Rush Sues Architect, Engineering Firm That Worked On New Hospital

Source:, March 30, 2012

Just a few months after opening its new main hospital building with much fanfare, Rush University Medical Center is suing the architect and engineer that developed it.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Kris Kridel reports, the hospital is suing its architectural firm, Perkins & Will, and its engineering firm, Environmental Systems Design, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

The hospital claims the firms made mistakes at the new, butterfly-shaped hospital center, called The Tower, on Congress Parkway just west of Ashland Avenue.

Rush claims the companies miscalculated the amount of cool air needed to offset the heat generated by 42-inch flat-screen TVs in patients’ rooms, and that the hospital had to spend $8 million on changes unnecessarily, Crain’s reported.

The firms have not responded to questions by Crain’s about the lawsuit.

Perkins & Will is also behind such notable buildings as the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Clare senior housing center at 55 E. Pearson St., Crain’s reported. Environmental Systems worked on the conversion of the office building at 151 W. Adams St. into a JW Marriott Hotel, the newspaper reported.

The new hospital building opened on Jan. 9, and Rush has been advertising it widely – going so far as to mount a butterfly-shaped metal polygon on top of a bus shelter at Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue that features signage for the hospital.

The emergency center in the building is designed to handle 60 patients at a time normally, but is large enough to deal with 120 patients in the event of a disaster.

The ER also features a decontamination center – complete with decontamination showers and an enclosed ambulance bay for potentially contaminated patients – that makes Rush the only bioterrorism preparedness center in the nation.

The distinctive butterfly-shaped design of the Tower even has a practical purpose. Rush says it provides more efficient space for staff and improves safety and comfort.

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