In an effort to meet the core needs of the community, Renown Health will soon open its Tahoe Tower. “The project was built for current and projected growth in terms of volume, as well as the need for higher and more advanced levels of technology and service,” said Newton Chase, director of facilities, services and major projects for Renown Health. “This is a major medical center, a major resource for us as a community.”
The project began in 2000 in Northern Nevada. The 10-story, 515,000-square-foot Tahoe Tower will include a spacious lobby, emergency department, trauma center, surgical suites, pre- and post-procedure rooms, X-ray and scanning equipment and patient rooms. Requiring an estimated 1.75 million man hours to complete, Renown Health’s new, $200 million-plus hospital tower is slated to open early in November on its main Reno campus.
The emergency department will feature nine new ambulance bays, two rooftop helipads serviced by an express elevator, 75 rooms (operating, exam and trauma), a helicopter refueling station and a hookup for additional emergency equipment, such as a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
Upon opening, the facility will feature 190 private rooms. Designed for comfort, privacy and healing, each room will boast a flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi access, faux skylight depicting a nature scene, crown molding, wainscoting, a visitors area with a pull-out couch and privacy curtain, vinyl flooring for easy cleanup and a shelf for flowers, cards and pictures. “What we’re trying to achieve is a hotel feel,” Chase said. “We’re incorporating many leading edge engineering and architectural innovations. The design allows us to easily adapt to change, community needs and technology.”
For example, the building’s air shafts are located on the exterior to provide easy access for repairs and future remodeling. The rooftop will contain hydronic tubing to melt seasonal ice and snow. Open cable trays will allow additional technology to be added quickly. A pneumatic tube system will facilitate the transfer of hard copies of medical records and other items where needed. Electric “tugs” will pull trains of supplies in and out of the hospital through the sites 680-foot underground tunnel. The medical records system will be fully electronic, securely storing patient files, including images. And a new 1,700-space parking garage provides convenient access to the tower.
Peaceful water features and a meandering walkway will create a restorative environment in the new Healing Garden, while several retail shops will offer gifts, flowers, cards, publications and various other sundries. Throughout the new tower, patients, visitors and staff will benefit from an emphasis on natural lighting, even in the stairwells, and the use of soothing colors and textures. Eco-friendly features include digital building controls, high-efficiency boilers and chillers, T8 fluorescent lights and xeriscaping.
Space throughout the structure, including two patient floors and five operating rooms, will be designated for future growth. “We designed the hospital in such a way that it will be a real resource for us for the next 50 to 70 years,” Chase said.
Before the Tahoe Tower opens, trial runs will be carried out, and all systems and machines will be tested and forced to fail to ensure appropriate backups work properly. “We want people to feel confident, safe and comfortable.”