Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed March 2007)

Chief administrator: Charles Scott, Chief Executive Officer, (678) 604-1001

Firm: CDH Partners, Inc., (678) 784-3708

Design team: Tom Danner, Senior Project Manager and Designer; Troy Dokken, Assistant Project Manager; Ann Kistinger, RID, Interior Designer (CDH Partners, Inc.); Structural Design, Pruitt, Eberly Stone, Inc.; Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineering, Hibble, Peters, and Dawson; Civil Engineering, Travis Pruitt & Associates

Photography: Sabrina A. Carpenter

Total building area (sq. ft.): 240,500 (North and South Towers); 205,000 (Parking Garage)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $179 (North and South Towers); $29 (Parking Garage)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $43,100,000 (North and South Towers); $6,000,000 (Parking Garage)

The design team was charged to deliver an environment that would be healing for patients, comfortable for families, and pleasant for staff members. The scope of work provided by the architectural design team included master planning; architectural design; programming; space planning; specialty lighting design; material and color selection; furniture, fixtures, and equipment; and art procurement for the 240,500-sq.-ft. expansion. The new facilities would offer cardiac services, women's and children's services including antepartum, labor and delivery, postpartum services, a newborn nursery, and a neonatal intensive care unit. This phase of growth, authorized through the Certificate of Need process, would allow Henry County Medical Center to increase inpatient capacity from 124 to 215 beds. It was determined that more space also was needed for Emergency care and for additional parking to meet the needs of the increased campus capacity.

The design team programmed and worked throughout the project with a committee of various hospital staff consisting of surgeons, doctors, nurses, administration, and environmental staff (for health, safety, cleaning, and life cycle of products). Innovation was born from these sessions with the staff committee and through the design team's study of staff, patients', and visitors' interaction with the existing environment.

The comprehensive design solution was to create a five-story, 235,000-sq.-ft. North Tower addition that architecturally married with the existing structure. Repetition of details and staining of the existing brick helped seamlessly blend the two structures. The existing Emergency Department, adjacent to the North Tower, was expanded into the new building. Within this department, the nonclinical spaces were converted to create a patient-observation area, expediting traffic flow through the department.

A new 5,500-sq.-ft. South Tower for entry was also added, reflecting the same architectural-design elements introduced in the North Tower. A new pedestrian walkway and drop-off area for arriving and departing patients was added with the South Tower. The design details and signage provide unity and simplicity of wayfinding for the entire campus.

To properly address the parking needs the campus expansion also included a four-level, 205,000-sq.-ft. parking garage. A climate-controlled bridge provides ease of access to the 440 parking spaces.

New spaces contribute to stress reduction through such elements as a soothing color palette illuminated by natural light in all patient rooms and corridor views for nurses. Other conveniences that enhance the ambience include enabling patients and family members to control area-specific lighting for both patient rooms and in areas for family members. Special hospitality areas include family pods with sleeping furniture, outdoor patios, break rooms, vending, and dining. Features such as indirect/direct lighting, music, TVs, and Internet connectivity add to the comfort offered to patients, families, and staff. Sculptures with running water, live plants, and garden beds add a sensory element that is visually relaxing and introduce the peaceful natural sound of flowing water to the interior.

The selection of material and products for Health and Safety included slip-resistant surfaces, wayfinding by use of colored soffits outside each patient room and custom-designed millwork in nurses stations that allow for increased sight lines to patient areas. The material selections also were chosen to decrease the environmental impact of short-life products by using porcelain tile at high-traffic areas, linoleum flooring at neonatal care, and carpet tile instead of broadloom carpet. When possible, renewable products were used, such as linoleum in the nursery-viewing and neonatal-care areas.

The client wished to create a strong contextual tie to the Stockbridge community. Local vendors were used when feasible, enhancing the sense of community. It was important to users to maintain the essence of the community's southern ambience. The quaint atmosphere was achieved through the use of natural materials like wood and stone and canopies in the café to mimic outdoor dining.