Category: Press

Elevating Engineering

Angela Fante, PE, LEED AP provides an in-depth look into the engineering achievements of the University of Rhode Island Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering in the January 2022 edition of Modern Steel Construction.

Excerpted from Modern Steel Construction:

Engineering is rooted in practicality and principles, but its promise is transformational and inspiring.

This was the mindset of University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering Dean Raymond Wright when it came to the school’s new Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering. The project represents Wright’s ambitious mission to create a “transformational building that fosters a vibrant and innovative environment by attracting the best faculty, students, and industry partners.”

Constructed on the former site of five demolished engineering buildings on the university’s main South Kingstown campus, the new engineering building serves as a “bridge” between the liberal arts programs at campus south and the basic sciences at campus north.

Read the full article

A Year of Discovery at AU’s Hall of Science

American University celebrated the first anniversary of the Hall of Science with a recap of the exciting research within the departments of neuroscience, biology, chemistry, and environmental science. From a water quality monitoring robot to a chemistry-inspired cooking class, the Hall of Science is “a hub of cutting-edge science teaching and research for both undergrad and graduate students.”

Read more about the research happening within the Hall of Science

Towering Potential

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Chemistry Instructional Building was featured in the Fall 2021 edition of the university’s Letters and Science magazine. Reporter Aaron R. Conklin emphasized the positive impact the facility will have for current and future students alike. The ten-story building will house state-of-the-art laboratories with enough space to accommodate each student as well as a “multipurpose learning studio that can be used for classes, poster sessions and receptions.” The Chemistry Instructional Building will create a sense of place and identity for the Chemistry program within the campus fabric.

“The new Chemistry Tower is really a testament to the power of our campus community to recognize a problem and
then join together to find a successful solution. Ensuring that we can meet the evolving instructional needs of our students goes to the very heart of our mission at UW-Madison, and that’s exactly what this project accomplishes.”
— Rebecca Blank, UW-Madison Chancellor

Read the full article

Penn Medicine Radnor Wins National AIA Healthcare Design Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) recognized Penn Medicine Radnor as an example of the best of healthcare building design in the US.

One of six projects selected, Radnor was praised for its integration into the community and natural environment. The jury noted, “the building serves as an elegant but understated backdrop to its landscape with elements of delight that are impactful and purposeful.”    

Read the complete article.

Penn Medicine Radnor selected as Finalist in Healthcare Design Showcase

Penn Medicine Radnor, designed by Ballinger, was a finalist in Healthcare Design (HCD) Magazine’s 2021 Healthcare Design Showcase. A jury appointed by the Center for Health Design, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) scored projects based on categories of innovation, aesthetics, experience, and operational performance. The jury, representing the design and healthcare industries, recognized Penn Medicine Radnor’s environmental stewardship and biophilia, commenting on its “aesthetics defined by light-filled spaces, a warm neutral palette, and nature-inspired graphics.”

The project was published in the August issue of the magazine. Click here to view the publication.

Welcome addition

The NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns was featured in the August issue of Healthcare Design Magazine. Writer Joann Plockova described its inviting environments for mothers and families.   

Excerpted from Healthcare Design:

As a whole, the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center in Manhattan houses three distinct programs: ambulatory care; an integrative health and wellbeing center; and the newest addition, a hospital for women and newborns. Largely constructed following the opening of the first two programs in 2018, the Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, which opened in August 2020, offers comprehensive care for mother and infant—before, during, and after birth, including specialized prenatal care and neonatal intensive care. However, it wasn’t a planned tenant from the beginning. Rather, the women’s hospital was considered along with the idea of additional ambulatory care to fill the building’s top six floors of shell space. But when neighboring NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Greenberg Pavilion sought to expand capacity for its women and newborn services, the organization looked to those Koch Center floors as a convenient and natural fit for a new women’s hospital. “Relocating to the building across the street allows us to grow the service and provide a physical environment that matches the exceptional patient care,” says Hillary Shaw, vice president of the Alexander Cohen Hospital for Woman and Newborns and the David H. Koch Center in New York.

COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES

Spanning 246,500 gross square feet, the new Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns includes ultrasound and antepartum outpatient services on the 12th floor; labor and delivery on the 14th floor; a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with MRI and an operating room on the 15th floor; and three floors dedicated to inpatient postpartum care on floors 16 to 18. Designed to accommodate 7,000 births per year, the hospital, which nearly triples the organization’s previous space for mother and infant care, includes 75 private antepartum and postpartum rooms (up from 68), 60 newborn intensive care beds (up from 50, and including 42 private units), and 16 labor and delivery rooms (up from 11). Clinical spaces include five C-section operating rooms, 20 triage/prep/recovery rooms, eight private antepartum testing rooms, and 15 ultrasound rooms on the 12th floor.

The project was a collaboration between several firms that delivered the earlier Koch Center projects, including HOK (New York) as project architect and Ballinger (Philadelphia), which served as medical architect and healthcare planner; interior design was by HOK with Ballinger.

Similar to the Koch Center’s existing design, the women’s hospital offers an oasis from the urban environment while addressing the specific needs of its patients and families. “[For mothers and their families] it’s an exciting situation to be in, but quite stressful,” says Sara Ridenour, associate principal at Ballinger. To help address that, the project team crafted a clear path to help patients get from start to finish with ease. “We choreographed the experience for all parties via flow mapping,” says Ridenour. After arriving at the drop-off area—designed as a quiet, internal avenue where patients can avoid the stress of a busy city street—patients are greeted in the main lobby of the Koch Center and directed to dedicated elevators that stop only on floors 12 through 18. Notified that a patient is on the way, a staff member will be waiting upon arrival in the sky lobby, located in the corner on each floor and offering views of the city, to escort the patient to either a prep/recovery room for a scheduled C-section or triage. After giving birth, mothers are then transported to the postpartum unit via dedicated elevators within the hospital.

Another connection between the new hospital and the established Koch Center is the continuation of the onstage/offstage operational flow. The building’s L-shaped floor plate provided a natural split to place offstage services, including the staff corridor, on the inside of the L, while public and patient spaces are on the periphery with access to views of New York and plenty of natural light (with the exception of the 12th floor, where the corridor is on the perimeter).

A focus on patient-centered care, including private patient rooms and family support amenities, was among five “Departmental Visions and Goals for Maternity and NICU” outlined for the project by NewYork-Presbyterian, Shaw says. Every patient room has three zones, including a caregiver zone from the entrance to the bed; a patient zone at the headwall; and a family zone, which is typically against the window. “We were very deliberate in moving to a private model,” she says. “Private rooms allow for greater bonding between the new family unit where the mother, partner, and newborn can bond together in the postpartum or NICU rooms. Partners or parents can sleep over and be more involved with the care of their loved ones.”

Ridenour says private areas for family are prioritized, too. “Sometimes family members need respite, too; and reducing stress and providing comfort for mother, baby, and family is part of the project vision,” she says. For example, every floor has a family lounge, which is centrally located near the entrance for easy access, while on the labor and delivery floor, there’s a partner’s lounge that offers a place for retreat when needed. The NICU floor houses a shower, laundry, and a sibling child life room. The postpartum floors include multipurpose education rooms and a family dining room on the 16th floor where families can have a celebration dinner.

Staff spaces in the core include a layered zone of three adjoined areas including a nurses’ station/administrative area, a large team room/ touchdown area, and a smaller dictation room for physicians in the back. These three connected spaces are encased in glass, which allows staff to have access to natural daylight coming in through the patient rooms. A sliding glass door between the spaces allows the team to open up the rooms for larger meetings. “There are levels of privacy and collaboration that we made as flexible as possible,” says Ridenour. Decentralized nurses’ stations are located between every two rooms throughout the hospital and between every room on the NICU floor.

The NICU patient rooms are arranged to operate as distinct neighborhoods, with 12 rooms on the west side that can be divided into one or two neighborhoods and 38 rooms on the east side, which can be organized into two or three neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has a dedicated entry point to eliminate travel through one neighborhood to get to another. In addition, an offstage corridor is provided for staff and supplies to reduce noise levels in the patient area and minimize conflicts with family flow. “I think one thing that’s really great about our NICU is we brought all of the services to the floor, so we don’t have to transport these critically ill babies except for in very unique circumstances,” says Shaw. “By bringing the MRI and operating room to the floor, we’ve really integrated care into one location for the family.”

SPECIAL DELIVERY

Although some of the communal spaces, like the multipurpose education rooms and the family dining space, have been “sitting vacant for the time being” due to COVID-19, Shaw says, feedback on the hospitality approach has been positive.

Specifically, patients are appreciative of the privacy, large rooms, art program, an abundant light incorporated throughout—insight that confirms the organization’s decision to fill the shell floors with the women’s hospital was the right one. “[It’s] allowed us to offer the very best care for our patients in a bright and nurturing environment that prioritizes comfort, safety, and privacy,” Shaw says.

Stemmler Hall Published in BD+C

The University of Pennsylvania’s Edward J. Stemmler Hall was profiled in Building Design + Construction (BD+C) magazine. The project won a Bronze Award in BD+C’s 2020 Reconstruction Awards.

Excerpted from Building Design + Construction:

Edward J. Stemmler Hall is an essential bridge that links the realms of education, discovery, and clinical practice for the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. The biomedical research and teaching facility, which was originally built in 1978, is located on the university’s campus at a critical juncture between academic, research, and healthcare facilities.

As a means of advancing the university’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan, the school was considering a building systems-based retrofit of the 230,000-sf Stemmler Hall that would increase energy efficiency and renew building infrastructure.

But after some discussion, Ballinger, the project architect, proposed a more holistic solution: a comprehensive renovation that would transform the building, providing new Class A laboratory space and replacing all building systems. The project sought to increase energy efficiency and deliver 102,000 sf of fully renovated research space.

Because of the building’s pivotal campus role, the facility needed to remain operational throughout construction, which posed logistical challenges related to accessing, assessing, and working within an occupied building.

Construction was sequenced into three phases in order to maintain occupancy within the building:

  • Phase 0: Enabling Electrical and Tele/Data Infrastructure installed; temporary rooftop mechanical systems installed to maintain building operations
  • Phase 1: Renovate Levels B, G, 1, and 2; additional temporary mechanical systems installed to maintain building operations
  • Phase 2: Renovate Levels 3, 4, and 5; install permanent mechanical systems within renovated Penthouse 

Occupant safety was assured by implementing open lines of communication. Project websites, weekly construction update emails, and town hall gatherings informed building users about progress, shutdown notices, and work schedules.

The build team drew upon Louis Kahn’s Richards Medical Research Laboratory, a landmark of the University of Pennsylvania’s design heritage, as a means of embedding the Stemmler Hall project within its context. Paying homage to this landmark, existing cast-in-place stair and elevator cores within Stemmler Hall were cleaned, restored, and highlighted as feature elements of the building. The concrete’s finish and texture serves as both a way-finding element and a unique component of the overall materials palette.

The renovation moved away from compartmentalized spaces and, instead, implemented an open lab concept that was critical to improving utilization within the existing floorplate. On the building’s lower levels, underutilized educational and administrative spaces were converted into revenue-generating research space. 

A monumental stair improves campus flow and strengthens the connection between clinical practice and medical research, while an existing dark passageway beneath the building was reclaimed as a lobby that now acts as a connector to the surrounding buildings. Additional dark corridors were reimagined as bright, open spaces. At the building entry, a meandering series of public spaces were repurposed to better support student life.

Deteriorated exterior insulation was replaced with foil-faced insulation, existing windows were replaced, a new insulated roof was installed, and existing pipes that had corroded over time were replaced.

The completed project delivered a 50% increase in lab workstation capacity, a 50% reduction in energy use, and $900,000 in projected annual energy cost savings. Stemmler Hall has become one of the most energy efficient research building’s on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus and is anticipated to obtain LEED Gold certification.

Observations from the Epicenter

Ballinger architect Sarah J. Blitzer, RA coauthored an article about COVID-19’s potential impact on hospital design, published in the January/February 2021 issue of Medical Construction & Design. She collaborated with two Columbia University Irving Medical Center residents, Nicholas J. Shea, MD, MS and David Blitzer, MD. The observations, based on the residents’ experience treating COVID patients and Sarah’s understanding of healthcare design, focus on flexibility, infection control and social distancing.

Link to Article

VCU STEM Building Taking Shape

Construction continues on the new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Building at Virginia Commonwealth University, designed by Ballinger and Quinn Evans.

Excerpted from VCU News:

Construction of Virginia Commonwealth University’s new science, technology, engineering and math building will reach a milestone next week when the first steel beams will be delivered and erected.

The new 168,000-square-foot, six-floor building is under construction at the site of VCU’s former Franklin Street Gym, which was demolished last year. The STEM building is slated to open by spring 2023.

“It is wonderful to see this new building take shape,” said Jennifer Malat, Ph.D., dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. “I am delighted for our faculty, staff and students who will utilize this new space. Not only will this building provide much needed classroom and study space, but it will also feature laboratories where our students can get hands-on experience, putting the knowledge they receive in the classroom into practice. The new STEM building is essential to ensuring that our students become the next leaders in science, math, health care and technology fields.”

Construction has been underway since demolition of the former gym was completed in June. Since then, utilities and the foundation have been installed, as well as all electrical and plumbing services under the first floor. Installation of the steel gets underway March 1.

“The steel erection is impressive though because the building takes form quickly,” said Joe Mannix, assistant director of construction management in the VCU Division of Administration.

The building will expand existing lab space, facilitate innovative and flexible teaching methods, provide students with instructional and study spaces, and free up space in other College of Humanities and Sciences buildings.

It will feature 34 teaching labs; the Math Exchange, an innovative facility for math instruction; a Science Learning Center; two large-capacity classrooms; computer labs; and large- and small-capacity flexible classrooms. It will feature instructional wet and dry labs and classrooms for teaching STEM subjects.

The building will also provide a common space for VCU students taking gateway courses in anthropology, biology, chemistry, forensics, kinesiology, mathematics, physics and psychology. These courses are taken by a majority of College of Humanities and Sciences students, as well as many other students from across the university.

“There are spaces designed in the building for collaboration and teamwork, providing exciting opportunities for the students to work together across disciplines,” said Sally S. Hunnicutt, Ph.D., a professor and associate dean for science and mathematics in the College of Humanities and Sciences. “Likewise, there are meeting spaces for faculty from different disciplines to come together to help students learn science and math. The classroom spaces are intentionally designed for team-based learning — even in the largest classrooms — where faculty instructors can more easily implement the best evidence-based pedagogy.”

The Math Exchange, Hunnicutt said, will be particularly notable. Its design is based on an ellipse, and includes both open and enclosed spaces for students to learn at their own pace or in larger groups with an instructor.

The building will also be the new home of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

“Overall, the new STEM lab and classroom building is tangible evidence that our students are at the heart of our college and of VCU,” Hunnicutt said.

Funding for the $124 million project was provided by the state in 2019. Hourigan is the construction manager for the project and the architects are Ballinger and Quinn Evans.

Learn more about the project here.

Airborne Infection Control Strategies

Ballinger’s David Gordon co-authored a paper on airborne infection control strategies published in the Health Environments Research & Design (HERD) Journal. The paper, “Built Environment Airborne Infection Control Strategies in Pandemic Alternative Care Sites,” evaluates the CDC’s hierarchy of controls and evidence-based design features from inpatient care spaces, airborne infection isolation rooms, and biocontainment rooms to propose a framework for bolstering preparedness in alternative care sites. The paper identifies how innovative technologies, including optimized air-handling systems with ultraviolet and particle filters, can support a clinically resilient infection control strategy. 

David collaborated with Jane Ward, MD, MPH of Uniformed Services University, Christopher J. Yao, MPH of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Joyce Lee, FAIA, LEED Fellow​, WELL AP  of the University of Pennsylvania and IndigoJLD​.

Read the full publication here.

Effects of Covid-19 on the Workplace

Work Design Magazine published an article by Interiors Studio Leader Katherine Ahrens, LEED AP. The piece, titled “The Effects of Covid-19 on the Workplace: Reinforcing Culture, Creating an Amenity,” is part of the publication’s “Expert Insights” column.

Except from Work Design Magazine:

Creating a clear organizational culture will lead to the best possible built space as we return to work post-COVID-19. 

As we begin to think about the future of the workplace, the question persists from knowledge workers, “why should we go back to the office given that remote work has proven to be successful?” Helping to define and express how the workplace provides value, and how companies and individuals ensure that coming into the office is purposeful, will be essential goals of future workplace strategies.

Culture is essential to an engaged workforce

Creating a clear definition of company culture continues to prevail as a key element to an engaged workforce. While many software tools are available to bring together a distributed workforce, our research shows that spontaneous and ad hoc interactions help employees grow and learn. Especially for less experienced professionals, on-the-job learning is intangible and leads to high preforming employees. These informal interactions develop a strong work ethic and help them absorb cultural cues about organizational behavior. Building a virtual culture, or more importantly, balancing a virtual and in-person culture, is a critical aspect of asynchronous working. Socialization and mentorship are important factors as we continue in a socially distanced paradigm of work that will need to be supported through the workspace.

Freelancers are indicators of changing attitudes toward loyalty

Even before COVID-19, contractor culture and the gig economy were growing. As more coworking spaces have sprung up throughout the country, individual workers have started to think about the value of their own time, and their long-term engagement with companies. Freelancing goes hand-in-hand with remote work, and will continue to blossom as new ways of working emerge and are enabled. Every CFO knows that the most expensive and important asset of a company is payroll. As employee allegiance changes nationwide, it is more important than ever to compel top employees to be invested and engaged in their work and organizational culture, even if it is in a more distributed model.

Think of workspace as an amenity to attract workers, retain staff and improve culture

One way to build loyalty and culture is to think of a company’s physical space as an amenity. Amenities are often thought of as constructs that keep people in the office. In years previous, many companies built in snacks, foosball tables and other services to help keep people in the office beyond the typical 9-5. Moving forward, it will be important for “amenities” to be more work-focused, supportive of the reasons that individuals are coming into the physical workspace, and coordinated with their work-life balance. There is no longer the need to keep people “present” in the office, but while they are there, they should be highly productive.

Space will also need to build community, identity and social connections that are hard to achieve remotely. Offices can offer benefits that cannot be achieved in remote work settings, and thus encourage workers to come in. In addition to face time with mentors, spontaneous interactions and socialization, offices can offer quiet spaces for focused work, access to technology or even just a change in pace that many crave when distributed work becomes mundane.

The built environment is important to establishing culture, and can be harnessed to enhance productivity and loyalty. Exploring how the workforce views their workplace and what they would like to see improved is an important first step in developing a workplace strategy. That foundation enables companies to curate a future-looking workspace. That could mean providing possibly less, but higher quality space to help differentiate environments. Creating a physical workspace that employees want to come to and supports their work processes that cannot be done remotely (or at least not as efficiently) will require thoughtful strategies.

Old models for planning space are no longer reliable, new models will emerge

We often approach space planning challenges by utilizing standard ratios of space types, developed over years of research, coupled with our understanding of the patterns knowledge workers engage in over the course of the work day. As that typical work day becomes even more diverse, ratios will change, become more varied and less reliable. Planning strategies will cater towards more individualistic approaches and asynchronous schedules. Reliable and consistent analysis of badge and occupancy data will be hard to come by for the near future, but it will become an important tool to understand the distributed workforce. Defining and building space that has been well researched and validated through a workplace research and strategy process will help create highly utilized environments that supports company culture.

Examples of shifting planning metrics
  • Shifting ratios will inevitably affect how we plan workspaces and allocate real estate. Basic metrics that we have grown accustomed to, will shift to focus on communal aspects of working in the office. There may be less individual workspace, and more shared work areas. This seems counter-intuitive given the pandemic response’s emphasis on reducing surface contact inherent in shared workspaces, but in the long run, this balance will help support creating the office as an amenity or destination, rather than a place where attendance is the key benchmark.
  • Depending on what people’s home life looks like, there will still be a need for focused work space. Ratios of open to enclosed collaboration and an emphasis on air flow and acoustics will be important to success.
  • Understanding what activities are happening during meetings in conference rooms will define the future space need. For example, the traditional conference room with a large meeting table that everyone can sit around may not remain as the predominant space type outside of the individual work seat. Flexible meeting furnishings that allow for different configurations, and a focus on high and low tech tools that facilitate different types of collaboration will become more important.  New space types that best support collaboration, physically and virtually, will look different.

Our ability to create clear organizational cultures and to research and strategize around asynchronous and distributed work models will lead to the best possible built space, and prove to be differentiators of successful workplace design.

ILSB Recognized for Collaborative Process

The Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) was selected for a Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) Project Leadership Award.

The ILSB received the 2020 COAA Way Award. The COAA Way Award recognizes successfully completed projects, a desire to continuously improve, and a belief that working collaboratively will lead to greater success. It is based on the principle that a team of people sharing best practices, in a culture built on trust and respect, will complete better projects.

The ILSB is a center for research, active learning, innovation, and inspiration, supporting UMBC’s mission of student success and research discoveries. Located on a pivotal corner, the ILSB is visually open to the campus, a symbol of the vibrant research conducted at UMBC. The building is clad predominantly in red brick to integrate with its context, but also includes large areas of glass that showcase research and teaching laboratories to the campus community.

COAA a national organization of public and private owners who manage facilities development and capital improvement projects. The ISLB team was honored at COAA’s Fall Virtual Leadership Conference yesterday, November 12.

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Building Design + Construction (BD+C) profiled the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center, which was recognized with a Building Team Award from BD+C this year.

Excerpted from Building Design + Construction:

This 17-story building encompasses three separate programs: The David H. Koch Center Ambulatory Care Center, Integrative Health, and the Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns that occupies the top six floors and is designed to support a future 230,000-sf overbuild.

The client’s vision was guided by six patient-centric and operational-efficient planning and design principles that emphasize quality and flexibility.

Three architectural firms collaborated on devising a unified concept that achieves the highest degree of patient experience. Doctors, nurses and staff were involved in the development of the facility, too. During the design phase, the team conducted a series of future technology work sessions, seeking opinions from clinical leaders, medical equipment research and development teams, and IT experts in order to anticipate future developments in healthcare technology, effectively designing flexible rooms that could be equipped with technology that didn’t exist yet. 

For example, a vertical zone of removable curtail wall panels, known as “the zipper,” enables new medical equipment to be hoisted into the building. The selective use of long structure spans in procedure areas maximizes floor plate efficiency by created large zones of unobstructed floor area and enabling floor-to-floor standardization.

One of the Building Team’s key objectives was the implementation of the Last Planner System, which began during the foundation and superstructure phase in 2015. This collaborative approach produced a detailed master plan whose result was the completion of the building ahead of schedule. 

The scheduling was abetted by a “Clean Sweep” approach that organized each floor into three zones, each of which was treated as an independent handover. As a result, punch-list items were completed in half the normal time. Task forces were formed specifically to resolve punch-list and Department of Health-related items.

Other discussions among the Building Team and experts helped to identify changes and accommodations that made this project work. These include:

• Shifting the location of caissons and installing added grade beams to maintain the structural integrity of five sub cellars.

• Locating the diagnostic imaging department to the 7th floor rather than the basement, partly for purposes of sustainability;

• Locating infusion and radiation oncology departments on the 4th floor with daylight and views. Moving the LINAC Vaults to that floor required coordination among multiple trades to sequence installation. The infusion spaces range from private to community areas and are designed for a variety of treatment types. The surfaces installed in these rooms—made from wood, stone, and natural materials—are meant to evoke comfort and ease.

The building’s curtain wall is one of its distinguishing features.

On the clinical floors, wood screen was inserted into the triple-glazed assembly, along with an undulating frit pattern, giving the curtain wall—the first of its kind at this scale—its rich character. Each of the curtain wall’s 18×18-ft panels was initially loaded onto floors, staged, and installed using an outrigger system. For purposes of trade efficiency, the team eventually switched to using one of the existing tower cranes, a decision that increased production by 37%.

This strategy enabled a visually distinctive and highly sustainable curtain wall that recesses at the 40-ft-high lobby level to give the building institutional gravity and transparency. The lobby looks onto an adjacent garden at Rockefeller University, and its open staircase inside leads to a mezzanine with food service, seating options, and connection to the Integrative Health program. Gathering areas were designed with a welcoming, hospitality-like ambiance. 

The exterior edge of each floor plate is reserved for circulation and open areas, which provide occupants with natural lighting and views, even during infusion or when in transit to operating areas. The clinical floors, organized with perimeter circulation, give patients and visitors the opportunity to experience the façade on a more personal scale.

A clinical floor typically includes a sky lobby, 12 procedure rooms, and 36 private prep and recovery rooms, whose proximity minimizes patient movement. Operating rooms are accessed through a light-filled corridor. The operating suites and interventional procedure rooms are equipped with the latest in advanced medical technology.

This is New York City’s first hospital to be certified LEED Gold. A green roof covers 30% of the roof area, helping to reduce the urban heat island effect and to slow stormwater runoff. The curtain wall system is designed to mitigate solar heat gain and ensure interior comfort. 

Critical building systems and infrastructure that are essential to maintaining building operations during an emergency were located to protect and isolate them from hazards. Back-up systems and redundancy are incorporated into the design so that the hospital can deliver uninterrupted care during a severe weather occurrence. 

The Koch Center also showcases a fully integrated art program that hosts a diverse collection that includes a vibrant mosaic-tile wall by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes that adorns the building’s patient drop-off area.

Planning Facilities for Telehealth

Ballinger Senior Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE contributed to the cover story of Health Facilities Management’s October issue. The article, “Planning Facilities for Telehealth,” describes considerations for designing healthcare environments that accommodate rapidly evolving technology. 

Excerpted from Health Facilities Management, a monthly publication of the American Hospital Association:

Remote provision of health care services — often referred to as telehealth or telemedicine — has grown in importance, especially with COVID-19-related restrictions on in-person interactions. 

“We know consumers want telemedicine,” says Louis A. Meilink Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE, senior principal at Ballinger, a health care design firm in Philadelphia. “And from a space perspective, telemedicine can be anywhere, from primary and ambulatory care centers, cancer centers, emergency departments, patient rooms, and many other clinical and nonclinical spaces. Implementing telemedicine is a matter of having technology in the space where it’s needed and providing the supporting clinical care model, access and reimbursement structure.”

As Meilink notes, the range of telemedicine applications is broad. Remote clinical care encounters can include a physician with a patient in a hospital; a caregiver with a patient at home; a specialist with a patient and caregiver; caregivers meeting with each other; and remote monitoring of patients in a hospital or home care setting.

Consequently, the creation of effective telehealth spaces is today more important than ever, and telehealth should be considered early in the design phase of a new or renovated health care facility. That hasn’t always been the case, experts say.

“Telehealth is one of those things that has often been an afterthought,” says Bryan Arkwright, co-founder and chief research officer of Cromford Health, a digital health research and advisory firm. “But the facility issues are important. Those details can stop or slow a project.”

As a sign of this growing recognition, the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) Health Guidelines Revision Committee (HGRC) established minimum requirements for telemedicine spaces and offered additional recommendations supported by research and best practices in its 2018 Guidelines for Design and Construction documents for hospitals and outpatient facilities. 

Additionally, the brief telemedicine guidance provided in FGI’s 2018 Residential Guidelines has been expanded significantly for the 2022 edition.

Dedicated, integrated or mobile?

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) website, telehealth is different from telemedicine in that it refers to a broader scope of remote health care services than telemedicine. While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to remote nonclinical services and electronic information sharing, AAFP states. In practice, however, the terms often are used interchangeably.

Perhaps the first design decision that has to be made is whether the system will include dedicated spaces for telehealth; mobile carts that can be rolled from space to space; or telemedicine tools integrated into patient rooms, exam spaces, conference rooms or doctors’ offices. 

“Telehealth can be deployed in any room anywhere in a facility,” says Rebecca Lewis, FAIA, FACHA, CID, director of health care design for DSGW Architects in Duluth, Minn. “You can talk to someone on an iPad, a screen within an exam room or in an office space. You just need to know what’s the best spot to deliver the right kind of care.”

The decision about which form the telehealth facilities will take comes down to a number of variables, ranging from finances to the deployment strategy, with planning strategies including:

Teleheath carts. A hospital or outpatient facility with limited money available to invest in telehealth may choose to make it available on carts that can be wheeled from room to room as needed. Outfitting a cart may cost more than integrating telehealth equipment into a patient room, but using carts can save money because a relatively small number of carts can serve multiple patient rooms and other spaces. Carts can be cumbersome, and care needs to be taken with their cords, but cart-based telehealth is a viable solution for many facilities.

Integrated setups. Many hospitals have opted to build telehealth tools directly into patient rooms. Similarly, ambulatory health facilities that include telehealth sometimes integrate the tools into exam rooms or conference rooms. An integrated setup can be the most convenient, and the equipment — such as the TV monitor — can be used for other purposes when not needed for telehealth.

Kaiser Permanente has integrated telehealth equipment into some of its patient rooms and uses telehealth carts to serve others.

“Our newest hospital, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, is equipped with monitors and two-way videos in each of our patient rooms,” says Angelene Baldi, AIA, EDAC, executive director of facilities strategy, planning and design for Kaiser Permanente and a member of the HGRC. “This can be used for telehealth appointments and is also used for entertainment, educational programs, food orders and more. In our older facilities, we use mobile video carts that can be wheeled into patient rooms for video appointments. These serve a dual purpose and can also be used as charting stations for nurses and clinicians.”

Kaiser Permanente’s telehealth program — which is currently handling 55% of the system’s ambulatory care visits — puts a premium on flexibility, says Zack Ryan, executive director of information technology capital project delivery. He says the facilities are designed to allow physician and patient interactions in a wide variety of situations.

“These tools need to be available to both our members and our providers in as many different situations and modalities as possible in order to deliver the optimal digital experience that can truly augment our in-person interactions,” Ryan says. “Our telehealth platform is built so that a provider can take their appointments and ad-hoc visits from their office, clinical spaces, home or other remote locations on a variety of devices. We also created this flexibility for our members and patients.” 

Dedicated spaces. Dedicated telehealth spaces take several forms. Some are designed exclusively for caregivers treating patients remotely, while others are set up so patients and caregivers can be in the dedicated room together and access another caregiver — a specialist, for example — via the telehealth equipment. The advantage of a dedicated space is that everything in the space can be optimized for telehealth.

At least one facility, Mercy Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield, Mo., is entirely composed of dedicated spaces. According to Mercy’s website, caregivers at four-story, 125,000-square-foot Mercy Virtual facility provide around-the-clock supplemental assistance and monitoring to caregivers in the 43 hospitals that make up the Mercy system and other facilities outside Mercy.

However, in some cases, dedicated spaces are not used enough to be worthwhile, says Patricia Shpilberg, M.Arch, vice president of planning and development for MedCraft, a health care real estate development firm headquartered in Minneapolis. She adds that access and ease of use are as essential for providers as they are for patient adoption of the technology.

“We had a client who had dedicated telehealth spaces away from their clinics and offices for providers to use during their virtual care sessions,” Shpilberg says. “The result was a limited adoption rate due to the disruption to their workday. Once the hospital integrated telehealth systems into the office work environment, the provider adoption rate started to rise.”

“There are a lot of times the patient is not present in an initial complex case discussion between providers in different specialties, so that’s why that larger telehealth suite was developed: to allow for ease of use and connection with multiple caregivers,” says Jennifer Ruschman, senior director of the center for telehealth at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. 

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has a mix of telehealth systems, but their mix includes several dedicated spaces, including a telehealth conference room that seats 18 to 20 people.

Sometimes a facility simply can’t afford to set aside space solely for telehealth, says Lewis, who regularly works with small rural facilities where budget is limited. In those facilities, a conference room or exam room might be optimized for telehealth but made available for other uses when it’s not being used for telehealth.

Regardless of whether a facility opts for dedicated, integrated or cart-based telehealth, experts say flexibility is essential.

“You need to build in flexibility because technology changes constantly,” Meilink says. “Especially on larger projects, the technologies you’re designing for in year one or two may not be what you’re going to install in year five when the building opens. You need to consider infrastructure — such as wireless technology and systems pathways — that enables future changes, including accommodating technology that doesn’t yet exist.”

Ryan says that is exactly how Kaiser Permanente thinks about its telehealth installations.

“It’s challenging to build for the future, with rapid development and changes in technology,” Ryan says. “The building timeline for hospitals is around five years, from design to opening, and telehealth solutions, use cases and infrastructure are very fast moving. The key to success is to plan and design hospitals for what you want the future patient experience to look like, and to create room for flexibility in the design and technology capabilities. 

“Kaiser Permanente strives to enable all of our new facilities to support telehealth, rather than only building these requirements into specific projects,” Ryan says.

Design practices

Many design elements of a telehealth program are similar regardless of whether the equipment is on a cart, integrated into a patient room or doctor’s office, or set up in a dedicated telehealth space. Every telehealth endpoint — that is, where the system connects to a caregiver or a patient — should meet some basic best practices to ensure an ideal experience for all involved parties.

Arkwright says that the standards used by the film industry — such as good lighting, proper acoustics and effective camera angles — should apply to telemedicine as well. 

“Imagine the professionalism CNN or ESPN takes in its productions,” Arkwright says. “Sometimes just the opposite goes on in telehealth. You can beam into a health system and the lighting is terrible, the background is dark, the doctor’s face is washed out and they’re hard to hear. Compare that to when everything is optimal or professional grade. That’s probably the difference between a patient perceiving, ‘This is high-quality care or not.’ These little things are important.”

The following guidelines apply regardless of the endpoint — a patient or exam room, a physician’s office, a conference room or a dedicated telehealth space:

Room size. With the right technology, telehealth can be deployed in any size room. Thus, a facility that is renovating an existing space to accommodate telehealth can create a program regardless of how small the room is. However, in a newly designed space or a renovated space that can be expanded, a larger size is desirable. The FGI Guidelines suggest that “the room should be large enough for the patient and the patient presenter, if one is present, to move about comfortably. The patient should be able to sit in a chair as well as use the examination table … Where the examination includes gait evaluation, the room should provide sufficient space for this activity to be captured by the screen.”

Surface colors. The space should be painted in a nonglossy, neutral color. Light blue or light gray work particularly well, Arkwright says. “White can be a little sterile or too bright, and yellow doesn’t do well on camera,” he says. “If the patient room is painted yellow, the patient might look like they have jaundice.”

Ruschman says they considered paint color carefully when designing the dedicated telehealth spaces at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and came up with a combination of colors that looks good on video and blends well with the hospital’s brand color palette. 

Lighting sources. Ideally, the light source should be bright and positioned in front of the subject — the patient or the caregiver — so that it illuminates the face clearly. Natural light is good for accurately rendering color, but it’s difficult to control, so if the space has windows, make sure they can be covered when the natural light is not flattering. 

At the Liberty Campus of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which features telehealth equipment in each of its 40 patient rooms, natural light is controlled by blinds. “We don’t want to limit the natural light in patient rooms, but it can cause shadows, so we address that as part of our training,” Ruschman says. “We teach users how to do a self-view check — if it’s not good, they pull the blinds.”

Regardless of the light source, it should be balanced and distributed, says Ellen Taylor, Ph.D., AIA, EDAC, vice president for research at The Center for Health Design in Concord, Calif. “You need frontal lighting so there are no shadows,” says Taylor, who is a member of the HGRC. “But you also don’t want someone to look washed out, so depending on the task and type of treatment, the color and brightness of the light matter, too.” 

A technical measure of how well a light bulb renders color is the color rendering index (CRI), which ranges from 0 to 100. Natural sunlight is 100, and a dim streetlight is about 0. Sometimes CRI is not indicated on a lightbulb package, but if the bulb has a CRI of 90 or more (which is preferable), it usually will say so on the package. The FGI Guidelines call for lights in telehealth spaces to be warm, white light — 3,200 to 4,000 Kelvin. 

Endpoint background. Designers should consider the background of a TV newscast — if it’s not an image related to the newscast or the network logo, there’s usually not much there. That’s because the network wants the viewers to pay attention to the anchor, not the background. Designers should have the same goal for the background of the caregiver endpoint; it should be neutral enough that the patient pays attention to the doctor, not a cluttered bookshelf in the background. 

“You want to make sure that whatever the patients are seeing behind the provider is a good image for your system,” Shpilberg says. “Sometimes that space is used for branding or education.”

Acoustic issues. There are two issues to consider in telehealth regarding acoustics: privacy and clarity. Privacy can be addressed by making sure the door to the space, whether it’s a patient endpoint or caregiver endpoint, can be securely closed and that it blocks sound. 

“It’s about making the patient feel like they can share information privately,” says Lewis, who also is a member of the HGRC. “Doors can be the weak point with acoustics, so perhaps you shouldn’t locate the door on a busy corridor — perhaps around a corner is better. Simple things like that can add to the feeling of privacy and make the patient more comfortable.”

Acoustic clarity results from a combination of the design and construction of the room and the technology used by the telehealth system. The designers of the dedicated telehealth spaces at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital included acoustic paneling on the walls to optimize the acoustics, Ruschman says. 

Getting technology right

The heart of a telehealth system is the technology that connects the two or more remote participants. Getting that technology right can make the difference between success and failure.

Every telehealth system incorporates a monitor — or multiple monitors — of some type, and monitor technology is constantly advancing. However, putting the monitor in the right place and at the right angle is essential regardless of how advanced the monitor is. The screen should be installed so the patient can comfortably look straight on to the care provider, as if they were in the room. “You want the monitor at eye level, as if the provider were sitting right in front of you,” Shpilberg says. “You want to make it feel as real as possible.”

The position of the camera that is capturing the image — on both sides of the interaction — is equally essential, whether the camera is separate from the monitor or integrated. 

“There was a fascinating study done in 2007 by Tam and colleagues that looked at gaze angle, and at 7 degrees there was a perception that the person was happier, warmer, more approachable, more interested,” Taylor says. “At 15 degrees, it’s starting to look down, and the perception was somebody was sad, depressed, or timid or hiding something. So, imagine a behavioral health visit where just the angle of the camera gives you a different perception of what’s happening with that person.”

Another technological aspect of the camera that is important is whether the caregiver can control the camera at the patient endpoint, which allows them to zoom in on a particular part of the patient. 

“The remote camera control is one of the bigger challenges,” Ruschman says. “The far-end camera controls are really important to our clinicians, because they want to pan and tilt and zoom in and out. This lets them see the nonverbal cues.”

As with the camera, getting the microphone and speaker set up correctly is essential. The microphone built into monitors may be good enough for normal Zoom meetings, but Arkwright recommends a separate external microphone for better quality audio. Similarly, he recommends separate speakers — or even noise-canceling headphones — to maximize sound quality.

At the Liberty Campus of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, separate speakers and microphones are mounted above the patient beds for maximum audio clarity, Ruschman says. But they’re working on a new health care facility, and they may integrate the audio equipment into the monitor because that technology has improved, she adds.

All telehealth systems rely on a strong internet connection. In some cases, Wi-Fi is good enough, users say, but a wired connection is always more reliable.

“We prefer to use hardwired where we can,” Ruschman says. “But most of our telehealth carts run on Wi-Fi. So, we train folks on how to get a hardwired connection, but we’ve found that usually the carts run pretty well on Wi-Fi.”

Ready for change

The facilities issues surrounding telehealth are complex. The key, those involved say, is building spaces that can accommodate today’s technology while being prepared for it to change.

Healthcare Design Q&A with Ballinger’s Louis Meilink

Ballinger Senior Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE was interviewed by Healthcare Design magazine about how rapidly evolving technology is impacting the planning and design of healthcare environments. He will present “The Spectrum of Technologies: The Current and Future State of Healthcare” with Ballinger Principal Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP at this year’s HCD Virtual conference.

Link to interview

Maternity Center Offers Privacy and Distancing to All

Local news station NY1 covered the opening of the NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, a 246,500 SF hospital within the David H. Koch Center.

Excerpted from NY1:

Inside the new Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns it’s all about care and comfort.

Dr. Laura Riley offered an exclusive look inside the new facility at New York Presbyterian David H. Koch Center which features 75 all-private antepartum and postpartum rooms which hospital administrators realized would be a benefit to treatment when the pandemic hit as the project neared its completion.

“We realized that this space is going to be even better for us because with the pandemic we needed women to have private rooms,” said Dr. Riley, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

It’s a feature moms-to-be like Lucy Bai say will provide some peace of mind when she delivers her baby, knowing that social distancing is incorporated into the design.

“I think it’s definitely put me at ease now a little bit more than it did before because we do know a little bit more about this virus” said Bai. “We do know that wearing masks are effective. I’ll be wearing a mask. I know the doctors and nurses will be wearing a mask,” she said.

Families whose babies are being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will also have their privacy. Riley says everything is state of the art to give mom and baby the best start.

“Having that private space from the time that you come in to the time that you leave I think is really special, it also allows us to really personalize the care” said Riley.

And now with triple the space currently available at the hospital, administrators expect to handle around seven thousand births per year once the center opens on Sunday.

Patient-Centric Design

The May-June issue of Architectural Products includes a feature on trends in healthcare design. A two-page spread about the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center describes the patient-centric design elements that contribute to a soothing experience, including a consistent materials palette and clear wayfinding.

The project was designed through a collaboration between Ballinger, HOK, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

ArchProd

Pro Bono Work Featured in Context

The spring 2020 issue of Context, AIA Philadelphia’s quarterly publication, includes a profile of CoLab Philadelphia. Ballinger was part of a volunteer team organized by the Community Design Collaborative that converted an airstream trailer into a mobile healthcare outreach tool. Recently the trailer was used as a mobile COVID-19 testing site.

Read more

Christina Grimes Interviewed on the Role of Architects in a COVID-19 World

How can architects play a role in meeting the urgent demands of the COVID-19 pandemic? Ballinger Associate Principal and Director of Healthcare Planning, Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED BD+ C, EDAC, ACHA, was interviewed by PlanPhilly, a reporting project of the public media organization WHYY, about remaking spaces for our new socially distanced lives.

Read the full article on WHYY Philadelphia

University of Maryland Baltimore County Project Featured in Context Magazine

Ballinger’s Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building at the University of Maryland Baltimore County was featured in the Spring 2020 issue of Context, a quarterly magazine published by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The issue is dedicated to the concept of collaboration.

The design profile focuses on the collaboration between UMBC, Ballinger and Volkan Alkanoglu, the artist responsible for “In Flight”, a dynamic installation in the building commons.

Read more here

Penn Medicine Radnor displayed in Architecture for Health Showcase

The Architecture for Health Showcase, organized by the American Hospital Association, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the American Institute for Architects (AIA), and the Academy of Architecture for Health, highlights current healthcare design and construction projects.

Ballinger’s design for Penn Medicine Radnor, a new ambulatory care center scheduled to open this month, is among this year’s featured projects.

View the display http://archshowcase.org/project/penn-medicine-radnor/

Fabulous Fascitelli Engineering Center at URI

Architecture critic William Morgan reviewed the University of Rhode Island’s Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering, designed and engineered by Ballinger.

Excerpted from GoLocalProv:

The University of Rhode Island’s Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering handsomely demonstrates that bold new architecture is not just the purview of Ivy League schools and their private brethren like RISD and MIT.

Colleges and universities can be the places to view the latest work of starchitects. Institutions like Yale, Princeton, and MIT have become architectural petting zoos, with strutting displays of egotecture.

State schools are often less likely to be laboratories of avant-garde architecture. Yet public universities–the Michigans, Ohio States, Californias–are also commissioning notable design.

New England may be the incubator of higher education in this country, but architecturally our state universities have lagged somewhat behind. The $125,000 million Fascitelli Center demonstrates that that is changing.

At the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for example, New England’s only public architecture school moved into the first academic building in the United States made of cross-laminated-timber, designed by Leers Weinzapfel, while the business school just opened an innovation hub by Bjarke Ingels Group, one of the world’s most daring firms.

URI’s engineering program, once scattered across the campus in a various structures is now housed in one striking 190,000 square feet steel and glass structure that has become the center of gravity for the Kingston school.

The L-shaped, five-story engineering building is in marked contrast to the rest of the campus. Except for the attractive Westerly granite structures in classic post-Civil-War-state-college style surrounding the common, URI’s design identity has been undistinguished.

In part because of a new master plan by Ballinger, architects of the engineering building, works like the Wellness & Fitness Center, an imaginative remake by Kite Architects of a 1965 dining hall, are beginning to offset less inspiring projects such as the URI Foundation’s home, which looks like a bloated McMansion, one with rams horns capitals.

But the missteps of the past fade when one enters the sparkling, light-collecting Fascatelli Center. Its strong, clean lines and pristine glass and metal surfaces are the perfect metaphor for a research center that explores the physical aspects of our world from civic and environmental engineering to Nano-technology and cyber-security.

As Terry Steelman, senior principal at Ballinger and project designer, says, Fascitelli “propagates the notion of engineering as a bridge between liberal arts and the sciences.” A 210-foot-long truss that spans the ground floor reinforces the bridge theme.

Beneath that span is a transparent rectangle sheltering a student gathering space with a cafe. Because of the trussing system, this large open social center supports nothing above it, so one can see right through this open space to the other side.

Visible diagonal trusses show through the glass walls. This bracing system allows classrooms and research laboratories to be unencumbered with vertical columns.

Hallways along the exterior perimeters of the white-painted trusses provide the school’s most endearing feature: a hawk’s-eye view the campus and the South County countryside.

Philadelphia-based Ballinger has a reputation as designers of technically complex science buildings, and have worked at Penn, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and many other schools. There are no frills here, no gimmicks, just a focus on good design delivering the best educational engineering facilities.

Brown missed such an opportunity for a bold glazed design when Ballinger’s original proposal for the Sidney Frank Hall for Life Sciences was unfortunately clad in brick to appease College Hill neighbors more interested in a false notion of context than encouraging exceptional design.

At URI, however, the emphasis on natural light transforms what might have been just another science building. Architect Steelman is particularly proud of the glazing that wraps the fifth floor. This unitized curtain wall has an acid-etched first surface and a white fret as the second surface. Light filtered through this scrim is ever changing.

If we imagine the Fascitelli Center as a brilliant gesture at re-branding the university, it tells us loud and clear that URI is a place that will lead to, in the words of President David Dooley, “discoveries that we cannot even imagine today.”

GoLocal architecture critic Will Morgan has written extensively about university design and is the author of Collegiate Gothic: The Architecture of Rhodes College.

Main Line Today Highlights Radnor Development

Main Line Today published an article highlighting 155 Radnor, the Ballinger-designed workspace development led by Brandywine Realty Trust, and included remarks from Senior Principal Eric Swanson, AIA.

Excerpted from Main Line Today:

If you ask Jeff DeVuono why there hasn’t been any new office development in Radnor Township for nearly 30 years, he’ll provide a simple, clear answer: “It’s not a lack of interest in developing office space, it’s a lack of available land.”

The Brandywine Realty Trust executive vice president and senior managing director for Pennsylvania understands that, when it comes to Main Line real estate, it doesn’t get any better—or more crowded—than Radnor. But as a key component on the Brandywine team for 155 Radnor, DeVuono is pretty excited about the project, which is set to debut later this year with 145,000 square feet of rentable space, plus a luxury hotel. “If you look at the statistics, Radnor is the only market in the Pennsylvania suburbs that has single-digit vacancies,” he says.

The new development is part of the 26.6-acre Penn Medicine campus, which is also a Brandywine venture. Located on King of Prussia Road, it’s convenient to the Route 100 SEPTA light-rail and Paoli/Thorndale lines, and within easy driving distance of the Blue Route and Schuylkill Expressway. Throw in the robust retail climate in the area—plus housing and school options that are among the best in the region—and the new complex has one of the better addresses around. “It’s also where decision-makers live,” DeVuono says or Radnor’s impressive roster of residents.

Satisfying one of real estate’s biggest needs—location—155 Radnor also has a substantial advantage in terms of its design, which was helmed by Philadelphia architecture firm Ballinger. It emphasizes productivity, quality of life and the ability to feel comfortable in the workplace. The latter has become an increasing necessity as businesses devote more time and resources to attracting and retaining talent. DeVuono likens the process for new employees to the college search his children are undertaking. “They go on a campus and they don’t know what they like about it, but they want to be there,” he says.

Inside, the 155 Radnor complex will feature high ceilings, large windows, attractive views and open spaces. Outside will feature the same walking paths, outdoor seating, biking/walking trails, work areas and gardens that have become so popular with residential and commercial developments. It’s no longer enough to have a nice chair. Workplaces need to be comfortable and pleasing, or their employees won’t want to be there. “Everything is about the live-work-play environment,” DeVuono says. “People also want to stay healthy and connected.”

Eric Swanson is the lead architect on the 155 Radnor project. “You don’t know what Biophilia is?” he poses “It’s the theory that all of us humans, because of our long evolution, have an innate affinity for nature. People in health care understand the benefits of nature in healing and well-being.”

Since 155 Radnor is part of the Penn Medicine campus, it makes sense to give it a look that helps those who work there integrate more easily with their natural surroundings. That’s why the building will be primarily glass, and make use of a parking garage rather than acres of lots to maximize green space. There will be plenty of room to roam, meet, eat and think outdoors—a sure benefit in the warmer months when the urge to spend time in the sun increases.

Such designs are a break from the norm established in the last two decades, which favored emphasizing interior congregating places. Although there will be plenty of productive space inside for collaboration, there will always be an opportunity to enjoy some natural light and views of nature.

“The modern workforce is looking for these amenities,” says Swanson, who’s been with Ballinger for 35 years. “If you look at the campuses for Apple and tech companies out West, they attract talent by being good places to work, but also by providing ways to take breaks from work, without having to leave the area.”

Those who work at 155 Radnor won’t have much use for the hotel, but the property will fill a need for the companies inside the development, along with others in the area. “Everything is about the live-work-play environment—and the hotel is part of that,” says DeVuono, who expects several different tenants in 155 Radnor.

The first floor is somewhat adaptable to the needs of a company, while the other three are more set in their layout. There will be no retail component to the building, which is a function partly of the amount of offerings close by. It’s also due to the fact that Brandywine Realty Trust doesn’t want to lock itself into a particular formula that may not allow for flexibility later. “We want a physical space and infrastructure that can adapt to future needs,” DeVuono says.

Brandywine has focused on making sure the bones of the building will be as modern as possible—and that includes power, water and HVAC infrastructure. It should come as no surprise that Brandywine is labeling 155 Radnor a “trophy class” property—a building that offers the broadest amenity base. And while that may sound like a somewhat arbitrary appellation, it’s one the new folks in the game can claim as they move the design model forward.

Design that Inspires a “Wow”

Technical.ly Philly writer Nicole Forrester profiled Linode’s headquarters, located in Old City Philadelphia. Ballinger completed the award-winning adaptive reuse project in 2018.

Excerpted from Technical.ly Philly:
In the heart of Old City, walking into Linode’s headquarters inspires a “Wow.” With soaring ceilings, marble floors, and a modern LED chandelier to pull it all together, it’s clear the cloud hosting company aimed to make a statement.

Linode Headquarters

Linode is a unique player in the tech scene. The cloud hosting company has emerged as a popular alternative to AWS, competing not from Silicon Valley, but right here in Philly. Its key differentiator: a highly trained in-house support team, where customers can talk to a real person 24/7. It’s one of the few companies in the world that invests in support in this manner, and customers love it for it — to the tune of over $100 million in yearly revenue.

Such an impressive stat might inspire a design aesthetic of mahogany and leather, but for Linode, the aim was to create a space that reflected the ethos of the open source technology it’s built from. Restoring the old Corn Exchange Building was a costly and time consuming undertaking, but CEO Chris Aker felt like it was the right way to move into Philly, as he told Technical.ly in 2018.

“So much of what we do as a company is intangible,” he said. “It’s bits flying through wires. It’s electrons. It’s magnetic fields on spinning rust, or in our case, on SSDs. This is something tangible.”

Open floor plans allow employees to rotate their desks easily as project teams shift. Glass walls and doors promote transparency and let the light fill up the whole space. On the flip side, there’s a functioning library with a real sliding ladder on the third floor, and the bank vault in the basement is now a meeting room. This blend of old and new is the core of Linode’s style.

The building has and is surrounded by a rich history. For Linode’s employees, that means eating lunch next door in the Betsy Ross House courtyard, or walking past where Ben Franklin is buried on the way to work.

“The American Revolution and the [advancement] of democracy has connection to the mission Chris built this company on,” said Michelle Berg, people operations generalist, referring to the democratization of the internet and cloud services’ contribution to that. “That is a really inspiring part of the environment here.”

There’s also more recent history. Formerly Linode HQ was the “Real World MTV” house, and just this past summer while filming for “Queer Eye,” Karamo Brown visited the office.

LinodeLinode’s previous office couldn’t have been more different. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, the space had previously been residential houses, so the offices were made of many small rooms.

Berg’s first week at the company was during the move to the new HQ. She said employees were so excited about the new building, many showed up before it was ready, bringing their own chairs or perching wherever they felt comfortable. The new office wasn’t just an upgrade in space, but a shift to being a Philly company. Located right on N3rd Street, rebranded by the city in 2014, it’s the most evident symbol of the growing tech community.

As such, Linode HQ hosts numerous community events throughout the year. From meetups to weekend workshops to beer gardens in the parking lot, there’s a tremendous amount of energy within the Philly tech community that flows through events sponsored by Linode.

After about a year and half, Linode has already begun work on an expansion. It’s still largely under wraps, but what Berg can share is that “it’s indicative of the amazing growth that we’ve had over the last two years.”

Wellness by Design

The Philadelphia Business Journal profiled 155 Radnor, a new workspace designed by Ballinger and developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, and highlighted the release of its ultra-high definition renderings.

Excerpted from Philadelphia Business Journal:

Brandywine Realty Trust enlisted Ballinger, a Philadelphia architectural firm, to design 155 Radnor, a proposed 145,000-square-foot office building that will be part of a new campus off King of Prussia Road in Radnor that is anchored by the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Radnor officials signed off in October on the final subdivision plan for that campus, which is underway with the development of Penn Medicine’s new $200 million medical facility. A hotel and 155 Radnor are part of those plans.

While the scope of the overall project isn’t new, Brandywine has released a series of renderings depicting 155 Radnor and some additional details about its design.

This will be the first new office building to be constructed in Radnor in three decades and Brandywine, which is the dominant landlord in the office submarket, expects to pre-lease the bulk of it before breaking ground.

While the design incorporates amenities that have become common in office buildings such as a conference center, courtyards, patios and gaming areas, 155 Radnor also focuses heavily on its natural surroundings will include landscaped grounds that have more than 250 trees, a seasonal micro farm, two-foot-tall wildflower meadows, and three rain gardens that will serve as a stormwater management system.

Brandywine (NYSE: BDN) will also seek to include several features that aim to make the building healthy and meet wellness certification.

Aside from 155 Radnor, Brandywine has two other proposed office buildings in the in the suburbs including Metroplex Two, a 280,000-square-foot structure in Plymouth Meeting and 650 Park Ave., a 100,000-square-foot building in King of Prussia.

Linode Headquarters featured in Preservation magazine

The spring issue of Preservation magazine includes a piece about Ballinger’s recent historic preservation and adaptive reuse project, Linode Headquarters.

The Philadelphia landmark, known for its neoclassical style and history as a former MTV Real World house, was built for the Union Bank of Philadelphia in 1902.

Linode, a growing cloud hosting company, chose the historic Philadelphia building as their new headquarters and selected Ballinger to renovate the 22,300 SF space.

The renovation resulted in an open, authentic, transparent workspace that supports Linode’s efforts to attract and retail talent. Ballinger successfully assisted Linode in the approval of Federal Historic Preservation Tax credits, allowing Linode to apply 20% of the renovation cost, including construction and soft costs, to their tax liability.

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, is quoted in the piece, reflecting on her passion for the project. “I love the idea of the building having a new life with a completely different group of people.” Published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the magazine celebrates historic places through in-depth features, personal essays, and vibrant photography.

Link to article

A. James Clark Hall featured in Context

Ballinger’s A. James Clark Hall at the University of Maryland, College Park was featured in the spring issue of Context, a quarterly magazine published by the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA.

The 184,000 SF Clark Hall facilitates world class learning and discovery by bringing together students and faculty across the spectrum of engineering disciplines into a vibrant innovation environment. A “working commons” promotes student team-based collaboration, and flexible, transparent research laboratories enable world class convergent bioengineering research. In addition to active learning classrooms and dynamic laboratory environments, the inclusion of the Leidos Innovation Lab and Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices results in a unique co-mingling of education and entrepreneurship that facilitates the transition of research from the lab to the marketplace.

View the article

NewYork-Presbyterian ambulatory care center cover story in Healthcare Design

Healthcare Design magazine published a cover story about the 740,000 SF NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center. The article, titled “Vision Realized,” was written by Anne DiNardo about the unique collaboration that resulted in NewYork-Presbyterian’s award-winning ambulatory care center.

Ballinger Associate Principal Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, LEED AP is quoted in the article, describing the role-playing workshops Ballinger organized to engage stakeholders. With 3D-printed models, users were able to explore room layouts and equipment arrangements. “Using the models was a simple but effective way to bring the rooms to life, building excitement for the project with stakeholders and involving them early on in key design decisions.”

The project was a collaboration among Ballinger, HOK and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

Link to article

 

Ballinger expert interviewed on WHYY’s The Pulse

The latest episode of WHYY’s health and science program, The Pulse, includes a segment on hospital design, featuring Ballinger associate principal Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, LEED AP. Host Maiken Scott interviewed Erin about why healthcare facilities can be confusing, and the tools architects use to improve wayfinding and increase efficiency. They also explored the themes of flexibility and warmth in healthcare environments. “A current and modern hospital should send a message that it’s a welcoming place – a place to heal, rather than a place to be sick,” Erin explained.

The Pulse is recorded at WHYY in Philadelphia and broadcasts on over 50 local NPR stations nationwide.

Listen to the full episode

Ballinger Named to Distinguished ARCHITECT 50

Each year, ARCHITECT magazine conducts an in-depth survey to produce a qualitative ranking of the top 50 architecture firms, focusing on the categories of business, sustainability and design. Based on a portfolio of built and unbuilt work and factors such as revenue, employee benefits and energy efficiency metrics, Ballinger was ranked #43 overall. Ballinger’s commitment to energy-efficient design was recognized with a rank of 36 in the sustainability category.
Link to full survey results

Reading HealthPlex October cover story in Healthcare Design

Healthcare Design magazine published a cover story about the Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical + Patient Care. The article, titled “Shaped by Nature,” was written by Ballinger principal Louis Meilink, AIA, ACHA, ACHE and associate principal Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC. It describes how a new surgical platform for Tower Health resulted in an 88,000 SF roof garden, one of the largest in the US.

Ballinger provided architecture, engineering and interior design services for the 476,000 SF hospital, which opened in 2017. The project is one of several Ballinger has designed for the hospital system, now called Tower Health, over the past 35 years.

Healthcare Design magazine is a monthly publication covering architecture, interior design, facility planning, healthcare engineering and construction, relevant research, and the most recent projects opening their doors.

Link to article

Open-Door Planning for Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s Expansion

Penn Medicine’s internal newsletter, System News, published an update on the evolution of Chester County Hospital since it became a member of Penn Medicine, highlighting the major expansion project currently under construction.

Ballinger designed the expansion, due to open in 2020, with input from physicians and staff who will inhabit the new space. Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE is quoted, “Chester County Hospital adopted an open-door policy for planning… the hospital engaged multiple stakeholders with innovative design techniques throughout the process.” Ballinger led planning workshops with 3D-printed models for rapid prototyping and consensus-building.

Ballinger pioneered the use of role-playing workshops with miniature models and now maintains over 250 pieces of equipment and furniture. Employing this technique allows for rapid exploration of layout variations to achieve the optimal solutions for clinicians and staff.

Link to article

NewYork-Presbyterian Sets the Bar for Contemporary Hospital Design

The David H. Koch Center at NewYork-Presbyterian appeared in the October issue of the Conde Nast publication Architectural Digest. The piece, written by Elizabeth Fazzare, focuses on innovations that improve the patient experience: “Prep rooms double as recovery rooms, providing continuity for patients and their companions. Hallways run along the perimeter, taking in sunshine and city views. And MRI facilities are above-ground, rather than relegated to the basement, as is usually the case,” she writes. Ballinger associate principal Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, LEED AP, who was interviewed for the article, explains, “A lot of it is focused on reducing anxiety.”

Link to article

NewYork-Presbyterian’s David H. Koch Center Featured in Metropolis

The David H. Koch Center at NewYork-Presbyterian was featured in the September issue of Metropolis magazine. Writer Liz Stinson profiled the 740,000 SF ambulatory care center and its focus on the patient experience. She described the “patient-centered design choices at the finish and product scale: clinical rooms with sofas large enough to seat two, so family members can comfortably accompany patients; dimmable overhead fixtures that double as exam lighting, reducing clutter and the need for additional equipment.” The project, opened in 2018, was designed through a collaboration between Ballinger, HOK, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

Link to article

Telemedicine and the Future of Disruption

Well-trained and effective clinical staff are in high demand around the world. In the United States, primary care physicians are out-numbered 3:1 by specialists, leaving the neediest populations in remote areas without physicians to address chronic and primary care.  Staff at large institutions are increasingly asked to see patients in multiple locations across a number of campuses, stretching their time and resources.

Telemedicine presents an unprecedented opportunity to extend the reach of existing staff into rural and remote locations and prolong the careers of experienced nurses and physicians by reducing the physical demands of providing care. In their presentation to the European Healthcare Design Congress & Exhibition on June 11, “Telemedicine and the Future of Disruption”, Ballinger Principal Louis A. Meilink Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Senior Project Healthcare Planner, Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC explored the increasing implementation of telehealth technologies and ways in which space planning can evolve to support these changes.

The topic was in keeping with the theme of the 4th annual conference, “Utopia or dystopia? Visioning the future for health” focused on the effects of environmental changes and technological advancement on modern healthcare systems and how institutions and designers can adjust to take advantage of advances such as AI, remote and algorithmic diagnosis, nanotechnology, and virtual reality. Held in London, this year’s event was organized by Architects for Health and SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange and hosted by the Royal College of Physicians.

Link to presentation

Cooper University Health Care MD Anderson Cancer Center Oncology In-Patient Unit Wins IIDA Award

Ballinger’s design of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Oncology In-Patient Unit at Cooper University Health Care received a Design Award in the Healthcare (under 30,000 SF) category from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) PA|NJ|DE Chapter. The unit is designed to offer a clean, contemporary, calming and spacious feeling to patients, staff and families. Environmental graphics, illustrating flowers native to New Jersey, add touches of serene beauty to the space.

The annual Interior Design Awards competition recognizes outstanding interior environments designed by IIDA members in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The award ceremony, held at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, included a presentation and exhibit of project entries.

NewYork-Presbyterian’s Operating Room of the Future featured in The Wall Street Journal

NewYork-Presbyterian’s David H. Koch Center is home to cutting-edge technology and thoughtful design solutions. Healthcare journalist Laura Landro profiled the evolution of operating rooms for The Wall Street Journal and highlighted the state-of-the-art ORs designed by Ballinger.

The 740,000 SF David H. Koch Center, designed in collaboration with HOK, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, opened in April 2018.

Link to article

 

 

Ballinger projects featured in Building Design + Construction

Three Ballinger projects were featured in a recent article published by Building Design + Construction magazine. In a survey of trends in the design of cancer research and treatment centers, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, NewYork-Presbyterian’s David H. Koch Center, and the MD Anderson Center Oncology In-Patient Unit at Cooper University Hospital were praised for their innovative approaches to cancer care.

Associate Principal and Senior Project Manager Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, LEED AP, was extensively quoted regarding her expertise in the field. She emphasized Ballinger’s family- and patient-focused design approach, as well as her commitment to creating spaces capable of adapting to new healthcare technologies — all fundamental values to the development of the three named projects.

A photograph of the Ballinger-designed meditation pavilion, overlooking a garden and pond at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, accompanied the piece. As noted in the article, Ballinger remains at the forefront of adaptive design solutions for the research and treatment challenges of our time.

Link to Article

Healthcare Facilities Management Covers Engagement Process at Tower Health System

Ballinger Senior Project Architect Robert P. Goss, Jr., AIA was interviewed for two pieces in the August issue of Healthcare Facilities Management. The article “Six steps for planning low-voltage systems” outlines a process for planning the advanced technology integration now required in hospital design.  Drawing on his experience working on the Reading Healthplex for Advanced Surgical and Patient Care, Rob describes Ballinger’s user engagement process.

The sidebar article “User input and planning informs high-tech facility” dives deeper into the Reading HealthPlex process, highlighting the 60 user group meetings Ballinger conducted as part of the planning phase. 

Read the articles here and here.

Post-Occupancy Research Exhibited at European Healthcare Design Congress and SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange

As part of Ballinger’s commitment to designing facilities that optimize the healthcare experience for patients, families, and staff, our teams conduct post-occupancy evaluations (POE) on completed projects to assess and monitor how they are used. Particularly illuminating was a recent POE conducted on the new Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital (PMCCH).

The research team, led by Ballinger Principal Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Senior Project Healthcare Planner Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, assessed how effective the inclusion of decentralized caregiver stations are toward improving staff and patient experience in the medical/surgical inpatient environment. By comparing four new floors of the tower, each with a unique layout featuring decentralized caregiver stations, to the hospital’s existing units which previously accommodated the same patient populations and were built with a single caregiver station, they were able to control for patient populations and consistent staff. The result was a study focused solely ¬on the physical environment.

The POE findings were strongly indicative of the benefits of decentralized caregiver stations. Patient and staff overall satisfaction scores increased by 113% in the new Lasko Tower units as compared to the pre-existing hospital units featuring central nursing cores. Sixty-six percent of staff felt that decentralized stations improved their ability to deliver quality patient care, and ninety-one percent of patients said that the stations improved the way they felt cared for in the new building. The decentralized stations resulted in reduced walking distances and increased patient time for staff, as well as improved fall rates and noise levels for patients. These results suggest an improved patient care environment.

The study was displayed at the 2017 European Healthcare Design Congress held at the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK, and published by SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange, a global media, publishing and research organization whose mission is improving human and planetary health.

Link to Poster

 

Post-Occupancy Evaluation White Paper Published by the American College of Healthcare Architects

A white paper by Ballinger principal Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Senior Healthcare Planner Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC was published by the American College of Healthcare Architects and appeared in the Summer 2017 ACHA Quarterly Newsletter.

The Ballinger team conducted a post-occupancy evaluation at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital (PMCCH) comparing the recently completed Lasko Tower, designed by Ballinger, to a unit in the neighboring West Building.

Since the move from West Building to Lasko Tower, the hospital has seen significant improvements in HCAHPS and staff satisfaction. The results from this study informed Ballinger’s design for PMCCH’s next bed tower, currently under construction.

Link to white paper

Quadruple Aim and the Importance of Place

MCDQuadruple Aim and the Importance of Place, an article by Ballinger’s Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, was published in the March/April 2017 issue of Medical Construction and Design Magazine. The article suggests that health networks and architects must act together to put forth a diversity of healthcare facility solutions, thereby delivering the right care, at the right time, with the right price, in the right place.

Read the full article.

The Pennovation Center: Q&A with Chief Structural Engineer Angela Fante

The 62,000 SF Pennovation Center is an incubator space developed by the University of Pennsylvania to foster tech start-ups.  Ballinger engineers worked hand-in-hand with design architect HWKN and architect-of-record KSS Architects to transform a former DuPont paint testing facility into a flexible laboratory and co-working office space.  Building operations and tenant occupancy started in Fall 2016 with positive reviews from the design and engineering community and the building’s occupants.

We caught up with Ballinger’s Chief Structural Engineer, Angela Fante, PE, SECB, LEED AP.

One of the building’s most striking features is the dramatic faceted glass outcrop.  Can you tell us about what went in to engineering that?

ANGELA FANTE:  Through collaboration with the architect and University, we were able to meet an incredibly complex structural challenge with an elegant solution. The addition of the north elevation ‘faceted façade’ had an immensely complex effect on the existing building frame.

It is not structured with cantilevers, a misnomer many are giving the north extension’s structure.

Pennovation exterior photo

If not a cantilever, what is it?

AF:  Because the architectural design required maintaining the same horizontal banding depth across the existing to new addition interface, there wasn’t enough depth to accommodate the structure needed to cantilever the addition.  Instead, we broke the north elevation into seven individual existing column frame elevations. From there, we designed new diagonal ‘column props’ and horizontal floor strut/tie beams, which impose either a horizontal tension or compression on the existing frame, at different levels throughout the geometry of the façade.

The effect on the frame was a series of ‘pushes and pulls’ on the existing building structure, none of which it was originally designed for when it was constructed in 1954.  (In that era, engineers barely considered wind and earthquake loading).

3D view of “pitch bleacher” structure

 How are those “pushes and pulls” supported by the existing building frame?

AF:  Although the appearance of the geometry of the addition looks complex, the interface between the new and existing building boils down to 28 unique connection points (seven existing grid lines x four floor levels), each custom-detailed to develop and complete the load path from the new to the existing frame.  Once the tension or compression at each of the 28 nodes transfers to the existing north column line, the ‘dots’ of the load path are connected back through the structure down to the foundation.  New horizontal bracing in the plane of the floors was inserted within the existing building where required to transfer the horizontal force through the respective floor levels and then into the three vertical braced frame lines.  The vertical braced frames are strategically hidden within the exterior walls or exposed to view in the co-working areas, as part of the raw, industrial aesthetic.

At the base of the braced frames, the accumulated collection of these load terminates  in two-foot thick x 22’-long x full basement story height walls, ballasting the new structure against uplift and preventing the structure from lifting out of the ground.

It was like designing for the weight of 50 elephants pulling on the north face of the building.

Evaluating the Benefits of Decentralized Stations Beyond Patient Visibility

Ballinger recently conducted a post-occupancy evaluation to assess how effective the inclusion of decentralized caregiver stations are toward improving staff and patient experience in the medical/surgical inpatient environment.

The research team focused on the Ballinger-designed Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital that was completed in 2015 and utilized data and survey results to compare the new floors, each featuring decentralized caregiver stations to existing units which previously accommodated the same patient populations and were built with a single caregiver station and no decentralized stations.  By controlling for patient populations and consistent staff, the study focused on the physical environment. Its results support a strong case for the use of decentralized stations with benefits extending beyond patient visibility.

This research was published by the AIA AAH Academy Journal in an article written by Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr. AIA, ACHA, ACHE and senior associate Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED BD+C, EDAC entitled “The decentralized station: More than just patient visibility”.

Link to Article

Philadelphia’s Community Design Collaborative Recognizes B::Engaged

“People need to look at philanthropic energies in two ways. Often they see how they are giving back, but firm leaders in particular need to appreciate that they get something in return. Their staff gets enlightenment and fulfillment that breeds esprit de corps. Leadership through philanthropic engagement strengthens interpersonal skills, decision-making, and growth. And the community as a whole benefits.” Terry D. Steelman, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal, outlined the far-reaching benefits of Ballinger’s volunteer efforts, in an interview with the Community Design Collaborative. The Collaborative profiled B::Engaged, Ballinger’s community engagement group, in a recent post.

B::Engaged connects with and impacts the Philadelphia community through long-term commitments and short-term volunteer work. With a focus on design, B::Engaged is an opportunity for staff members to lend their skills to the surrounding community and gain a broader perspective while enriching the built and social fabric of our surroundings.

B::Engaged members participated in the recent Community Design Collaborative project, Making Connections: Conceptual Design for Under the Viaduct. Residents of a North Central Philadelphia neighborhood were reluctant to walk through dark, underutilized underpasses of a rail viaduct. The purpose of the project was to reimagine the underpasses as connectors, linking neighbors and amenities. The volunteer design team met with community groups and conducted research to develop design solutions to improve three underpasses.  The resulting report was used to generate funding to implement the improvements.

The Community Design Collaborative’s model is to provide pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia, creating engaging volunteer opportunities for design professionals, and raising awareness about the importance of design in revitalizing communities. Since 1991 they’ve matched communities with volunteer design professionals, to put their visions down on paper and advance to the next stage: gaining support, raising funds, and building projects.

To read the Community Design Collaborative’s profile, click here.

Tradeline: Hospital Expansion Inspires Workplace Redesign and Cultural Change

Tradeline published a report “Hospital Expansion Inspires Workplace Redesign and Cultural Change,” based on a talk by Douglas E. Carney, Senior Vice President of Facilities, Real Estate and Capital Programs for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and Ballinger’s Keith C.H. Mock, AIA and Katherine Ahrens, LEED AP. It describes the rigorous, research-based approach Ballinger employed, in partnership with CHOP, to redesign CHOP’s workspaces. The “Test of Change” informed the design of CHOP’s Schuylkill Avenue Phase 1, currently under construction.

Link to Article

 

Tradeline Report: Retrofit or Renovate?

Tradeline has published a report entitled “Penn Renovation Yields Class A Laboratory Space for Half the Cost of New Construction: Weighing the Cost/Benefit of Retrofit vs. Gut Renovation.”

The article was inspired by a Tradeline conference talk delivered by Ballinger’s Jonathan Friedan, PE, LEED AP, and Eric Swanson, AIA, along with Perelman School of Medicine’s Eric Weckel, AIA, Executive Director for Space Planning and Operations. It presents the strategy, phased approach, and cost-saving steps behind the major renovation of Stemmler Hall, a 1970s research, classroom and administrative building in the heart of the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Ballinger’s Jonathan Friedan is quoted: “When you just do system replacements, you can get good, but not optimal, energy reductions. But you also get people complaining, ‘We spent millions of dollars, and what did we get?’ They’re still in aged compartmentalized labs, and wishing instead that they were in the brand-new lab down the street. We didn’t want to retrofit Stemmler Hall’s systems without doing something transformative to the building.”

Link to Article

Ballinger’s design approach to interdisciplinary buildings featured in Tradeline Report

Can architecture create a culture of collaboration? Tradeline’s recent article “Transforming Organizational Culture through Building Design” explores the goals and challenges faced by Dr. Peter Gillies, Founding Director of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) at Rutgers University, as he launched the Institute and imagined an open environment that would foster such a culture.

Ballinger’s approach to interdisciplinary facility design fosters cross-discipline collaborations and emergent outcomes. Our design for the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, opened in July 2015, reflects the ambitious goal of the barrier-breaking Institute: connect a wide range of disciplines to solve the childhood obesity epidemic. Co-located within the building are a student health clinic, a human performance lab, a nutrition research center, a healthy eating courtyard and a pre-school, as well as wet and dry labs, workspaces and outreach meeting spaces. An open stair integrates the building vertically and features New Jersey’s largest indoor living wall.

The article, based on a conference talk given by Ballinger principals Jeffrey S. French, FAIA and Craig S. Spangler, AIA, along with Dr. Gillies, also examines convergent environments at the University of Wisconsin and George Washington University, whose characteristics of transparency and visual access informed some of the IFNH design strategies.

Link to Article

Ballinger Helps Academic Medical Centers Move Beyond State-of-the-Art to Anticipate the Road Ahead

In the Sept-Oct 2015 issue of Medical Construction and Design, Ballinger Principal Louis Meilink Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE, discusses the future of Academic Medical Centers (AMC).  AMCs account for 6 percent of care providers, but contribute 20 percent of all hospital care and 40 percent of the uncompensated charity care in the US.  With a disproportionately large market share, AMCs are the first to feel the impact of regulatory and market pressures.  To neutralize pressures without sacrificing mission or quality of care, AMCs must identify strategies to ensure regenerative institutional growth.  Forward-thinking planning and design can contribute directly to the agility of these institutions.

Link to Full Article

Tradeline Report: Convergence Drives New Approaches to Strategic Planning

Tradeline published a report featuring Ballinger’s design for a new engineering teaching and research building at the University of Maryland, College Park. Designed to facilitate the practical integration of bioscience, medicine and engineering, the building will serve as a national center for innovation.

The report is based on presentations at Tradeline’s College and University Science Facilities 2014 conference, given by Ballinger principal Craig S. Spangler; lab planner Jeffrey Schantz; Founding Chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, Bill Bentley; and Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, Darryll Pines.

Link to Article

Tradeline Features Ballinger’s Laboratory Renovation

Tradeline recently published a report featuring Ballinger’s design for Johns Hopkins University’s new Undergraduate Teaching Labs. In it, they detail how this addition and renovation to the Mudd/Levi Biology complex integrates into the campus and modernizes the University’s research capabilities. The structure of the laboratory, seminar, office, and amenity spaces provides a state-of-the-art academic environment for JHU’s chemistry, biology, biophysics, psychology, and neuroscience students, as well as the flexibility for these academic programs to grow and evolve into the future.

Link to Article