I've been involved with hundreds of healthcare design projects over the last 30 years, and I can safely say that there is normally not enough money to design the entire program as intended.
There are many reasons for this, and most are valid. So what can be done with the available money to get the most value? How can we design a facility to give our clients the most flexibility in the future?
One approach is to understand the entire scope of the project, even if the budget will not support it....Read More »
The simultaneous advancements of building component technologies have made the “smart” science research building not only possible but also affordable. The evolutionary design of distributed intelligence microprocessors, digital controls, sensor technology, controllable equipment and lighting allows the science research building to maximize building performance and minimize operational costs. In addition, the intelligent science building design can insure a healthy and safe environment for its...Read More »
Like almost all industries, design for healthcare is regulated by federal, state and local codes. But in addition, there are standards that have been established by many groups, societies and advocates that influence design.
For example ASHRAE publishes volumes on the design of healthcare facilities. The designer, faced with creating a healthcare facility, must wade his/her way through the thousands of regulations, codes and standards to come up with a suitable design.
In addition, there is...Read More »
Ask yourself the following questions: What would happen to patients and staff if your hospital’s electricity went out for an hour, a day or a week? What would you do if an infectious and deadly disease started affecting the patients and staff in the hospital at an alarming rate? What would be your response to rising flood waters around your hospital?
Hospitals need to be able to operate during the worst of conditions. They serve patients that are not capable of healing at home. By the nature...Read More »
Are the traditional methods of sizing domestic hot water production equipment in hospitals obsolete? Are engineers installing more hot water production equipment than needed? Are we wasting energy by not “right sizing” the production equipment?
These are all good questions and the answers can impact hospital’s energy use and operating costs.
Recently, engineers have started to re-evaluate how we size domestic hot water equipment. There are many accepted industry standards that can be used and...Read More »
Written on a white board by my office door is the phrase, “Do a random act of innovation today.” Since my office is en route to the restrooms for most of the engineers at BSA LifeStructures, they read this phase several times a day. I have featured other quotations from famous and not so famous people about innovation and creativity to get people thinking. Here are some examples:
"There's a way to do it better—find it." - Thomas Edison
I believe that innovation and creativity comes from a...Read More »
The top five areas of energy use in hospitals are lighting, ventilation, water heating, space heating and space cooling. Let’s look at each of the five categories and see how energy can be saved.
Replacing a lighting system with a lighting retrofit of newer and more efficient lamps will pay dividends in energy and cost...
Previous posts (see "Making Healing Safe at Night") by my colleagues have referenced operational and planning solutions to help improve caregiver functions at night. There are also engineering components that help create a successful night-time healing environment for patients and caregivers.
The environmental systems, like lighting and air conditioning, in a healthcare facility are abundant and very complex. They are designed to facilitate patient and staff safety, and promote healing. However,...Read More »
In part one of my post on, How students will learn in the future, I discussed the level of technology available in a first grade classroom and how changes in teaching tools will shape the way those students will learn once they reach college in 2025.
As a full service design firm designing higher education facilities we must think about what the future might bring for our buildings that are built to last 50 to 100 years. Traditionally, we design buildings for a function, notably a specific...Read More »
I have a friend who has been teaching first graders for over 20 years. Recently I had the opportunity to go to her classroom and observe 23, six year olds and the dynamics in which she performs her purpose in life, being an educator. I watched as she not only presented a variety of material but also found the necessary words and actions to keep the attention of so many fertile and active minds all needing to express themselves at the same time. It appeared to me to be a quite an achievement.
Over...Read More »
When you work for a full service design firm named BSA Life Structures you can get a little complacent upon the meaning of the phase "LifeStructure”. Every day we say the words and every day we go about our business planning and designing these structures that provide health, welfare and safety to its occupants. In many cases, these structures help cure and heal as well.
Every year at this time I reflect on what I have been dong in my professional life for over 37 years. National engineer’s week just concluded without fan fare, a story on the evening news, an article in the local paper, or at last, a ticker tape parade down Wall Street in New York City. And it’s okay. I didn’t get into engineering to become famous or rich. I do what I do because I know it improves the lives of my family, my friends, and thousands of other people. And I like doing it.
When I was...Read More »
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What came first, innovation or technology? The answer is – neither. That may sound like I’m dodging the question, so let me answer it differently. There are many examples of technology being innovative, like the iPad. Steve Jobs and apple have come to define innovation in this era and are known for designing tools that change the way we use technology. On the other hand, we have taken this wonderful tool and used it to be innovative in the things we do. For example, we are able to use electronic...