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Fort Yuma Healthcare Center Wins ENR California Best Projects Award

October 5, 2018

Engineering News Record (ENR) selected Fort Yuma Healthcare Center, designed by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, and built by Pilkington Commercial Co., for the California Best Projects in Health Care Award 2018.  

The Project

Built to provide clinical and social services to the Quechan and Cocopah tribes, Fort Yuma Healthcare Center honors local heritage while incorporating architectural themes of the surrounding desert.

"The design team responded well to the context and desert environment in the architecture and landscape." - ENR Judges

The project team recognized that the Winterhaven climate allows for waiting, gathering, therapeutic and administrative functions to take place outside in courtyards and protected outdoor space. While shading is crucial, these spaces encourage sustainable landscape design and reflect the character of the nearby Colorado River Valley.

"This building was all about shade and providing access to the outdoors. The aesthetic is driven by the shading that you see. We were inspired by a photograph of an indigenous structure that was literally built of sticks and tied together to provide shade."
- Bill Sabatini, Senior Principal

Aiming for LEED Gold, the project site was designed to maximize the quantity and quality of stormwater, with all storm flows retained on site. 

Other sustainable highlights include photovoltaic panels that supply 2.5% of the building’s energy and are visible to the public and part of the building’s architectural expression. In addition, landscape irrigation uses reclaimed blow-down water from HVAC equipment.

To increase daylighting and shield from heat gain, the facility is “tuned” to the sun. The courtyard opens to the east, while there are minimal openings on the west. Glazing faces north wherever possible, and windows are inset in deep double walls for shading. 

Daylight is brought into core spaces by a series of elevated clerestory windows. The clerestories provide a high-volume space that creates a dynamic work environment and eliminates dark areas by welcoming northeastern light. 

The design reflects input from the local Quechan and Cocopah tribes. The building’s use of the concept of the courtyard as a river is a common thread for both tribes.

Project Team

Owner: Department of Health & Human Services, Indian Health Service
Architect: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Contractor: Pilkington Commercial Co.
Structural Engineer: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Civil/MEP Engineer: NV5
Interior Design: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Landscape Architecture: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini