Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, Arizona is a unique hospital. Located in the first community designed specifically for people over 55, the hospital has had the unique task of serving active, older patients. Nationwide, the average age of an emergency department (ED) patient is 48 years-old, but, at Banner Boswell it’s 74. Despite a growing population, the hospital has not had a significant renovation in more than 30 years. A new, 322,000-square foot ED and six-story tower will feature unassigned shell space and room for 192 beds to accommodate growing patient needs and serve Sun City for decades to come.

We analyzed Banner Health’s established design template to ensure it was applicable to Sun City’s demographics. Considering the age of its patients, and visitors who are also older, we had to consider safe navigation. We used computational simulation to see how patients naturally move throughout the hospital, which helped us determine any possibilities for confusion, or trips and falls. Based on our research, we incorporated distinct wayfinding, minimized travel distances so patients do not have to walk as far, and eliminated tripping hazards—resulting in an accessible and safe environment for patients and visitors.

Operating under an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model with a standard contract with McCarthy Builders, we co-located to the hospital with trade partners Southland Industries, Buehler Structural, UMEC, Cannon and Wendt, and The Berg Group. The team was able to provide best value and minimize unknowns by using industry best practices including Choosing by Advantages, Scrum management, and cluster group, all of which are methods designed to help teams identify challenges and solutions quickly and efficiently. With the current ED in full operation the new expansion is under construction. To streamline delivery, the team is using a prefabrication approach to work out of sequence without disrupting daily operations. Construction of the ED is slated for completion in August 2020, and the tower, October 2020.