St. Francis Medical Center Emergency Department Relocation and Expansion

Colorado Springs, Colorado

"As an emergency physician, the ED design is as close to perfect as I have seen with triage, fast-track, an internal waiting area, and other areas designed to integrate seamlessly for the patient and our staff.”

Brian Erling, MD, MBA, President & CEO, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Connecting through experience of place.

The St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) undertook an expansion to the Emergency Department (ED) due to unprecedented growth in northern Colorado Springs. ED patient volumes have doubled since 2009 to 53,000 visits per year. The ED relocation and expansion at St. Francis Medical Center was part of a multi-phase 168,000 square-foot $102M expansion that also included new operating rooms, a renovated and expanded Level III NICU, and shell space for future growth. The new state-of-the-art ED opened in February 2019 and doubles the capacity of the original ED.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

Through the Integrated Project delivery method, the SFMC ED staff including nurses, managers, and administrators were instrumental in the development of the programming, space planning, and design of their future department.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

The care model for the Emergency Department is a split flow design that utilizes a four-room intake process to provide a quick assessment, efficiently distribute patients, and reduce waiting time. Patients are sent either to the lower acuity six room Super Track with an internal results waiting area or to the ED treatment rooms with three Trauma rooms, six observation rooms, four behavioral health rooms, and 29 exam rooms. All of the exam rooms are designed identically to facilitate staff familiarization and efficiency.

Project Details

  • Square Footage: 79,045 sf

Design Details

  • Split flow design
  • Six-room Super Track with an internal results waiting area, the trauma rooms, six observation rooms, four behavioral health rooms, and 29 exam rooms
  • Welcoming waiting room with daylighting and mountain views
  • Collaborative design process
  • Photography by Fred Fuhrmeister


  • 2019 Bronze ACE Award, Best Building Project (Over $70M), presented by the Association of General Contractors (AGC) Colorado
  • 2019 Engineering Excellence Award of Merit, presented by the American Coucil of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Colorado