By Jason Costello

The March 2023 ASHE PDC Summit in Phoenix Arizona did not disappoint. A lively mix of baseball spring training, the world baseball championship, and several thousand healthcare professionals descending on downtown Phoenix provided a level of energy to the area that was exciting to see.  At the conference, I was lucky enough to present with Jeff O’Neill from RWJBarnabas Health and Teresa Harris from isgenuity a presentation titled “Herding Cats: Implementation & Management of Functional Programs & Safety Risk Assessments” in which we facilitated a lively morning conversation on critical requirements of the FGI guidelines and who is responsible for completing them for each project.  I learned a lot from the conversation, and if you have any questions on these two areas of the guidelines, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!

There were great talks and keynotes throughout the conference. These are my top hot topics from this year’s conference:

  • BIG DATA is coming! Investing in sensors and data collection for augmented reality, personal device customization, and improved clinical predictive medicine.
  • Healthcare transitions to retail experience. Healthcare organizations need to shift their thinking from “patients” to “customers” and design for that experience.
  • Lots of doom and gloom on the financial side of things with a variety of examples of the financial toll COVID-19 has had on hospitals and their employees.
  • Telehealth reimbursement has been extended for two additional years; an inkling that this delivery of care model is here to stay in terms of reimbursement. It will be interesting to see if this sparks any new investments in projects related to expanding the implementation of virtual visits.

Of these hot topics, I see a hospital’s ability to invest in data collection across a wide spectrum of disciplines, from building management and infrastructure to patient clinical information to real time location services for staff patients and equipment, a key area of investment over the next 3 years.  A great idea from “Hey Alexa, How Can Hospitals Use Intelligent Lighting?” by Todd Hermann from Smith Seckman Reid and Abigail Lipperman from Children’s Health was purchasing Wi-Fi sensors that are integrated into light fixtures.  This simple concept allows a hospital to expand their sensor coverage via a hardwired system when areas are renovated, or lighting upgrades are made.  The sensors are often open-source code, allowing them to integrate with bio med for medical equipment tracking and personal devices for patients and staff wayfinding and navigating the hospital as well as wellness prompts, for instance, to take the stairs vs. the elevator.

So, that was what was discussed on stage, but what was everyone talking about at the bar? The electrification of the hospital to reduce carbon emissions was a key goal being discussed. The question I kept hearing was: Why take a critical care facility and place it at the bleeding edge of this transition with the current state of the broader electrical grid?  A diversity of systems and fuel sources seems like a more resilient answer to the overall risk assessment for the critical care hospital.  Hospitals should be focused on proven sustainable solutions to help their energy reduction, but a move to full electrification, even with the benefits of the microgrid, seems to be putting all the eggs into an infrastructure basket that has capacity issues. Failure could place peoples’ lives at risk.  This question really resonated with me, and it is often how I assess new products to the marketplace. Cool and shiny work well in a lot of commercial real estate projects, but when I am specifying products and designing for healthcare, I lean towards tried-and-true solutions that will hold up to the heavy use of environments of care.

Investment management firm sought new workspace at One Beacon Street

BOSTON – April 5, 2023 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that it has completed the renovation of 31,000 SF at One Beacon Street for Boston Trust Walden, an independent, employee-owned firm providing investment management services to institutional investors and private wealth clients. The firm has approximately $14 billion in assets under management and is known for its compelling investment philosophy, excellent track record, and decades-long leadership in ESG impact investing. The renovation project transformed the 34th floor at One Beacon Street into a light-filled space with stunning 360-degree views of Boston.

“We decided to move when we realized our office space would no longer accommodate our growth,” said Sarah Kelly, COO and general counsel at Boston Trust Walden. “We took the opportunity to reevaluate how we use space for working and found a partner in Margulies Peruzzi. Their talented team listened to our goals and designed a beautiful, modern space that achieved these and much more. The space is transparent and welcoming and encourages people to move around and interact with one another — something we were missing before. We are thrilled with the results.”

Boston Trust Walden prioritized smaller, uniform offices, direct access to daylight for workstations, and a focus on socialization and collaboration. To achieve these goals, Margulies Perruzzi designed perimeter offices with full glass fronts to bring light into the interior of the space and created alcoves at the perimeter for workstations with access to natural light. A lot of thought was put into creating an employee hub to serve as the core collaboration area. Featuring a coffee bar, pantry, and a variety of seating options including booths, high top tables, and traditional café seating, the employee hub encourages spontaneous collaboration and can also be used as informal meeting space. A client area is located adjacent to the reception area and employee hub and boasts four conference rooms of various sizes.

A unique feature of the Boston Trust Walden office is the trading area. Located in the interior of the space with direct access to an adjoining social area, it was designed to have a direct sight line to the stunning view. Margulies Perruzzi leveraged space at the heart of the interior of the office for ADA-compliant restrooms, locker space, and a multi-purpose wellness room.

Margulies Perruzzi selected earthy natural tones mixed with brighter colors to complement the natural wood floors, creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for employees and visitors. The design team took care to select materials for the space that not only visually embodied Boston Trust Walden, but also aligned with the firm’s focus on social and environmental responsibility, ensuring products used met this high standard.

The project team for this project included:

  • Architect / Interior Designer: Margulies Perruzzi
  • GC: Corderman & Company
  • MEP/FP: WB Engineers
  • Furniture: Officeworks
  • Lighting: Boston Light Source
  • OPM: Newmark