University of Michigan is building the hospital of the future

SOURCE: Haley Otman/University of Michigan
A rendering of University of Michigan's new state-of-the-art adult hospital.

By U2B Staff 

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University of Michigan will be building a brand new adult hospital in Ann Arbor, a lean and green US$920 million facility that will widen and improve patient access and medical care for all of Michigan.

Michigan Medicine in an announcement said the new 12-storey hospital will house 264 private rooms capable of converting to intensive care, a state-of-the-art neurological and neurosurgical center, high-level, specialty care services for cardiovascular and thoracic patients, and advanced imaging.

Bringing these services together will allow healthcare providers to quickly respond to complex cases and provide the best possible care to those most in need of it.


The five-year project was given the green light after a unanimous vote by U-M’s Board of Regents, which followed two previous decisions in 2018 to study its feasibility.

The hospital, to be spread across 690,000 gross-square-foot, will expand patient access at Michigan Medicine, which is currently operating at more than 90 percent capacity.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation with a new hospital that will support the extraordinary work of our faculty, nurses and other providers and our research community,” said Marschall Runge, executive vice president of medical affairs for U-M, CEO of Michigan Medicine and dean of the Medical School.

“It’s an investment in Michigan Medicine’s mission of advancing health to serve Michigan and the world.”

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel added: “The addition is crucial for our state, our university, and the millions of people who rely on us for quality advanced health care.”

University of Michigan hospital
The new hospital will be completed by fall 2024. Source: Haley Otman/University of Michigan

On top of serving Michigan state’s medical needs, the project will also pay homage to the university’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint.

Working with its team of architects and engineers, Michigan Medicine intends for the project to achieve LEED Gold status. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a globally-recognised green building rating system that provides builders with a framework to create highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

Upon completion in fall 2024, the hospital is expected to exceed Michigan state’s energy performance standards by 20 percent.


It will also be a “lean” building, which means efficient use of all its features and resources.

This is in large part due to a collaborative approach to the planning process for the new hospital; everyone who might use the building from nurses to physicians, administrative leaders, staff and faculty, as well as patients and their families, were consulted to ensure the facility would adequately serve all their needs.

As a result of these conversations, the new hospital will be kitted out with the following:

  • Family spaces throughout the facility, as well as spaces for loved ones to visit in each patient room
  • Centralised collaboration spaces in each patient area to enhance continuity of care
  • Two floors with 20 operating rooms equipped with the latest technology, many of them larger than Michigan Medicine’s current collection of theaters and three interventional radiology suits
  • Better patient rooms to allow for more complex care
  • Patient rooms that can be converted into intensive care units

“This hospital will not only help us meet our community’s future health care needs, it will be a greater resource for other hospitals across the state, and further support and enable U-M health care providers to do their very best work,” said University of Michigan Regent Shauna Ryder Diggs.

University of Michigan Health System David Spahlinger said the new hospital would also allow the relocation of 110 beds currently in semi-private rooms at University Hospital. This means all Michigan Medicine inpatient beds will be single private rooms.

“Private rooms are important for the quality of our patient and family member experience, and is a proven factor in reducing hospital-acquired infections.”

The project, upon completion of the new rooms and relocation of existing beds, will thus add 154 new beds to the medical campus.

It will also create some 370 on-site construction jobs, and an estimated 1,600 new, full-time jobs once the hospital is open. Funding will come from Michigan Medicine resources, although Michigan Medicine also plans on launching a philanthropic campaign.

“We invite the community to join us in building the new hospital,” said Eric Barritt, Associate Vice President and Chief Development Officer.

“Contributions will fuel progress across the neurological and neurosurgical care, cardiovascular, thoracic and other critical areas of care, ensuring the greatest possible impact for patients and families as well as for medical research and education.”

Michigan Medicine includes the top-ranked U-M Medical School and the University of Michigan Health System, which includes the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, University Hospital, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the Rogel Cancer Center.