Sibling Designs: Houston Methodist West and The Woodlands

Page specializes in developing custom solutions to suit client needs. Large, complex projects have many variables such as different end users, environmental conditions, market forces, etc. and these are assessed by a wide range of Page pre-design experts who provide architectural visualization, programming and planning. However, one Page client has proven the adage, "There's always an exception."

Houston Methodist, a leading hospital system in the metropolitan Houston area, was so pleased with the Page-designed facility that co-anchors Texas Medical Center West that they decided to replicate the template at the next opportunity, which is now nearing substantial completion in The Woodlands. After all, both facilities serve the same geographic market and are only miles apart on the map, but potentially over an hour apart depending on traffic. Both face the same extreme climate challenges and both are located in areas with similar residential demographics.

Sidney J. Sanders, senior vice president of construction, facilities design and real estate for Houston Methodist, granted an interview with North American Builders (NAB) on the subject. He explained, “Templates work if you do them right. Getting really good teams together and them giving clear direction, maintaining tight focus on not revisiting prior decisions are all things I’ve always known will produce stunning results.” 

Houston Methodist worked with Page again to add to the original Methodist West template based on lessons learned from the initial design and construction experiences, several years of facility operations and to include the latest advances in healthcare technology. The template allowed the reuse of the hundreds of decisions previously made, according to Sanders, which allowed the project team to move rapidly into production. This was critical for Houston Methodist because of the need for speed to market in The Woodlands. The design and construction are anticipated to be completed in record time.

The project has encountered minimal challenges thus far even though protected wetlands occupy 30 percent of the 58-acre parcel, and additional real estate had to be purchased to create easier access to the campus off an interstate. Most significant to Page is Sanders' perception of the quality of execution. He told NAB, “I have put together many billions of dollars’ worth of project in the last 15 years, and I never have had a project of this scale move this aggressively with almost no problems.”

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