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Northwestern Medicine — Lake Forest Hospital Replacement


The new state-of-the-art Lake Forest Hospital campus will provide patients with access to quality care, medical experts and exceptional service as well as a seamless pathway to Northwestern Medicine care such as Cancer, Cardio-Vascular, Women’s Health and Orthopedic / Neuro-Surgery specialties.

The three-story hospital will contain 114 private inpatient beds, 72 outpatient care spaces, eight operating rooms and 499,000-square-feet of new construction. It is a Level Two Trauma Center as designated by the State of Illinois.

“This is a replacement hospital on property we own,” explains James Mladucky, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare Director of Facility Planning and Construction. The new hospital is centrally located on a 160-acre property north of where the existing hospital resides today. The new design is a crescent-shaped building about 900 feet long with six pavilions on a continuous diagnostic plinth. 

“The new Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital will be a destination for health, wellness and civic enjoyment,” the hospital says. “The design of the 160-acre campus integrates medical care with health and wellness through walking and biking trails as well as a new common area for community activity and enjoyment.”

Sustainable Focus

Northwestern Medicine leadership has set clear and concise facility and site performance targets for its Lake Forest Hospital design. “The new hospital will meet USGBC LEED Silver requirements, maximize implementation of ASHREA 189.1 standards and utilize EnergyStar equipment to meet our corporate-social responsibility to design, build and operate sustainable/green facilities and sites throughout the Northwestern Medicine System,” states Mladucky.

Notable environmental features of the project include a 6.5-acre reflecting pond and a 12-foot waterfall. The views of the pond add ambiance and creates a landmark for patient and visitors to navigate the facility; and, is a key sustainable feature, as well, Mladucky says.

“The pond and associated bio-swales catch and filter rainwater that falls on impermeable surfaces,” he notes. “Although parking lots are built with a permeable surface that allows rainwater to pass, paved drive aisles and roadways where storm water does not pass though, but sheets off is channeled from these paved areas into bio-swales, which are planted with native species that filter storm run-off and snow melt. The water is then directed to the pond, and slowly released into the existing wetland system on the hospital property.”

Other sustainable, “green design and construction” methods incorporated in the project include:

    •Open space – The campus property will maintain a minimum of 65 percent open space at full build-out.  
    •Reducing energy consumption – The campus design optimizes natural lighting and incorporates high efficiency heating and cooling systems. Target reduction from the current hospital is 20 percent.
    •Decreasing water use – Low-flow plumbing fixtures will be installed and drinking water will not be used for landscape irrigation. Target reduction from the current hospital is 20 percent or six million gallons.
    •Increasing recycling – Building materials with recycled content will be used and NMHC has targeted eliminating as much as particle construction waste from being diverted to landfills.   

The project landscape focus is innovative, as well. “We have a unique landscape approach,” Mladucky says. The landscape is inspired by the Chicago Botanical Garden and replicates native fauna and glacial hills. The team began landscaping in advance of construction so when the project wraps up, vegetation will have several years of growth in place. 

“Usually, landscaping happens at the end of a project,” Mladucky says. “That is not what we are doing. We are planting now so when the new hospital opens in 2017, the landscaping will have two years of maturity in places.” However, this requires the land to protected in the midst of the major construction project, he notes.

There are currently 80 construction workers onsite. Construction has entered phase two of four. Construction activity will be ramping up over the next 26 months and, at its peak, approximately 500 construction workers are expected on site. “About this time next year, we will have topped out the pavilions,” Mladucky says. 

Focus on Community

Community relations are a top focus for the construction team. “Lake Forest as a community has high standards and expectations,” Mladucky says. 

Therefore, the team makes sure to keep roadways clean, obey all traffic laws and work closely with the community to minimize disruption. Meanwhile, five construction managers “make sure the logistics are well in place to oversee [construction manager] Turner Construction personnel,” Mladucky says. This is important given the large scope of the project. 

Traditional Modern Design

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects “as the hospital design architect is world renowned, and they have very much embraced the Lake Forest and Lake County community,” Mladucky says. “They understand the design ascetics of the community and have interpreted that into a modern interpretation using traditional forms and materials. 

“Lake Forest is marked by its traditional style,” Mladucky adds. “A wonderful example is Market Square at the center of Lake Forest. The Pelli Clark Pelli design uses 21st century forms in a traditional way that is unique to Lake Forest.”  

To keep building heights low and create the proper scale within a predominately residential neighborhood, the new complex is a series of pavilions arranged in a crescent shape along a lake, the architect says. “Connecting the buildings at the edge of the reflecting pool is a one-story plinth that contains the main hospital functions and the primary public corridor,” Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects states. “Patient rooms are distributed among three pavilions to the south of the entry and two pavilions to the north contain the medical offices. A boardwalk adjacent to the circulation spine includes spacious decks and outdoors seating areas.” 

The design incorporates function into form. “The design is coupled with the very innovative way care will be delivered,” Mladucky states. Traditional hospital silos and divisions are merged into a more universal interventional platform, eliminating boundaries and breaking down former divisions within a hospital. For example, this enables teams in Surgery, Cardiac Cath, Interventional Radiology and the Electro-Physiology labs, to work closer together rather than being separate departments in distinct locations. “This reflects the way caregivers are now being trained,” Mladucky explains. “It is a very collaborative work environment. This is something that is unique and not always being done when hospitals are being designed and built today.”

Therefore, the team is building the new hospital with the flexibility needed to serve patients now and in the future. “In an evolving healthcare environment, new facilities need to be able to adapt, while maintaining the highest levels of safety, quality and cost-effective care,” Lake Forest Hospital says. “Our new hospital is designed to accommodate leading-edge technology and will enable our caregivers to continue offering the latest medical breakthroughs in diagnostic and procedural medicine.”