Maine Medical Center, Coulombe Family Tower Expansion
The new addition to Maine Medical Center’s (MMC) Coulombe Family Tower houses the Susan Donnell Konkel Pavilion for Surgical Oncology and Marshall L. and Susan Gibson Pavilion for Medical Oncology—critical space devoted to advancing cancer care and adapting to evolving health care needs. The 60,000 sq ft vertical expansion added two stories to the hospital building, a complex undertaking made possible by forecasting nearly two decades ago.
A Future Focus
SGH’s partnership with MMC began in 2000, when we designed the tower’s five-story, base building structure. At the time, MMC knew they would face growing populations and evolving health care technology in the coming years. Their thoughtful planning for the Coulombe Family Tower, formerly known as the Women and Infants Birthing Center, ensured our design accounted for a future two-story vertical addition.
As the time for the expansion approached, MMC realized it also had an impending need for a new heliport. The existing heliport the garage supporting it were slated to be demolished, and as Maine’s only Level 1 trauma center, a new heliport was required to provide patients with uninterrupted emergency care. MMC turned to the project team designing the Coulombe Family Tower expansion and asked if the rooftop could support a new heliport, specifically one that could accommodate two helicopters simultaneously.
SGH accepted the challenge, developing a structural design for the new addition and heliport that required only a few base building columns to be strengthened. This was critical to the project’s success, since the existing four stories of the Coulombe Family Tower remained occupied during construction and substantial work could have halted the heliport plan. Constructing two new floors and a heliport above an occupied hospital required careful planning to merge the two structures, while also limiting disruption to patients and staff. We carefully considered serviceability, constructability, and durability of the structural and building enclosure systems to help the hospital meet its current and future demands.
The Linda and Diana Bean Sisters Heliport, with the capacity to simultaneously support two helicopters, rises as a beacon cantilevering over the building’s edge. By increasing the heliport’s capacity and locating it directly above the hospital’s emergency department in the Coulombe Family Tower, MMC saves critical time getting patients to the lifesaving care they need.
The longstanding relationship between MMC and SGH created a level of trust and collaboration that undoubtedly contributes to this projects’ success. In addition to the original Coulombe Family Tower, its expansion, and the new heliport, SGH is proud to have designed several campus structures for MMC over the years, helping to serve patients and their families.