Support buildings ‘designed to mesh’ with new IU Health complex

Indiana University Health has outlined design plans for a multi-use support building and a utility plant to serve its new Downtown Indianapolis hospital under construction at its expanding healthcare campus south of 16th Street.

Filed recently with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission, the plans call for a support building of five to eight levels that will contain parking, loading docks and logistics uses, plus office and retail space. The building, occupying nearly a full block, will provide critical support needs for the adjacent new hospital and is designed to be compatible with the look of the hospital and other campus structures.

Design plans for the support building show a brick and granite base with glass storefronts and a facade of perforated metal paneling on the upper garage levels. The garage will hold 1,600 to 2,700 parking spots depending on size, along with 200 to 300 bicycles in a mobility hub. Up to 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space would front Capitol Avenue. The pedestrian-friendly building will be surrounded by sidewalks and native plantings.

The support building will connect to the new hospital with a pedestrian bridge and a utility tunnel, which will allow hospital supplies and equipment to flow via automated guided vehicles from the loading docks to the new hospital, largely unseen by patients and visitors.

Supporting sustainability. Just south of the support building will be the Central Utility Plant, a state-of-the-art power plant that will support the new hospital’s energy needs with chillers, boilers, heat-recovery coolers, steam for sterilization and fire protection water, along with backup power generators. The highly energy-efficient plant will be designed with sustainability features for LEED silver certification. Like the support building, it will be flanked by sidewalks and appealing landscaping.

The central utility plant is proposed to sit just south of the support building shown above.

The new flagship hospital and campus, to be developed over the next four to five years, will consolidate operations of IU Health’s two Downtown adult acute care hospitals – the adjacent Methodist Hospital as well as University Hospital, located 1.5 miles away. IU Health officials said combining hospital operations furthers IU Health’s mission to provide world-class, patient-centered care in ways that are more cost-efficient and accessible while eliminating costly duplication of high-acuity services.

“The support building and utility plant are essential support elements for the new downtown hospital and expanded medical campus, said James Mladucky, vice president of design and construction for IU Health.

“Designed to mesh aesthetically with the evolving campus,” he continued, “the buildings will provide the critical logistics and energy requirements to support IU Health’s unique healthcare mission and ensure the efficient operation of a leading-edge academic health center that will serve future generations of Hoosiers.”

Empowering minority firms. Like the hospital itself, the support building and utility plant will be developed under IU Health guidelines to award 30% participation on design and construction projects to certified veteran, women and minority-owned businesses and achieve at least 50% local business participation.

The new campus amounts to the largest investment yet by IU Health toward its mission to make Indiana one of the healthiest states. Construction of the new hospital is estimated to cost over $1.6 billion, depending on its final size and economic uncertainties such as labor and material costs.

Rendering above: The south support building as seen from Capitol Avenue, with the pedestrian bridge shown at right.