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Rush University Medical Center in Chicago

The new hospital building at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is a 14-story, $654-million complex known as "The Tower." With its unique butterfly design and striking white exterior, the 840,000-square-foot LEED Gold tower stands out in the market not only by offering state-of-the-art health care technology, but also by its overriding goal to re-orient its facilities around patients and their families. To achieve this goal, leaders at Rush University Medical Center enlisted the aid of doctors, nurses, staff and patients-some of whom worked as members of the Office of Transformation- to help architects design the new hospital.

The tower, which opened in January 2012, is the major component of Rush's 10-year, $1 billion campus redevelopment project called the Rush Transformation, which includes new construction, renovations of existing buildings and investments in leading technology across the 30.5-acre campus, according to Rush.

"Chicago is home to a very competitive health care market," says John Moorhead, LEED AP BD+C, senior project designer, Perkins+Will. "Rush wanted to stand out from the competition. We described this experience as 'designing from the inside out.' The tower is not a shape that we created and then jammed rooms into. It was designed first and foremost to enhance the patient experience."

A corner lot that was home to campus tennis courts was chosen as the site of the new tower, which also serves as "a gateway to the campus," according to Moorhead.

A total of 267,000 square feet of Alucobond Plus aluminum composite material from 3A Composites USA Inc. was installed on the tower, including approximately 250,000 square feet of 4-mm Alucobond Plus in custom Spinnaker Bone White as exterior wall cladding. Approximately 17,000 square feet of 4-mm Alucobond Plus in custom Sunstorm Rum Pewter was installed as a recessive color accent on column covers and on interior mullions. The Alucobond panels were installed with glass in a unique unitized curtainwall system.

The butterfly design is featured on the hospital's top five floors, which house 304 individual adult and critical care beds, and was suggested following Rush transformation team input. Patient care is delivered in four building quads with hospital rooms arranged in a triangular shape to "increase the close proximity to patients for nurses," according to Moorhead. The Tower's ground floor houses an advanced emergency response center, which is prepared to treat largescale health emergencies. The tower also includes three consecutive floors devoted to an interventional platform in which diagnostic testing services, surgical services, interventional services and recovery areas are located within a short distance of each other

Construction manager: Powers/Jacobs Joint Venture, Chicago

Architect: Perkins + Will, Chicago

Fabricators: ASI Ltd., Whitestown, Ind., and Sobotec Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Metal wall panels: Alucobond by 3A Composites USA Inc., Statesville, N.C., www.alucobondusa.com,Rush _university _medical _center