Schneider Electric Joins PennFirst to Design High-Tech Health Pavilion

By Roxanne Squires

PHILADELPHIA – Schneider Electric has announced their involvement with the PennFIRST team to design and build a new state-of-the-art pavilion featuring smart building technology for the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine).

Penn Medicine’s new Pavilion aims to serve the evolving needs of patient comfort and satisfaction, and ensure clinicians can deliver the latest treatments and patient care techniques, while Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure for Healthcare will help Penn Medicine to reduce costs, optimize energy use, increase staff efficiency and much more for new levels of hospital efficiency.

The Pavilion will offer 500 private patient rooms and 47 operating rooms in a 1.5-million-square-foot, 17-story facility across from the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and adjacent to the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

The key features of the Pavilion include an adaptable room concept through which patient rooms are equipped to maintain flexibility between an intensive care unit set-up and a standard room as patients recover, or as the patient population and caregiving needs change in the coming years.

Each spacious room will include a private bath and a comfortable area for family members and caregivers to stay nearby.

The new design also boasts a seamless flow of operations – from the emergency department through hybrid operating rooms used for both surgeries and high-tech interventional procedures through recovery and discharge – enhanced by technology and the latest research on how to facilitate and improve care team collaboration.

Telemedicine functionality will allow remote monitoring and consultations, as well as technology to link patients to their friends and families at all times.

The eco-friendly construction, design and operations plan works to strengthen Penn’s commitment to the environment, through pursuit of LEED certification, and innovations like the re-use of water, 100 percent outside air, and park-like, outdoor green space for patients, families and staff.

Warren Rosebraugh, Schneider Electric healthcare solution architect, stated that EcoStruxure for Healthcare will include multiple aspects enabling improvements to patient care.

For instance, Schneider Electric’s Clinical Environment Optimization solution helps save energy by automatically adjusting room conditions based on occupancy information and allows patients to ensure that they are comfortable by setting their room temperature through the patient room control mobile app, as well as adjusting the light, ventilation and blinds in their room.

This level of comfort can impact the patients’ state of mind and ability to sleep comfortably, therefore supporting their recovery.

Another example is when an operating room is to be used for an operation, the room settings will automatically go into occupied mode and the electrical and medical gas systems are checked, ventilations are checked, and environmental conditions are verified to make sure the room is safe.

Rosebraugh also highlighted the Lean IPD approach used to deliver the new Pavilion.

“The biggest challenge, as well as the most rewarding aspect of the project, was working with a large number of stakeholders to construct the pavilion using a Lean Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach,” said Rosebraugh. “This is one of the largest projects on the East Coast to design and build through this approach. In a traditional design and construction approach, each firm works on their respective project role and scope separately and linearly. In contrast, in IPD, the team works side by side from the beginning of the design process. With incentive through a shared profit model, the resulting collaboration saves time and money through innovation and solves challenges in real time.”

Construction of the Pavilion began in September 2016 and will advance through early 2021, with occupancy projected later in 2021.