Penn Medicine, Philadelphia

A world-renowned academic medical centre was built, delivering lifesaving, excellent medical care for generations to come.  

Penn Medicine’s new Pavilion is one of the largest hospital projects constructed in the United States and the largest capital project in the University of Pennsylvania’s history. The ground-breaking facility is a massive 1.5 million-square foot, 17-storey hospital with 504 patient rooms.  

The new facility will help deliver Penn’s Medicine’s next generation of pioneering advances in patient care, developing new ways of thinking to ensure patient’s experience is at the very heart of everything they do, delivering both the treatments of today and the medical advances of tomorrow. 

Integrated project delivery  

To support the Penn Medicine’s world-renowned research, clinicians and faculty, Balfour Beatty was selected with HDR, Foster+Partners, BR+A and L.F. Driscoll to design, plan and construct the new Pavilion in Philadelphia. Touted as one of the nation's most significant integrated project delivery (IPD) healthcare projects, our joint-venture team collectively named PennFIRST was strategically comprised of global healthcare experts to develop the most innovative facility to offer improved healthcare delivery for generations to come.  

To foster collaborative working, our team co-located with stakeholders from different disciplines. Working together in one location, we collectively explored new ideas in design, construction and healthcare delivery, all with the aim of delivering an efficient design and construction process and a solution optimised for patient needs.  

$1.6 billion

capital project

£1.5 million

square foot facility


storey hospital


patient rooms

Innovative in construction  

The delivery of the Pavilion adopted an innovative approach to modular building and is the first project in Philadelphia to construct mechanical racks and 504 bathrooms pods off-site.  

To make this happen, we worked closely with our joint partners LF Driscoll to maintain and operate a 60,000-square-foot warehouse located two miles from the jobsite where prefabrication work was undertaken. Together, we oversaw the prefabrication of three primary building elements: mechanical racks, bathroom pods and zone valve boxes. More specifically, these elements included bathroom pods and other large-scale pieces such as headwalls, electrical rooms, charting stations and operating-room components. Additionally, several remote premanufacturing facilities were operated concurrently to deliver elements such as prefabricated electrical conduit and low voltage equipment for teledata closets and repetitive architectural features such as soffits and patient room alcoves. The prefabrication process was greatly simplified and improved by standardising the building's structural floor plate and interior design early in the project. 

Leading in sustainability  

Sustainability has been a key aspect of the Pavilion’s construction and design from the beginning, breaking new ground for sustainable healthcare construction and design with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Healthcare Gold Certification. The facility is the largest certified project in the world to achieve Gold certification. To help promote achievements in sustainable design and construction we ensured the materials and systems such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing racks and even bathrooms were prefabricated and manufactured off-site, then transported to the building, minimising on-site waste and maximise energy efficiency.