Healthcare Vice President and Managing Principal Mike Swanson Earns WELL AP Certification

Congratulations to Healthcare Vice President and Managing Principal, Mike Swanson, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, for achieving WELL AP Certification! The WELL Accredited Professional credential demonstrates an advanced, holistic approach to health in the built environment addressing behavior, operations, and design.
What is WELL?
The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
WELL is managed and administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment.

The Importance of WELL Certification
Traditional sustainability certification programs focus heavily on energy, water, and waste. The WELL Building Standard emphasizes overall health and wellbeing of the building’s users. 

Studies show user-centric built environments can positively affect patient outcomes in hospitalsstudent learning, and worker satisfaction

Supporting Our Clients’ Health & Wellness
Our firm has long focused on energy-conscious designs and sustainability to support these environments, and the WELL Certification is an extension of this philosophy. We are pleased to work with a framework that provides comprehensive, science-based methodologies for designing spaces to enhance the occupant’s health and wellbeing.
“This accreditation builds on Ross & Baruzzini’s design philosophy of providing energy efficient and sustainable building design,” said Swanson. “This represents our commitment to forward thinking design while creating healthier spaces for people to heal, learn, work, and play.”
To learn more about projects and sustainability, visit our portfolio page. 

Acoustics in Healthcare: Achieving LEED Silver Certification for MUSC Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Women’s Pavilion

When we think of acoustics, many of us tend to imagine auditoriums, theaters, or places of worship. But how does sound affect healthcare environments? 

Imagine recovering from a major illness while highway traffic rattles the patient room or working as a neurosurgeon team performing complex surgery with a constant whirl of air ventilation and noisy pipes. Excessive noise affects both physical and mental well-being, causing a range of health issues including stress, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and disturbed sleep patterns – all counterproductive conditions for a hospital. 

Thoughtful acoustic design promotes patient healing and increases staff efficiency. At Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion in Charleston, South Carolina, we provided acoustic consulting services with architecture partner Perkins & Will and general contractor Robins & Morton.

The Healing Power of Quiet

The design of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and the Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion advances healthcare for children and women in South Carolina and the Low Country region. With a ten-story patient tower, rooftop helipad, and adjacent four-story diagnostic and treatment podium, this facility provides specialized care for high-risk pregnancies, pediatric trauma, delivery care, and other services all within a sensory-friendly setting. 

This project is the first comprehensive inpatient hospital project in South Carolina with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at any level. In addition, our firm’s recommendations as Acoustical Consultant earned two LEED points for Healthcare Acoustics, without which, this project would not have reached the point total required for overall LEED Silver Certification.

Working in Complex Environments

Ross & Baruzzini Associate Principal Richard Brink, MS, CTS-D, used his 30 years of acoustical consulting and technology design to help bring the $300 million, 650,000 sq-ft project to life. 

Designing for acceptable levels of sound creates unique challenges, however final testing for this project presented a one-of-a-kind experience for Brink. 

Under normal circumstances, sound testing is scheduled before opening doors to the public. Due to extenuating circumstances, post-project testing was completed after the hospital was open.

“The hospital was already open when I completed testing,” said Brink. “This was a unique kind of testing environment since the hospital already began seeing patients. In addition to the hospital opening, I also had to work with COVID-19 restrictions at the time. I completed my normal testing around a steady cadence of people since the ER served as the sole point of entry at the time.” 

Brink completed acoustic testing in late 2020. Because of COVID-19 protocols, the hospital limited access to the main ER entryway to better manage visitor flow. 

Despite unusual testing circumstances, the hospital successfully achieved LEED silver status. 

Engineering Holistic Acoustics Design

Ross & Baruzzini collaborates with designers, builders, architects, and owners to improve sound environments for hospitals as well as higher education, research, corporate, and commercial venues. Our full acoustical consulting services include:

•   Mechanical Systems Noise Impact 
•   Architectural Finishes
•   Acoustical Privacy and Intelligibility
•   Partition Selection
•   Vibration Analysis
•   Certification Analysis and Verification including LEED and WELL Building

How can we help your next project? Contact our Acoustics team to learn more and view related healthcare projects here

Photography via Perkins & Will. 

Ross & Baruzzini: Kansas City’s First Choice for Healthcare Engineering, Technology & Consulting

Whether your next healthcare project is in Kansas City or Kanpur, we are dedicated to finding the best solutions built to improve your patient and staff experience.

Why Choose Ross & Baruzzini for Your Next Healthcare Project? 

Ross & Baruzzini offers engineering, consulting, and technology solutions. Our project expertise in the healthcare market runs the full gamut, including renovations, new construction, energy studies, and code consultation for all building types on hospital campuses.

Our advanced knowledge and global experience combine to provide fully integrated engineeringplanningdesign, and commissioning.

MEP/FP: Innovative Engineering for Your #KC Project

Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital

From greenfield hospitals to renovations of existing facilities, Ross & Baruzzini provides mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services to solve our clients’ most challenging needs.

We create environments that are energy efficient and sustainable without compromising comfort, indoor air quality and required temperature and humidity conditions to ensure the best patient experience.

Technology: A Focus on Next-Gen Healthcare 

Our technology team leads healthcare facilities through the “clinical transformation” process by providing a holistic, collaborative, and visionary approach on every project.

Using a proven approach that includes planning appropriately, gaining consensus on project direction and funding, and taking ownership of managing the implementation, our clients are able to be actively involved in the project without taking too much time from their day-to-day responsibilities.

Security: Providing a Safe Enviroment with Physical Security and Cybersecurity Tools

Healthcare professionals must be ready for anything that can disrupt the ability to provide quality care or jeopardize the safety and security of patients, visitors and staff. Ross & Baruzzini is committed to developing security solutions to minimize the impact to our clients’ operations, through an approach firmly grounded in innovation, pragmatism, and creative collaboration. Our services span physical and cybersecurity design, consulting, and engineering.

Ross & Baruzzini is Your Trusted Kansas City Partner: Contact Us Today to Get Started.

“Innovation made personal” is more than our tagline. Our national footprint with local roots means we’re big enough to get the work done right without sacrificing personal touch.

Clients choose Ross & Baruzzini because we provide a high level of multi-discipline integration and an individualized understanding of our clients’ business processes. Whether at home or abroad, we believe all business is personal. And that’s the way we like it.

Contact Our Kansas City Office for Your Next Project:

Kansas City Office

5350 W. 94th Terrace, Suite 102

Prairie Village, KS, 66207

John Sommers

Mechanical Department Manager – Kansas City Region

O: 913.308.2503

E: [email protected]

Ross & Baruzzini Named on 2021 Zweig Group Hot Firms List

Ross & Baruzzini was recently listed on the 2021 Hot Firm Award by the Zweig Group. The list recognizes the fastest growing firms in the architecture, engineering, planning, environmental and construction (AEC) industry. Firms are ranked based on three-year growth in revenue, by both percentage and dollar growth.

“The 2021 Hot Firms are a confirmation of the vigor and resilience of the AEC industry,” said Zweig Group CEO Chad Clinehens.  

The list was assembled based on a survey of industry firms conducted by the Zweig Group, the publisher of The Zweig Letter, and a leader in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms.

Our ranking on this year’s list reflects our employee’s dedication to our mission and long-term strategy. In the past year, Ross & Baruzzini has been committed to strengthening the company’s growth by investing in thought-leadership, new technologies, and tactical business planning.

Winners will be celebrated at both the virtual and in-person versions of the Elevate AEC Conference. Read the full list of the 2021 Hot Firm winners here.

HoloRail: A Case Study of Augmented Reality in Train Dispatching

To read the full report on HoloRail, click here.

The United States is at a critical crossroads with its transportation infrastructure.

In late July, Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to push forward a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that would help rebuild antiquated transportation systems. Considering how critical transportation is in the U.S., this is good news.

Americans feel the effects of our outdated transportation infrastructure every day, so it makes sense that the infrastructure bill has been enormously popular with both parties. The 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers report on U.S. infrastructure emphasises the need for transportation network investment, citing:

“As this study shows, we risk significant economic losses, higher costs to consumers, businesses and manufacturers – and our quality of life – if we don’t act urgently. When we fail to invest in infrastructure, we pay the price.” – ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith 

To create a more resilient transportation system, we can’t simply patch up old infrastructure. Leaders in transportation need to start thinking in new ways to prepare for the future.

The Future of Train Dispatching

Ross & Baruzzini received a grant from the Transportation Research Board to develop HoloRailOur objectives were:

  • Test the usefulness of augmented reality (AR) technology as a train dispatcher’s user interface 
  • Receive feedback from train dispatcher staff
  • Publish our results

Most train dispatchers use multimonitor 2D displays to keep trains and crews moving safely and efficiently across the railway network. However, the bulky equipment limits the layout of control theaters and ties dispatchers to one location.

HoloRail uses AR technology, which enhances the real world with computer-generated information, enables train dispatching in an interactive 3D environment. Virtual reality typically blocks users’ vision. But with AR, train dispatchers can still see and hear what’s going on around them. HoloRail lets dispatchers see informational panels above trains and get a more holistic view of track layouts thanks to the additional planes of movement the tech offers. HoloRail also enables dispatchers to use head and hand movements to manage track diagrams, alarms, train and station information, and so on.

Putting HoloRail to the Test

Staff from the Utah Transit Authority and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority partnered with us on the project to determine its requirements, perform user testing, and provide feedback.

After 10 minutes of training, 90% of dispatchers learned to use the interface. About 80% said they would feel comfortable using HoloRail on the job. Given these positive results, we believe it is a viable future option after additional testing is completed.

The primary limitations we encountered involved the hardware. The headset battery, for instance, lasted two and a half hours during user testing. However, train dispatchers usually work eight-hour shifts.

Additionally, some dispatchers mentioned that the headset felt uncomfortable after an hour. The good news is the manufacturers are making significant improvements in wearability and battery life daily, improving the likelihood of AR technology adoption by train dispatchers in the future. 

The Vast Potential for AR in Transportation

AR’s use cases in transportation don’t begin and end with train dispatchers. For example, AR also offers an exciting breakthrough in remote maintenance. Field technicians can wear AR headsets to collaborate with remote technicians who will be able to see what the field technician sees and highlight items in their line of sight. And when the technicians need information or specifications, they can simply overlay it on the dynamic display.

Additionally, there’s an opportunity to modify the train dispatching platform to work for bus dispatching. Such a platform could display 3D map views of bus locations, seamlessly integrate camera feeds, and communicate important information.

To meet our current and future needs, we must focus on technology adoption. At Ross & Baruzzini, we’re committed to sensing and responding to disruption in the transportation industry in order to address emerging needs and usher in the future of intelligent transportation systems. 

To learn more about our mobility team, check out our intelligent transportation systems projects as well as our work in rail and transit.

To read the full report on HoloRail, click here.

Megan Huff, PfMP is the vice president and managing principal of the Mobility Systems division of Ross & Baruzzini, a premier international technology consulting and engineering firm. With more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, Megan has an extensive track record in end-to-end delivery of complex, high-priority projects on tight schedules within mission-critical service organizations.