Doernbecher Hospital Recognized for Engineering Design

05/07/99    Portland, Ore.

Faced with the challenge of creating a hospital in a hillside canyon, KPFF Consulting Engineers responded with a magnificent building that is now Doernbecher Children's Hospital. On Tuesday, May 11, KPFF and Doernbecher will receive the Grand Conceptor Award from the American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC) for this engineering feat.

The Grand Conceptor is the top prize awarded annually by ACEC, and was chosen by a panel of 24 judges from among 132 engineering projects nationwide. This is only the second time an Oregon firm has won this prestigious award.

Design challenges were many for this difficult project on the Oregon Health Sciences University campus on Marquam Hill. An essential design element was to connect the children's hospital to the main OHSU Hospital 500 feet further north and to an eight-story parking garage already located in the canyon. The engineers had limited construction access and were asked to keep the parking garage and access road operational during construction.

The resulting 250,000-square-foot hospital is a T-shaped marvel, with a four-story bridge spanning the canyon and providing seamless access from OHSU Hospital. More than 200 anchors are drilled into the basalt hillside to resist seismic forces and keep the building stable.

The Doernbecher project has already received a Grand Award from the Consulting Engineers Council of Oregon. The 120-bed hospital opened last July.

The award will be presented during ACEC's Annual Convention taking place at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.