Building Statistics

General Building Data

Building Name:

Voorhees Replacement Facility

Building Location:

NJ State Highway Route 73
Voorhees, NJ 08043


Virtua Health

Occupancy Type:



675,000 Square Feet

Number of Stories:

8 Floors of Occupiable Space

Dates of Construction:

March 2008 - March 2011

Project Delivery Method:

CM Providing CM@Risk Services

Contract Type:

GMP Contract

Project Cost:

$323 Million Construction Cost

Project Team


Virtua Health

Construction Manager:

Turner Construction Company

Mechanical Engineer:
Landscape Architect:
Structural Engineer:
Electrical Engineer:
Lighting Designer:
Security Designer

HGA Architects & Engineers

Medical Equipment Planners:


Elevator Consultant:

Lerch, Bates & Associates

Food Service Consultant:

Robert Rippe & Associates

Codes & Zoning

Major Codes Include...
-International Building Code, New Jersey Edition., 2000
-NFPA Chapter 101, 2000
-AIA Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities, 2006

-Hospital Licensing Standards - New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Latest Edition of the Manual
-Standard for Licensing of Ambulatory Care Facilities

The Voorhees Replacement Facility falls within the (MB) Major Business zoning district for the township of Voorhees, NJ.


The Voorhees Replacement Facility is an 8 story replacement hospital that provides both inpatient and outpatient care such as but not limited to pediatrics, oncology, cardiology, cancer treatment, sleep center and emergency services.  The hospital is being built for Virtua Health who will transfer all of their patients to the replacement hospital from the existing hospital in Voorhees upon completion of the ongoing project.

Viruta has decided to build this replacement hospital because the current Voorhees hospital has reached its capacity and does not have enough space to accommodate the growing needs of the community it serves.  Additionally the current Voorhees hospital was designed around old technology and would not be able to utilize future technologies that could dramatically increase the effectiveness of healthcare.

The building itself is made up of 5 parts, an 8-story bed tower, a 9-story spine running perpendicular to the middle of the bed tower, 4 stories of ancillary spaces, a central utility plant, and a loading dock.  The bed tower will house 370 beds each with its own private room.  The lower floors of the spine will be part of the ancillary spaces and the upper floors above the ancillary spaces will house any mechanical equipment not found in the central utility plant.  The ancillary spaces will house the supporting components of the hospital such as emergency rooms, surgeries, and baby delivery rooms.  The central utility plant will house extremely large equipment such as the main switchgears, chillers and generators.

Virtua’s plan is to create a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment that will promote healing and human interaction through the use of space.  The replacement hospital is truly a ‘form follows function’ in this sense.  Virtua participated in a study called the “Pebble Project” which studied how a healthcare environment can affect the outcome of patients.  From this study each patient room was designed with large windows with a scenic overlook and a distinct family zone welcoming the family into the healing process with the patient.

Building Enclosure

The Replacement Hospital is not what you would expect from a hospital when taking a glance at it.  The building screams modernization from its primarily glass façade all along the bed tower and its simple shapes supporting the bed tower.

The glass façade of the bed tower is a curtain wall system made up of exposed aluminum finishes and concealed steel reinforcement.  The glass in the curtain wall includes vision and spandrel glass, fritted in some locations to provide natural sunshade. 

At the north elevation of the bed tower along the east side there is a stone veneer wall protruding from the curtain wall system.  This stone veneer is also located at each end of the bed tower.  The stone veneer is made up of both calcium silicate building stone and limestone.

Along the spine of the building there are 2 different types of metal panels that include insulated flat and ribbed metal panels as well as composite metal panels.  The insulated metal panels are Formawall manufactured preformed and prefinished.  The composite metal panels are Alucobond with a fire resistant core.  These composite aluminum panels are also located on all exposed exterior columns.

It is also notable that the exterior of the ancillary building is made up of a solid phenolic panel siding manufactured by Prodema.  This siding has a typical metal stud backup with sheathing and insulation and is a decorative wood veneer fastened to a panel back up system.

The roof of the hospital is elastomeric sheet roofing directly adhered to fiberboard insulation using bonding adhesive over thermal and vapor barrier on metal decking.  The fiberboard and insulation are fastened to the substrate using mechanical fasteners.

On the rooftops of the ancillary buildings there will be rooftop gardens.  These gardens will have the same elastomeric sheet membrane but include a root shield with sedum planted on top.
Sustainability Features

-Bus stops are being provided on the site.
-Attempts are being made to minimize the impact of construction on the entire site. There is a lot of wetlands; and they are being kept in-tact.
-New plantings will be native to the area. This will greatly reduce the amount of irrigation required; as well as keeping the site looking natural.
-Bicycle racks are being provided, and a multi-purpose path is being constructed through the site.
-Water efficient plumbing fixtures are being used.
-Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment is being used; which will allow performance beyond Code minimum requirements.
-Virtua Health will be collecting and recycling many materials.
-Some construction materials being used include recycled content (structural steel, gypsum wallboard, ceiling tiles, carpeting, ceramic tile).
-Some construction materials being used are regionally manufactured (concrete, concrete block, manufactured stone cladding).
-Low-VOC-emitting materials are being used (adhesives, paint, carpet, composite wood products).
-Controllable and sensor-controlled lighting is being provided.
-Lighting will be energy-efficient.


The construction of the Voorhees Replacement Facility is being delivered using Turner Construction as the Construction Manager at Risk holding a GMP contract.  Virtua Health worked hard to obtain the best architect, engineers and construction manager for the design and construction of the new healthcare facility.  Each firm involved in the project was carefully selected through experience, price and references from other clients.

Construction broke ground in March of 2008 and is scheduled to be completed March of 2011.  The construction is not phased however the building is broken down into 7 different areas in order to make the coordination and supervision of the entire project less of a burden.

The main structural system of the Replacement Hospital is composite steel framing for the floors and non-composite steel framing for the roofs.  Typical bay sizes are approximately 30’x32’ in the bed tower and 31’-4”x29’-4” in the ancillary portion of the building.  Elevated floors use a 3” thick by 18 gauge galvanized composite steel deck while the roofs consist of a 3” thick by 20 gauge galvanized roof deck.  Beam to beam and beam to column connections are typical bolt shear connections except in areas where lateral forces are being resisted.  At these locations where lateral forces are being resisted welded connections were used.
Lateral loads on the building are resisted by steel braced frames and steel moment frames.  It was a particular design challenge to design the lateral systems of the building without compromising the buildings appearance.  Some basement walls also act as shear walls to transfer lateral loads to the building foundation.

All cast in place concrete used on the job was placed using a pump truck and plywood formwork.  Typical elevated floors have 3 ½” of 3500 psi lightweight concrete on top of the metal decking.  Elevated slabs are reinforced with fiber reinforcing.  Typical slab on grade concrete is 5” and has a strength of 4000 psi reinforced with welded wire fabric.


The electrical service to the building is being provided at 12,470 volts where it is distributed to 6 main substations of the building located in the main electrical room in the central utility plant.  Already put in place is an extra set of concrete encased PVC conduit for a second service to the building when the hospital expands in the future. 

At the substations a transformer brings down the power to 480/277 3 phase 4 wire.  The substations are broken down into 3 sets of 2 to create redundancy in the system.  If a transformer in one of the substations fails, the paired substation is sized large enough to take on the full load of both substations until the substation is repaired.

From the substations, power is carried to each floor via cables and either kept at the 480/277 voltage or dropped down even further to 120/208 for certain building functions.  Most lighting will be 277V because this allows for more lights per circuit and lower voltage drops across long lengths of wire.

For emergency standby power, there are 3 1,500 KW diesel generators that will service all life safety and building functions that cannot afford to lose power.  There is space to provide a 4th generator when the hospital expands in the future.  The fuel tank for the generators is sized to provide 96 hours of backup.

To provide uninterrupted backup power before the generators kick in if power failure occurs there is a 900 KW rotary UPS installed.  The rotary UPS is sized to provide about 36 seconds of run time, long enough to provide power to the building during the 10-second lag time until the generators kick in.


During the lighting design of the Hospital there was a sizable effort to minimize the use of incandescent lighting to increase the efficiency of the hospital.

In each patient room there will be a recessed 2’x4’ light fixture which will provide lighting for both ambient and exam level lighting.  The ambient lighting will be used for when the patient is awake and needs regular task lighting.  This will be provided via 2 T8 fluorescent lamps.  However when a doctor needs exam level lighting to review the patient, 2 T5 high output fluorescent lights will be used.  In the family area of the patient room there will be dimmable compact fluorescent down lights.  At night there is a LED step light for the patient to find his way to the bathroom, and once in the bathroom there is a linear fluorescent light and LED under counter lighting.

One important aspect of the patient rooms is that even with the large windows open to beautiful landscapes there was an effort to downplay exterior light entering the room.  This is because a patients sleep cycle may not be normal during recovery and studies showed that interrupting a patient’s sleep cycle could create more health issues.  To compliment the downplay of exterior light all parking lot lights have been designed to not produce light above 90 degrees.

Exterior lighting will be strictly decorative and will accent the roof gardens, certain trees and the pond located in the gardens of the Hospital.

Building heating, HVAC humidification, domestic water heating, and auxiliary steam is being provided primarily from the 5th floor utility plant in the spine.  The system consists of saturated steam boilers, condensing hot water boilers, a chiller heat recovery system, and space for future domestic hot water heaters.

Facility cooling will be provided by a centralized chilled water system.  The chilled water generation will take place in the Central Utility Plant area.  The chilled water will be generated by electric drive, water-cooled, centrifugal water chillers.  Cooling heat will be rejected through 4 induced cooling tower cells.

There are a total of 3 sets of AHUs that service all of the hospital and are located on the 7th floor of the spine.  AHU-1 consists of 2 50,000 CFM VAV units stacked on each other.  This AHU will serve non-patient care areas such as dietary, environmental services, receiving, and lab and maintenance.  AHU-2 consists of 2 50,000 CFM VAV units stacked on each other.  This AHU will service the emergency department, pediatric emergency, surgery, c-section operating rooms, the pharmacy and the NICU.  AHU-3 consists of 6 75,000 CFM VAV units stacked on each other.  AHU-3 will service all of the patient care areas in the ancillary and bed tower.


The security system of the building is on the low-voltage system and consists of three interconnected systems.  Card Access, Closed Circuit TV cameras and recording, and infant protection.

The card access system is used at building entry points, department separations and high security areas.  The system will provide tracking on each card entry and attempts at unauthorized areas.  The card doubles as an employees ID and allows for terminated employees to be easily removed from the system without having to worry about key copies.

The closed circuit TV cameras and recording are on the network as described in the telecommunications section.  Since the recording is done via the network this means that anyone with the proper access and an Internet connection can view any security video they might be interested in.  Video is stored for 10-30 days and then burned to DVD for long-term storage.  The camera system also is used in high-security areas with facial recognition software.

Infant protection, one of the most important security systems in the hospital is accomplished by each infant wearing a device which when brought in proximity to an exit without authorization will set off alarms, lock the doors and prevent elevators from operating.


The telecommunication system of the building is on the low-voltage system and is being provided on Cat-6 Cables.  There are a total of 20 telecommunication rooms throughout the building and a network room.

One of the reasons and focuses of building this new hospital for Virtua was to update and create technology that would last for years to come.  This new hospital will feature total integration between all systems via the computer network.  Electronic medical records will not only allow the building to be “paper light” but also allow for quick access to patient files.

The new individual patient rooms will improve greatly offering a variety of new amenities.  These include Internet access for both the patient and the patient’s guests that aid in the healing process.  All medical equipment that the patient may need will be able to be hooked up to the network allowing for nurses and doctors to take and store readings electronically.   Lastly the patient will have access to on demand instructional videos on their TV relating to their health and what they should be doing to ensure a full recovery.







Thanks to Virtua for the use of photos on this page
Senior Thesis Main Page | Penn State | Architectural Engineering | AE Computer Labs | Turner Construction Company | Steven Farrah : SEF5013@psu.edu
This page was last updated on 10/11/2009, by Steven Farrah and is hosted by the AE Department ©2010
Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work-in-progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Steven Farrah. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.