New medical facility showcases inventive structural design elements

Compliments of ASCE.org

The Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion, in Charleston, showcase innovative structural elements, features designed to withstand environmental hazards, and spaces that will accommodate changes in function.

The Medical University of South Carolina, also known as MUSC, in Charleston, set out to design a state-of-the-art medical center that would transform how health care is delivered to women and children by seamlessly integrating children’s care with obstetrical services. The resulting Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion are the perfect examples of that desired integration.

The 625,000 sq ft facility comprises an 11-story tower and a contiguous seven-story diagnostic and treatment building. Modifications to the existing central energy plant were also made as part of the overall project. The new complex boasts the largest neonatal intensive care unit in the state, a labor and delivery unit with mother/baby postpartum rooms, an advanced fetal care center, and entire floors dedicated to specific health conditions such as cancer and cardiac ailments. The facility also houses 250 licensed beds, surgical operating rooms, and a variety of specialty medical equipment.

Furthermore, in the desire to be an inclusive hospital, there is a sensory room specifically for the needs of those on the autism spectrum. In fact, the space was designed by Perkins&Will — which served as lead architect for the project — with feedback from parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, the hospital CEO, clinical leadership, staff, patients, and community volunteers, according to the firm’s website.

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