Kone Centre Solar Garage
Madison College Gateway Addition
Virtual Reality
Cedar Rapids Federal Courthouse
Modern Nurse Call Systems
A Virtual Environment

Latest Posts

A new alternative to existing low floor-to-floor heights


10-foot Deltabeams on site

With modern healthcare facilities requiring taller ceilings for procedure rooms with advanced medical equipment, new additions must squeeze space out of every system above these ceilings — a particularly complex structural design challenge for hospitals built in the 1950s or ’60s. The entire design team must battle these low clearances throughout such projects, and the…

Read More

The Popular Alpine Village Layout Returns to Festival Express


IMG_1504

This year’s theme for the Quad City Arts Festival of Trees is “30 Years of Holiday Cheer.” To commemorate this special year we decided to bring back our most popular train layout. We made some improvements to the control station that will also make easier to take photos while children take their turns operating the…

Read More

Great Acoustics – It’s a Team Sport!


playbook v1 small

Delivering a project which meets its acoustic and vibration specifications is one of the most difficult achievements you will ever accomplish. Doing so requires teamwork, constant communication, shared team responsibility and cost, and coordination of the various engineering and architectural systems. Take for example the simple requirement of keeping the background noise in a corporate…

Read More

Virtual reality: Improved display, imagery make it viable for building design industry


virtual-reality  3

By Sarah Garthaus Virtual reality encompasses a large collection of technology, any of which simulate an alternate location or reality. One of the most up-and-coming modes for virtual reality is the head-mounted display, which creates a totally immersive experience. Head-mounted displays use stereoscopic imagery to create the illusion of depth. The headset houses a display screen…

Read More

Modern nurse call systems are capable of providing much more than nurse call


Modern nurse call systems can play a role so important to the delivery of care that the phrase 'nurse call' hampers big-picture thinking about the advanced capabilities.

By Jeff Carpenter, PE, RCDD On the surface, a nurse call system seems like a straight-forward, almost universally understood concept. Indeed, when they hear the phrase “nurse call,” most people who have worked in healthcare will visualize the same things: dome lights, tones emanating through corridors, and patients using their pillow speakers to change television…

Read More

10 tips for optimizing medical equipment and related hospital operations


Locating central sterile services near operating rooms will increase efficiency for quicker diagnosis and turn-around.

By Suraj Soudagar, LEED AP If you’re in the planning phase of a new healthcare facility or renovation of an existing facility, consider the following tips for optimizing medical equipment and related hospital operations: Place imaging modalities and lab analyzers on a centralized uninterruptible power supply (UPS, flywheel or battery) rather than having each modality…

Read More

If energy reporting has you concerned, energy modeling may be what you need


Owners who are proud of their building's energy use aren't afraid of sharing the information with the public. The Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate in Des Moines, for example, make their building's energy use available to the public on a daily basis via this interactive display in the lobby.

By Lincoln Pearce If your building’s annual energy use were to be published on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper, would it be news to you?  Would you be proud of the number, embarrassed, or even familiar with it?  Owners of large commercial buildings across the U.S. are increasingly facing such public scrutiny of their…

Read More

Hospital heating/cooling imbalance requires extra consideration when sizing geo-exchange well system


This illustration shows the piping used in the lake-source heat sink that is part of Advocate Sherman Hospital's geothermal system in Elgin, Ill.

By Paul Hansen, PE Utilization of ground wells, typically 250 to 400 feet deep, provides a heat sink for a building heating and cooling system.  This system is effective in moderate-to-cold climate areas of the country and in building types that have a fairly balanced heating and cooling load.  In the winter, heat is taken from…

Read More

How smart is your building? Take this quiz


Owners who are proud of their building's energy use aren't afraid of sharing the information with the public. The Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate in Des Moines, for example, make their building's energy use available to the public on a daily basis via this interactive display in the lobby.

Google the question, “What is a smart building?” and you’ll get about 13,800 results. While navigating the links would turn up many similar criteria, it’s safe to say there is no single, universal definition. From an engineering standpoint, however, a smart building incorporates a variety of integrated design strategies that combine to optimize building performance…

Read More

2015 IBC requires ICC-500 storm shelters for K-12 projects, first-response centers


tornado2

The 2015 edition of the International Building Code has a new requirement in Section 423.4 on storm shelters. All Group E occupancies must now provide a storm shelter designed to ICC-500 standards in areas where shelter design wind speeds are 250 MPH (see map below for regions where this occurs). This requirement does not apply…

Read More

← OLDER POSTS