Penrose Emergency Department Renovation

Colorado Springs, Colorado

"RTA Architects has set the bar of working collaboratively to manage costs on fast track, marquee projects. Key to this has been the consistent involvement of the RTA Principal-in-charge, and they follow through with their commitments. This level of trust has allowed us to achieve remarkable results in regards to budget performance, speed to delivery, and a terrific client experience time and time again.”

Justin D. Cooper, Vice President, GE Johnson Construction Company


Connecting through experience of place.

Renovation of the Penrose Hospital Level II Trauma Emergency Department (ED) was a coordinated team effort that was undertaken to implement the latest in healthcare practices. RTA’s goal was to implement a “fast track treatment” concept to improve patient waiting times, staff efficiency, and treatment effectiveness.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

The project relied on a collaborative team approach including hospital staff, facilities management, doctors, design consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and both local and state AHJ’s (Authority Having Jurisdiction). A main commitment of the project team was to improve patient experience at the facility while continuing full operations. This was achieved through team involvement in critical functions and program elements required throughout the planning, design, and construction process.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

In order to minimize operational disruptions, the team developed an aggressive phasing plan consisting of 10 phases to be completed in just 10 months. The Penrose ED project increased patient rooms from 20 to 27, replaced three open triage beds with three triage rooms, and created a fast-track area for three patients. The ED also switched from a centralized nurse station to a pod design which cuts down on travel distance and noise throughout the department.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 13,300 sf
  • Project cost: $ 4.2M

Design Details

  • Greeter station for early assessment staffing procedures
  • Standardized exam room design to improve staff familiarity and efficiency
  • Nurse Pods to minimize staff travel distances and allow census adjustments
  • Fast track treatment bay to expedite non-critical care treatments
  • Entrance and porte cochere to provide a “front door” for improved wayfinding and weather protection


  • 2014 Vista Award Presented by the American Society of Healthcare Engineers