Austin, Texas


Driven by the client’s desire to achieve LEED platinum-level certification—unprecedented for an inpatient hospital—the design for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas began with a distinct vision and commitment to significantly reduce the negative impact of the building on its occupants and the environment. 

Part of a 722-acre new urbanist development on the brownfield site of a former municipal airport, the planning approach split the site diagonally into town-country, and diagnostic and treatment-inpatient dualities.  Positioned in the southern part of the site, the distinctly shaped three-story nursing units offer views of the surrounding healing garden and adjacent park, as well as vistas of Austin’s skyline. The two to four-level diagnostic and treatment components are organized as generic and flexible blocks on a 64-foot square module and are intended to mesh into the surrounding density of the zero setback development.

Inspired by historic examples of Texas’ Mission architecture, the blocks are pierced by six courtyards, which serve as visual cues for wayfinding. The building’s primary circulation system is organized around the crossing of two axes, the Wood Wall, and the Rock Wall. As Cardo and Decumanus, the lobby and visitor elevators are located at this important crossing, overlooking a four-story central healing courtyard. 

The hospital distinguishes itself by deploying strategies designed to reuse, recycle and conserve, the most sosphisticated of which is in energy production and usage. A 4.5 megawatt natural gas-fired Combined Cooling Heating Power Plant (CCHP) provides consistent electrical power, critical to operating high-tech equipment at 70 percent greater efficiency than a comparable coal-fired plant. Steam, a by-product, is used in absorption chillers to supply chilled water for the hospital and surrounding buildings. 

Other sustainable features include using the courtyards as the lungs of the building to provide cooler, cleaner fresh air to the many air-handling units distributed throughout the hospital, and as a primary source of natural light, contributing to daylight in 60 percent of spaces unrestricted by medical demands. The hospital also achieves a 35 percent reduction in potable water use by using reclaimed water for landscape, and uses low flow plumbing fixtures, motion sensor lighting controls and under floor air distribution where possible. Other recycled and environmentally-friendly materials, such as low VOC paints and adhesives, wheatboard casework, linoleum flooring, and recycled carpet and ceiling tiles, combine to provide central Texas with a unique healing environment that is trend-setting both in its design and its commitment to the environment.


Seton Health Care Network

99 East Main Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-5115
614.461.9500 (t)
614.461.6324 (f)

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Vice Chairman, Planning: Richard Barger, AIA, ACHA

Lead Architectural Designer: Joseph F. Kuspan, AIA

Senior Architectural Designer: Kenneth C. Redman, AIA,

Project Architects: Stephen T. Zilles, AIA, LEED ® AP,
Stephen G. Bennett, AIA, LEED ® AP,

Director of Graphic Design: Daniel J. Clements, III, SEGD

Graphic Designer: Nicolas Banks, SEGD

Project Coordinator: Paul J. Carney

Architect of record


Interior designer


Civil Engineer: Bury & Partners, Inc.

Mechanical / Electrical Engineer: ccrd Partners

Structural Engineer: Datum Engineers, Inc.



Landscape: TBG Partners

LEED: Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems

Construction Manager: White Construction Company


John Durant Photography






Exterior cladding:
Masonry: Dimension Stone – Limestone & Red Sandstone/Mezger Enterprises

Metal/glass curtainwall: Kawneer Company, Inc.

Concrete: Cast-in-Place/Keystone

EIFS, ACM, or other: Manufactured Metal Fascia Panels & Horizontal S-Deck Siding/Berridge Manufacturing Co.

Stucco: DMG Plaster

Louvers: Airolite

Ornamental Metalwork:
Architectural Woven Wire Cloth/Egla-Mono
2 inch x 2 inch galvanized steel grid cloth/ Doka-Mono

Elastomeric: Single Ply TPO Membrane Roofing/Stevens Roofing Systems

Metal: Standing Seam Roof Panels/Berridge Manufacturing Co.

Aluminum: Aluminum Architectural Window & Aluminum Curtain Wall/Kawneer Company, Inc.

Glass: Insulated Vision and Spandrel Glass/Viracon

Entrances: Automatic Sliding Entrance Doors/Stanley

Metal doors: Ceco

Wood doors: VT Industries

Sliding doors: Manual Sliding ICU Doors/Horton

Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cornell

Special doors (sound control, X-ray, etc.): VT Industries

Locksets: Sargent and Hospital Latches/Glynn-Johnson

Hinges: McKinney

Closers: LCN

Exit devices: Von Duprin

Pulls: Rockwood

Security devices: Lenel;Indala;GE;Pelco;Amano;Alarm-SAF

Cabinet hardware: Grass

Interior finishes:
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong and Tectum, Inc.

Suspension grid: Armstrong and Kemlite

Demountable partitions: Operable Partitions/Modernfold

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Texas Fixtures

Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams

Paneling: Marlite

Plastic laminate: Formica/Wilsonart

Special surfacing: Solid Surface/Lexton

Floor and wall tile: Terra Green Ceramics, Inc. and Dal-Tile Corporation (public and patient restrooms, servery, kitchen)

Resilient flooring: Forbo, Johnsonite, Expanko, Altro, Nora, Ardex

Carpet: Interface, Shaw

Raised flooring: Tate

Office furniture:  Steelcase

Reception furniture:  Brayton

Task Chairs:  Steelcase

Tables:  Vecta

Upholstery:  Maharam, DesignTex, Spinneybeck, ArcCom, Paul Brayton

Other furniture:
Sleep Sofas:  Images of America
Children’s furniture:  Fixtures Furniture

Interior ambient lighting: Zumtobel; Lithonia

Downlights: Zumtobel

Task lighting: Nulite

Exterior: Lithonia; Antique Street Lamps

Controls: Leviton

Specialty lighting: Selux; Lithonia; Sky Factory; Gammalux; Belfer; Lumetta; ELP; Bruck; Iris; Juno

Elevators: Thyssen-Krupp

Accessibility provision (lifts, ramping, etc.):
Pneumatic Tube System/Swiss Log-Translogic Corporation


Water Closet-Urinals-Lavatories-Sinks-Clinical Sinks: Eyewash/Kohler; Elkay

Showers: Aqua Bath Company; Swanstone

Mop Sinks: Fiat

Emergency Showers: HAWS

Electric Water Coolers: Elkay