Methodist West Hospital
West Des Moines, IA
As the greater Des Moines metropolitan area continues its growth and expansion, Unity Point Health – Des Moines was faced with escalating pressure on its existing facilities, stretching its capacity, and posing access difficulties for patients and families. It was decided to address this challenge with a bold move in constructing a community hospital in West Des Moines to serve the health care needs of these citizens. The design team was charged with creating a modern facility that addressed many lessons learned including the healing benefits of patient and family friendly environments that are also efficient and pleasant for providers and staff. This would enable the hospital to become a community leader in creating sustainable and healthy environments.
Health care environments by their nature need to be technical and state of the art; however, they can also intimidating to many patients and families and unfriendly to work in. Unity Point Health Des Moines’ 95-bed, five story, community health center offers essential services in a warm and non-threatening environment. From the exterior, the facility beckons those in need with an appearance that is more like a resort than a hospital. Warm and natural materials used thoughout the exterior and interior create comfortable places for healing, work and respite. The layout and flow of the hospital promotes efficiency and controls distraction. The building enclosure and operating systems were specifically designed for enhanced energy efficiency and maximum occupant comfort. Staff work areas and supplies are decentralized, located close to the patient treatment and sleeping rooms. The patient rooms are designed to allow patients with a direct line of sight view of the beautiful Iowa landscape including a large lake to create a peaceful and healing environment.
The effort and commitment that went into the creating of this beautiful hospital continues to pay tremendous dividends back to Unity Point Health and the communities it serves. The environment is amazingly pleasant and quiet as confirmed by record setting patient, family and staff satisfaction scores that have held strong throughout its young life. The building operates at a level that is 18% below code required levels for energy recourse utilization. The hospital won a Grand Place Award (1st Place in Category) for sustainable design in the Buildings & Systems Category of the 2010 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition awarded by the American Council of Engineering Companies.