The new mills-peninsula Hospital in Burlingame, California, is a good example of evidence-based design, which has firmly taken root as the premiere influence on hospital architecture today. Anshen + Allen, now part of Stantec Architecture, used the approach to guide their design of this state-of-the art, 450,000-square-foot facility outside San Francisco. Based on scientific evidence that patients heal better when their physical and emotional comfort is maximized, Anshen + Allen's scheme puts the patient squarely at the center. For example, patients here are treated to 100-percent fresh air for ventilation; single-occupancy rooms for privacy; large windows to bring in light and provide vistas to the outdoors; exterior healing gardens and walking paths; and strategies to minimize noise and infection. 'Patients recover more quickly if they have views of nature. Single-room occupancy works better as there is less risk for medical error, for infection, and on the human side healing is more rapid,' remarks Kevin Day, senior architect from Anshen + Allen. 'Patient-centered care affected all our decisions.'

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The new hospital, which includes a 180,000-square-foot office building and 800-vehicle parking structure, replaces a 1950s concrete building, which proved to be a 'collapse hazard,' according to a 1994 state-mandated seismic-safety review of California hospitals. The architects considered renovation but found the cost and logistics prohibitive. 'It didn't make sense to retrofit a building that doesn't meet the needs of health care today, which has huge technology needs that won't work in an older building,' explains Larry Kollerer, senior project manager from Mills-Peninsula. The 1994 legislation also compelled the team to pursue a progressive seismic strategy stringent enough to meet 2030 standards. That included a building that could not only withstand a 500-year, 8.0 earthquake in terms of structure, but also could continue operating afterward (the hospital lies just over a mile from the San Andreas Fault). A base isolation structural system reinforces the building's foundation (see sidebar). The design also includes backup generators, tanks for 50,000 gallons of water and 50,000 gallons of sewage storage, and 40,000 gallons of fuel in case of emergency. Because the hospital has the luxury of a 25-acre site, it was possible to phase out use of the existing building while constructing the new one. 'First we built the garage and removed surface parking. Then we built the new hospital, and moved the patients in,' explains Day. The architects located structures that require high-volume traffic, like parking and offices, near the street to maintain a quiet atmosphere deeper into the site. A low-rise podium contains emergency, surgery, and diagnostic services while two L-shaped five-story towers, with a total of 311 patient rooms, sit on the podium, pinwheeled to allow for distant views of the bay and mountains.

The design team determined that the Green Guide for Health Care was the best benchmark to ensure sustainability. Through modeling and analysis, the architects developed a strategy to save energy that includes a variable-air-volume system with heat recovery and a high-performance building envelope: The hospital's energy consumption is expected to be 33 percent lower than California's stringent Title 24'energy-performance baseline. Numerous other sustainable strategies include low-flow plumbing fixtures, lighting controls, daylighting, and materials made with minimum toxicity and renewable and recycled content. While Mills-Peninsula employs an abundance of high-tech and sustainable strategies, implemented with shiplike efficiency in the tightly programmed spaces, its greatest success is the way the design addresses users' well-being. The warm and inviting public spaces ' the gardens, lobbies, dining area, and a meditation room ' combined with patient rooms that reflect the holistic values of evidence-based design, make this a model facility.

Completion Date: May 2011

Total construction cost: $488.6 million

Gross square footage: 450,000 square feet (hospital);
180,000 square feet (office building)



Mills-Peninsula Health Services, A Sutter Health Affiliate



Anshen+Allen, part of Stantec
901 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone(415) 882-9500
Fax (415) 882-9523

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Anshen+Allen, part of Stantec


Interior designer:

Anderson Brulé Architects



Structural Engineer:
Rutherford & Chekene

Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Engineer:
Ted Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Civil Engineer:
KCA Engineers, Inc.

Architect for Palo Alto Medical Foundation spaces: (MOB lobby and floors 2-5) Hawley Peterson Snyder (major tenant for the MOB.)



Landscape: Antonia Bava Landscape Architects

Lighting: h.e. banks + Associates

Acoustical: Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc.

Code: Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.

Cost: Hanscomb Faithful & Gould

Thermal Comfort Study: Arup

Energy Modeling: Architectural Energy Corporation

Waterproofing: Simpson, Gumpertz + Heger

Wind: RWDI

Signage: Kate Keating Associates, Inc.


General contractor:

Turner Construction Company


CAD system, project management, or other software used:

Autodesk AutoCAD
Autodesk Navisworks
Graphisoft ArchiCAD



Structural system – Hospital

base-isolated steel brace frame
Office Building: buckling-restrained steel brace frame
Base Isolation: Friction Pendulum Bearings by Earthquake Protection Systems

Structural Steel:  The Herrick Corporation

Exterior cladding

Masonry: Cold Springs Granite
Precast Concrete: Clark Pacific
Curtainwall contractor: Guarantee Glass, Inc.
Aluminum curtainwall system: Texas Wall Systems, Inc. (now Oldcastle)
Metal panel contractor: C/S Erectors Inc.
Metal panel system: Pohl Inc.
Concrete: Joseph J. Albanese, Inc.
Wood Resin panel: Prodema
Channel Glass: Bendheim Wall Systems
Architectural Exposed Structural Steel and Steel Stairs:
Olson Steel


Elastomeric: Sika Sarnafil

Metal: Centria


Glass: Shenzhen CSG Architectural Glass Co.
Skylights: O’Keefe’s Inc.


Entrances: Besam, Kawneer
Metal doors: Interstate Doors Sales, Inc.
Wood doors: Interstate Doors Sales, Inc.
Sliding doors: Besam


Locksets: Sargent

Hinges: Markar Products, McKinney

Closers: Norton

Exit devices: Sargent

Interior finishes

Acoustical ceilings: George Family Enterprises

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Custom cabinetry fabricated by Northwestern Design, Inc.

Paints and stains:
Sherwin Williams

Colour & Design Inc.
Source One Wallcovering
Wolf-Gordon, Inc.
Koroseal Wall Protection Systems
Innovations in Wallcoverings, Inc.
Lanark Wallcovering

Wall Protection:
C/S Group Acrovyn

Trespa North America Ltd.

Plastic laminate:
Formica Corporation
Wilsonart International
Nevamar Decorative Surfaces
Pionite Decorative Surfaces

Special surfacing:
DuPont Corian & Wilsonart Gibraltar solid surface counters
DuPont Zodiaq quartz solid surface counters
Stoller Metals metal veneer
Veritas Resin Sheets
Forms + Surfaces Elevator Cab Finishes
Oberflex laminated wood veneer

Floor and wall tile:

  • Main & Emergency Dept. Lobbies: Roca Tile Group Rock & Rock Collection & Daltile Veranda
  • Public Restrooms: Daltile Continental Slate & Concrete Connection; United States Ceramic Tile Company Luxor Polished; Roca Tile Group Rock Art
  • Staff Restrooms: Daltile Matte Series & Keystones; Interceramic Tile & Stone Gallery Intertech Color Line Mix
  • Patient Toilets: Daltile Continental Slate, Semi Gloss and Polaris
  • Patient Toilets: Daltile Continental Slate, Matte Series, and Reflection in Glass Tile
  • Public Elevators: Roca Tile Group Rock & Rock Collection

Resilient flooring:
Johnsonite rubber base
Amtico International resilient vinyl tile
Mohawk Group Stonewalk vinyl composition tile
Johnsonite Optima resilient sheet vinyl
Mannington Commercial Fine Fields & Biospec resilient sheet vinyl
LG Naturelife resilient sheet vinyl
Nora Rubber Flooring Noraplan rubber sheet flooring
Altro Floor & Wall Systems Quartz Tile

Lees Carpet
Shaw Industries
Atlas Carpets


Office furniture:
Herman Miller
National Office Furniture

Reception furniture:
Carolina Business Furniture
Nemschoff Brandrud Collection
National Office Furniture
David Edward
Martin Brattrud

Fixed seating:


  • Waiting Room: Krug
  • Exam Room: Fixtures Furniture
  • Patient Room: Nemschoff Brandrud Collection; Wieland
  • Family Birth Center Patient Room: Nemschoff; Carolina Business Furniture
  • Offices: Fixtures Furniture; National Office Furniture; Humanscale
  • Doctor’s Lounge: Leland International

Side Tables: KI; Krug
Conference Tables: KI

Sleep sofas and chairs: Nemschoff; KI
Study Carrels: The Midlands Company
Table Lamps: Nessen Lighting
Patient Room Bedside Cabinet: Hill Rom


Interior ambient lighting: Mark Architectural Lighting, Infinite, Axis Lighting, Light Space

Downlights: Kurt Versen, Lightolier, Focal Point


Elevators/Escalators: Otis


Kohler water saver, Willoughby, Chicago, Toto, Just, Delta, Haws