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Projects • Vanderbilt University Medical Center Critical Care Tower

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Critical Care Tower

Nashville, Tennessee

In 2009, Vanderbilt Medical Center was already a premier healthcare facility, but in a burgeoning city, the need for more patient capacity was making itself known. The hospital not only needed more space, but wanted the new addition to focus on the comfort of the patients and their families. Finished in late 2009, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Critical Care Tower added over 300,000 SF of operating rooms, in-patient rooms, state-of-the-art technologies, and special care units.

SSR designed the new addition to the medical center with all those needs in mind. The facility was designed and built in two phases, starting first with the relocation of a helipad for Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight unit and the construction of the emergency room on the first floor, working up to the new burn center on the 11th floor. Using strict guidelines for infection control risk assessments, SSR designed the burn center, including hydrotherapy capabilities under strict infection control risk assessment guidelines. The burn center is designated Level 1 and services patients from over a 600-mile radius.

SSR also provided engineering services for the development of a new plate and frame heat exchanger for the tower that would allow for free cooling of the water system in the winter, creating both energy and cost savings.

In addition, SSR provided technology to the facility. Systems include structured cabling for voice/data systems, nurse call, personnel and asset tracking, public address, security and CCTV, telemedicine, video conferencing, patient surveillance, intercom, audio-video presentation, CATV/MATV, and patient entertainment.

SSR performed commissioning services for the project.  Due to the phased completion, commissioning required testing and verification of new systems operation while other systems were fully operational.  For example, the ER and support areas on the first floor were already fully functional when SSR completed commissioning for the other tower floors.  Commissioning testing required additional schedule coordination with the contractors including “after-hours” testing.  SSR managed to work within tight deadlines and through obstacles to complete the work while maintaining the project completion schedule.


  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Project Completion

  • 2010


Project Size

  • 284,000 SF