FIRST LOOK: Austin Regional Clinic
Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) was founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, and today is one of central Texas’ largest professional medical groups. ARC focuses on primary care—family practice, pediatrics, and internal medicine—and includes 21 specialties to best serve its patient population.
To better meet the medical needs of the rapidly growing Cedar Park, Texas, region, ARC is building a 20,287-square-foot clinic. Designed by architectural firm Office of Architecture (Wimberley, Texas; OOA), the two story building will expand primary and specialty medical services in the area by providing care for adult, pediatric, and medical home patients.
The project includes 52 exam rooms, two procedure rooms, doctors’/nurses’ work stations, a lab, offices, and physicians’ lounges. The new clinic will employ an electronic medical records system, and to that end each exam room is equipped with a wall-mounted, arm-supported computer system allowing medical staff immediate access to patient records, reports, X-rays, and other vital information.
The design of the building utilizes various sustainable technologies including a building shell constructed of insulated concrete forms (ICF) made with recycled content, spray-foam insulation, a highly reflective roof, extensive LED lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout, and a building management system.
The exterior cladding of the building will consist primarily of stone and stucco. The exterior stucco and an interior plaster finish are direct-applied to the ICF, allowing for greater efficiency in terms of construction cost and time. This system helps support a superior building envelope and provides a high-quality internal environment.
The design of the building interior is a response to not only programmatic requirements but to solar orientation. Doctors’/nurses’ work areas are placed along the north and south sides of the building on both floors, allowing for generous access to glazing and daylighting. These work areas also ensure privacy for medical staff and are immediately adjacent to the exam rooms they serve.
Public areas for waiting and check-in are located on the south and east sides of the building, also providing ample daylighting, while carefully placed overhangs and motorized shades ensure the building will maintain its open feel without sacrificing comfort.
The design of the main lobby includes the ability to provide computer kiosk areas for patient self-check-in. OOA is currently working alongside ARC to analyze the best method for providing this service in several of their existing clinics around the area. The data collected will inform the final design of these kiosks for the new Cedar Park clinic.
The general contractor for the project is Austin Canyon Corp. (Austin). The $5 million project is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.