Varian EDGE™ Radiosurgery System

The first EDGE radiosurgery LINAC of its kind in North America—second in the world.

Henry Ford Health System chose SSOE Group to provide architectural and engineering services, which included the removal of a linear accelerator (LINAC) and installation of a new Varian EDGE radiosurgery system in an existing vault in the basement of Henry Ford Hospital. Initially, the vault was not adequately shielded for the radiation output of the new equipment, as determined by the client’s on-staff physicist. SSOE worked closely with the physicist, shielding contractor, and construction manager to creatively solve this problem and ultimately provided a fully-shielded treatment room to house the first EDGE radiosurgery LINAC of its kind in North America—second in the world.

SSOE has become a trusted partner of Henry Ford Health System over the years, often called upon to provide our expertise in some of the most challenging of circumstances. We pride ourselves on providing the finest solutions in architectural, structural, mechanical, and engineering services to allow our customers to provide their patients with unparalleled healthcare. The EDGE radiosurgery system allows doctors to minimize treatment time and provide more accurate treatment of cancerous tumors, while minimizing radiation damage to normal tissue surrounding the tumor.

Replacement Rehabilitation Hospital

Encompass Health commissioned SSOE to develop a design to replace the 50+ year old 96-bed rehabilitation hospital located in Toms River, New Jersey. Encompass Health wanted to keep the new facility in the same area as the existing hospital, however, there was no land available to design and construct a completely new replacement hospital nearby. As a result, SSOE developed a plan to replace the hospital on the existing campus, through renovation and additions.

The new hospital has 98 rehabilitation beds with approximately 53,141 SF of new construction and 32,600 SF of renovation. The design / construction documents were developed to allow the hospital to remain fully functional and to continue serving patients during the construction of the new hospital.

The project was built in four phases. Each phase required approximately nine to 10 months to complete. Phase I was completed and opened in November of 2017. Phase II was completed in June 2020. Estimated total construction cost for all phases of this project is $27 million.

Freestanding Emergency Care Center

Cutting-Edge Facility

This contemporary, two-story cutting-edge facility is designed around a new model of care that completely re-evaluates the patient experience with emergency care services.

Innovative Model

The innovative “no wait” model features six rapid medical evaluation rooms with a patient and family “results lounge” for those with quick, in and out needs. For patients requiring further care or observation, the facility combines 12 treatment areas with two trauma / resuscitation rooms.

Architectural Character

The staff work areas are separated from the patient and family areas, creating a quiet, less stressful working environment where doctors and nurses can easily communicate. In addition, the building exterior was designed to harmonize with the architectural character of the community’s Historic Mill District.


Dr. Raymond P.H. Bynoe Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU)

Creating An Environmentally Supportive Space

The new STICU is Phase I of an overall $38 million ICU Master Plan for Prisma Health Richland. The Richland Hospital is the tertiary healthcare facility for the Midlands region and is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the area. Because of their traumas, patients treated in this unit are the most vulnerable to detrimental environmental effects. Great care was taken to create a unit that would environmentally support patients, staff, and their families – focusing on infection control, therapeutic lighting, expanded room size, equipment placement; and coordination and staff views of and access to their patients.

Incorporating Tunable Lighting

A highlight of the design is the use of “tunable lighting” as a therapeutic treatment and environmental enhancement for patients and staff. Tunable lighting, which uses LED lighting to mimic the natural progression of daylight, is utilized throughout the 18-bed unit. Research has begun to show that this type of lighting may help patients heal faster, decrease delirium, and have less long-term negative mental distress from being in the hospital. This type of lighting has also been shown to increase staff alertness, lessen fatigue, and limit health issues associated with night shift work.

Utilizing Shared Spaces

Another feature is the use of disposal rooms in lieu of patient toilets. As these patients are typically too sick to move out of their beds, the unit utilizes a shared disposal room between each pair of patient rooms, giving staff a close disposal location that decreases the infection issues associated with the transport of sanitary waste. In addition, each disposal room is equipped with a special light that is illuminated when the room is not occupied, that has been tested to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria.

Building Additions & Renovations

Longstanding Relationship

Over the past 20 years, SSOE has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Newton Medical center by responding to their needs with architectural, engineering, and interior design solutions.

Maintaining Top-Level Care

Our renovations and additions have enabled the doctors and staff to provide their patients with the top level of care.

Numerous Projects

Over the years, the SSOE design team has worked on the following additions, renovations, and new construction projects: Birthcare Department Renovation; Imaging Renovations; On-Call Engineering Services; Nursery Renovations; Medical Office Building Tenant Expansion; Third Floor Lab Addition; Fourth Floor Patient Tower; Nurses’ Station; HVAC Modifications; Knox Surgical Center Addition; Women’s Diagnostic Center; Physician’s Pavilion; and Emergency Services Expansion.

Small House Model Care Facility

Introducing A New Model Of Care

SSOE, in conjunction with Ernest Bland Associates, P.C., completed design documents for two state-of-the-art 104-bed Veterans Nursing Facilities.

A major objective of the design was to develop an environment for the veterans that resembles a home. Each resident will have a private bedroom with an adjacent private bath. Additionally, each facility will allow members freedom of choice in their activities and routines which may include clinical, therapeutic, extracurricular, and spiritual activities that support the daily needs of Veterans. The environments are focused on the resident as the center of care, thereby enhancing the quality of life and dignity of those residing in the facilities.

A Unique Organizing Design Element

Single-loaded concourses and corridors facing landscaped courtyards are utilized as an organizing design element to maximize direct visual and physical connections to outdoor areas and assist with wayfinding. A broad concourse (“hall”) connects the main entrance to a central lounge and a generous “back porch” seating area facing the main courtyard. This central hall has ample natural light from clerestory windows above.

Building Features & Amenities

Each facility is approximately 142,000 SF, designed as a single-story facility organized around a series of courtyards. These courtyards are surrounded by a central community building and four adjacent neighborhood buildings. Each neighborhood houses two resident homes consisting of 13 private patient rooms with shared living and dining spaces. The community center is approximately 34,000SSF and houses common “gathering” and activity spaces, such as a “bistro,” large group room, activity room, chapel, physical / occupational therapy, and clinical spaces for therapeutic functions and staff / administrative spaces.

A Note From Robby Aull, Principal – Senior Vice President

“By striving to make these buildings feel like real homes, we will create environments that go far beyond the public’s perception of what a traditional nursing home is. These new homes will be welcoming and healing spaces that will enhance the overall quality of life for our veterans.”

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

During the planning phase, SSOE collaborated with Corewell staff to review and refine multiple departmental options prior to the team selecting the appropriate solution that met their changing needs. While the overall design intent for the 6th floor was to match an existing 5th floor ICU, SSOE added many enhancements to cater to the specific needs of the CICU. The design team met with the intensive care nursing staff who had been working on the 5th floor for the past few years and gathered their feedback on what was working well and what could be improved upon to document end-user experiences. The lessons learned captured provided a foundation for discussion with the staff who would be working in the new CICU space.

Taking this input, and that of Corewell’s internal interior design staff and the facility maintenance team, SSOE was able to incorporate a number of design enhancements. The new CICU includes a family nourishment area with a kitchenette, room amenities for patient guests that include a desk, area to sleep, and personal device charging stations, and individual toilet rooms dedicated to each patient room with an integrated shower. Additionally, the CICU features decentralized nurse documentation spaces for a 1:2 nurse ratio with windows for direct visual observation of the headwall–allowing staff to see both the monitoring equipment and patient, dedicated lighting for both staff and visitors, and three sub-waiting areas within the CICU to provide quiet spaces for patient family members when needed.

A unique challenge that the project team had to overcome was the utilization of existing floor drains and plumbing for the reconfigured private patient toilet rooms—originally set up to accommodate a single unit bathing room and a shared toilet room between two patient rooms. The team used laser scanning to document existing conditions and manipulate the design around these elements in a 3D environment. Another challenge was timing. The COVID-19 pandemic caused Corewell Health to place construction of the project on hold. Once restarted, the design was altered slightly during the construction phase to become more adaptable in the event of similar future capacity overflow situations. Revisions included additional electrical outlets, medical gas, and a monitor added to each headwall— allowing Corewell to convert from private to semi-private rooms.

Strategic Planning with Interactive Mapping Tool

During a key healthcare client meeting, this client expressed a need to visualize their strategic plan by region, city, and street level. Their goal was to see their current locations by type, competitor locations, and key performance indicators in one map. Unsure how to accomplish this, the Account Manager gathered our Civil Department Manager, BIM/VDC Technical Specialist, and Senior Marketing Coordinator for a brain storming session. As the team discussed the project parameters, it was clear that our typical graphic programs would not provide the dynamic visualization required by the client.

Thinking outside the box, the team began exploring Mapline, a sales and marketing program, as a possible solution. SSOE’s marketing and BIM/VDC technical specialists worked together to explore visualization options, input owner provided detailed data sets, and develop a methodology for the client to visualize a graphic region by isolating or combining data sets. Mapline also provides the ability to overlay information critical to understanding market share by zip code or county borders. This data can be further enhanced by “heat mapping” to add visual clarity to a strategic plan.

The client came to us with the expectation of developing a static graphic poster and was delivered an interactive web-based tool that provided the flexibility to toggle data sets on and off. Upon presentation of Mapline as a strategic analysis tool, the client was pleased with our solution and the possibilities it provided. They were so pleased that they asked us to expand the project scope and map multiple regions.

Managing “big data” is a non-typical project for SSOE. We accepted the challenge and developed a client-specific hybrid team to leverage a web-based tool that allowed our client to analyze market share and explore possible site selection locations via an interactive platform. The result of this collaboration was the perfect solution which exceeded our client’s strategic planning needs and expectations.

“Having a dynamic tool allowed our team to analyze many ‘what-if’ scenarios in real time—a luxury when you are working with multiple layers of data during strategic planning meetings!”

– Confidential Healthcare Client

World’s First: ViewRay MRIdian® LINAC / MRI

The technology installed by SSOE is the world’s first and only FDA-approved commercially available LINAC-based, MRI-guided radiation therapy system that can image and treat patients simultaneously. It allows the client to be treated more accurately and in less time— offering an optimal patient experience.

Henry Ford Health System chose SSOE Group to provide architectural and engineering services for the removal of a linear accelerator (LINAC) and installation of a new ViewRay MRIdian LINAC / MRI system in an existing vault on the main floor of Henry Ford Medical Center – Cottage. This LINAC required additional shielding installed in the existing vault to provide radiation protection to the surrounding environment. As a result, SSOE worked with Henry Ford’s team of physicists to develop a comprehensive solution to the existing shielding, which consisted of designing supplemental floor-to-ceiling concrete walls to augment the existing vault structure.

Additionally, SSOE designed a copper fabric enclosure for radio frequency shielding throughout the room. The ViewRay MRIdian LINAC / MRI system is the world’s first and only FDA-approved commercially available LINAC-based, MRI-guided radiation therapy system that can image and treat patients simultaneously. Additionally, Henry Ford is the first in the world to offer patients this advanced radiation therapy with real-time magnetic resonance imaging and linear accelerator delivery for more precise and accurate radiation treatment. While similar ViewRay installations use cobalt as a radiation source, this new system provides the capability to simultaneously use diagnostic imaging with the MRI component and LINAC radiation treatment. The advanced MRI imaging will help Henry Ford physicians provide further accuracy in delivering radiation to a cancerous tumor.

SSOE is a trusted team member to Henry Ford, their shielding and equipment vendors, and construction manager. They entrust us to work quickly and effectively, providing creative solutions to complex project challenges. Delivering the most complex projects on time and on budget is the hallmark of our healthcare services.

Fremont Memorial Hospital Cancer Center

ProMedica Fremont Memorial Hospital teamed with SSOE Group to design and establish a full-service cancer center to meet the needs of the communities it serves. This new facility offers more convenient access, enhanced privacy, and improved comfort for patients. The center offers the latest protocols for medical oncology, as well as the newest technology in radiation oncology, including a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator. The design included eight chemotherapy infusion bays, dosimetry, CT simulator, new pharmacy to comply with USP 797 and USP 800 general chapters, laboratory and blood draw, four exam rooms, three nurse stations, and additional staff support spaces. Additional cancer-care services, such as genetic, dietary and family counseling, and rehabilitation services are included in the overall design of this facility.

SSOE was instrumental in aligning the hospital’s programmatic goals with the limited project construction budget, and worked through multiple design options with hospital leadership to minimize the amount of construction within the new facility. Project goals were accomplished by prioritizing necessary patient care spaces, such as linear accelerator vault, infusion bays, exam / treatment spaces, pharmacy and laboratory. Plans also included repurposing some staff areas to minimize demolition, while allowing staff to work contiguously and efficiently within these support spaces. SSOE led the design process from the onset of the project and confirmed and validated strategic and operational plans; determined budgetary and scheduling constraints; and coordinated the overall project quality with consultant engineers, and coordinated equipment layouts, requirements, and manufacturer specifications for specialized equipment. Existing conditions and capacities to projected needs to satisfy functionality, adequacy of spaces, and operational adjacencies were also compared.

Emergency Department Renovation

With overall objectives to create better healing environments and efficiencies in operations, St. Luke’s Hospital selected SSOE to renovate and expand their existing Level 1 Trauma emergency department while remaining fully operational.

The emergency department renovation was the first project of an overall hospital master plan, setting the tone and direction for the remaining projects and phases. The new plan included twenty-four exam / treatment rooms, seven express care exam rooms, new nurse stations, dedicated X-ray, laboratory, and additional staff support areas. In addition, separate waiting areas (main department, waiting, lobby, and express care), a dedicated children’s activity area, a new registration area and triage area were provided.

With the design focused on process flow, comfort, and patient experience, all patient rooms were renovated and converted to private spaces to improve patient satisfaction, efficiency and infection control. A centrally located nursing core and physicians’ station allows nurse and physician teams to have better vision and ability to stay connected to patients. Glass walls provide an acoustical buffer between staff conversations and patients and the nursing core. Plans also utilized adaptive use of latest technologies (incorporating new and old), including full implementation of electronic health records.

A combination of cherry warm maple, earth tone color palette, and natural sticks encased in resin reinforce nature influences within the space, transforming the spaces into healing and comforting environments for patients and their families. Upgrades and new finishes were provided throughout the entire unit, including staff / office areas, treatment areas, and waiting / reception. Additionally, upon completion of the renovation, SSOE coordinated loose furnishings and artwork selections to continue the interior vision of the space and to make a welcoming atmosphere for patients and their families.

Cancer Center

By using BIM, the contractor’s GMP pricing was $500,000 under project budget with no change orders for time or cost.

SSOE provided complete planning and design services to develop a new, full service cancer center. Developed by real estate investor Welltower (formerly Health Care REIT), the freestanding facility spans two floors and is situated on a 4.9 acre site.

To offset the feel of a high technology environment, SSOE’s design features exterior and interior colors and details, which create a warm, inviting setting for patients. The first floor contains a radiation oncology suite and common area. The suite will supports future construction of three new linear accelerator vaults, a CT simulator, CT / PET simulator rooms, and related support spaces. The second floor houses a large medical oncology suite, gynecology suite, additional oncology office, and common area.

The design integrates sustainable design principles, and the facility is LEED® Silver certified. Additional green features of the property include a healing garden with a walking path.

New Critical Access Hospital

With careful planning and design, SSOE was able to reduce the building footprint by 20%, saving the Owner approximately $3 million.

Plans to replace this aging hospital have begun with SSOE’s design of a new healthcare campus on a nearby 38-acre greenfield site.

The campus master plan will accommodate the new hospital, skilled nursing facility, and a full range of support services—including Life Flight. SSOE incorporated a full-service, 24-hour emergency department, a medical / surgical ICU, inpatient and outpatient surgery, rehabilitation services, pastoral social services, along with all of the necessary laboratory, diagnostic, and dietary rooms, and an enhanced patient experience — all of which were major criteria in the design of this facility.

The design of both the facility’s exterior and interior satisfies all of the strategic goals outlined by the client, which include a new hospital identity, a vision of strengthening the community, design accommodations for the future, and the creation of a comprehensive healthcare campus.

Expansion of Cancer Treatment Facilities

A leader in cancer treatment technology, Slidell Memorial Hospital needed a comprehensive cancer center that consolidated all of their existing treatment options resulting in a new, three-floor building on the hospital campus. The development of this facility also allowed for expanded services increasing the number of patients Slidell could care for.

SSOE provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection, as well as data, fire, and security to this facility in support of AE Design’s architectural services, with whom they have worked on multiple cancer centers. The familiarity of this teaming produced a beautiful, esteemed facility with design features that were showcased in Healthcare Design’s annual project showcase edition, all while meeting schedule and budgetary demands.

This new cancer center houses radiation treatment areas, including multiple linear accelerator vaults requiring a process fluid cooler and chilled water systems that must be fault tolerant, highly reliable, and incorporate the appropriate radiation shielding. These vaults include one new Varian high-energy clinical linear accelerator, relocation of a unit from the existing facility, a brachytherapy vault, a CT simulator suite, on-site mobile PET scanner accommodations, and site and foundation components for a future linear accelerator vault. Other features of this facility include a USP-797 compliant pharmaceutical compounding site with specialty filtration and air controls. SSOE also completed the data backbone for communications, including the nurse call system, fire alarms, and overhead paging.

Wildwood Orthopaedic and Spine Specialty Hospital

Designed hospital to meet program goals and saved approximately $2 million by reducing square footage by 10%, reducing to one floor, and minimizing infrastructure system lengths and material costs.

This single-story, freestanding, orthopaedic, and spine specialty hospital is located on a satellite outpatient campus of the ProMedica Health System. Support spaces include those required for state licensing and program operation. This facility is ProMedica’s first all digital hospital, complete with electronic health records technology, comprehensive inpatient and outpatient diagnostic services, including CT, MRI, and general X-ray.

This project constitutes Phase II of the campus development for orthopaedic services (Phase I, construction of a Medical Office Building [MOB], was completed separately). Phase II involved linking the hospital to the MOB, which houses the primary orthopaedic physicians’ practice, via an enclosed, overhead pedestrian connector. Our team of BIM experts utilized 3D modeling to develop and illustrate details of the project.

Since the new hospital is a significant addition to the existing campus, coordinating site access, circulation, parking, and utilities was critical to the project’s success. To address these issues, the orthopaedic facility was designed to be consistent with the existing campus master plan. Future expansion needs were considered during the site / facility planning stage, as was the hospital’s environmental impact, to which SSOE responded by incorporating LEED principles into the design.

The construction duration was approximately 15 months. Early civil and structural engineering packages were issued to expedite the construction process. To eliminate the need to fireproof the structural steel, the facility was classified as three buildings (each Type IIB construction). Each building was separated by a two-hour fire wall, with each containing two smoke compartments.