Articles Tagged with: Reading Health System
Healthcare Facilities Management Covers Engagement Process at Tower Health System

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

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

Read the articles here and here.

Reading HealthPlex Selected as Finalist for Healthcare Design (HCD) Showcase

The Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical and Patient Care was a finalist in Healthcare Design (HCD) Magazine’s 2017 Healthcare Design Showcase. A jury made up of representatives of from HCD, 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, community collaboration, aesthetics, and operational performance.

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

Ballinger Recognized at the Design + Health 12th World Congress

Ballinger’s work was recognized at the Design + Health International Academy Awards held in Vienna, Austria during the Design + Health World Congress.

Penn Medicine: Lancaster General Health Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute won an award for its use of art in public and private spaces and was the overall winner in the Interior Design category. Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical and Patient Care won an award in the category of Sustainable Urban and Built Environment.

The Design + Health International Academy Awards is a leading advocacy program recognizing professional excellence in the research and practice of designing healthy built environments.

Ballinger principals Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Eric Swanson, AIA accepted the awards at a gala dinner at Vienna’s historical City Hall, chaired by Professor Alan Dilani, founder of the International Academy for Design + Health.

Ballinger Presents at the Design + Health 12th World Congress

Ballinger principals Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Eric Swanson, AIA attended the International Academy for Design and Health (IADH) Design + Health World Congress held in Vienna, Austria July 12-16. The program for the conference and exhibition explored public health on a global scale.

Louis and Eric presented the recently completed Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical and Patient Care in a talk titled “A Closer Look at the U.S. Healthcare Built Environment.”

With experts from the UK, Italy, Sweden, Australia, South Africa, Taiwan, Brazil and others, the conference was an opportunity to exchange ideas and review progress to improve patient care.

Reading HealthPlex: Q&A with Senior Electrical Engineer Ben Medich

In January 2017, construction was completed on Tower Health System’s new Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical + Patient Care. At first glance, the Ballinger-designed 465,000 SF facility is notable for its 88,000 SF green roof, which serves to visually minimize the massive 115,000 SF operating platform footprint and provide patients with an environment that promotes healing. Equally important to patient experience, however, are the advanced systems employed by Ballinger’s engineers to ensure that the hospital is able to provide seamless care under any circumstances. We sat down with Ballinger Engineer on the project, Ben Medich, PE to learn about how the engineering team approached the unique challenges of this project:

What factors need to be considered when designing a power system for a hospital as large as the Reading HealthPlex?

BM: It’s crucial for all hospitals to have reliable power supplies in case of power outage. At Reading HealthPlex, everything from the technologically advanced machines in the surgical suites to the lights in the patient rooms are critically important to patient care. We drew from our previous hospital experience and also considered reliability strategies employed in data centers when designing this power platform.

What sort of solutions did you come up with?

BM: Our system employs fully-redundant UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) systems. Each UPS has N+1 flywheels for energy storage to back-up all of the lighting and receptacle power in the building and ensure no disruption to the medical equipment or patient care during a power outage. The systems are employed in conjunction with the paralleled backup-generators to provide both short-time ride-through of transients and intermediate-term power backup.

So what would happen if there was a power outage?

BM: Our design allows for 96-hours of on-site fuel storage for the generators. The system will function without interruption to the power of emergency and life-support systems. Even if the UPS units were not online, the power system would still meet The Joint Commission’s requirements for back-up power to critical and life safety systems within 10 seconds of power loss. This allows us to design the system without requiring the UPS units to have a UL 1008 listing, which is not available in large sizes.

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster that could impact the power supply, the hospital can continue to fulfill its commitment to emergency preparedness and patient safety.

Opening Ceremony for Reading Hospital Healthplex

Reading Hospital Medical Center held an opening ceremony for its new state-of-the-art Reading HealthPlex in West Reading, PA.

This Ballinger-designed surgical tower complex consolidates campus-wide surgical services including pre-admission testing, an eight-room procedural suite, and the addition of a surgical center with 24 operating rooms including four hybrid rooms and two daVinci System robotic surgery rooms.

From left to right: Helen Joo, Jacob Shoemaker, Louis Meilink, Dr. Robert Brigham, Rob Goss, Tom Parr, and Dennis Meskill. 

From left to right: Helen Joo, Jacob Shoemaker, Louis Meilink, Dr. Robert Brigham, Rob Goss, Tom Parr, and Dennis Meskill.

Members of Ballinger’s team attended the event where Tower Health System leadership, including Dr. Robert Brigham, for whom the surgical center is named, gave speeches to the audience. Dr. Brigham has said of the new building, “We are going to offer a whole new experience for the patients, a much more conducive environment to healing and to recovery. We are going to be able to offer much greater technology to expand our minimally invasive surgery techniques in the realms of cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, and neurosurgery. This is really advancing healthcare in our community and will transform the way we deliver health care in our community.”

The design of this 465,000 SF building focuses on the patient/family experience and integration with the existing Hospital campus by taking advantage of opportunities for connectivity, advanced medical care, and enhanced use of green space. Maximized daylighting and views of the 88,000 SF accessible green roof and neighboring public gardens and art museum contribute to the healing nature of the space.

Reading Hospital 7th Avenue Building Drone Footage


Focused on the patient/family experience and integration with the existing Hospital campus, the design of Reading Hospital’s new 465,000 SF 7th Avenue building turns the site and program challenges into opportunities for connectivity, enhanced green space and advanced medical care. Fully 72% of the project footprint is covered by an accessible green roof and part of a two-acre public garden. The change in grade of the sloping site provides a perfect opportunity to integrate the lower levels of the building with the topography. The large footprint – 110,000 SF dedicated to surgical services – is partially contained beneath the vast network of green spaces accessible to patients, visitors and staff. A patient tower rises from this landscaped plinth and connects to existing adjacent buildings to complete a major public circulation axis extending across the campus. The new facility maximizes daylighting and takes advantage of views of the neighboring public gardens and art museum.

in::sync media recently completed the fly around of the new building under construction.

Ballinger Presents at 2015 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo

On October 7, 2015, Principal Lou Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE, and Director of Healthcare Planning Dwight Smith, AIA, EDAC spoke at the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo.

The surgical suite has historically been broken down into zones or levels of cleanliness.  As procedures become less invasive and expand to other modalities, differentiating cleanliness protocols have also expanded to other disciplines and in the process, grayed the understanding of what is best practice.  This presentation explored the history of clean flow in the medical field.  What is the definition of clean flow and is it fact or fiction?  As an architect, what design decisions influence clean flow in either a positive or negative way?  What are the components of clean flow and the risk factors associated with each?  What are the minimum requirements and are they truly best practice?  With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act linking reimbursements to reductions of surgical site infections (SSI), the effectiveness of clean flow will have an impact on every institution’s bottom line.

Link to Presentation

Ballinger’s Research on Designing for Multiple Generations Published in Health Facilities Management

Ballinger Principal Louis Meilink Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and Senior Associate Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP, EDAC shared their analysis of multigenerational healthcare workers’ preferences in an article in Health Facilities Management.

In an effort to plan and design healthcare workplaces better, Ballinger used post-occupancy evaluation surveys to gather data on generational preferences for different kinds of working environments.

A key finding of their research is the importance of an inclusionary design process. Facilities that are designed to comprehensively address multiple generations result in a more efficient and fulfilled workforce.

Health Facilities Management is a publication of the American Hospital Association, providing comprehensive coverage of health facility design, construction and operations.

Article Link

Inspired by Data Centers, Ballinger Engineers Protect the Power Supply for Patients

An article by Ballinger’s Benjamin O. Medich, PE and Reading Health System’s David J. Major, PE, CHC, CHFM was published by Medical Construction + Design Magazine (MCD). The piece describes the power supply design for the Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical and Patient Care, which applies techniques from modern data centers. High quality and highly reliable power is critical in healthcare environments.

­­Link to article