Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Opens New Patient Tower
HOUSTON, TX Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital recently opened a new 232,700-square-foot patient bed tower, adding capacity for much needed healthcare services in the burgeoning Katy, Texas, area. It is the tallest hospital in the United States constructed using stacked concrete tilt-up panels, commonly called tilt-wall construction.
The new six-story tower added 64 total beds in various units, including surgical care, intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. The expansion includes new Memorial Hermann Life Flight crew quarters and more than 5,500 square feet of clinical lab space; the corresponding renovation comprises an expanded Surgical Center, Women's Center, and Emergency Center. The top two floors are shell space and will accommodate 80 future inpatient beds. Two pedestrian walkways, a three-story bridge for staff and patients and an all glass single-story connector for public circulation, provide access to adjacent facilities.
"Medical institutions are under more pressure from increased patient demands, evolving public policy, and a challenging economy," according to Gary Owens, Principal at FKP Architects in charge of the Memorial Hermann Katy project. "It's incumbent on design and construction professionals to work in tandem with institutions and think differently about capital projects and the delivery process. We must foremost address patient care, but we can't be afraid to look at best practices in other industries that can be adapted for healthcare delivery."
In addition to time and construction cost savings, tiltwall construction produces a building shell with fewer points of penetration, resulting in less possibility of moisture intrusion and higher insulation value. The core and shell subsequently require less maintenance. Such efficiencies are estimated to result in a 2 percent life-cycle cost savings over a project building life span of 50 to 60 years. Structurally, the tiltwall panels eliminate the need for extra internal wind bracing as they provide the necessary lateral stability.