The Group Health Medical Center is a state-of-the-art ambulatory care facility with a total project budget of approximately $120 million. As Group Health’s new flagship medical facility, the building includes three levels of below-grade parking (385,000 square feet) and 190,000 square feet of above-grade program area on four levels. The 575,000-square-foot facility is home to the largest multi-specialty practice in East King County, with 125 physicians representing more than 25 medical specialties.
This is a unique structure with open areas and abundant sunlight – a design element that has been found to lower stress, create calmness, and contribute to better health outcomes. Designed specifically around the needs of their patients and housing the latest in technology and medical equipment, the facility includes physician’s offices, diagnostic imaging, operating rooms for day surgery, oncology services (including an on-site infusion room that provides chemotherapy), and 24-hour services for acute care and emergencies. To nurture physician-patient relationships, larger exam rooms feature a curtained changing area, a couch for patients or family, and special lighting for exams or consultations. Patients needing inpatient care will be admitted to Overlake Hospital Medical Center, which is adjacent and connected by a passageway to the new facility.
Each room provides access to computers and Group Health's clinical information system, allowing patients and doctors to review medical records together and make better-informed decisions. An "on-stage"/"off-stage" design throughout the medical center keeps public areas calming, comfortable, and focused on patient needs. In the off-stage zones there are separate staff entrances, elevators, corridors and workspaces to promote collaboration among physicians and staff.
The facility reached substantial completion two weeks ahead of schedule. One of the construction challenges mitigated through careful planning was the site’s location. There were major City and State causeways on three sides and an operating hospital requiring 24/7 emergency access on the other side. Additionally, there were multiple adjacent ongoing construction projects. Our project team coordinated our design and construction planning with other design teams and contractors and communicated almost daily with these groups.
Many sustainable elements were added to the Group Health Medical Center, such as individual thermostats to monitor thermal comfort; the use of fully sustainable and renewable Lyptus hardwood; energy-efficient occupancy sensors, photocells, and dimming ballasts to reduce electricity; and a white EPDM roof to reduce solar heat gain. The ceilings were also raised to 10 feet to allow more natural light in and reduce the use of artificial light. A complete flush of indoor air was also performed before move-in to remove contaminants from the construction process.
Facts And Figures
Completed April 2008
575,000 square feet