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Top 10 Surgery Center Architecture Firms

Written by: Bill Warren

Building a new ambulatory surgery center (ASC) from the ground up is no simple task. From choosing the right location and setting budgets to drawing up building plans and managing construction, there are many moving pieces to keep track of. As a more specialized project, there are certain parameters that must be met to ensure your new medical facility can operate as intended and comply with regulatory standards once its doors eventually open.

One way to ensure your ASC construction project progresses as smoothly as possible is to partner with the right design firm. Keep reading to find out why it’s a good idea to choose an architect with experience designing for the healthcare industry, a rundown of top healthcare architecture firms, and more.

Designing Your New Ambulatory Surgery Center

With an involved task such as ASC construction, planning is crucial. Not only does it help to create a roadmap to guide the project through each phase, it also ensures that you’ll be prepared to check off all the boxes that need attention along the way.

Overall, your plan should include the following items:

  • Perform a feasibility study This step determines whether your proposed project is a worthwhile financial investment.
  • Secure financing — If the feasibility study indicates that your proposal is likely to generate positive returns, lenders (whether a bank or parent company) will be more inclined to invest the capital needed to get the project underway.
  • Determine your future ASC’s offered services — Knowing what services the future ASC will offer helps guide building design, ensuring that the proper facilities are provided.
  • Site selection — When determining the best location for your ASC, it’s important to consider factors such as where ASC services are most needed, geological viability, demographics, and proximity to competitors or other ASCs within your medical group.
  • Vet and select qualified design and construction partners — Bringing the right architectural and construction teams onboard can make all the difference. We recommend looking for companies that have prior experience working with clients in the healthcare industry.

As you make plans for your future ASC, it’s also beneficial to look at the post-construction operational requirements. Once the building itself is complete there will be certain tasks that need to be addressed. You can save time and money, and circumvent potential issues, by accounting for the following needs during the planning phase:

  • Sourcing medical equipment (such as autoclaves for the sterile processing department) and other supplies
  • Staffing
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance

Why Working With a Healthcare Architecture Firm Matters

When it comes to the architecture firm you partner with for the design of your ASC, it’s always good to choose one with good reviews and a stellar reputation. But if the decision is between a firm that has experience with healthcare-based projects and one that doesn’t, it’s most always best to choose the former.

This is for two main reasons:

  1. They have specialized know-how — ASCs and other medical facilities have specific design requirements, and an experienced architectural partner has the knowledge needed to ensure that those requirements are met.
  2. They can make sure your facility is compliant — As specialists, healthcare architecture firms have knowledge of any federal, state, and local codes and other regulations that your facility must adhere to, ensuring compliance.

The Top 10 Surgery Center Architecture Firms

To help you in your search for your ASC design partner, here are 10 of the top healthcare architecture firms in the country, as ranked by Building Design + Construction, a leading resource for architects and building owners and developers.

1. HDR

A global design company with more than 200 offices around the world, offering services in architecture, engineering, and more.

Years in operation: 107 (founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1917)

U.S. locations: HDR has offices across the country in 47 states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Guam

Notable projects:

2. CannonDesign

An innovative design firm that stands at the crossroads of strategy, architecture, engineering, and social impact.

Years in operation: 79 (founded in 1945)

U.S. locations: CannonDesign has 16 offices spread across 11 states and Washington, D.C.

Notable projects:

3. Stantec

A community-focused design firm that relies on its teams’ diverse perspectives to bring projects to life.

Years in operation: 70 (founded in 1954)

U.S. locations: Stantec has more than 250 offices spread across 47 states.

Notable projects:

4. Perkins&Will

A global design firm that is driven by a commitment to designing spaces that “make a positive difference in the world.”

Years in operation: 89 (founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1935)

U.S. locations: Perkins&Will has 21 offices located in 13 states and Washington, D.C.

Notable projects:

5. ZGF

An industry leader in sustainable design — taking influences from urban planning principles, the environment, and human experience.

Years in operation: 82 (founded in Portland, Oregon in 1942)

U.S. locations: ZGF has six offices located in Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Notable projects:

6. Perkins Eastman

A global architecture and design firm that serves a variety of industries, including healthcare, science and technology, commercial and office, and others.

Years in operation: 43 (founded in 1981)

U.S. locations: Perkins Eastman has 16 offices located across 10 states and Washington, D.C.

Notable Projects:

7. E4H Environments for Health Architecture

An architecture firm with more than 40 years of experience serving the healthcare and health sciences industries.

Years in operation: 42 (founded in 1982)

U.S. locations: E4H has 11 offices in nine states and Washington, D.C.

Notable projects:

8. Gensler

A global architecture firm driven by its mission to “create a better world through the power of design” through innovative solutions.

Years in operation: 59 (founded in 1965)

U.S. locations: Gensler’s 32 offices are spread across 21 states and Washington, D.C.

Notable projects:


An architectural design firm known for using a creative approach to deliver solutions that make a positive impact.

Years in operation: 66 years (founded in 1958)

U.S. location: GBBN has four offices in Cincinnati, Louisville, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh.

Notable projects:

10. EwingCole

A nationally recognized architecture and planning firm that relies on research, creativity, and technology to “create places where people live, learn, heal, work, and play.”

Years in operation: 63 (founded in 1961)

U.S. locations: EwingCole has 11 offices spread across seven states.

Notable projects:

Your Healthcare Construction Project

When it comes to your future ASC, choosing the right design partner can make all the difference. That’s why it’s crucial to find an architecture firm with experience working with healthcare clients.

Once you’ve found your match and the project is underway, it’s important to think ahead to the tasks that will need attention once construction of your facility is complete, such as staffing, maintaining regulatory compliance, and sourcing equipment. Our free eBook, 17 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Medical Autoclave provides a helpful framework for finding the appropriate sterilizer for your healthcare application.

Have specific questions about your ASC’s autoclaving needs? Our team is ready to help — contact us today.

17 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Autoclave

We created this 17-question eBook as a framework to help you explore and discover the exact type of autoclave best suited to your needs.

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