Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center

Located at Fort Hood, Texas, the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center provides assistance to more than 42,000 active duty personnel and 145,000 family members and retirees within a 40-mile radius.

Spanning more than 945,000 square feet, Southland Engineering provided mechanical and plumbing design services. The new facility replaces the 45-year-old medical center and provides state-of-the-art healthcare services for Fort Hood U.S. Army site service members and their family members.

Approach & Innovations

Southland Engineering designed a radiant flooring system within the facility’s unique atrium. The area serves as the main entrance and dining area for patrons. The atrium features 30-foot ceilings, creating a perfect fit for radiant heating and cooling. The high ceilings allow the space conditioning to be focused down low at the occupied level. The cool floors absorb the direct radiant solar heat in the summer months and the heated slab provides warmth to the space during winter.

The radiant system is supplemented by the 100 percent dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) that serves the hospital and clinics. At the heart of the DOAS are the enthalpy wheels, where energy exchange occurs between the incoming outside air and the outgoing exhaust air. The use of a DOAS and enthalpy wheels reduces the risk of transmitting diseases through HVAC systems and provides additional utility savings for the owner.

Comprised of occupied, connection, and distribution zones, Southland Engineering also provided an Integrated Building Systems (IBS) design for the facility. The IBS is an interstitial level located above the occupied medial spaces that provides access to the terminal boxes as well as other equipment requiring accessibility for routine maintenance. Utilizing BIM tools throughout the design process, Southland Engineering coordinated dedicated access-aisles throughout the IBS that provides walk up access to over 1,500 terminal boxes. The access aisles allow for easier maintenance and future modifications while limiting impacts to occupied areas below.


Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Fort Hood, Texas

LEED: Gold

Square Footage: 947,000