Modernizing Sibley Memorial Hospital
Sibley Memorial Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, began master planning for a new pavilion and patient tower in 2004. The strategy focused on improving its aging infrastructure, updating its 60-year-old hospital with new rooms settings, and addressing projected increased demand for emergency services, imaging, and diagnostic services.
“Hospitals are losing inpatient volume” says Jerry Price, senior vice president of construction at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
To combat that trend, Sibley Memorial set out to build a new 268-bed addition in Washington, D.C., that would add private patient rooms, an expanded emergency department with imaging and diagnostic services, and integrated outpatient services. The obstetrics program would also be expanded with a new department that can provide for more than 5,000 annual births and includes a new special care nursery.
The $350 million project followed a standard design-bid-build format, and Price says that one reason that Turner Construction Company was awarded the project was its use of modular components, including an exterior brick veneer, unitized curtainwall, MEP corridor racks, and patient room headwalls, which helped meet the project's overall timeline and budget. “If you haven’t already, it’s a system I think you should consider,” he said.
Designed by Wilmot Sanz, in association with SmithGroup JJR and constructed by Turner, the new facility is expected to open in 2016. During a tour at the 2015 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, Dwight Fincher, a principal at Wilmot Sanz, said one of the first challenges on the project was getting buy-in from the community and its involved neighborhood advisory council.
Several design features addressed residents’ concerns, including the focus on maintaining and enhancing the campus landscaping by adding new trees and installing five rain gardens, three green roofs, and a healing garden by the new front entrance.
In addition, the project team also worked with manufacturers to design precast exterior brick veneer in the same color and pattern of “Sibley brick” used on the existing campus buildings.
Flexibility is an overriding theme throughout the new 9-story tower. For example, the roughly 800-square-foot ORs are sized to become hybrid units in the future, while on the obstetrics floor, the special care nursery has the infrastructure to transform into a Level III NICU. Shell space near the new ED, which opened this fall, can allows for expansion to accommodate growth up to 50,000 annual visits.
In light of the fact that Sibley Memorial is a “frontline hospital,” Fincher said the new project also includes a mass casualty decontamination shower in the ED near the ambulance bay. Systems were also put into place that could turn a 25-bed unit on the top floor into an isolation unit.
To appeal to its affluent patient population, the interior design features wood-tones, a neutral color palette, and natural stone materials. “It’s a monumental city,” Fincher says. “We wanted to bring some of that quality that people in D.C. are used to into the hospital.”