Medical Construction & Design

MAR-APR 2018

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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MCDM AG.COM | M A RCH /A PR IL 2018 | Medical Construction & Design 21 Healthcare industry leaders' risk calcu- lations attend to the possibility of disaster- scale climate and human-caused events. Historically, system redundancy has been the primary risk mitigation strategy. But high costs and heavy storm damage from the last two decades challenge the adequa- cy of that approach. The broader concept of resilience — a facility's ability to operate, in whole or in part, during a disruptive event and its ability to quickly recover afterward — is taking hold as a legitimate alternative or companion strategy. To varying extents, healthcare archi- tects and engineers are challenged to chart their own approach to resilience design. Some of the largest U.S. cities among the most vulnerable to disruptive seismic, weather and climate events — Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle — have enacted suites of plans, policies and design and construction standards that acknowledge their respec- tive disaster risks and are planning accord- ingly. Some call out healthcare facilities for exceptional resilience design measures due to the critical need for these facilities to operate during disaster scenarios. Every design team can employ the U.S. Green Building Council's resilience design pilot credits, the objective of which is to ensure recognition of the project's climate vulnerabilities and address the most signifi cant of them in the design process. USGBC's resilient design rating system — the RELi standard — was also adopted in late 2017. It off ers architects, developers, government and urban planners a program of points to establish the credibility of their resilience planning across multiple catego- ries. Finally, in conjunction with state and municipal plans, the federal government requires emergency preparedness for hos- pitals that is climate responsive, considers community context and engages other institutions in coordinated preparedness. Beyond tools & rules However, these tools and rules don't go far enough. When Seattle Children's Hospital embarked on its Building Hope expansion project, designed by ZGF Architects in col- laboration with Affi liated Engineers, Inc., emergency preparedness was a fundamen- tal owner requirement. Building Hope, a 330,000-square-foot facility that expanded L ast year ranked behind 2012 and 2016 as the third-hottest on record. Also in 2017, the U.S. sustained a record number of billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events: 16. How will the healthcare design industry address this issue of increased temperatures and major weather events? A conference room is fi tted with equipment and storage that anticipates its conversion into an operations hub during an emergency. Nurse stations can be centrally located to reduce travel distances, an important consideration in the event of a post-disaster population surge.

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