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Mills-Peninsula Hospital

Built to withstand a major seismic event while providing patient comfort and safety

Burlingame, California

When Sutter Health needed to build a new hospital near the San Andreas fault line, a hotspot of seismic activity, the medical center challenged us to help them fulfill their mission to save lives, heal illness, and promote wellness—all while staying operational after a major earthquake. Our design for the hospital blends advanced seismic technology with patient and family centered care. Thanks to the Friction Pendulum isolator system, the first in use at a hospital in California, the building will gently sway during an earthquake. We’ve made sure the hospital will be helping people long into the future.

Visitors are welcomed into a light filled lobby and art gallery, calming spaces that resemble a hotel. Outside, multiple healing gardens connect the visitor to nature, provide needed respite, and aid in the healing process. The building does its part to heal the environment as well. It uses 100 percent outside air, which helps control infection. A rigorous analysis of energy usage and lifecycle costs helped us design a building that uses a third less energy than other California hospitals – all while saving more than $15 million over the next 25 years.  

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