Healthcare Design - March 2018 - 13
Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of
Texas, opened June 2017
HE GOAL for Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas (UT) is to become a gateway to the university's new medical district. Owner Seton Healthcare
(Austin, Texas) partnered with Dell Medical School in
Austin to open the 517,000-square-foot teaching hospital in summer 2017.
Located in an urban setting, the building was designed by HKS Inc. (Dallas) and is adjacent to UT's
School of Nursing and across the street from the medical school. The
main public entrance is expected to become a highly active pedestrian
zone, with the entrance plaza linking the new medical center to other
buildings on campus.
A sloped site presented several challenges on the project. A constrained
footprint didn't allow the emergency department (ED), radiology department, and public lobby to fit on one floor. There also wasn't enough street
frontage on any side to allow for public, emergency, and service entrances. The design solution for these conditions was to locate the main lobby
on the first floor, while the ED's public and ambulance entries were located on the lower level. A sky bridge connects the garage to the first floor,
which is the primary public floor, while easily accessible public elevators
provide direct access to the ED waiting area.
Sustainability and wellness were a focus in the design, as well, with the
building achieving LEED for Healthcare Gold certification and designed
to meet Austin Energy Green Building Commercial 2-Star certification
requirements. Notable features include native and adapted landscaping,
water-efficient plumbing fixtures and building equipment, high-performance glazing, and regionally extracted and manufactured materials.
The hospital's chapel and lobby feature wood installations built using
reclaimed pecan trees that were harvested from the site. The building's
connection to nature and the outdoors is further enhanced by exterior
courtyards, available to both the public and staff, while patient rooms
maintain visual connections to a nearby creek and park.
Patient services are distributed across seven floors, with the ED and radiology on the lower level. The upper floors house 135 acute care beds and
60 intensive care beds. A 14,500-square-foot laboratory houses a blood
bank, transfusion, microbiological diagnostics, and molecular diagnostics. Twin helipads sit atop the south bed tower. The hospital also houses
the state capital's only Level 1 trauma center for adults.
The facility was designed for future expansion, too, including a 150-bed addition to the north bed tower. Surgical suites
can also expand when demand increases, with room for an additional four operating rooms and an intraoperative MRI suite.