Medical University of South Carolina Heart & Vascular

Charleston, SC

This $26.2 million Heart and Vascular Center is part of an overall change in the University’s delivery of cardiovascular care, placing all of the technical components of cardiovascular treatment under one roof. The 27,238 SF facility is located on the fifth floor of the University’s Children’s Hospital and includes 11 procedure rooms, a 20-bed preparation and recovery unit, storage space, locker rooms, and patient registration and waiting areas. The center also houses many of the clinics within MUSC’s Cardiovascular Institute, which coordinates all the components involved in cardiovascular treatment and research at the university. This center seeks to be innovative in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

One of the most significant challenges in this project was creating a fully functional radiology and cardiology center in an outdated and very tightly constrained building. The existing structure was a post-tensioned concrete slab with a constrained floor-to-floor height of 11’-3 1/2” and a difficult column configuration. These conditions required careful design interventions to accommodate modern cath lab equipment. In order to maintain sterile spaces above and beyond the scope of typical cath labs, the center also required 15 outside air changes (100%) per hour.

Constant, detailed coordination and responsive design were required to guarantee the success of this project. The consolidation of the cardiology and interventional radiology units into one Heart and Vascular Institute provided significant programmatic, planning, and operational challenges. As the Institute was designed and built, the team communicated closely with the cardio-thoracic surgeons on the newly renovated floor below. The owner and design team encouraged interaction, collaboration, and dialogue between all three physician units, turning a series of challenges into a significant opportunity. The result was a facility which exceeded the client’s expectations.