Embracing Green

Choosing materials to promote healthy indoor environments

New sustainable building standards are putting a greater emphasis on healthy indoor environments. Healthcare facilities, in particular, are becoming increasingly focused on promoting healthy environments that support the well-being of patients, families and staff –with particular focus on indoor air quality.  

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Topics: Healthcare, Sustainability & Resiliency

Holistically Rethinking the Workplace

Destination workplace. Activity-based workplace. Agile workplace. Mobile workplace. Well-certified workplace. Cognitive-era workplace.

What’s behind the buzz? Most of these workplace labels suggest some generalization about the workplace environment. The risk in generalizations is they can promote a one-size-fits-all mentality. The reality today is that people in most organizations vary widely in terms of socio-economic status, age, gender, sexual preference, religion, geography, language, and culture. Designing workplaces that meet the needs of a diverse workforce requires a holistic approach.

HGA Workplace Strategists Dave Paeper and Melissa Jancourt get beyond the buzz and offer some insight into the dynamics impacting today’s workplace.

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Topics: Corporate

Up Close: William Hodges Hendrix

William Hendrix, AIA, LEED AP, is an Architect, Urbanist and Principal in HGA’s Corporate Studio in Washington, DC. His 32-year career has focused on mixed-use, urban-centric projects nationally and internationally. He currently is working on a Performing Arts Center that is part of a mixed-use Master Plan outside DC. Here, he talks about changes impacting the workplace.

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Topics: Corporate, Arts & Culture

Q&A: How Health Care Engineers and Designers Can Communicate Better

Research shows the most important predictor of a team’s success is their communication patterns. But sometimes stereotypes get in the way and communication breaks down – thwarting opportunities for breakthroughs.

If you manage, design, or build health care facilities, you may have some preconceived notions of your engineering or design counterpart. Krista McDonald Biason, PE, associate vice president and senior electrical engineer of HGA Architects and Engineers, shares tips for overcoming the perceived “linguistic divide” among health care engineers and designers to achieve better solutions.

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Topics: Healthcare, Engineering

International Meeting Addresses Healthcare in Vietnam

Michael Hess

HGA’s Michael Hess (right of center) was among the international healthcare experts and diplomats at the recent U.S.-Vietnam Health Infrastructure Development Meeting in Hanoi.

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Topics: Healthcare

6 Behavioral Health Design Trends

HGA has designed behavioral health facilities across the country—including several mental health units within hospitals and numerous addiction treatment facilities—and has identified six approaches that not only help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues but also fully address the needs of patients’ physical and mental well-being. Consideration of these trends in healthcare planning and design can positively impact costs, functional capabilities, and safety for patients and staff. 

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Topics: Healthcare

Panelboard Bonding in Patient Care Vicinities

Article 250 of the National Electrical Code ( NFPA 70) addresses grounding and bonding requirements for electrical installations — addressing topics ranging from bonding jumpers to grounding of electrical equipment to ungrounded systems and even a section on how to prevent “objectionable currents.” What this Article doesn’t address is the specific requirement in health care facilities for bonding of  panelboards in patient care vicinities. This requirement is above and beyond the requirements identified in Art. 250.
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Topics: Healthcare, Engineering

Change Management and Workplace Design

Q&A with The Registry

What are employees’ greatest fears about change management? 

The biggest fear here is the word “change.” Let’s face it, no one likes change. I wish we had another word for this because “change” gets a bit overused these days and everyone has their own definition of what it should mean. In terms of how this impacts workplace design and management; it comes down to communication, and a lot of it.

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Topics: Corporate

Bathroom Design Perspective

Cory Powers, CPD

Communicating with architects and designers about projects can avoid a lot of headaches down the road.“Okay, so who uses their feet to flush the toilet?” Cue a huge laugh, and then about 90 percent of the room’s hands were raised. This was one of the questions I asked at a recent design team charrette with our architects and interior designers. The initial thought of any question relating to the personal realm of the bathroom can be quite uncomfortable, but once you begin to get into the dynamics of this room in our buildings, you can really understand what these spaces can mean for our clients. 

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Topics: Engineering

Reaching Higher: Planning Learning Spaces for Allied Health Sciences

Richard Smith

Pictured: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's combined Student Health Center and College of Nursing.

Nearly 20 percent of new jobs in the United States are in healthcare and allied health professions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As such, colleges and universities are stepping up their focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and allied health sciences programs to meet growing market needs for trained healthcare professionals.

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Topics: Healthcare, Education


HGA’s team of architecture, engineering, planning and design experts share their knowledge through research, published articles, white papers, and speaking engagements.