The IU Health Bloomington Hospital at the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) creates an innovative solution to twin needs. It provides southern Indiana residents with the latest in medical care and ensures future caregivers have the training they need to solve tomorrow’s health challenges.
HOK’s Healthcare and Healthcare Consulting teams worked with IU Health and Indiana University to identify a new hospital location that fosters community connections and bolsters existing relationships with the university’s health science programs. The 50-acre site adjacent to Indiana University’s flagship Bloomington campus connects to major arterial roadways, public transit and local bicycle and walking paths that encourage active and healthy transportation.
The 810,000-sq.-ft. facility, designed in collaboration with CSO, MSKTD, Cripe, and Guidon Design, consists of two main programs: a 185-bed acute care hospital and ambulatory care building and a connected medical education hub. The new hospital includes 14 operating rooms, a cancer center, an obstetrics and gynecology program, a behavioral health program and a robust ambulatory wellness program with both specialists and generalists. The educational building provides undergraduate and graduate students with advanced, real-world training in various health programs, including medicine, nursing, social work, speech and hearing.
The design of the facility employs a modern and fresh interpretation of the Indiana University and IU Health brands using glass, metal and regional limestone that blends into the surrounding academic campus. The project’s landscape architecture incorporates local and natural materials, such as native plantings and stone, that benefit and meld with existing habitats. Consultation with a local arborist led to the preservation of 405 trees that influenced site circulation, parking and landscape design.
The natural palette continues throughout the interior of the facility. A mixture of woods, terrazzo and environmentally friendly materials present themselves in classic details. Artwork by local artists emphasizes southern Indiana’s beautiful landscapes and reinforces a sense of place.
Health and Well-Being
The design embraces the healing power of natural light and nature. Therapeutic gardens are beautifully framed and provide places of respite for staff, patients and visitors. Adjustable air temperature and lighting systems, outdoor views and noise-suppression materials in patients rooms help people feel comfortable during their stay.
Sustainability and Resilience
Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the facility reduces the environmental impact in multiple ways. Passive and active design strategies combined to show a 30 percent reduction in annual energy consumption from the baseline standard, with the building anticipated to save $400,000 in annual operational energy costs per year.
To ensure that the building remains relevant and useful well into the future, the design prioritized a standardized structural grid, 30-year building systems, a robust technology infrastructure, and open-ended edges to accommodate future expansion. Design alterations informed by COVID-19 were implemented during construction to help the building respond to possible future pandemics.