Articles Tagged with: news

Facades for Future-Forward Hospital Design

Ballinger will participate in the Philadelphia Facades+ Conference on March 8, hosted by Architects Newspaper. Senior Principal Eric Swanson, AIA will discuss Penn Medicine Radnor on a panel titled “Healthcare Horizons: Future-Forward Hospital Design.” DIGSAU’s Jules Dingle, FAIA will moderate a discussion with Eric and fellow panelists Derek Tasch, AIA of Penn Medicine; Sara Gally, NCIDQ, EDAC of HDR; Chris West, RIBA of Foster + Partners; and Ed Hanzel of LF Driscoll.

Attendees will gain insight into Penn Medicine’s pioneering approach to delivering state-of-the-art facilities through case studies of Penn Medicine Radnor and the recently opened Pavilion.

Link to conference details

Sara Ridenour Promoted to Principal

Ballinger is pleased to announce the promotion of Sara Ridenour, AIA, LEED AP BD+C to Principal. Sara joined the practice in 2006 and has been influential in developing client relationships with major healthcare institutions. As a senior project manager, she orchestrates diverse teams for innovative healthcare initiatives with a focus on the patient experience and environmental stewardship.  She consistently guides clients through complex issues surrounding scope and budget adherence. Sara served as an architectural studio leader at Ballinger for over 10 years, overseeing project teams to ensure milestones were met and client goals achieved. She is actively involved in Ballinger’s community engagement efforts; she served on the AIA Philadelphia Active Design/Healthy Communities committee and on the advisory board of the Spark mentorship program.

Ballinger participates in national workplace dialogue

Ballinger principal Angela Fante, PE, LEED AP will be a panelist at the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) Structural Engineering Summit in New York City on February 16. The panel discussion, titled “Flexible or Rigid? Rethinking Workplace Flexibility,” will explore the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic workplace.

Angela will be joined on the panel by Cervente Sudduth, PE, president of DuBois Consultants in Kansas City and Jennifer Ridd, PE, principal at JQ Engineering in Dallas. The discussion will be moderated by Marcus Freeman, PE of Magnusson Klemencic Associates in Seattle.

Angela is a member of NCSEA’s national Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity Committee, which captures and shares metrics on career advancement and work-life balance, to support engagement, equity, diversity and retention within the industry.

In 2016 Ballinger launched B::Flex, a program enabling remote work and allowing employees to customize work schedules. Established digital tools for collaborating remotely enabled Ballinger to rapidly adapt to remote work at the onset of COVID-19.

Inspiring Future Engineers

Ballinger was a sponsor of the annual Philadelphia Region Future City Competition, an educational engineering program for middle-school students to imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. This year’s theme, “Designing a Waste-Free City,” challenged students to imagine a city built on the principles of a circular economy.

Part of a national initiative to engage students in STEM, the Philadelphia program culminates in an event judged by professional engineers. Volunteer judges gathered on Zoom to listen to budding engineers in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades present their cities.

Drexel Hill Middle School was the proud recipient of the “Walter Ballinger Hope for the Future Award,” made possible by Ballinger’s financial contribution to the event. Features like water purification nanobots, waste removal tubes and a high tech communication system inspired judges. The innovative and environmentally-friendly design of the city aligns with Ballinger’s aspirations for the future.

Penn Medicine Radnor Awarded LEED Gold

Penn Medicine Radnor was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. Ballinger provided architecture, interior design, and structural engineering services for the 250,000 SF ambulatory care center.

The 4-story facility adheres to Penn Medicine’s commitment to sustainability. Over 250 new trees will be planted with the full development and the surrounding landscape includes four rain gardens and native plants designed for all four seasons. Water management elements are woven naturally throughout the grounds, where they reduce the environmental impact of run-off and create a welcoming environment for visitors and the larger community, as well as for birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

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

American University Hall of Science wins IIDA award

The PA/NJ/DE Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) honored American University’s Hall of Science with an award in the ‘Best of Education/Institution over 30,000 SF’ category. Ballinger designed this vibrant, LEED Gold building to unify the University’s life sciences under one roof. The jury found “the focus on collaboration to be seamlessly integrated throughout the school’s design, with pockets supporting this around every corner. The use of natural light harmonizes with the finish palette, and is only further enhanced by the simplistic and clean lighting choices.”

Ballinger Donates Over 6,000 Meals to Philabundance

In the final months of 2021 Ballinger’s community group, B:Engaged, compiled a collection of staff recipes into a digital cookbook to inspire holiday meals and encourage donations to a virtual food drive. Proceeds go to Philabundance, the largest hunger-relief non-profit organization in the Delaware Valley. Together we’re donating over 6,000 meals to people in need.

Download the 2021 cookbook

Fascitelli Center Recognized with AIA Tri-State Design Award

The 2021 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Tri-State Design Awards celebrated design excellence and impact on the built environment among three of the largest AIA chapters, with nearly 14,000 members across New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The jury was comprised of thee accomplished architects from across the country.

The Fascitelli Center at the University of Rhode Island received a Merit Award in the architecture category. The Ballinger-planned, designed, and engineered building is a vibrant place for interaction and innovation.

Ballinger collaborated with the university to develop a cross-discipline teaching and research complex to meet ever-changing tech demands and the global reach of engineering. Juror Francisco Javier Rodríguez-Suárez noted the building “proposes an interesting solution” to the university’s growing engineering program and “works well with the existing buildings” to create quads and courtyards to ultimately “make a better campus” for students and teachers alike.

Watch the awards program here

Exterior of the Fascitelli Center at the University of Rhode Island illuminated at dusk.
Interior of the Fascitelli Center at the University of Rhode Island

Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building Certified LEED Gold

The Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, recently achieved a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The ILSB provides new opportunities for integrating research, teaching, and learning across departments and colleges in support of the university’s mission of student success and expanding research in areas of strategic importance. Seamless integration of energy-saving features with the architecture of the building separates the ILSB from traditional high-performance buildings. The orientation of the building’s glass façades, chilled beams, a green roof, stormwater management, and an innovative “air share” system that reduces energy consumption all contribute to the building’s sustainability.

With over 40% in projected energy savings as compared to a baseline building, this ILSB demonstrates the university’s commitment to sustainability. The building reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,255 metric tons per year and decreases water use by 35%. Beyond the positive environmental impact of the facility, the annual energy cost savings of the ILSB, compared to a baseline building, is nearly $300,000.

Interior of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Interior of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

State of New Jersey Taxation Building Achieves LEED Gold

The State of New Jersey Taxation Building was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Ballinger provided architecture and MEP/structural engineering services for the 210,000 SF office building located in Trenton, New Jersey.

The building received several perfect scores on categories evaluated in the LEED Scorecard, including Sensitive Land Protection, Light Pollution Reduction, Low-Emitting Materials, and Innovation.

The 8-story Taxation Building is located near the Delaware River waterfront and was designed to welcome visitors and state workers closer to Trenton’s downtown commercial corridor.

New Jersey Economic Development Agency | State of New Jersey Taxation Building illuminated at dusk.
New Jersey Economic Development Agency | State of New Jersey Taxation Building and the Delaware River.

Ballinger Senior Principal Sponsors Interdisciplinary Collaborative Studio at Kansas State University

Committed to furthering the studies of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design students at his alma mater Kansas State University, Louis A. Meilink Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE, sponsored a semester-long course aimed at establishing real-world experience for students and a healthier community for residents. The studio concept was developed and led by Kendra Kirchmer, IDSA, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture & Industrial Design.

The course, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Studio, Vital Design: Denver, introduced cross-disciplinary opportunities for students while identifying the ways social determinants impact overall health. Throughout the semester, students were tasked with answering the following questions:

  • What is health and what does it mean to be healthy?
  • How does the built environment impact health through its quality as well as the ways it shapes the behaviors of groups and individuals?
  • How can design prioritize equity, inclusion, increased opportunity, quality-of-life, and good health for all?

Teams used this initial research and analysis to identify and define their project type and scope. The semester-long studio was based on an interdisciplinary and collaborative design structure to engage students within Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Design. The course encouraged group members to participate in all facets of design while utilizing their specific skill set to develop designs that explore strategies and solutions for creating healthier and more equitable cities and neighborhoods.

With the support of Lou, students had the opportunity to travel to Denver to examine their design theories, test their assumptions, and finalize site selection and documentation. Students presented their final projects this week.

Ballinger Projects Receive AIA Philadelphia Design Awards

The Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building and Penn Medicine Radnor were honored at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Philadelphia 2021 Design Awards. The awards recognize achievements and quality architectural designs by member firms of AIA Philadelphia. The 2021 jury was comprised of three Detroit-based architects: Elizabeth Knibbe, AIA, Thomas Affeldt, AIA, and Chris Heine, AIA, LEED AP BD+C.

Penn Medicine Radnor, a sustainable, community-focused ambulatory care center rooted in nature, received the Honor Award in the built category. The Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, a center for research, active learning, innovation, and inspiration at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, received the Merit Award in the built category.

Interior view ILSB UMBC

Penn Medicine Radnor Wins 2021 AIA Pennsylvania Architecture Honor Award

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded Penn Medicine Radnor an Architecture Honor Award during the 5th Annual AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Awards. Ballinger provided architecture, interior design, and structural engineering services for the 250,000 SF ambulatory care center.

Honor awards recognize projects that exemplify distinguished achievement in their category. The jury acknowledged the seamless integration between the building and the surrounding landscape, which emphasizes “the role nature plays in health and well-being.”

AIA Pennsylvania represents nearly 3,000 members throughout Pennsylvania. This year’s awards jury was comprised of New York City architects and a panel representing AIA Committee on the Environment.

Watch the Honor Award segment here

Inova Eastern Region Oakville at Potomac Yard breaks ground

The Ballinger | Ennead design team celebrated the Inova Eastern Region Oakville at Potomac Yard groundbreaking on Tuesday, November 16.

Characterized by its sculptural and humanistic design, the soft curving architectural forms of the new medical and emergency facility are welcoming and will engage the urban context and contribute to the redevelopment of Alexandria, Virginia’s Oakville Triangle neighborhood. The new Inova facility is a service of Inova Alexandria Hospital and will include a comprehensive emergency room, imaging services, an Inova Primary Care Center, and medical offices for other Inova and community providers.

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

The Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity Opens

The Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity (ASHE) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, October 27, and officially opened its doors on Wednesday, November 3. Located in the Deliverance Evangelistic Church on Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia, ASHE’s goal is to offer equal healthcare to all, specifically underserved communities in Philadelphia.

The Black Doctors Consortium, founded as The Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium by Dr. Ala Stanford in April 2020, provides care at the clinic to all patients, infants to adults, and accepts all forms of insurance. “For us, it doesn’t matter what type of insurance you have or don’t have. You’re going to see the same people, you’re going to get the same level of care, and that’s what we plan to deliver for everyone who comes into the door,” Dr. Stanford said.

The primary care clinic includes eight exam rooms and three private behavioral health spaces and will offer a range of services, including adult and pediatric well check-ups, OB/GYN, and phlebotomy labs. A small team from Ballinger, led by Director of Healthcare Planning Christina Grimes, with Jonathan Friedan and Courtney Petrella, donated initial planning and design services for the healthcare facility. The group evaluated the existing layout and mechanical systems and presented design options to Dr. Stanford to create a permanent home for the group within the church.

Learn more about the Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity.

Photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Thomas Hengge, staff photographer).

Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering Awarded LEED Silver

The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering and Bliss Hall at the University of Rhode Island were certified LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Ballinger-planned, designed, and engineered buildings house the University’s College of Engineering.

Reporter Mary Serreze from the Providence Business Journal spoke with Paul DePace, URI’s director of capital projects, to discuss the buildings’ recently obtained LEED Silver status.

Excerpted from Providence Business Journal

The University of Rhode Island is touting its sustainability practices with an announcement that its new College of Engineering buildings have obtained LEED Silver status.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and LEED certification provides independent verification from the U.S. Green Building Council that a building meets a set of rigorous “green” standards.

The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering, which opened in the fall of 2019, and Bliss Hall, a historic structure that was newly renovated, are now the 14th and 15th buildings to obtain LEED status on the Kingston Campus. That includes five buildings that are certified LEED Gold, the highest possible rating.

“Importantly, LEED certification translates into higher energy efficiency rates and big energy savings for the University and the state,” said Paul DePace, URI’s director of capital projects. In a statement, he added that sustainable buildings and spaces “also make the University a nicer place to be for all of us.”

Providence-based Dimeo Construction Co. and Philadelphia-based Ballinger architects teamed up for the two building projects, and Hill International served as project manager.

The Fascitelli Center was the largest construction project in the University’s history. The six-story, 183,500 square-foot building features a glass exterior, allowing natural light into core spaces. An efficient electrical system includes sensors that control lighting, the university said in a news release.

The roof was specified with white material to prevent any “heat island” effect. Landscaping plants were chosen to require very little water. The proximity of both buildings to bus and shuttle routes “was also significant in the sustainability calculation of the projects,” the university said.

The 38,000 square-foot Bliss Hall was gutted to the steel frame and stone exterior and completely renovated. A 15,000 square-foot addition was built on the north side with energy-efficient mechanicals. Builders used low-emitting materials and designed the ventilation system to introduce plenty of fresh air. Many other features used the latest in green building technology.

“Rhode Island has set a goal that state-funded projects should meet LEED Certification status,” said Jim Devol, project manager for Hill International. “With these two buildings URI has gone beyond that.”

Grand View Health Expansion Tops Out

Grand View Health celebrated a milestone in the construction of a 190,000 SF expansion in Sellersville, PA. The new six-floor pavilion connects to the existing hospital and will house private patient rooms, technologically advanced operating rooms, and a two-level lobby filled with natural light.

Ballinger provided planning, architecture, engineering, and interior design services for the state-of-the-art facility, designed to prioritize wellness for patients, visitors, and staff. Inspired by its site and the values Grand View Health has upheld since its founding in 1913, the building enables the hospital to expand its clinical services.

Representatives from Grand View Health and the design and construction teams gathered to celebrate the placing of the final steel beam of the structure. The project is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Read more about the topping ceremony here.

Sketch of Grand View Health

DesignPhiladelphia Installation

Ballinger partnered with Brickworks Philadelphia, Hoffman Design Group and the International Masonry Institute to create an installation for the DesignPhiladelphia Festival, which kicks off Wednesday, October 6. Informed by the unique shapes of the Philadelphia skyline and built using locally sourced bricks, this installation invites visitors to explore the “old and new” urban relationships of this city.

“Our inspiration for the design concentrated around the juxtaposition of the city’s skyline and its interaction with the lower-rise built forms. Our team found this to be a unique characteristic of the city, where modern skyscrapers can be a short walking distance from an early historic dwelling. This clash of the two not only provides a visual identity, but it portrays the intertwined history of the city through its built form,” said Ballinger’s Adam Stott, who co-led the design.  

The installation will be at Cherry Street Pier through October 17.       

Ballinger Scholarship for Equity

Ballinger is proud to sponsor scholarships and mentorships aimed at enhancing access to education in the fields of architecture, interior design and engineering. The goals of the program are to equip students with the skills to succeed in our industry and to develop the pipeline of diverse professionals. The program is a component of Ballinger’s commitment to fighting racism and promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Eligible applicants are students who are Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color. The program is designed to support students at several steps in their education, from the first year of college through graduation.

The First Year Scholarship is for students in their first year of college, pursuing a degree in architecture, interior design or engineering. The award includes two Ballinger mentors and an opportunity to shadow a professional in the awardee’s discipline of interest.
Link to eligibility requirements and application

The Transfer Scholarship is for students transferring from a community college or technical school who have been accepted into an accredited program in architecture, interior design or engineering. Recipients will receive a paid internship and two Ballinger mentors.
Link to eligibility requirements and application for architecture and interior design students
Link to eligibility requirements and application for engineering students 

The Final Year Scholarship is for students entering their last year of an accredited program in architecture, interior design or engineering. Recipients will receive a paid internship and two Ballinger mentors.
Link to eligibility requirements and application for architecture and interior design students
Link to eligibility requirements and application for engineering students 

University of Maryland Chemistry Wing 1 Project Breaks Ground

The University of Maryland, College Park broke ground on Ballinger’s New Chemistry Building on Tuesday, August 24. This new 105,000 SF facility will expand the scope of chemical and biomolecular research at the University.


Excerpted from Maryland Today:

The University of Maryland, along with state officials, gathered today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Chemistry Building. The 105,000-square-foot research building will expand the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s innovations in advanced materials, energy storage, nanoscience, drug discovery and delivery, and quantum chemistry.

“Today, we break ground on a research building that will accelerate innovation for the University of Maryland’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “Thanks to investment by the state of Maryland and generous partners, this new facility gives us a competitive edge at a critical time to tackle grand challenges with leading technologies.”

The new building—which will be constructed with funds from the state of Maryland’s capital budget—will feature 34 research labs, two core research facilities and 13,000 square feet of collaboration space. The flexible, climate-controlled research labs can be easily modified to meet any faculty member’s needs.

“This new building will expand our legacy of leadership in the chemical sciences,” said Amitabh Varshney, dean of UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. “In this new Chemistry Building, our faculty and students will create nanomaterials for next-generation biosensors, fabrics and batteries; develop biomolecules functionalized to treat human diseases; and explore the chemistry required for quantum devices.”

The grand colloquia and events venue in the new building will provide a place for the department’s 45 faculty members and 600 undergraduate majors and graduate students to interact and engage with experts through lectures, conferences and celebrations. A dozen inviting meeting and huddle rooms were designed for impromptu discussions, research group meetings and thesis defenses.

​​”Together, with my colleagues, we believe that what’s happening here is important,” said Guzzone ’86, M.P.M. ’88. “Lives will be changed… society will be changed because of the work that will be accomplished in the new building.”

Speakers at today’s groundbreaking celebration included Pines, Varshney, Maryland Senator Guy Guzzone and Maryland Delegate Maggie McIntosh. Provost Jennifer King Rice also contributed to the celebration, as did Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor and Chair Janice Reutt-Robey, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Amy Mullin, and Chemistry Ph.D. student Matthew Leonard.

The university symbolically broke ground on the new building with a chemistry demonstration. Reutt-Robey poured hot water into a vessel of liquid nitrogen, forming a dense cloud billowing into the air. From behind the cloud, an image of the new Chemistry Building appeared.

“We aim to be a Top 10 chemistry and biochemistry program, and this new building is the physical catalyst necessary to help us achieve that goal,” Reutt-Robey said.

The $116 million building was designed by architectural firm Ballinger and will be constructed by the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. It is expected to open in 2023.

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.

Ballinger Announces Promotions

Ballinger is pleased to announce firm-wide promotions. These individuals have distinguished themselves for their contributions to elevating the practice.

To Associate Principal:
Katherine Ahrens, LEED AP
Karen D. Brooks, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Jack Fairchild, PE, CFPS
Steve Miller, PE
Zak Whiting

To Senior Associate:
Jason Cole, LEED AP BD+C
Brent Ellmann, PE
Jake Shoemaker, AIA
Todd Stevenson

To Associate:
Soo Choi
Rob Currie
Charlotte DiGiorgio, AIA, CDT, LEED Green Associate
James Donovan
Todd Grant, GGP, LEED AP
Richard Green
Kate Hallinan, NCIDQ
Marc Krawitz
Skylar Olson
Patrick O’Neil, PE
Thomas G. Schubert, PE
Ryan Tranell

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.

Architects Declare

Ballinger is among over 300 architecture firms to declare a climate, justice, and biodiversity emergency. Environmental stewardship and energy utilization have always been fundamental to our firm and culture. As signatories, we reaffirm those values.

We’re proud to join Architects Declare in committing to:
• Raising awareness of climate and biodiversity emergencies
• Addressing the disproportionate impact of these crises on disadvantaged communities
• Including life cycle costing, whole-life carbon modeling, and post-occupancy evaluation in our work
• Upgrading existing buildings for extended use
• Advocating for detailed disclosure of material provenance and environmental impact
• Investing in research and technology
• Viewing climate change mitigation, biodiversity protection, and positive social impact as measures of success

Nebraska Celebrates Kiewit Hall Groundbreaking

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering officially broke ground on Kiewit Hall, a 181,500 GSF new engineering building and the largest academic facilities project in the 152-year history of the University. Ballinger, along with partner architect Clark & Enerson, designed the building to be a world-class hub of undergraduate engineering education.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Ballinger senior principal Craig S. Spangler, AIA expressed his enthusiasm for the project. “We’re extraordinarily honored to be selected to join the college in designing this very important initiative for the University of Nebraska,” he said. 

Scheduled to open in 2023, the building will house active-learning classrooms, flexible teaching labs and innovative maker spaces.

Integrating Lean and EBD

Ballinger Senior Healthcare Planner Fernanda Pires was among the presenting faculty of “Transforming Outcomes: Integrating Lean and EBD,” a virtual workshop hosted by The Center for Health Design.

The interactive workshop examined how Lean methods can be informed, complemented, and enhanced by evidence-based design (EBD), including research findings, data collection and analysis. Maximizing value, eliminating waste, and continuous improvement are at the core of Lean, while improving safety and quality is at the core of evidence-based design. Through coaching and simulations, the workshop instructed participants on integrating and applying Lean and EBD principles to future projects.

Bringing the Outside In

Ballinger Senior Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE and Associate Principal and Director of Healthcare Planning Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, ACHA presented “Bringing the Outside In” at the 2021 European Healthcare Design Congress.

Focused on how nature and salutogenic design can influence clinical environments, the talk included case studies illustrating the concepts of transparency, community and a medical village. Driven by innovation, sustainability, and evidence-based design, the examples demonstrate how modern healthcare designs can serve as anchors within their communities, both as physical campuses and through their lasting community involvement and outreach.

The presentation was part of a session on “Healthy community design and infrastructure,” and was followed by a panel discussion with participants from the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the US.  The European Healthcare Design 2021 Congress, now in its seventh year, is organized by Architects for Health and SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange. The theme of this year’s event was “Creative destruction: Design innovation in the face of existential threats.”

Link to presentation

Ballinger Volunteers with Courtyard Mentor Network

Ballinger architect Peter Elsbeck, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and designer Anastazja Krynska led a workshop for the Courtyard Mentor Network, a newly-formed community organization that introduces young men to career options and aides them in developing healthy relationship skills: essential tools for navigating a successful career.

The event was part of a weekly series supported by the Queen Village Neighbors Association where community members describe occupations, share professional and personal skills they have developed throughout their careers, and the characteristics of the healthy relationships they have formed along the way.

As part of this series, Peter and Ana described the profession of architecture and the training required to become an architect, as well as their roles at Ballinger and the how they do their work. They led an activity in which the boys drew floorplans of their future homes on architectural grid pads.

Learn more about the Courtyard Mentor Network

Ballinger recognized for technological achievement

Ballinger received an ASHRAE Technology Award for the recently completed Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  The 131,000 SF building was recognized in the Educational Facilities/New Construction category by the Philadelphia Chapter of ASHRAE.

ILSB is a model for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and ease of maintenance. The building’s overall annual energy usage is over 40% less than ASHRAE 90.1 baseline. The facility includes wet bench research space, shared scientific research cores, multidisciplinary teaching labs, office space and active learning classrooms. ILSB provides new opportunities for integrating learning and discovery across departments and colleges in support of the University’s mission of student success and expanding research. Collaboration areas for formal and informal exchanges support cross-fertilization of ideas as teams pursue novel and promising leads in life science discovery.

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize successful applications of innovative design that incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management, indoor air quality, and good mechanical design. ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The society focuses on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainability by conducting research, writing standards, and fostering continuing education.

Drexel University Health Sciences Building Tops Out

The Drexel University Health Sciences Building at Philadelphia’s uCity Square reached a construction milestone, the “topping out” of the structure. The building, designed by Ballinger and developed by Wexford Science + Technology, will enable professional connections and collaboration between Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, College of Medicine, and the Graduate School. It is designed to solidify Drexel University as an anchor institution in West Philadelphia focused on both innovation and inclusion. The building is scheduled to open in 2022.

AIA AAH Committee Tours Penn Medicine Radnor

Ballinger Principal Thomas J. Parr, Jr., AIA and Associate Principal and Director of Healthcare Planning Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP, ACHA, EDAC led a tour of Penn Medicine Radnor for AIA Philadelphia’s Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) committee.

Penn Medicine Radnor, a 250,000 SF ambulatory care center, is designed for regeneration of both the site and human health. Floor-to-ceiling glass brings light and views inside, while landscaped gardens, walking paths and groves of na­tive plants invite occupants outdoors. Inspired by environmental stewardship and biophilia, the design embraces nature, physically and philosophically. It fosters a holistic healing experience through a soothing palette, connections to nature, and dignified accommodations for pa­tients, family and caregivers.

The tour of the completed project was a follow-up to a construction tour held for AIA AAH members in 2020.

DVASE Outstanding Project Award

Ballinger won an Outstanding Project Award from the Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers (DVASE) at the annual Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards ceremony held May 12.

The honor was awarded to a confidential Philadelphia project with complex structural and logistical challenges.

Kraus Building Awarded LEED Gold

Ballinger’s Kraus Building Renovation project at the University of Michigan was recently certified Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Excerpted from the University of Michigan:

The School of Kinesiology Building renovation and addition project has earned LEED Gold building certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of sustainability efforts.

The building, originally constructed in 1915 and formerly called the Edward Henry Kraus Building, includes research labs, a vivarium, classrooms, faculty offices and common space.

The renovation and addition include a number of features that will lead to a predicted energy cost savings of 41 percent, as compared with a code-compliant building per 2007 guidelines from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

Energy-saving facets include:

  • New, well-insulated windows and doors at all exterior locations to provide improved thermal performance. The replacement assemblies have been tested in place to ensure minimal air infiltration.
  • A skylight in a new atrium area to bring natural light deep into the building. Advanced lighting controls, such as daylight dimming, also conserve energy.
  • LED lighting with occupancy sensors throughout the building. Historic fixtures at entrances were retrofitted with LED lamps.

The building also features low-flow plumbing fixtures and automatic sensor faucets, which are predicted to reduce water use by 34 percent compared to Michigan Plumbing Code standards. It also boasts close proximity to basic services and bus transportation.

The project included a 62,700-square-foot infill addition, featuring a three-story atrium and the aforementioned skylight. The addition enclosed the building’s courtyard, thereby reducing the climate cost of using new building materials.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It recognizes sustainability efforts to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings on one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

The School of Kinesiology Building renovation and addition earned 62 points from the U.S. Green Business Council, out of 110 possible.

Since 2005, when U-M first received “green building” certifications, 18 projects have earned LEED designations. All new U-M buildings and additions with an estimated construction budget greater than $10 million are required to achieve at least LEED Silver certification.

Link to full article

VCU STEM Building Tops Out

The new STEM building at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) reached a milestone on May 4. A beam signing and “Topping Out” ceremony marked the placing of the last beam of the structure. The beam was signed by Dr. Michael Rao, President of VCU, and Dr. Jennifer Malat, Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, as well as members of the VCU community and design and construction team.

Scheduled to open in 2023, the STEM building will be the crossroads of instruction, collaboration and discovery for the sciences at VCU. Ballinger and Quinn Evans designed the building, with Ballinger providing architecture and MEP engineering services.

Watch a video of the ceremony

State-of-the-Art Healing Environments: Heart and Cancer Care

Ballinger Senior Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., FAIA, ACHA, ACHE and Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP were invited to speak at the spring 2021 Architecture-For-Health Lecture Series at Texas A&M University. The series, “Design & Construction of Health and Healthcare Facilities in the Context of Continuum of Care,” is hosted by the College of Architecture and the Health Science Center School of Public Health.

The presentation, to be broadcast on Zoom Friday, April 9 at 12 noon, includes case studies of heart and cancer centers, ranging from New York City to the Great Plains. Louis and Erin will also participate in a virtual critique of student work, furthering the exchange of ideas between academia and practice.

Link to details

Ballinger Recognized for Service to Community Design Collaborative

Ballinger’s Sarah Blitzer, RA and Christine Larsen were recently honored for their contributions to Philadelphia’s Community Design Collaborative, a local organization that provides pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia.

The annual Community Design Collaborative Volunteer Awards highlight volunteers who showcase design excellence, ingenuity, and continued service and dedication to the organization. Sarah Blitzer, a Collaborative volunteer since 2017, contributed to a conceptual design for the Church of the Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square Welcome and Resource Center. The project team was honored with the Outstanding Effort Award for making excellent design accessible, fostering volunteer-client collaboration, and generating community impact.  Christine Larsen, who has served on the Community Design Collaborative’s Board of Directors since 2019, was recognized with the Committee Leadership Award for extraordinary committee service.

Ballinger views social responsibility as crucial to the success of our firm and our city. We are proud to be a Corporate Champion of the Collaborative and have donated over 650 pro bono hours to improve equitable access to design.

Read more about the Volunteer Awards

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.

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.

Penn Stemmler Hall Achieves LEED Gold

Stemmler Hall at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. Ballinger provided architecture, engineering and lab planning services for this transformative renovation in the heart of campus. An important ambition of the project was to help fulfill the aspirations of Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan.

Ballinger designed a neutral air chilled beam system with dual heat recovery wheels coupled with demand-controlled ventilation. Calculations project a 50% reduction in energy use and significant annual cost savings. Efficient floorplans enable program and research flexibility, resulting in an open and adaptable 21st century magnet facility with 50% more workstations.

In 2019 Green Building United, Philadelphia’s chapter of the USGBC, recognized the project as a finalist for its Groundbreaker Award program.

Panel: Looking Towards the Future

Ballinger Senior Principal Terry D. Steelman, FAIA participated in a panel organized by AIA Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) and the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA). The event, titled “What Have We Learned? AIA, GBCA, and COAA PA Look Towards the Future,” examined recent innovations and trends in the building industry and explored how the building process will evolve for designers, builders, and owners.

Link to details ​What Have We Learned? AIA, GBCA, and COAA PA Look Towards the Future!

Ballinger Continues Support of Future City

Ballinger was a sponsor of the annual Philadelphia Region Future City Competition, an educational engineering program for middle-school students to imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Using the engineering design process as a framework, students design a city and describe it through an essay, a scale model, and a video. This year’s theme was Living on the Moon.  

Central Jersey College Prep received the “Walter Ballinger Hope for the Future Award” for Starling City, a lunar community with a greenhouse, electric power plant and a transportation system powered by friction collected from rubberized polymer.

Ballinger has been an annual sponsor of the competition since 2017, with the goal of enhancing interest in engineering and building the pipeline of diverse practitioners. 

Ballinger’s Mike Radio Named Virtual Environment Global User of the Year

Ballinger Associate Principal Michael Radio, PE, CEM, BEMP, LEED AP BD+C was named 2020 Virtual Environment (VE) Global User of the Year. Launched this year by Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), the competition recognizes innovative use of VE technology.

In his role as Ballinger’s lead energy analyst Mike has employed the IES VE suite to elevate the quality, speed and precision of energy and system load modeling for healthcare and academic clients throughout the country. He uses it to rapidly generate comprehensive scenario and architectural design variation analyses beginning at the earliest stages of planning. He integrates that data with analyses of multiple site infrastructure/central plant options, giving owners the most comprehensive set of data possible upon which to make key capital spending decisions. 

IES Vice President Liam Buckley praised “the analytical range of Mike’s submission. From simple curtainwall assessments, to sizing chilled beams and onto integrating on-site cogeneration with central plants, all coupled with the IESVE VistaPro graphics, demonstrated the highest level of performance modeling excellence. A well-deserved winner.”

As global winner, Mike received a $1,000 prize which he’s donating to the ASHRAE Philadelphia Debra H. Kennoy Scholarship Fund, a fund he helped establish, intended to encourage female college students to pursue studies in engineering.  

Read more about the award

Angela Fante to Speak at Engineering Mentoring Event

Ballinger Principal and Chief Structural Engineer, Angela M. Fante, PE, SECB, LEED AP, will participate in a virtual mentoring event hosted by the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE). WiSE Philadelphia is an affiliate of the Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers (DVASE) and provides a community for female structural engineers.

The event, scheduled for Thursday, January 28th at 4:30 PM, will include a formal Q&A followed by questions from attendees.  

Link to details

The Fascitelli Center Wins AIA Rhode Island Design Honor Award


The Rhode Island chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded the Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering a Design Honor Award in the Commercial Architecture: Higher Education category.

The AIA Rhode Island Design Awards recognize achievements in design within the state and honor the project teams and the clients who help to create and enhance the built environment.

The five-story building was planned, designed, and engineered by Ballinger and serves as a bridge between the sciences and humanities precincts of the campus. The interdisciplinary hub helps attract the best faculty, students, and industry partners to the University of Rhode Island.

Exterior of the Fascitelli Center at the University of Rhode Island
Interior view of the Fascitelli Center at the University of Rhode Island

Cohen Hospital Shortlisted for Interior Design Best of Year Award

The NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, designed as a collaboration between Ballinger and HOK, was a finalist for Interior Design magazine’s Best of Year Awards in the Healthcare category. The 246,500 SF facility is dedicated to the healthcare needs of mothers and babies, offering the full range of services women and infants may need before, during, and after childbirth—including specialized prenatal care and neonatal intensive care for newborns in need of extra support. The hospital is designed to provide patient‐focused care to reduce maternal stress and incorporate the family in the healing process with serene individual rooms and support areas.

The virtual, multi-part Best of Year Awards ceremony was a part of “Best of Design 2020,” a virtual festival honoring this year’s design highlights and outstanding achievements.

Link to ceremony details

Stemmler Hall Wins BD+C Reconstruction Award

Edward J. Stemmler Hall at the University of Pennsylvania was selected as a Bronze winner in the 2020 Building Design + Construction (BD+C) Reconstruction Awards competition.  Awards are given to the best historic preservation, reuse, renovation, and reconstruction projects nationwide. Winners are selected based on design, engineering, and construction quality.

Ballinger provided architecture, engineering and lab planning services for this comprehensive renovation of Stemmler Hall, built in 1978. Rather than the simple systems-based retrofit that the University originally planned, Ballinger proposed a holistic, LEED Gold renovation to completely transform the building, providing new Class A laboratory space, and strategically replacing all building systems to significantly reduce ongoing energy and maintenance costs.

Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building Wins Interior Design Award

The Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County was  recognized by the local chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) with the Best of Education/Institution >30,000 SF Award. The award was presented during the IIDA NJ/PA/DE virtual Design Awards ceremony on December 16. The program recognizes outstanding interior environments and noteworthy projects.

The jury gave the project the top prize and complimented on its strong sustainability story. “The space integrates stunning original artwork and an exciting pop of color, and a tangible energy is felt from the photography,” they commented. 

Ballinger Donates Over 5,000 Meals

Recognizing that this Thanksgiving season looks different from previous years, Ballinger’s community engagement group, B::Engaged, found a way for colleagues to connect virtually and safely. The result is a Thanksgiving Cookbook containing staff members’ favorite recipes and a virtual food drive for Philabundance, a non-profit working to fight hunger in Philadelphia. Donations enabled Philabundance to provide 5,000 meals to people in need.

Preview the cookbook

Ballinger Honored with Prestigious AIA Firm of the Year Award

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored Ballinger with the 2020 Firm of the Year Award. The annual award recognizes a firm whose passion and practice has produced notable architecture for at least a decade.

The honor was announced during the AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Awards broadcast on November 19. Ballinger Senior Principal Terry D. Steelman, FAIA described the recognition as “a testimony to our unwavering commitment to quality at every level of practice. It takes a talented team collaborating with great clients to create quality work. We are privileged to have both.”

“We’re guided by our core values of design excellence, environmental stewardship and commitment to community. These values align with those of the AIA and industry professional organizations for which our firm staff associate to remain at the leading edge of our profession,” said Senior Principal Keith C.H. Mock, AIA.   

Ballinger also received the chapter’s EPiC Firm Recognition for support and development of emerging professionals in 2020.

Healthcare Design Magazine Covers Ballinger talk

Louis A. Meilink, Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE and Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, presented “The Spectrum of Technologies: The Current and Future State of Healthcare” at the Healthcare Design Virtual Conference. The presentation examined technology’s role in healthcare and how it can be employed to enhance the experience of patients and caregivers. The session explored how healthcare design will adapt over the next 10 years to accommodate rapidly evolving technologies.

Read HCD’s coverage of the session

View the slideshow

Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering Wins DVASE Outstanding Project Award

Ballinger’s Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering at the University of Rhode Island (URI) was recognized by the Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers (DVASE) with the 2020 Outstanding Project Award. DVASE’s annual Excellence in Structural Engineering program highlights engineering feats that display inventive and artful tackling of difficult project challenges.

Constructed on the former site of five demolished buildings on URI’s main South Kingstown campus, the Fascitelli Center serves as a “bridge” between the liberal arts programs at campus south and the basic sciences at campus north. To create a literal bridge, the central bar of the building is supported by three four-story tall architecturally exposed steel trusses, each with 160-foot center spans. This layout allows the first floor commons area to be an unobstructed, all-glass pass-through from campus south to north, with no need for visible supports. To support engineering education, the major truss members are clearly evident, cutting diagonally through each floor in a large “X” to be viewed by all approaching the building.

Winners were honored at a virtual awards program.

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

ILSB Recognized by AIA Maryland

The Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) was recognized by the AIA Maryland Excellence in Design awards program. The project received a Jury Citation for Institutional Architecture during a virtual awards ceremony held September 24.

Designed and engineered by Ballinger, the ILSB creates a highly visible home for the sciences on campus and furthers UMBC’s vision of inclusive academic excellence. Teaching and research laboratories line a north-facing glass wall looking onto a flowing campus walkway, creating a living billboard for the sciences. The glass-clad laboratory volume attaches to a brick clad mass that blends with the campus in scale and materiality. Pedestrian walkways flow around bioretention areas capturing site and roof water to visibly link science and sustainability while creating a memorable campus landscape. A double-height commons creates a central meeting and interaction space immediately accessible to the teaching portion of the building. A monumental public art installation designed by artist Volkan Alkanoglu, “In Flight”, is featured to both join art with science and also to elevate the public experience of the student commons on campus.

Design’s Ability to Transform + Deliver Population Health

Ballinger Senior Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., FAIA, FACHA, ACHE and Director of Healthcare Planning Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP, ACHA, EDAC, presented Design’s Ability to Transform + Deliver Population Health at this year’s European Healthcare Design Congress. The theme of the virtual event was “At the Tipping Point: Designing for Population and Planetary Health.” Ballinger’s poster and presentation explored how innovative technologies and thoughtful design can increase access to healthcare and promote healthier aging.

View the poster

I2SL: Sustainable Lab Transformation

Ballinger Senior Project Manager, Karen Brooks, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and University of Pennsylvania Senior Project Manager, Margo Pietras Barnes, PE, LEED AP, CBCP will present a talk at this year’s virtual International Institute for Sustainable Labs (I2SL) Conference. The annual conference is a technical forum focused on meeting the challenges of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in laboratories and related facilities.

The presentation, “Breathing New Life into an Antiquated Building: A Sustainable Approach to Lab Transformation,” is a case study of the University of Pennsylvania’s Stemmler Hall, which recently underwent a transformative renovation.

The presentation is part of Session E1, taking place tomorrow Wednesday, October 7 from 12:30 to 2 PM.

Outdoor Learning Spaces Competition Aides Local Schools During the Pandemic

Ballinger is proud to continue our support of Philadelphia’s Community Design Collaborative and their recently-launched Design Assistance In Demand (AID) program, created to tackle the urgent needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Design AID’s current focus is finding ways to safety return Philadelphia students to equitable, in-person learning.

To act on this focus, the Collaborative hosted a design competition seeking innovative and creative solutions for outdoor learning in a time of global crisis. Solutions are being compiled in a design guide that will serve as a resource for schools in Philadelphia and beyond.

Join the Design Competition Showcase October 1 via Zoom to learn more about the Collaborative’s exploration of outdoor learning spaces and to see Ballinger’s competition submission.

Ballinger Named to Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2020 MEP Giants List

Ballinger was named to Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s list of 2020 MEP Giants. The annual list identifies the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States and Canada. The firms recognized by the peer-reviewed publication continuously push boundaries in engineering, providing the top engineered systems in the building industry. Balligner was recognized in the August 2020 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer and will be honored at a virtual awards event in October.

NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns Opens

The NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to providing individualized care to pregnant women and their newborns, opened August 2.  

Ballinger served as medical architect and healthcare planner for the 246,500 SF hospital, which graces the top six floors of the David H. Koch Center in Manhattan. 

The hospital’s 75 antepartum and postpartum rooms allow every patient to have their own room, promoting privacy, family bonding, and comfort. A Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)—offering the highest level of critical care for newborns—features private rooms and is the first in New York City with a dedicated MRI and operating room in the NICU. The interior design includes spacious rooms flooded with natural light and artwork created by women. 

“The NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns has been designed, first and foremost, as a place for mothers and their babies to receive the highest quality, most personalized level of care available,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “The hospital’s best-in-class model of care combines outstanding care teams, cutting-edge clinical technologies, and a beautiful, nurturing setting that prioritizes our patients’ privacy, safety and comfort.”

The project was designed as a collaboration between HOK and Ballinger.

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

Ballinger Designers Rank in International Portable Museum Design Competition

Instant Museum, a concept by Ballinger designers Philip Claghorn and Ray Lai, made the shortlist of the Archhive Books’ Portable Reading Rooms competition, representing the US on the global list. The international architecture competition invited designers to create a modular book-sharing structure to encourage reading and provide a community space for citizens of all ages.

The Instant Museum concept is a dynamic installation that aims to change the static and exclusive perception of the traditional museum. In contrast, the public is encouraged to ‘play’ with the modular structure. Throughout their concept, the designers prioritized public accessibility. The installation makes classic works of art and architectural literature available in an instant, in communities that may not have easy access to museums.

Archhive Books, the competition sponsor, is a print publication that connects architects with social issues and engagement opportunities.

View the entry

Accelerating Change through Evidence-Based Design

As a Cornerstone partner of the Center for Health Design, Ballinger advances the mission of improving the quality of healthcare through design of the built environment. Ballinger has been an active participant in the Center’s work, including the Pebble Project, a national research initiative to formalize an evidence-based design process. The goal is to create a ripple effect by documenting peer-reviewed examples of healthcare environments that employ evidence-based design and then assess outcomes.

Ballinger participated in the planning of two Pebble Projects: the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower and the Weill Greenberg Ambulatory Care Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. The Weill Greenberg Center was one of the nation’s first Pebble Projects, and research on the design impacts was published in the peer-reviewed Health Environments Research + Design (HERD) Journal.

In line with the mission to share knowledge, Ballinger leaders have also presented lectures and webinars at learning sessions organized by Center. We are proud to contribute to the Center’s ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.

Read more on Ballinger’s partnership with the Center for Health Design

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

Our Ballinger Community

Recent events have brought heightened focus on eliminating social injustice and providing dignity and respect for human life. Many Americans are protesting for positive change and improving our collective quality of life. We must commit ourselves to being a source of sensitivity and care at this time of uncertainty, as well as advocates for human rights always.

We dedicate ourselves to Ethical and Professional Conduct that binds us professionally to upholding human rights for all and using our knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare. By our own code, it is unethical to adjoin ourselves to the service of those who would ask us to violate those principles.

As Architects, Engineers, and Designers we uphold the safety and well-being of people inhabiting our built environments. We pride ourselves on our expertise and apply our knowledge to solve difficult design and technical challenges. We can extend the same commitment to our craft by bringing innovative ideas and determination to the complex challenges facing our broader society. We can strive to build a more honest, safe, and equitable world.

Since 1878, Ballinger has been an active Philadelphia community leader with broad national reach. Let’s remain focused on a better and more just future… for every member of our local community and across the nation.

The Ballinger Leadership

Ballinger supports the Community Design Collaborative’s Leverage virtual event

The Community Design Collaborative held their annual fundraiser virtually on Thursday, raising over $105,000 to provide preliminary design services to local non-profit organizations.

The program included remarks from Ballinger Senior Principal Terry D. Steelman, FAIA and the Collaborative’s Interim Executive Director, Jenn Richard. This year’s Leverage Award honoree was Judee M. Bavaria, President Emeritus of Presby’s Inspired Life, who has been key to expanding and enrich­ing affordable senior housing in our region.

Over 200 attendees participated via Zoom, connecting Philadelphia’s architecture, engineering and construction community at a time when in-person events are prohibited, and the city is wrestling with economic unrest and disparity.

Ballinger is a corporate champion sponsor of the Collaborative and over 30 staff members have volunteered time on Collaborative projects. Past Leverage Award recipients include Ballinger’s Terry D. Steelman, FAIA; president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, Stephen K. Klasko, MD; and Connor Barwin, NFL player and founder of Make the World Better Foundation (MTWB).

Michael Radio Named to Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 40 under 40

Ballinger associate principal Michael Radio, PE, CEM, BEMP, LEED AP BD+C was selected for Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 40 Under 40 award. The honor is given annually to 40 building industry professionals who demonstrate excellence in their academic, professional, and community involvement.

Since joining Ballinger in 2010, Mike has championed the importance of mechanical engineering and the role of technology in designing innovative building solutions. He stands out for his data-driven approach to guiding clients toward their sustainability goals, engagement in mentoring and improving interdisciplinary collaboration at Ballinger, and his active role in the wider engineering community.

“If the technical expertise, breadth of experience and confident attitudes don’t impress you, then the dedication given to mentoring, the community and family certainly will,” said Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. “Now in its 13th year, the 2020 40 Under 40 winners are more creative, focused and passionate than most professionals at the early phases of their career, leading them to succeed in their respective professions.”

The winners are profiled in the May issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer and will be honored at an awards ceremony in Chicago in October 2020.

DHK Center Wins BD+C Building Team Award

The NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch (DHK) Center, a 734,000 SF ambulatory care center designed through a collaboration between Ballinger, HOK, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, received a 2020 Building Team Award from Building Design + Construction.

The national awards program honors building projects for their architectural excellence as well as for successful collaboration between owners, architects, engineers and contractors. A jury of 17 experts selected the DHK Center for silver recognition.

Opened in 2018 on New York City’s Upper East Side, the building was designed to provide patient and family-centered care in a healing environment.

Winners were published in the May/June issue of Building Design + Construction magazine.

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

Philadelphia-Based Researchers Work Towards COVID-19 Vaccine in Ballinger-Designed Labs

Research scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and The Wistar Institute are responding to the coronavirus global outbreak by investigating the development of new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent infections. Researchers are conducting experiments in labs designed by the architects and engineers of Ballinger — The Robert and Penny Fox Tower, a seven-story, 100,000 SF addition to The Wistar Institute and Stemmler Hall, a 230,000 SF lab building at the University of Pennsylvania that recently underwent a transformative renovation.

Photo courtesy of Norbert Pardi

Photo courtesy of Norbert Pardi

Read more about how these institutions are working to speed the development and testing of a COVID-19 vaccine

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/

AIA AAH Webinar: The Big 5 Healthcare Design Strategies for an Adaptable Future

How can we design healthcare buildings to be flexible in the face of uncertainty? In a webinar hosted by the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH), Ballinger Senior Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr, FAIA, FACHA, ACHE and Principal Erin Nunes Cooper, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP will address trends in patient-centered care and technology that drive the need for flexibility.

Their presentation, “The Big 5: Healthcare Design Strategies for an Adaptable Future,” will focus on the impact of floor to floor heights, column spacing, fixed vertical elements, targeted zones of flexibility, and resiliency on a healthcare facility’s future adaptability.

Link to registration

Ballinger Aids in Printing Coronavirus Face Shields for Healthcare Workers

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballinger has remobilized our Ultimaker 3D printers to produce face shields. Organized by our print partner, BluEdge, the effort will aid healthcare workers in desperate need of personal protective equipment (PPE). Ballinger is proud to join architecture firms across the US to manufacture supplies during this time of need.

Link to BlueEdge’s face shield 3D print farm

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.

Ballinger on the Structural Engineering Channel Podcast

Ballinger Principal and Chief Structural Engineer Angela M. Fante, PE, SECB, LEED AP was a guest on the Structural Engineering Channel, a podcast from the Engineering Management Institute. Co-hosts Mathew Picardal, PE and Alexis Clark, PE interviewed Angie about the structural engineering walking tour of St. Louis she recently developed with support from the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). Angie researched and recorded the tour as a way to highlight and explain notable engineering achievements.

Listen to the podcast https://engineeringmanagementinstitute.org/tsec-22-structural-engineering-city-walking-tour-app/

A message regarding Ballinger’s response to COVID-19

To our Clients, Collaborators, and Colleagues:

Ballinger remains steadfastly committed to our employees, clients, and colleagues as we navigate the uncertainties brought on by COVID-19.

We have undertaken a number of measures to protect our employees while continuing to meet the expectations of our clients. As of March 16, our teams are working remotely, accessible by phone, email and videoconference. We maintain a robust technology platform that enables us to continue to advance the work of our projects remotely. Our technological infrastructure provides full access to our network and enables teams to collaborate and communicate virtually, ensuring continuity of client service and team integration.

Our practice is focused on work that advances discovery, health and learning. As we confront this global pandemic, Ballinger is committed to doing our part to make a difference and to support those that carry the burden of containing this virus and caring for others.

On behalf of all of us at Ballinger, we encourage you to stay safe and well during this difficult time. Thank you for your continued support and trust.

Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital Celebrates Expansion Opening

Tomorrow, March 7, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital will celebrate the opening of a 250,000 SF expansion and 26,000 SF renovation designed to transform the campus and improve patient care. Chester County residents will have the opportunity to gather at the new Pavilion for a ceremonial ribbon cutting and celebration.

The design of Chester County Hospital’s expansion is inspired by the Mediterranean heritage of the hospital’s original building, designed in the 1920s. Comprising a new main entry, procedural platform, emergency department, parking garage and new bed tower, the expansion will make world-class healthcare accessible to all in Chester County.

Ballinger completed the first phase of the expansion, Lasko Tower, a 100,000 SF, four-story building with patient rooms for telemetry, surgical care, and maternity units, in 2014.  A post-occupancy evaluation of Lasko Tower was then completed and its findings were used to inform the design of the next phases of the expansion.

A new emergency department, with a separate entrance, will significantly expand the hospital’s capabilities to better serve the needs of patients and is designed with the flexibility to become a trauma center. The expansion features private prep-recovery rooms with decentralized care, as well as surgical and interventional rooms co-located for collaboration, flexibility and efficiency of shared resources.

New glass elements and courtyards compliment the white stucco and tile roofs of the existing campus. They enable intuitive wayfinding while providing access to daylight and nature. A ground floor courtyard serves as a verdant extension of the lobby, with seating beneath a canopy of ginkgo trees. Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the project includes an expansive green roof atop the procedural platform. Rooftop plantings will improve stormwater management, reduce heat build-up, and provide green views for guests.

export 3

Ballinger’s Angela Fante Authors Structural Engineering Walking Tour

Ballinger Principal and Chief Structural Engineer Angela M. Fante, PE, SECB, LEED AP, created a walking tour of structural engineering sights in downtown St. Louis, MO. Available on the PocketSights mobile app, the tour is designed for professional engineers as well as a general audience and highlights structural engineering feats throughout the city.

Angela serves as Chair of the Public Relations Committee for the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE SEI) and with SEI support, created the three-mile tour for the upcoming Structures Congress scheduled to take place in St. Louis April 5-8. The tour includes stops at Union Station Hotel (the conference venue and a historic former train station containing what was once the world’s longest truss span), the iconic Gateway Arch, Eads Bridge, and the Wainwright Building, a Louis Sullivan building which is often referred to as the first successful utilization of steel construction.

Available for download now, the tour will officially debut at a Structures Congress networking event on April 5.

H_190910_N20_high

David H. Koch Center Achieves LEED Gold

The NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center was recently certified LEED Gold by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). It’s the first project in New York City to earn certification and the first in the state to achieve LEED Gold under the more stringent LEED Healthcare rating system.

Thumbnail_option_3

The 734,000 GSF state-of-the-art ambulatory facility was designed via a collaboration between Ballinger, HOK, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, with Syska Hennessy Group as MEP engineer. Centered around providing a seamless patient-care experience from beginning to end, the facility is also designed for operational efficiency, future flexibility and sustainability.

11039_01_N130_high

Sustainable strategies include a high-performance building skin, high-efficiency mechanical systems and a green roof covering 30% of the surface. Systems are designed to decrease energy use by 18.7% and water usage by 30%. The distinctive façade consists of triple paned insulated glazing with slatted wood screens, which reduces solar glare, building heat gain, and the need for solar and privacy shading.

Engineering for a New World

The University of Rhode Island Magazine covered the opening of the Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering, designed and engineered by Ballinger.

Fall 2019 Magazine Cover

Excerpted from the University of Rhode Island Magazine:

The largest construction project in University history, The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering opened its doors this fall, bringing all the engineering disciplines together in a space that actively supports hands-on, interdisciplinary research and defies departmental silos. The center features state-of-the-art research labs, student-oriented open space, and bold, modern design–transparent, airy, and centered around common work areas.

By Janine Liberty

From the smartphone to the Large Hadron Collider to France’s Millau Viaduct, some of the world’s greatest engineering marvels have been created in the last 20 years. Rapid advances in technology and material sciences have changed not just what’s possible in engineering, but what’s imaginable. Engineers are at the center of an era defined by unprecedented technological capabilities, and their creative and practical achievements are shaping the world in entirely new ways.

Collective Purpose

Just before classes began this fall, a group of engineering professors gathered in The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering. Representing the full engineering faculty, this group comprises 22 of the college’s 74 faculty members, whose research and teaching will be shaped by the open space, transparent walls, and bridge-like architecture of the new facility.

Engineers are unique. Equal parts creative visionaries and doers, they are able to imagine technologies that will advance human potential, and construct the framework that will transform their ideas into reality. These engineers are also teachers, mentors, and guides—showing the next generation, who will be faced with some of the biggest problems the world has ever known, how to engineer solutions.

A New Space for a New Era of Research

URI’s College of Engineering is positioned to push the rapidly expanding boundaries of science and technology, and its new home, The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering, is designed for this new era. With the opening of The Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering this fall,” says College of Engineering Dean Raymond M. Wright, “students can be educated differently, and researchers can collaborate more easily across disciplines.”

“This new facility will stimulate collaborative, multidisciplinary learning and research. It will lead to discoveries that we cannot even imagine today.”
–URI President David M. Dooley

“Increasingly, our engineering students and faculty are not only working in interdisciplinary teams within the college, but with students and faculty from across the University in oceanography, health, pharmacy, chemistry, computer science, and business as well as companies and corporations around the state, region, and the world,” URI President David M. Dooley says.

During preliminary meetings with the project’s principal architect, Terry Steelman, of the firm Ballinger of Philadelphia, Wright explained that he wanted to bring faculty together through research areas, not departments or disciplines. “One thing we know for sure is when we bring people together to solve challenges, it gets done,” says Wright.

The college will be organized around critical interdisciplinary research themes that address some of the biggest challenges the world faces: alternative energy, nanotechnology, robotics, cybersecurity, water for the world, biomedical technology, advanced materials and structures, and sensors and instrumentation.

The Fascitelli Center will support and encourage this interdisciplinary research by physically locating faculty from different disciplines near one another and adjacent to common research and meeting spaces. “Almost nothing in engineering anymore exists solely within a single discipline,” says Steelman. “This building is designed not just to advocate for, but to stimulate interdisciplinary discovery, so students can be educated differently, and researchers can collaborate across disciplines.”

“When the engineering disciplines combine, the sum is greater than its parts. URI engineering is building the future.”
–Dean Raymond M. Wright

“Our faculty are designing and building the infrastructure modern society relies on; finding innovative ways to harness energy from our sun, ocean, and even highways; building new medical diagnostic methods and devices; and racing to ensure every man, woman, and child has access to clean, safe water,” says Wright.

“This new facility will stimulate collaborative, multidisciplinary learning and research. It will lead to discoveries that we cannot even imagine today,” Dooley adds.

The new building was funded by two Rhode Island voter-approved bond issues, as well as private gift commitments from corporations including Toray Plastics (America), Inc.; FM Global; Taco; Hexagon; and Shimadzu; and from individual donors, including a $10 million gift from College of Engineering alumnus Michael D. Fascitelli ‘78, Hon. ‘08, and his wife, Elizabeth Fascitelli.

Learning Through Hands-On Research and Fieldwork

Working in robotics is like the Wild West in terms of the opportunities it presents,” says engineering student Robin Hall ‘20. “It’s always innovative, always changing, and there is always something new to work on.” Hall sits in the Intelligent Control and Robotics Lab surrounded by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), robots, spare wires, and computers.

Situated on the fourth floor of the new engineering building, the robotics lab opens up to an expanse of glass that encloses the exterior hallway. From inside, you can look out over the northern edge of the Kingston Campus to the woodlands beyond. Hawks soar above the distant treetops, in effortless flight, while research teams inside devise robotic systems capable of agile, aerial movement.

“Working in robotics is like the Wild West in terms of the opportunities it presents.”
–Robin Hall ’20

This year, Hall has an independent research grant to develop a wall-traversing drone. “My idea employs a four-propeller UAV surrounded by an external cage that can rotate independently from the internal body of the robot. The cage will protect the vehicle and maintain stability.” Working with existing drone and cage designs, Hall’s innovation is to fix two axes and add a motor to the third axis to control the movement. “The quadcopter will behave like a wheel, rolling laterally against a wall surface.”

He’ll work with Paolo Stegagno, assistant professor of electrical, computer, and biomedical engineering, as his grant adviser. “As he designs and tests his UAV, Robin will gain advanced knowledge of control systems,” says Stegagno.

More research involvement–such as Hall’s–at the undergraduate level is important to the college; it means higher-quality senior projects, better internships, and more opportunities for students at all levels to learn from one another. Senior capstone projects are team-oriented and industry-driven, focusing on real-world challenges companies bring in for senior-year students to work on over the course of the academic year.

Making the capstone projects highly visible is meant not only to benefit students, but to attract industry. The projects are already an important point of entry for industry partners, having reliably translated to employment for graduates as well as research and economic partnerships with the University.

College of Engineering alumnus W. Lewis Collier, M.S. ‘86, Ph.D. ‘14, rapid engineering and prototype systems engineering manager for the MIL Corporation, and former technical director at Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation, supervised URI engineering students doing capstone projects at SRI International. He says URI’s capstone program “offers a valuable opportunity for students to apply and hone their engineering skills and learn about real-world problems and how engineers operate in the field.” Adds Collier, the program “is also important to the University’s mission to provide educated workers for Rhode Island businesses.”

A New Space for a New Era of Research

Great design is achieved through a balance of opposites. This 190,000-square-foot, five-story engineering building is a tour de force of design.

During the day, light streams throughout the enormous expanses of open space, constantly shifting in color, shadow, and intensity as it passes through surfaces of varying opacity. This effect is balanced by the density and stability of the building’s metal truss support system–which eliminates the need for interior support columns and allows for uninterrupted, open interiors–and sleek concrete floors.

“The glass of the building is both a metaphor and a physical manifestation of transparency and collaboration.”
—Dean Raymond M. Wright

The trusses, which span more than 150 feet of open space inside and are visible from the exterior of the building, are like those used for bridges, giving the building a bridge-like appearance, which emphasizes its physical siting between the older, humanities-focused buildings in the center of the Kingston Campus and the newer, science and technology-focused buildings on the north edge of campus.

In the new building, capstones will be a significant and highly visible part of the activity. More importantly, points out Wright, students from different research themes will be working in the same space. “You’ll have civil engineering and mechanical and biomedical capstone projects happening side by side.” In the building’s design, the Ballinger team combined the majority of the teaching environments on the first floors, so that students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary nature of the building.

“The quad level is a remarkable place,” says Wright. “We want our students to recognize that it’s their home. There are no faculty offices or research offices on that floor. It’s all about showcasing the hands-on aspects of engineering and building a creative atmosphere for students.”

Great architecture must also balance the experience of the individual with a collective purpose. Fascitelli credits Wright’s vision of bringing the college’s departments together as the driving force behind the building design. “Science as a whole has become so much more interactive, and the world is changing at such a rapid pace,” says Fascitelli. “You really need that cooperation between disciplines.”

Says Wright, “The glass of the building is both a metaphor and a physical manifestation of transparency and collaboration.”

“There’s nothing like this building in our portfolio. It’s unique to URI and I’m really proud of that,” says Steelman, adding that the center is “one of the most provocative and technologically advanced engineering buildings in the country.”

Hall is inspired by the new engineering space. “Being able to work in this space is an amazing upgrade,” he says. “It’s like a temple. It feels like you have the opportunity to do anything here.”