When the nation’s largest catastrophic care hospital needed to expand their inpatient bed capacity on their congested, urban site in Atlanta, the Shepherd Center called on Heery to lead their team. The Shepherd Center is a Spinal Cord Model Center as designated by the National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research. The hospital specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of paralyzing spinal cord injuries, brain injury multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders. The unique challenges of this patient mix drove the Heery design team to a solution that was patient and family centric with a focus on accessibility, wayfinding, and environmental attributes, such as an abundance of natural light, warm interiors palette and open family spaces to accommodate the extended stay of most patients.
The facility planning included and eight-story expansion of 105,000 SF and a four-story 66,480 SF vertical expansion, and required seismic upgrades to address modern codes. In addition to the new inpatient beds, the project included an ICU department, expanded radiology / diagnostic services, urodynamics clinic, pain clinic, and research space. A new kitchen and dining area was also included in the facility expansion. Adding to the complexity of the project, a new Central Energy Plant was developed in the space within the basement of an existing parking garage. The Heery engineering team worked hand-in-hand with the Shepherd Facilities Group to ensure a safe and coordinated transfer of services so that no departments or services were adversely affected by new services transfer.