As the second generation of the ER7 model crafted for the LifeBridge Health system, Northwest Hospital's new 27,000-square-foot emergency department continues this cutting-edge concept. With 38 exam rooms, this department maintains the ER7 features by efficiently directing arriving patients to one of seven treatment areas specific to their needs: the Rapid Care Center, Emergent Care Center, Chest Pain Center, or Pediatric, Psychiatric, Observation, or Urgent Care areas.

Another component is multiple levels of waiting space, which aid in managing patient flow and providing enhanced customer service. Six private waiting rooms on the perimeter of the lobby have telephones and televisions, while the main waiting space has aquariums and a separate space for children to play. Because of the typically high flow of patients through the Rapid Care Center, a subwaiting space was provided to promote the feeling of progression through the healing process. For situations in which treatment may take an extended period of time, four waiting rooms with telephones and televisions are adjacent to the Cardiac Care/Urgent Care core areas for more privacy. Patient treatment rooms also have televisions and space for a family member to remain during treatment. Core spaces have part-height glass walls to allow clear sight lines to treatment rooms.

In the typological ER7 design, the addition utilizes a white, fine stipple texture with generous windows, curvilinear canopy, and elevated day-lighting elements. Setting a contrasting element at the edge between the efficient block of program spaces and the lobby provides a backdrop for welcoming forms at the entrance to the department.

Project category: Addition (completed June 2002)

Chief administrator: Robert Turner, Vice-President of Campus Services, (410) 601-5162

Firm: Hord Coplan Macht, (410) 837-7311

Design team: Lee Coplan, Architect (Hord Coplan Macht); Adrian Hagerty, Structural Engineer, Programming/Planning (Ellerbe Becket); Bob Leach, MEP Engineer (Leach Wallace Associates, Inc.); Tony Corteal, Civil Engineer (STV, Inc.); Nancy Foreman, Interior Design (Nancy Foreman Design, Inc.)

Photography: Ron Solomon

Total building area (sq. ft.): 27,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $222

Total construction cost (excluding land): $6,000,000