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Shepley Bulfinch Leads Design of Major Renovation and Addition at Banner

Monday, 12 December 2016

$400 million expansion for region’s only academic medical center and the only Level 1 trauma center in southern Arizona

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PHOENIX – December 12, 2016 - Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation with offices in Boston, Houston and Phoenix, announced today that it has been selected to lead the programming, planning and design of a new $400 million, 700,000 SF clinical tower at the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson in Tucson, Ariz. Owned by Banner Health, Banner – UMC Tucson is the region’s only academic medical center and the only level one trauma center in southern Arizona.

On May 26, 2016, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the new nine-story, 204-bed medical tower, which replaces an aging portion of the existing hospital. The new facility will feature updated and expanded operating rooms with an integrated imaging and interventional floor, and will enhance the patient experience with all-private patient rooms. The tower was planned with four large base levels of 100,000 SF each and five floors of nursing units above. It will include 22 operating rooms and more than 45 imaging and interventional rooms as well as a new main entrance that will connect to the existing building and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

“Shepley Bulfinch is a very strong firm with academic medical center experience, and that’s one of many reasons we selected them to design the tower,” said Stephen Brigham, project executive, Banner Health – Development & Construction at Banner – University Medical Center. “We were very impressed with their work on the master plan and the Planned Area Development (PAD) document, and we felt they had the knowledge, capability and enthusiasm to exceed our expectations. So far, we have been proven right.”

In 2014, Banner Health acquired the University of Arizona Medical Center and retained Shepley Bulfinch to develop a master plan that would most effectively provide space for new high-acuity diagnostic and treatment services, connect with the existing complex, and create a new entrance and identity that would emphasize a new beginning for the 50-year-old institution. The master plan included more than 800,000 SF of new construction and 150,000 SF of renovation. Site planning, including site water mitigation, new vehicular access and circulation, and a future parking garage, were all addressed in the master plan. Following a competitive process, Shepley Bulfinch was selected to lead the programming, planning and design of the new addition and backfill renovation for Banner – UMC Tucson.

Banner – UMC Tucson varies slightly from the standard Banner Health site configuration. Due to the larger size of the medical center and a finite urban site, the bed tower was stacked on top of the base instead of adjacent to it. As a result, Shepley Bulfinch had to develop a new massing approach that allowed for effective circulation while maintaining a positive patient and visitor experience.

Built in 1971, the existing hospital building will remain part of the medical campus, but will be repurposed for use as administrative space. In addition to the master plan, Shepley Bulfinch completed a renovation and expansion of the surgical services unit at the University of Arizona Medical Center in 2013, before it was acquired by Banner Health.

Co-location is the practice of having design and construction team members work together for a substantial portion of each week with the goal of significant savings in time, dollars and effort while enhancing the quality of the documents, construction process and finished building. Banner Health had seen the benefits of co-location on two previous projects so the project team established “The Big Room” in Tucson where team members spend three days each week.

The project team includes:

  • Associate Architect and Engineer – GLHN Architects and Engineers, Tucson, AZ
  • Contractor – Sundt | DPR Construction (a joint venture), Tucson, AZ
  • MEP Design Engineer – AEI, Affiliated Engineers Inc., Phoenix, AZ
  • Structural Design Engineer – Martin, White & Griffis, Tucson, AZ
  • Civil Design Engineer – Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., Tucson, AZ
  • Landscape Architect – Norris Design, Phoenix, AZ


About Shepley Bulfinch
Shepley Bulfinch is a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation. With offices in Boston, Houston, and Phoenix, the firm provides architecture, planning, and interior design solutions for leading institutions in academics and healthcare, as well as urban development and civic organizations. Practicing design that is an elegant synthesis of aesthetic, physical, and cultural influences, Shepley Bulfinch strives to advance design by sparking a dialogue with clients who are leading change in the built environment. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @ShepleyBulfinch.

Media Contact
Susan Shelby, FSMPS, CPSM
Rhino PR for Shepley Bulfinch

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