Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.
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Healthcare systems are challenging the value of delivery of care versus facility ownership and management. Many are question- ing initial capital investments, which add to a stable of deprecia- tive real estate, and looking to enter into build-to-suit, long-term lease agreements in another owner's building. New medical of ce buildings — including the growing number of outpatient facilities in dense urban environments — are trending toward this evolving model of developer-led buildings. The developers of these projects are realizing the value of qual- ity projects and investing in highly performing building envelopes, focused on a reduction in operating costs, while simultaneously creating comfortable environments for the occupants of the build- ing. To protect investments, developers are not only adding spe- cialized façade consultants to the base project team, but challeng- ing architects to create highly performing innovative buildings. A new seven-story medical of ce building located in Brooklyn, New York, looks to explore dynamic and innovate new ways of designing building enclosures. The new facility is approximately 75,000 square feet of medical and retail space on fl oors 1, 5, 6 and 7 with a 200-car, three-story open air parking garage on levels 2, 3 and 4. The site is a half city block long and spans the width of a full city block. The building will be the tallest structure within a mile, promising phenomenal views to the north and east, as well as four sides of solar exposure. The team began the design by optimizing the building mass- ing and orientation on the site, looking at options to balance the critical issues of zoning, project program and long-term site uti- lization. Medical of ce buildings are by nature programmatically driven buildings requiring a high degree of fl exibility, allowing the building, over time, to be modifi ed to meet the needs of vol- ume changes in service lines. Several options were studied, look- ing at various massing options, amounts of perimeter exposure and site density. The site was studied so that future phases could be added, providing further fl exibility. When buildings are oriented with their long axis in the east- west direction, the broad face of the façade faces south, where typically the high angle of the sun can be dealt with by window setbacks or horizontal shading devices. In urban environments, with fi xed street grids, the building orientation cannot always match the confi guration with optimal solar exposure. Medical of ce buildings are similar to other of ce buildings in that, programmatically, they have many spaces with a qualitative af nity toward access to natural daylight; this is a key driver in buildings that are perimeter driven. The dif erence, however, is that treatment and exam spaces along the perimeter of a medical of ce building have greater privacy issues and tend to require higher windowsills. The low angles of the late afternoon westward light are often problematic from a heat gain and glare perspective. A façade approach to maximize solar attributes High-Performance Envelopes Spotlight building envelopes BY ANTHONY CAPUTO Visually appealing from outside and in, this ambulatory care center blends a modern structure within a bustling neighborhood. 20 Medical Construction & Design | J U LY/AUGUST 2015 | MCDM AG.COM