Hilltop Regional Health Center

Hilltop Regional Health Center is a 57,350 square foot medical and dental clinic located in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, WA. The owner, Community Health Care, estimates that the clinic will provide care to 17,200 patients annually and chose to build in this neighborhood to serve those most in need and to become the hub of revitalization.  Job growth from the clinic and increased pedestrian access are two of the anticipated positives from the location, which meets the owner and design team goal of designing a health care environment that looks good, is an asset to the community and functions well.

The three-story building provides medical and dental services, including exam rooms, urgent care facilities, laboratory and pharmacy services as well as a community room capable of housing up to 75 community members for meetings, exhibits and seminars. In partnership with St Joseph Hospital, the clinic will also provide study areas and classrooms for resident doctors and office space for MD trainers.

Energy efficiency measures include an improved thermal envelope, high efficiency fenestration, reduced interior lighting power density, occupancy sensors, energy recovery, and high efficiency heat pumps, which, combined, are expected to exceed the project’s performance goal of using at least 30% less energy than a typical medical clinic. The project also installed highly efficient plumbing fixtures to reduce indoor water use by over 30%. To further enhance the building’s commitment to indoor environmental health, CHC has committed to implementing a Green Housekeeping Plan following the LEED for Existing Buildings rating system guidelines.

Early in the design phase, O’Brien & Company was engaged by the architect as the sustainability consultant, to develop a sustainable building action plan to secure a LEED Silver certification for the project. We began work by conducting an eco-charrette to develop a set of sustainability goals that would drive the project through design and construction, including specific energy and water efficiency targets. We also worked with the design team and owner to evaluate the feasibility of the newly released LEED for Healthcare rating system and after some deliberation, decided that LEED for New Construction best met the owners goals and the project scope.

O’Brien worked closely with the architect and other design team disciplines to successfully document 40 points in design credits, including facilitating the development of the green housekeeping plan and guidance for fitting out some vacant spaces in the building at a future date. O’Brien set the construction team up for success by providing detailed specification comments and sample sustainable building requirement documentation. The Hilltop Clinic has recently completed construction and the project earned Gold certification level.

Project Team
Owner:  Community Health Care
Architect:  Johnson Architecture and Planning
Contractor:  Abbott Construction
Civil Engineers:  KPFF
Structural Engineer:  Swenson Say Faget
Mechanical Engineer:  Enginuity Systems
Energy Modeler:  Enginuity Systems
Electrical Engineer:  Cross Engineers
Commissioning Agent:  FSi Engineers
Landscape Architect:  Karen Kiest landscape Architects