Learning from LEGO®: Standardized and Flexible Ambulatory Design

Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) is the fifth largest Catholic healthcare ministry in the United States. Its system includes 48 hospitals across seven states and Ireland.

Given the scale of BSMH’s operations, there were big gains to be had by an initiative that optimized systemwide design and construction standards. This is why BSMH worked with GBBN to design a system of clinical, architectural, and building system modules that—like Legos—can be combined and recombined in a standardized yet flexible building system. This effort helps to create a consistent but locally responsive patient and staff experience while improving operational efficiency, managing costs and risks, and increasing BSMH’s speed to market.

Along with BSMH System Director of Planning & Preconstruction, Molly Ironmonger, we recently attended the 2023 Healthcare Design Conference + Expo to share our experience creating a system of site, architectural, clinical, and building system modules to help guide BSMH’s ongoing growth.

Take a look at our presentation here. You can also learn about this effort by visiting our BSMH System of Prototypes case study.

Ivan Cheung, AIA is a principal at GBBN. As part of the firm’s Design Leadership Group, Ivan works in all markets and project types. His healthcare work includes the BSMH System of Prototypes (and several locations where it is being deployed), Mercy Health Kings Mills Hospital, and TriHealth Good Samaritan Hospital’s Masterplan.


Mickey LeRoy, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP is a principal at GBBN. He leads teams in all phases of planning, design, and delivery of multi-faceted healthcare projects. Recent projects include TriHealth’s Thomas Center, Mercy Health Kings Mills Hospital, the BSMH System of Prototypes, and several Bon Secours locations where that system is deployed.


Amy Mees, IIDA, EDAC, LEED AP is a principal at GBBN. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare design and medical planning, Amy works closely with leading healthcare institutions to help them achieve their goals and create spaces and environments that surpass expectations and further the healing process. Some of Amy’s recent projects include the BSMH System of Prototypes, Mercy Health Kings Mills Hospital, TriHealth Good Samaritan Hospital, and TriHealth Western Ridge Medical Office Building.