Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Project Location: 355 North Erie, Chicago, Illinois

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is a leading specialty, science, research, and rehabilitation hospital. ESD was retained to provide consulting engineering services for the development of its new 1,200,000-sf building.

The structure transformed the organization by bringing together experts that worked in different facilities — doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers, and more.

Innovation Centers offer space for both direct and indirect patient care including patient rooms, medical rooms, supply/nursing stations, and exam rooms. Each Innovation Center includes AbilityLabs that infuse biomedical science into the clinical environment. The MEP systems for the AbilityLabs is configured to allow the space to have adaptive use on a continual basis.

ESD overcame a number of challenges, including:

  • The need to design a system that offered power and data flexibility for unique items such as gait tracks, which through wall sensors monitor how far a patient walks and gauges his or her steadiness.
    Providing accessibility in a facility where if someone goes into a bathroom, he or she may not have hands to help get back out.
  • Subsequent to construction, Shirley Ryan engaged ESD in an 18-month monitoring-based commissioning project to increase efficiency of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing operations; enhance occupant comfort; reduce operations and maintenance costs; and reduce energy demand and cost. ESD accomplished all goals.