Danbury Hospital New Patient Tower, Danbury, CT

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To meet future needs, Danbury Hospital retained Syska Hennessy Group for a new, 310,000-sf, 68-room patient tower with critical and medical/surgical rooms. The project also doubled the size of the current emergency department (ED), which is a Level II Trauma Center.

Syska was tasked with enabling Danbury Hospital to help elevate patient care, comfort and safety; support infection control; increase diagnostic and treatment capabilities; and decrease energy consumption.

The location—at the top of a steep, sloped hill—presented a unique set of challenges. These included locating mechanical rooms, forcing the location of the helipad at the top of the new patient tower, and connecting utilities between the main campus and the new patient tower.

We designed features supporting the hospital’s emergency department’s infection control, including:

  • Dedicated 100-percent outside air air-handling unit (AHU) with energy recovery to prevent the recirculation of airborne contaminants.
  • Redundant fan arrays to maintain the design air volumes and pressure relationships in case of fan loss.
    Positive-pressure ambulance entrance to keep ambulance exhaust from entering the ED.
  • An enhanced filtration system for the penthouse AHUs to keep helicopter exhaust odors and particulates from entering the hospital as a result of the helipad being located on the roof above.

Features to improve patient comfort, recovery and safety include:

  • Ability to control lighting level on demand.
  • Smart thermostat design for cooling/heating systems.
  • Two sinks in each patient room to aid infection control.
  • Entrance snow-melting system.
  • Infrared heating at the ambulance drop-off area.

Syska designed a highly efficient MEP system, resulting in 36-percent more energy efficiency compared to a baseline model, using:

  • Modeling, enabling the architectural team to select the most effective insulated envelope design.
    Occupancy sensors.
  • Floor radiant heating and cooling system for the main lobby.
  • Increased chilled-water temperature differential to increase the chiller efficiency and decrease power use.
  • Intelligent air distribution, including air-side economizer, enabling the chiller plant to come off-line.
  • Advanced building management system to monitor and ensure that all mechanical equipment is operating at peak efficiency.
  • Perimeter radiant heating in each patient room.

Additional sustainable design features include:

  • Premium efficiency chillers.
  • Supply air temperature reset.
  • Multiple light switches in patient rooms to allow for staff functions without waking patients.
  • Energy recovery coils for 100-percent outside air.
  • Occupancy sensors for conference, exam and locker rooms.

As a result, Syska achieved Danbury Hospital standards as well as compliance with healthcare building code requirements, all within budget and schedule.

ACEC New York, Engineering Excellence Gold Award, 2014

LEED Status
LEED Silver

315,000 sf

Danbury Hospital

The S/L/A/M Collaborative


Evidence-based design
Medical-surgical units
CFD modeling
Energy modeling