-By Tim Bailey

Wired certification is a new trend in the marketplace….

A few notes from wiredscore.com…

“Without reliable internet, businesses cannot function. Tenant-focused commercial real estate landlords pursue Wired Certification so current and future tenants can rest assured that they are paying for future-proofed, business-ready office space. Wired Certification provides crucial insight into connectivity as telecom requirements for tenants become more complex.”- Wiredscore.com

Want your building to be certified?

“Work with us to implement best practices to ensure the design and construction of your building meets the connectivity needs of the commercial tenants of the future. Buildings can achieve Wired Certification during the planning, engineering, construction, or early occupation stages of the development process. Owners and developers can promote their Wired Certification achievement across all marketing and PR channels as soon as the building rating has been awarded.”- wiredscore.com

For additional information please visit….


Originally published in High Profile Monthly. By Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP

Design of the built environment is changing radically for three fundamental reasons: improved technologies, improved products, and improved processes. These transformative drivers have revolutionized all facets of the construction industry and every aspect of how and what we build.

Improved Technologies

Gone are the days of delivering a set of drawings to a contractor who builds according to the plans and specifications. The distinction between design and delivery has progressively been dissolved. Contractors and subcontractors now participate in the design phase through a variety of delivery methods and contract types, including design-build, design-assist, and component-assist. Previously, architects and engineers illustrated their intent in 2D representation. Now, all design documents are in 3D, and most components are downloaded in 3D from product manufacturers, complete with parametric data on performance, maintenance programs, and infrastructure requirements. While this allows designers to take advantage of the detailed expertise of product manufacturers, it can also prejudice their selection based on the quality of the available downloads.

Through the collaboration of architects with contractors, subcontractors, and manufacturers, buildings and interiors can now be fully constructed virtually. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies can create immersive environments as convincing as those used in the gaming industry, blurring the lines between visualization and documentation.

Manipulation of scripted mathematical algorithms to autogenerate complex forms allows the exploration of every possible solution, not just the few that designers and contractors can sketch. Multiple schemes can be tested for appearance, fit, performance, and cost. Documentation is now dynamic, with the static sheet of drawings replaced by computers, iPads, headsets, and other electronic supports that permit builders to view, query, and coordinate such that conflict and waste can be eliminated.

Implications for architects include the expectation that subcontractor shop drawings will arrive electronically, prepared by those most knowledgeable about and responsible for their trade. The vastly more complex products and systems require expertise that no single source can provide, and collaborative technologies (BIM 360 and others) allow each professional to refine this marvelous building model in advance of beginning actual construction. Improvements in innovation, communication, cost control, risk reduction, and outcomes assurance will be momentous.

Improved Products

Modularity is increasingly sweeping aside field assembly. Traditionally, buildings are constructed piece by piece, brick by brick — regardless of rain, snow, or temperature. Would you buy a car built that way? Of course not; the quality would suffer too much. More and more of the components of a building are being delivered to the construction site ready for placement. These components range in size and complexity from light fixtures and unitized exterior building façades to whole buildings.

Improved technologies also facilitate CAD/CAM production directly from the design drawings. Sprinkler piping, for example, instead of being measured and cut in the field, can be shop fabricated to the precise dimensions and delivered to the exact intended location for installation. CNC machines, essentially robotic manufacturers, produce cabinetry ready for final assembly and require limited human intervention for production.

Modular housing is built in a factory efficiently and safely, delivered complete with finishes, appliances, plumbing fixtures, HVAC, and sprinklers fully tested to unequalled quality standards. Factories can actually sequence and assemble differently than what’s possible in the field, altering traditional responsibility-by-trade paradigms.

The use of mass customization is on the cusp of becoming routine practice. Why must all bricks be rectangular? Instead of using rectangular molds, what if molds could be easily and inexpensively created via software/robot interface such that bricks could be any shape we want? Materials will be 3D printed more often as printers and printable products evolve and designers discover more opportunities. Building mass was previously part of how material performance was measured; now lightweight, highly engineered assemblies and materials are crafted according to highly specialized characteristics at a nanotechnology level. Building integrated photovoltaic glazing (BIPV), which transforms entire surfaces of buildings into solar energy collectors, is an example of the highly integrated multidisciplinary nature of materials that now combine the characteristics of transparency, insulation, waterproofing, building protection, and electrical integration in ways that simpler materials never did.

Improved Processes

By its very nature, the traditional model of design-bid-build tends to cultivate mistrust. Today, clients want to work with building teams focused on delivery of the best product for the best price. More innovative contract models, such as integrated project delivery (IPD), create a relationship where the owner, designer, and contractor are all legal clients of the project, sharing liability and reward. There are many other team formats — design-build or design-assist, for example — that establish relationships that are highly collaborative and mutually respectful. While the architect used to be the “master builder,” the ubiquity of the owner’s project manager (OPM) now means that traditional roles have been upended. Some companies will even assume responsibilities for everything from leasing of premises to delivery of furniture, IT, and AV in addition to design and construction. New FASB accounting rules dictate recognition of construction costs far earlier than previously done. The response by corporate tenants (who represent 50% of building users) has been to negotiate that building owners assume responsibility for design and construction through turnkey deals that further blur the lines of direct accountability. If the relationships between industry professionals are contractually different, altered processes must result.

Architects wonder about the future of the profession. The adoption of innovative technologies, incorporation of specialized products, and embrace of more-collaborative processes can either help the discipline flourish or relegate designers to the junior position of façade decorator. Creating unique, one-of-a-kind buildings can be inefficient, risky, and expensive, yet construction is one of the greatest and most noble creations of humankind. How will we choose to build in the future?

About the Author
Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP, is a principal and senior partner at Margulies Perruzzi.

Originally posted in NEREJ

Boston, MA  – According to Margulies Perruzzi Architects (MPA), John Fowler, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, has been elevated to the position of associate partner of the firm. Fowler is the 12th member of the firm’s partnership and will continue to lead MPA’s growing healthcare studio, along with associate principal and partner Jason Costello, AIA, EDAC.

MPA also welcomed Mark Thomsen, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, as senior project manager for healthcare. Thomsen brings 23 years of experience as a master planner, project manager, and healthcare planner for a wide variety of hospital and healthcare clients and project types.

“The addition of Mark Thomsen to MPA’s healthcare studio offers our clients deep technical expertise coupled with proven project management skill. As an associate partner and associate principal advancing MPA’s healthcare practice, John Fowler has worked tirelessly with Jason Costello to secure new clients and position the firm for continued growth in the healthcare market,” said Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP, senior partner and principal at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. “We look forward to the collaboration of these three healthcare architects to design and deliver successful projects for our clients.”

For the past 20 years, Fowler has been designing healthcare and science facilities throughout the U.S. His focus on improving the built environment for patients and the clinicians that care for them is a passion that permeates every project with which he is involved. Fowler’s expertise in healthcare planning and design includes leading clinical 3P planning events, facility master planning, feasibility studies and strategic planning, in addition to architectural services. His recent project experience includes cancer care centers, surgical centers, endoscopy departments, compounding pharmacies, diagnostic imaging, and multi-specialty clinics.

Prior to joining MPA, Thomsen spent more than 23 years as a healthcare planner and project manager at a Boston-based healthcare architecture firm, where his experience ranged from hospital campus master planning to large hospital projects and outpatient clinics. His portfolio includes Jahra Hospital in Kuwait, Albany Memorial Hospital in New York, and Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Most recently, Thomsen led design teams for the multi-phased Boston Medical Center Menino Pavilion, working on several aspects of the project including medical/surgical inpatient units, the ICU, the central sterile department, and the pharmacy.

Photo by Genevieve de Manio Photography

By Jason Costello and John Fowler. Originally published on Healthcare Construction+Operations.

September 17, 2018 – Just as healthcare delivery is evolving through new patient-provider approaches and transformative technology, so is the design of healthcare facilities rapidly advancing by the use of Lean process improvement methods. Lean in healthcare has focused on continuous, incremental improvement of existing processes that were primarily concerned with the operational aspects of the delivery of care. Recently, this focus on Lean has expanded to the design of clinical space so the architecture supports simplified operational models with the goal of maximizing patient satisfaction while minimizing waste and using fewer resources. Today, healthcare designers are employing the more advanced Lean 3P (Production Preparation Process) approach to designing patient-centered spaces.

Hospitals are complex facilities with intricate workflows and dedicated patient care that greatly benefit from operational efficiencies provided by Lean process improvement. For example, the Lean 3P approach was used in designing a cancer center to reduce waiting times and improve patient flow. The process significantly decreased the times a patient had to move from one space to another. For patients receiving both radiation and medical oncology on their first day of treatment, patient room moves were reduced from 21 to 6.

A recent project for a metro-Boston community hospital utilized Lean 3P planning for the renovation and expansion of the hospital’s central sterile processing (CSP) suite. The project required a multi-phased approach to keep the suite operational during construction. The Lean 3P process was introduced to minimize construction phases and provide a deeper understanding of the project’s priorities and functionality to identify critical adjacencies and flow for the CSP suite, accommodate new clinical programs for robotic surgery, and expand the hospital’s surgical capacity.

The planning process begins by going to ‘Gemba’ (where the work is performed) to observe and question the current state of how materials, patients and clinicians flow through a clinical department. The CSP suite was suffering from a lack of flow of surgical supplies from the decontamination process through the utensil washers, creating a backlog of case carts and requiring additional staff time to process sterile supplies for the next day. The project team observed the specific tasks and operations of the entire CSP cycle from the operating rooms through decontamination, prep and pack, sterile supply, and then back up to the surgery department. The observations were then reviewed step-by-step with the end users to find opportunities to maximize flow and eliminate steps. This process forms the ideal or future state goal from the user group.

The Lean 3P process allowed the team to identify the root cause of workflow obstruction through the CSP department, which was originally believed to be through-put capacity of the washers but was identified as duplicative tasks performed during decontamination and prep and pack. By eliminating the cataloguing step from the decontamination process, the processing time for soiled items could be reduced, thereby increasing valuable through-put.

The information derived from the existing state and the proposed ideal forms the basis mock-up portion of the 3P Planning Event. The complexities of renovating a CSP department in place required the team to understand the most efficient layout of the decontamination sink area to simplify phasing. The team created three mock-ups of the sinks and ran simulations through each option to study cross traffic, areas for carts, and required sorting space. The mock-ups provided a broader group of people to be involved in the design process, actively moving around boxes to replicate equipment in order to customize the space to meet their needs. Ultimately, this led to decisions in concept planning that held true throughout the remainder of the planning and design process.

The use of Lean 3P principles can help to improve end users’ understanding of the planning process and enable them to make informed decisions for their future space. The process can illustrate a complex workflow with many variables, identify obstructions, challenge original assumptions, and minimize duplication efforts. Using Lean 3P for healthcare can accelerate process design improvements and improve decision-making created in the early design phases of a project.

About the Authors
Jason Costello, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, is an associate principal and partner, and John Fowler, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, is an associate principal in the Health+Science studio at Margulies Perruzzi Architects (MPA). As one of New England’s top architectural and interior design firms, MPA designs Workplace, Health+Science, and Real Estate projects that inspire and nurture human endeavor. More information may be found at www.mp-architects.com.