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ESD?s Work Enhances Innovative Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

It’s hard to exhaust superlatives when it comes to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the new medical center created by the former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Each floor of the 1.2-million-square-foot space in Chicago contains AbilityLabs, where real-time biomedical science research is integrated with the clinical environment to help treat patients who have suffered injuries to the brain, spinal cord and more. A large therapy pool is forever heated at 97 degrees. Overall, the new facility focuses on fostering a patient’s ability rather than simply rehabilitating his or her disability.

ESD provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and technology engineering services for the $550-million project. Since equipment for research and rehabilitation is constantly evolving, the MEP systems for the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab are configured to allow the space to have adaptive use.