IKM Inc

St. Clair Hospital Emergency Department


Location: Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania
Completion: 2008
Project Area: 14,000 ft2 Addition | 14,000 ft2 Renovation
Services: Architecture


St. Clair Hospital is an independent community hospital providing comprehensive, high quality care to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Hospital retained IKM Incorporated, as a knowledge-based healthcare planning and design firm, to provide professional services to implement the building and facility plan for a new Emergency Department.

The plan called for the construction of a new addition expanding the capacity of emergency services. A renovation of the existing department was also integrated into the project to upgrade patient-flow efficiencies with the addition to reflect current care delivery models. Interior finishes were to be updated. The project consisted of two phases to allow the emergency department to remain fully operational during construction.

The Emergency Department is often referred to as a hospital’s front door. IKM’s new emergency department design was developed in a collaborative effort with St. Clair’s staff and administration to create a modern, dramatic new look for the hospital. The phase 1 addition included constructing a multi-story facility, ground-faced concrete masonry units on the lower level and a structural steel facility clad in curved metal panels and band of windows on the upper level. The sweeping curved façade was designed to reflect the institution’s contemporary vision.

Special spaces include psychiatric observation rooms and future CAT scan space. The first and second floors of the addition take advantage of the topography of the site and are located below and behind the existing emergency department. These floors accommodate the MEP requirements for the building shielding these infrastructure components from view of the surrounding residential context. The third floor, level with the existing department, is approximately 14,000 square feet of exam and staff support spaces.

Phase 2 renovation work included remodeling of the existing Emergency Department to improve patient flow and update finishes. Areas include the lobby, greeting space and waiting area, triage area, seven acute care suites, and the creation of a pediatric play area.

The result is an updated dramatic new identity for the St. Clair Emergency Department. Additionally the Hospital seized the opportunity to improve operational processes by implementing the “Toyota Production Systems” methodology. The new Emergency Department has become one of the most successful in the county for patient satisfaction scores and reduced patient wait times from entrance to treatment to discharge.