ARCHITECTS and ENGINEERS

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

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

Bathroom Design Perspective

01.04.17
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

Drafting: A Generational Study

11.23.16
Cory Powers, CPD

According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), "By definition, construction documentation encompasses the preparation of drawings and specifications that set forth the detailed requirements for the construction of a building project. Drawings thus represent the illustrative dimension of construction documentation, while specifications represent the written. The two are complementary, with neither having precedence over the other." 

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Topics: Engineering

Making its Mark: ASPE's Young Professionals Group Leads the Next Generation

10.26.16
Cory Powers, CPD

Cory Powers enjoys watching the roots take hold.

Powers, a 31-year-old Certified in Plumbing Design ASPE member based at the Milwaukee office of HGA, a nationwide architecture, engineering and planning firm, has been the liaison for the ASPE Young Professionals special-interest group for the past two years. And on the cusp of the 2016 ASPE Convention and Expo Oct. 28-Nov. 2 at the Phoenix Convention Center, this group – AYP for short – has come a long way since its formation four years ago, and Powers has been an integral cog in its development.

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Topics: Engineering

Strategic Steps to Sustainability in Healthcare

 

Sustainability and resiliency are common buzzwords today. But for healthcare facilities to make progress in these areas, it's important to take a practical, feasible approach that aligns with budget considerations. Thinking strategically about incorporating sustainability can help hospitals save resources and become more efficient.

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Topics: Healthcare, Sustainability & Resiliency, Engineering

Modernized High Performance

Modular heat pumps are among the Whipple Building's energy-efficient systems.

Energy efficiency was an overarching goal for the modernization of the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building. Every engineering system, control strategy and design deci­sion was made to reduce the building's energy consump­tion and environmental impact.

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Topics: Corporate, Engineering

Planning Successful Operating Rooms from an Engineering Perspective

By Krista Biason, PE, and Jeff Harris, PE

An operating room at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital in Kentucky.

I'm too hot, it's too humid. I keep hitting my head on the med gas drops. Why is that outlet box hanging from the ceiling? There are not enough receptacles, they are in the wrong place. There are not enough outlets in the boom. Why are the med gas outlets over there, how come the anesthesia boom is at the patient's feet, where is my integration system, and why isn't there a camera in the surgical lights?

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Topics: Healthcare, Engineering

What Came First: Distribution Equipment or Coordination Study?

What came first — the chicken or the egg? This age-old question has been perplexing society for generations. The electrical equivalent of this timeless dilemma is “What came first — the distribution equipment or the coordination study?” In the last few months, I have had many “discussions” with construction team members regarding this topic — most of them not too pleasant.

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Topics: Healthcare, Engineering

Designing for the Future: The Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building

 

HGA's work on the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building exemplifies our ongoing partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) over the years. The architecturally distinctive, midcentury-modern office building has been carefully restored while addressing new technology, sustainable initiatives, and modern workplace needs--positioning B.H. Whipple to serve the public well into the future.

Renovation highlights include:

  • New landscaping and plantings on a 25-acre site.
  • Restored travertine walls, terrazzo floors and elevator banks along a reconfigured Main Street corridor.
  • Interpretive exhibits of regional geology and history.
  • Flexible workspaces that meet programming needs for 13 federal agencies.
  • Sustainable innovations, including a geothermal heating-and-cooling system and high-performance exterior.

For more information, visit the B.H. Whipple Microsite.

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Topics: Corporate, Engineering

Ideas

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