Rochester Regional Health in Rochester, N.Y., partnered with CPL (Rochester, N.Y.) and LeChase Construction (Rochester) more than five years ago to develop a plan to help the organization better deliver care to the aging population as well as future generations to come. The result is the seven-story, 312,000-square-foot Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care at Rochester General Hospital, which opened in October 2020. The addition includes a new surgical care center with operating rooms, women’s health and newborn care suites, and 108 acuity-adaptable private patient rooms.

All patient rooms and public spaces are designed with an interior color palette reflective of Lake Ontario. Various shades of cool blue tones are utilized against a contrasting warm wood color. An abundance of natural light and nature-inspired graphics contribute to a healing environment for patients and families and a bright and lively space for staff. Attention to the aging population drove some of the patterning, lighting, and color decisions. Striving for a timeless design, the use of bold colors and trendy decorative elements was limited to more easily changeable materials and finishes.

In addition, the building is in review for the LEED for Healthcare certification. Every product and material had sustainability in mind—from the glue that holds down the floor, to the drywall components, and ceiling systems. In addition, recycled materials were leveraged where possible.

Plans for the facility were made well before COVID-19; however, the flexibility of the design offered built-in resilience that greatly assisted with the management of the disease:

  • The addition of acuity-adaptable beds in the community allowed Rochester Regional Health to manage the fall and winter influx of critical patients with COVID-19.
  • When ORs are not in use, indigo lights are automatically turned on to sterilize all surfaces from bacteria.
  • Air passing through the handlers are UV radiated, mitigating germ circulation.
  • The new sterile processing unit offers new technology to bolster infection prevention efforts throughout the hospital. With a much larger footprint from it’s previous location, the new sterile processing center is outfitted with seven state-of-the-art steam sterilizers to ensure instruments are sanitized and sterilized and an endoscope reprocessing system that cleans and disinfects scopes with limited human intervention.

Project details:

Facility name: Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care at Rochester General Hospital

Location Rochester, N.Y.

Completion date: October 2020

Owner: Rochester Regional Health

Total building area: 312,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: $250 million

Cost/sq. ft.: $485 with site and enabling, $455 without

Architecture firm: CPL Architects|Engineers|Planners

Interior design: CPL

General contractor: LeChase Construction

Engineering: CPL and M/E Engineering P.C.

Builder: LeChase Construction