Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Replacement Hospital Campus, Commissioning

Replacement Hospital Campus, Commissioning - Lake Forest, IL


G/BA provided LEED Fundamental and Enhanced commissioning (Silver targeted) for this new 160-acre hospital campus, which includes a 500-square-foot Level I community/teaching hospital with a Level II trauma center. Outpatient specialty clinics (cardiovascular, oncology, orthoipedic/neurology, and women's imaging services) were also commissioned.


The campus revitalization project for this suburban hospital includes a new facility featuring five linked pavilions, providing both inpatient and outpatient clinical space. Services include an emergency department; surgical services with eight operating rooms and four procedure rooms; a clinical decision unit; a special care nursery; a “birthplace” with five LDRs and two C-section rooms; interventional radiology; cardiac catheterization; oncology; diagnostic imaging; cardiology; neurology; wound care; and inpatient rehabilitation. 

  • G/BA commissioned building infrastructure, including mechanical, fire protection, plumbing, medical gas, electrical, building controls, and various IT systems (for instance, nurse call and emergency communications). The project included commissioning an expanded central energy plant, which needed to remain in use by the existing hospital throughout construction. 
  • G/BA provided thorough design reviews of all drawing plans and specifications. The firm fostered a cooperative effort with both the design and construction team to identify potential issues early on. Meetings were held to discuss complex systems so the construction team fully understood the design intent and had a logical plan for installing, balancing, and controlling the systems properly. These complex systems include a 30+ zone smoke control strategy; an emergency power load add / load shed strategy; and an air-handling system that requires three air-handling units to work in unison to ventilate key suites, each with their own pressure relationship requirements.
  • Recognizing that the new hospital contains several unique concepts and systems, G/BA involved the facilities engineers and maintenance staff during functional testing. In addition, the firm conducted a two-day “boot camp” for the staff to test their knowledge of the building and point out issues likely to arise after occupancy. The “boot camp” helped solidify the staff’s prior systems training and provided an additional training component for the hospital to use for new hires.