going to need to provide more services. It was not a tenable solution to try and continue to work in the existing facility.”

Armed with a $747 million bond issue passed by 82 percent of Dallas voters in 2008, Parkland and multiple architects and designers the next year began planning an entirely new public hospital complex across the street from the old hospital. Design was completed and ground broken in October 2010, and the project’s guaranteed maximum price was approved in January 2011.

“We’ve been going ever since,” Jones says. A parking garage was completed as a design/build project by Whiting-Turner Construction and the architecture firm of Omniplan in January 2012. The rest of the 25-acre complex is scheduled for completion in August 2014. The $637 million hospital building will be 1.9 million square feet, and the ambulatory clinic, administration and logistics buildings will add approximately 600,000 square feet to the total project.

The core and shell of the free-standing outpatient clinic is a joint venture of Vidaud and Associates and the architect Moody Nolan. FKP Architects and 5G are the interior designers.

Responsibility for the main component of the hospital and site planning, as well as the core and shell of the women’s and infants’ tower and clinic, falls to a joint venture of HDR Inc. and Corgan Associates Inc. Construction of the new hospital is a four-way joint venture called BARA, an acronym for Balfour Beatty Construction, Austin Commercial, H.J. Russell & Co. and Azteca Enterprises. The hospital will include 865 beds, 96 neonatal intensive care rooms, 48 labor delivery recovery rooms and 108 emergency exam rooms.

The women’s and infants’ tower and clinic will have 280 beds. Additionally, a new medical, surgical and trauma hospital will have 582 beds. The new administrative medical building will include 270,000 square feet, and the outpatient services building will be 380,000 square feet. The construction manager at-risk for the surgical and ambulatory clinic is a joint venture of JE Dunn Construction Co. and Rogers O’Brien Construction. 

“We were committed to a single level of care,” Jones emphasizes. “We’re trying to create in the new hospital a very patient-centered healing environment.”

Putting the Park Back

The new Parkland Memorial Hospital will be a 17-story, concrete-frame building clad in approximately 10 acres of curtainwall. The first four stories will be a podium with a combination of tan local stone and metal panels. “We wanted something solid and earthy to anchor the building,” Jones explains.

The two-story lobby will feature a glass atrium with a unique design on the glass. “One of the concepts we incorporated into the project early on is we wanted to put the park back in Parkland,” Jones stresses. “The donation of city park lands was where the name of the hospital came from. So we wanted to make sure on the new campus there was some restoration of the green space and park land back to the site. On this glass wall around the lobby, we’ve also patterned the glass using a ceramic frit.”

The pattern on the 80-foot-tall façade is of large trees. “The pattern of the trees is made up of names of people who are voters in Dallas County that have agreed to donate a small fee – about $10 – to have their names permanently on the glass in the lobby,” Jones explains. “By changing the density of the font from bold to light, it creates this tree pattern. When you get close, you can read the names of the contributors to the hospital. It’s a great way to have the community represented literally on the face of the building, and at the same time convey the idea of Parkland.”

Efficiency Emphasized

Parkland Memorial Hospital is on track for LEED Silver certification. “We’re about a handful of points away based on our analysis of potentially being LEED Gold,” Jones asserts. “We’ll wait and see. Maybe as we get a little further into the design, we’ll see if we can incorporate any other features that might be able to raise that rating. Silver was our target, and gold was our stretch.”

The hospital will be landscaped with native Texas plants to reduce watering requirements, and it uses LED lighting in the new parking garage. Zoned lighting controls will be employed in the patient rooms, and a central utility plant will use a heat pump chiller, a boiler stack economizer and low emission boilers. Potable water use will be reduced by 25 percent and a photovoltaic system installed on the parking deck.

The patients’ units’ bathrooms are identical, so they can be prefabricated in a nearby leased warehouse. “Prefabricating units saves a lot of energy and [avoids the] waste of materials – because you don’t have to fabricate in the field – and it increases the quality quite a bit,” Jones points out.

Even though the hospital is just moving across the street, the services of a transition planner have been engaged to determine the most efficient way to move from the old hospital to the new, along with all the patients, employees, records and everything else.”

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