The design for the Loris Annex at Loris Healthcare System evolved as a result of numerous functional and environmental issues that demonstrated the need for creative solutions to resolve expansion and modernization issues in an existing hospital setting. In early 2004, the planning team was asked to evaluate and recommend a means to expand and modernize the hospital’s existing Emergency Department, Critical Inpatient Care Unit, and Pharmacy.

The initial response to the functional program needs was to undertake a multiphase construction and renovation project for each of these three departments in situ. The project budget revealed that the overall cost of these projects would exceed those of new construction. Providentially, however, later that year a building connected to the hospital was struck by a microburst or tornado that destroyed the building. The building was optimally located to support the needs of all of the above clinical functions.

The design team responded to this opportunity by developing a two-story addition on the site of the building to house all of the above-mentioned departments. Upon completion of the new addition, the administrative and support departments, displaced by the demolished building, were relocated into existing spaces.

The budget for the revised project revealed an overall cost somewhat lower than that of the previous multiphased project. (It has been suspected that the imposition of stringent infection-control criteria on renovation projects is having a severe impact upon construction costs.) This project demonstrates clearly that major restructuring of clinical departments can often be accomplished more economically by total replacement.

Project category: Project in progress (September 2010)

Chief administrator: Tim Browne, President & CEO, (843) 716-7000

Firm: GMK Associates, Inc., (803) 256-0000

Design team: Val Satko, Principal-in-Charge; Larry Kogut, Project Manager; Richard Cohen, Project Architect; Jody Ricard, Project Mechanical Engineer; Brell Foster, Project Electrical Engineer; Joe Roddey, Construction Coordinator

Total building area (sq. ft.): 35,385 (new); 15,375 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $359 (new); $186 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $12,718,000 (new); $2,863,000 (renovation)