Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System Replacement Hospital

Project Legacy: A Model for Health Care of the Future
Project Legacy is not only about restoring and improving health care services for Southeast Louisiana veterans. It’s also about rebuilding New Orleans, rebuilding lives, and rebuilding hope.
Julie Catellier, Director, SLVHCS
New Orleans, Louisiana
Veterans Affairs
1,600,000 Square Feet
Year Completed: 
LEED Silver (targeted)

To replace the VA Medical Center lost to Hurricane Katrina, Clark constructed the Southeast Louisiana Veteran Healthcare System “Project Legacy”. The facility sets a new standard for the VA’s patient-centered care and is designed to honor veterans’ service and reflect the culture of New Orleans.

Covering 12 city blocks and 29 acres, Project Legacy is a multi-building campus serving the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and their patients. The buildings support inpatient, diagnostic and treatment, outpatient, transitional living and rehabilitation, research, and administration units. The facilities include 120 medical and surgery beds, 20 acute psychiatric beds, 40 rehabilitation beds, 20 hospice beds, and 23 exam rooms. The outpatient clinical space is 400,000 square feet, enough to accommodate a projected 500,000 outpatient visits each year.

The historic Pan-Am Building was restored and incorporated into Project Legacy's final design. The hospital features a gymnasium, swimming pool, healing gardens, courtyards and walking paths, along with a central energy plant and two 1,000-car garages.  The incorporation of high-performance glazing and use a combination of passive and active shading devices maximizes daylighting in the spaces. Buildings also incorporate green roofs and cool roof technologies.

The 1.6 million-square-foot hospital is designed to set a new benchmark for storm preparedness. In the event of flooding, patient rooms, the power plant, and even the kitchen remain dry and operational, while the reception area and administrative offices might be at risk.  In the case of a natural disaster, each of the 200 private rooms has enough power outlets and medical-gas provisions to accomidate double-occupancy if needed. The approach is that of survivability to include being able to operate in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.  Some upgrades address not just the worst-case scenario, but also the very real possibility of a power outage happening once every couple of years. The hospital will have enough backup power, as well as potable water, to operate off the city’s grid for five days, while serving 1,000 people.

The Department of Veterans Affairs selected Clark as part of a joint venture team, as the Integrated Design and Construct (IDC) contractor for Project Legacy. Similar to Construction Management in the private industry, IDC is an acquisition methodology that allows the contractor to interface with the architect, Department of Veterans Affairs, and end-user groups during the period from design development through 100 percent completion of each work package.

2018 ENR Texas & Louisiana Best Project, Health Care
2018 ENR Best of the Best Project, Health Care