The rooms will be private and have space for families and visitors. “Support from family and visitors who are comfortable spending time in the room leads to better results,” says Mitch Paradise, vice president of Corgan.

Each of the adult rooms will be identical in size and configuration. The rooms make up half of the square footage in the building.

While the hospital will open with all private rooms, the spaces are large enough to double up patients if needed for surge capacity. The team also is considering equipping large meeting rooms for conversion into care-delivery areas, if a pandemic or other large-scale emergency occurs.

A unitized glazing curtain-wall system with metal panels and limestone will clad the exterior. Multiple common green spaces will help visitors and patients to enjoy the outdoors.

“The skin is more cost-effective than it appears,” Paradise says. “We wanted to have as much natural light as possible to create a healing sense of place.”


The design and construction team developed seven mock rooms, selected by their function—medical/surgical rooms, emergency department rooms, and so on. Then Parkland asked staff members to visit the rooms and provide feedback about concerns.

“The construction manager has the opportunity to test how to construct the rooms, so all of the bugs are worked out,” Adams says.

Members of the patient and family advisory council visited the rooms as well and offered suggestions. The design team has updated the rooms based on the councils’ comments.

Construction plans

Work on the drilled-pier foundation will begin in early 2011. The concrete-frame will rise above that. A mechanical floor with fan walls and air handlers was placed in the building so it would not be right below the helipad.

“We are creating a healing environment that is going to be fl exible. Parkland knows health-care reform will bring changes.”

Massey says that, at peak, more than 2,500 people will be working on the acute-care hospital, with other teams employed at the central energy plant, garage and clinic. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit line will run through the site. The DART station is scheduled to open later this year. Massey anticipates many of the workers will come to work on the light rail.

The project includes a 30% minority and women participation goal. BARA is holding meetings with minority contractor associations and groups.

BARA has developed a prefabrication strategy that Massey says should create a safer work environment onsite. It plans to build horizontal mechanical, electrical and plumbing modules offsite, then bring in 20-ft sections and attach them.

“It takes advantage of the fact that there are a lot of repeating elements,” Massey says. “There’s budget improvement. There’s safety improvement and then quality-control improvement.”

Balfour Beatty recently completed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, using a similar prefabrication approach. Members of the BARA team and the mechanical and electrical contractors traveled to the United Kingdom to visit that hospital and the prefabrication facility.

“It was a learning experience for our team,” Massey says.

Jones adds that the prefabrication also may include the patient bathrooms and overhead HVAC system.

The team aims for LEED-silver certification, with a stretch goal of LEED-gold. The project includes a heat-pump recovery system, recycling and high-efficiency glazing. “The change the facility will make will be tremendous,” Jones says. “We are creating a far better healing environment for our patients.”