Case Study

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix Patient Tower The Tallest Hospital in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ, USA

The Challenge

When HKS completed Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix’s campus master plan in 2010, the 20-year vision involved expanding the flagship campus by 1,200 beds. The expansion required the demolition of more than 2 million square feet (185,806 square meters) encompassing multiple buildings on an active urban hospital campus. A 14-story patient tower would be built on top of a three-story platform with an emergency department and Level 1 Trauma Center. As the tallest hospital in Phoenix, this tower would serve as Banner Health’s brand identity. In addition to completing the work on an active campus, the HKS-led design team was also challenged to create a smaller footprint for the bed tower that would include both med/surg and ICU beds.

The Design Solution

The project utilized an integrated project delivery (IPD) method, which involves contracting the architect, construction manager and consultant from the beginning to reduce waste, maximize efficiency and increase value for the owner. The team worked together in a big room throughout the project duration

HKS and the contractor, DPR Construction, developed an intricate, phased design and construction schedule to minimize or eliminate disruptions to the ongoing daily operations of the hospital. Working from the big room on the Banner campus, the IPD team started the design from scratch, evaluating options to right size the patient units, reduce construction costs and maximize the owner’s dollar.

The 22-bed ICU unit layout was designed with the same footprint as the 24-bed med/surg unit layout, maximizing the number of beds on each floor. Additionally, the structural system was specially designed for a 14-foot floor-to-ceiling height, which reduced the overall height of the building by eight feet.

The Design Impact

With the reduced floor footprint, more than 36,000 square feet (3,344 square meters) was removed from the design, reducing the construction cost. The lower building height resulted in fewer construction materials, further decreasing costs and building time.

The IPD team created an Innovation Log detailing 48 items that were implemented to reduce design and construction costs. As a result, the team saved more than $42 million and built the tower 12 months faster than if they had used a traditional delivery method. More than $24 million saved was directly attributed to solutions found using the team’s big room.

Banner used the money saved from this project to develop a new satellite cancer center, affiliated with MD Anderson. That project was completed in 2019.

Project Features

  • 302 private patient beds
  • 4 ICU floors
  • 7 medical-surgical floors
  • 2 shell floors
  • Cardiology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral health
  • Bariatric/transplant unit
  • Bariatric/transplant unit
  • Helipad
  • 35,000 sf (3,252 sm) supply chain building
  • 1,100-car parking garage

They [DPR and HKS] did an exceptional job in cost, time and quality. They actually accomplished something that I didn’t think I’d ever see; they had a zero punch list upon completion.

Banner Health Vice President of Development and Construction