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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
If there is one thing I have learned while dealing with codes, it is that words do matter. A simple word like "shall" means something very different than the phrase "shall be permitted," a distinction that if missed often leads to confusion regarding implementation of a code.