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.
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."
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.
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.