Ross & Baruzzini Appoints Tim Kupa as Vice President – Managing Principal of New Smart Building Technology Team

We are excited to welcome Tim Kupa as Vice President & Managing Principal of our newly created Smart Building Technology team. This team will work with our markets to elevate our smart building technology solutions across a wide range of projects. 

Tim brings over 20 years of leading-edge technology experience and has broad, in-depth knowledge of smart building technology. As the previous Director of Information Technology & OT Cybersecurity at Siemens, Tim sold and delivered smart building solutions to healthcare and commercial clients across the country as their national sector leader.

Tim and his team will work with clients to increase operational efficiency, creating more automated and responsive systems. As Americans, on average, spend 90% of their time indoors, the built environment is becoming increasingly more vital to comfort, productivity, and health. Ross & Baruzzini is committed to helping owners/operators find solutions for maximizing building design through intelligent integrations and resilience-focused consulting.

For further information on how we can help your next project, please contact our Smart Building Technology team.

Guidance for Access Control System Transitions: Ross & Baruzzini Collaborates on PARAS 0030 Report

As we conclude our PARAS series, we’re exploring how PARAS 0030 provides an overview of the considerations and process used as part of an Access Control System (ACS) transition. The report provides a roadmap for airports that are considering replacing or upgrading their existing ACS and aims to help reduce associated risks and costs.

Establishing ACS Transition Framework 

The report highlights that as an airport’s security, business, and operational needs evolve, and as regulations change and technology change, airports are eventually confronted with the question of whether their ACS needs to be upgraded or replaced.

Implementation and integration of a new or upgraded ACS is a complex, costly, and operationally impactful process for airport operators and security managers. Once upgrading or replacing the ACS is under consideration, airport managers must address how to transition their ACS, so it meets the airport’s requirements in an efficient and cost-effective manner with minimal risks and impacts to badged airport employees.

It is important that decision-making for these activities be supported by detailed guidance that allows operators to consider the complex conditions, risks, and best practices associated with access control technology selection, procurement, and implementation. 

PARAS 0030 is focused on helping airports effectively navigate the transition of the ACS. Its overall objective is to provide practical information and guidance that will help airports of all sizes address these challenges through research, lessons learned, and best practices, and includes the following:

  • Project Scoping and Planning
  • Pre-Procurement
  • Technical Design
  • Procurement and Solicitation
  • Implementation and Integration
  • Preparing for Operations and Maintenance
  • Future Planning

The guidance addresses TSA regulatory requirements and considerations as well as the impact on badging office staff and the multitude of badged airport employees. It also details the evolution of ACS technology and the interrelated topics of data protection of personally identifiable information (PII), biometric technology, and data privacy.

Bringing Thought-Leadership to Airport Security

As our Aviation team has worked with these types of systems and transitions for several decades, we have the breadth of experience to guide clients through the ACS process. 

In addition, we have experience not only in the United States but also at airports around the world, allowing us to be a single source of best practices. This includes advanced security practices and equipment being applied at a wide variety of airports under both TSA jurisdiction as well as ICAO. 

Schedule your one-on-one with our team, and let’s help plan your next ACS.

Airport Security Assessments: Ross & Baruzzini Selected to Develop PARAS 0016 on Threat, Risk, and Vulnerabilities

In Part 1 of our PARAS series, we examined the Guidance for Airport Perimeter Security report with our Aviation team’s unique approach to perimeter security based on our clients’ unique profiles and operations.

For Part 2, we’re taking a closer look at PARAS 0016: Airport Security Vulnerability Assessments and how we use this research to support the first-ever, airport-specific risk assessment methodologies.

As an additional outcome of this research, we provided insight on assessing risks presented by natural hazards and evaluated long-range climate change issues in the aviation sector and other critical infrastructures.

Practical Research and Tools for Airports of All Sizes

The risk assessment methodology developed under PARAS 0016 consists of customized tools for small, medium, and large airports to allow airport managers to assess risk effectively, regardless of airport size and resources. Using these customized tools, this report provides step-by-step instructions for airport management to:

  • Identify operationally critical asset-threat combinations
  • Assess consequences of threats, probability of threat occurrence, and asset vulnerability
  • Determine an overall risk rating to prioritize risk mitigation

The research also provided guidance on potential strategies to reduce risk, conduct benefit-cost analysis, and perform planning, technology, and infrastructure upgrades accordingly.

While PARAS 0016 was designed as a guidance document giving airport management the right tools to assess risks, completing regular site-wide risk assessments is a daunting task. As this prepared research was built on years of experience, our team can expedite risk assessments while identifying proven mitigation measures to reduce risk across a broad spectrum of hazards and threats.

We understand the regulatory environment within the aviation sector and collaborate with government stakeholders in identifying procedural measures to reduce risk while maintaining compliance with TSA and FAA regulations.

In addition to risk assessment, our consulting services support the three primary mitigation measures including:

  • Physical infrastructure upgrades
  • Technology upgrades
  • Process/procedure modifications

Our engineering team uses assessment results to design physical security and technology measures to reduce risk while supporting procurement and project management during installation or construction. Similarly, our security and emergency planning professionals develop hazard-, threat-, and function-specific plans while providing training and emergency exercises to build competencies among airport personnel assigned to implement new procedures.

For example, Senior Resiliency Consultant, Michael Steinle wrote the After-Action Report and Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) on behalf of the Broward County Aviation Department following the active shooter incident at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017. This report outlines the event responses to constructively assess strategic and tactical operations while identifying issues and challenges specific to this incident.

Experience and Specialized Planning Makes the Difference

PARAS 0016 represents the first airport-specific comprehensive risk assessment methodology and embodies the collective experience of people who are invested in the success of aviation worldwide. 

Ross & Baruzzini offers a wealth of experience in conducting risk assessments and mitigation services across a broad spectrum of critical infrastructures. This experience allowed us to apply a practical, airport-realistic approach to the PARAS 0016 methodology and adjust the process to support airport-specific analysis.  

Beyond the assessment phase, our team provides specialized planning and mitigation services, customized for each airport. We are actively involved with clients in assessing active shooter incidents, insider threats, infectious disease response, and many other risks in the airport environment and use this knowledge to customize a solution for each airport.  

We don’t treat our projects as commodities because they aren’t. Every airport is unique, and every project requires its own specialized attention and consideration.  

Let’s discuss your project’s security, schedule your consultation with our team

Stay tuned for the next article in our PARAS series: Guidance for Access Control System Transitions.

Guidance for Airport Perimeter Security: Ross & Baruzzini’s Aviation Team Leads PARAS 0015 Research

The world of Aviation continues to face evolving challenges and advancing airport security best practices is essential to keeping the public safe. To help guide airport operators and managers, our Aviation team regularly contributes as principal investigators, subject matter experts, and project panelists in the Program for Applied Research in Airport Security (PARAS).

In this three-part series, we will dive into three of our PARAS projects:

PARAS 0015 – Guidance for Airport Perimeter Security 

PARAS 0016 – Airport Security Vulnerability Assessments

PARAS 0030 – Guidance for Access Control System Transitions

This research program develops practical solutions to security problems faced by airport operators. PARAS is managed by Safe Skies, funded by the FAA, and modeled after the Airport Cooperative Research Program of the Transportation Research Board. 

Since 1997, Safe Skies has been a trusted resource for decision-makers seeking information on airport security technologies and procedures. Safe Skies’ core services focus on helping airport operators make informed decisions about their perimeter and access control security. 

Resiliency-Building Principles for Physical and Electronic Measures

Airport perimeter intrusions that make the news continue to frustrate airport executives. Our Aviation team conducted research for PARAS 0015, reviewing available literature, technology solutions, physical security solutions, and operational procedures used in concert with the technologies and physical perimeter security measures.

The report highlights that every airport has a unique environment, and the protection of each airport’s perimeter requires measures appropriate to the individual facility.

We help airports define a unique perimeter security approach based on risk profile, environment, operations, and budgetary constraints of the facility. Our comprehensive direction includes: 

  • Project definition
  • Executive management justification
  • Planning/project design
  • Procurement support
  • Project implementation management 
  • Technical oversight support 

With decades of designing, developing, and implementing perimeter security solutions experience, we use our lessons-learned experiences to benefit our clients. We understand that technology alone is not the answer, but a blend of operational procedures, personnel training, and technology/physical measures create a strong foundation for effective airport perimeter security.   

We excel at continuously adapting to changing situations and maintaining an imaginative approach to security. Contact us to help protect your facility against new threats and challenges.

The results of PARAS projects are available to the industry at no charge. All deliverables are electronic, and most can be accessed directly here.  

Stay tuned for the next article in our PARAS series: Airport Security Vulnerability Assessments.

2021 in Review: Our Biggest Stories from Last Year

2021 was another eventful year, but our teams remained steadfast as we dealt with competing deadlines, hybrid work schedules, and global events that affected our life outside of work. 

Looking ahead, there is some uncertainty. Our world is becoming more complex, with diverse markets and technology interconnecting. We will continue to focus on providing secure, resilient spaces where our communities live, work, and relax. 

As we settle into the new year, let’s explore our top stories from 2021:

Securing Strong Rankings on the 2021 BD+C Giants 400 Annual Survey

Building Design+Construction (BD+C) listed Ross & Baruzzini as one of the Top 40 Engineering/Architecture Firms for 2021. We also ranked across their Healthcare, Data Center, Higher Education, and Commercial listings. 

We want to thank BD+C magazine for the recognition as well as our employees, clients, and partners who empower us to design tech-forward projects across the world.

Supporting the Women in Commerical Real Estate: CREW Network

Ross & Baruzzini proudly supports the advancement of women in our industry, which is why we invest in organizations like CREW Network. The CREW-St. Louis chapter recognized women in AEC for their contributions to the city’s economy and built environments. 

Ross & Baruzzini was honored to be a part of this impactful evening in September as a member of CREW’s awards committee. 

Forbes Features Ross & Baruzzini Leading Technology in Latest Article

Megan Huff, Vice President & Managing Principal – Mobility Systems, shares her expertise with Forbes on what the reemergence of AR and VR technology means for businesses.

IES Illumination Awards Recognize Ross & Baruzzini Project for Sustainable Design

Our 4340 Duncan Renovation project team received the Illuminating Engineering Society Illumination Award of Merit for Energy and Environmental Design.

Ross & Baruzzini provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services for the gut renovation of the historic Crescent Building (4340 Duncan Avenue) located in the Cortex Innovation Community (CIC).

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

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.

A Fun & Healthy Night on the Town: St. Louis Biz Dash 5K

The Ross & Baruzzini team had a great night at the St. Louis Biz Dash 5K. We’re proud to promote employee health and team building while supporting our local communities. Proceeds from Biz Dash 5K go to the St. Louis Sports Commission which promotes sportsmanship in the community and fosters a culture of kindness, respect, and selflessness.

Making the 2021 Zweig Group​ Hot Firm List

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

Ross & Baruzzini was listed on the 2021 Hot Firm Award by the Zweig Group, which 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.

Ross & Baruzzini Engineering Wins ENR Midwest Best Project Cultural Award

Photo via St. Louis Zoo

Recently featured on the Engineering News-Record Midwest Best Project Award List, Ross & Baruzzini provided engineering services for the St. Louis Zoo Primate Canopy Trails Expansion. 

Winning the “Best Project Cultural” category, this project adds 35,000 sq ft of new outdoor habitats for chimpanzees, lemurs, and colobus monkeys. The Primate Canopy Trails also provides visitors unique opportunities to experience life with the animals from vantage points such as a 200-ft-long, winding steel boardwalk at tall treetop levels.

The Future of Aviation: The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on Air Travel Innovations

In his latest perspective, Chris Runde, Director of Corporate Strategy and Innovation, explores 

how the pandemic has spurred the adoption of digital tools such as touchless technology, self-service, and autonomous in the Aviation industry.

Ross & Baruzzini Security Project Wins Vanguard Award Top Project for Manhattan West Development

We are so proud of our Manhattan West team for winning the 2021 Security Vanguard Top Project Award. With construction beginning nearly a decade ago, our Security team was tasked to build a future-proof security technology strategy while collaborating with Brookfield Properties and architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The new mixed-use development includes five buildings, a 1.5-acre public park, a high-end retail mall, train station extension, and more. 

InfoSys Education Center in Indianapolis

In June, we celebrated the completion of design work for the Infosys Education center in Indianapolis. This global technology company is building a 160,000 sf state-of-the-art training campus and residential center to prepare employees for cutting-edge tech jobs.

Great work by our Indy team!

2021 Rainbow Run | Walk | Bike: Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community

“Over twenty employees joined the 2021 R&B Rainbow Run | Walk | Bike for Pride Month in June showing off their athletic achievements, earning Vitality points, and supporting the #LGBTQIA+ community.” – Mike Maselli, DE&I Committee Co-Chair and Technology Principal. 

Although Pride month is over, we’re excited to continue our support for LGBTQIA+ and other global communities.

UMKC School of Computing and Engineering’s Grand Opening of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center.

Designed for students, staff, and the greater Kansas City community, this hub features $3 million worth of fabrication and prototyping equipment, industrial and research-grade 3D printing equipment, along with augmented, virtual, and mixed reality equipment.

Ross & Baruzzini provided Engineering services including Mechanical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection systems for this addition to the Flarsheim Science and Technology Hall on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus. 

Multiple Ross & Baruzzini Projects Recognized in Building St. Louis Awards 2021

Two Ross & Baruzzini projects received recognition in the Building St. Louis Awards 2021. Our engineering teams supported the winning Washington University East End Transformation as well as the St. Charles Community College agriculture and food science building.

Aviation Team’s Expertise Featured in Rolling Stone

Published by Rolling Stone, our Aviation Security Consulting Team worked with the Port of Seattle to provide an After Action Report (AAR) on the incident of ‘The Sky Thief: Beebo Russell’s Last Flight’. Ross & Baruzzini encourages a deeper look into the article to view the whole incident and the importance of providing mental health awareness to help make airports safer and more secure.

Multiple Ross & Baruzzini Healthcare Clients Make CHIME 2021 List of ‘Most Wired’ Hospitals.

Congratulations to our Healthcare clients who made the CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) 2021 list of ‘Most Wired’ hospitals.

CHIME’s Most Wired list recognizes healthcare organizations that have adopted and deployed Information Technology to improve patient safety and health outcomes across the industry.

Ross & Baruzzini Named One of St. Louis’ 2021 Best Places to Work

Ross & Baruzzini is proud to be a finalist in the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2021 Best Places to Work. A four-time nominee for this distinction, our company is proud of our vibrant culture guided by integrity, hard work, and collaboration across a diverse range of teams. 

Last year was another one-of-a-kind ride, but our dedication to our communities remains the same. Thank you for being a part of our 2021 journey, and stay tuned for some major news updates later this year.

Ross & Baruzzini and Integral Group Announce Merger

Ross & Baruzzini, Inc. and Integral Group, LLC, announced an intent to merge. Expected to be finalized in late-2022, the new company will consist of more than 1,000 employees located in 31 offices in the USA, Canada, UK, Serbia, and Australia, creating one of the largest building engineering and consulting firms.

Ross & Baruzzini has demonstrated expertise across the transportation and buildings sectors through a well-diversified market approach, underpinned by delivering cutting-edge technology solutions. Integral Group has built a global business delivering deep green engineering solutions on some of the world’s most complex projects with an emphasis on decarbonization and resilience.

The future is at the intersection of technology and sustainability within the built environment — where buildings and infrastructure become living systems that address the complex challenges facing society and connecting communities. 

The name of the new company and the timing for the merger will be announced in the months ahead.

Ross & Baruzzini Technology Principal Mike Maselli Featured in Healthcare Business Today

“To create a positive patient experience in hospitals, healthcare leaders need to do more than deliver satisfactory care — they also need to consider every patient-provider touchpoint. ” Ross & Baruzzini Technology Principal, Mike Maselli, was recently featured in Healthcare Business Today, a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare:

Technology is a pillar of modern healthcare, giving patients more control over their experiences, and tech giants such as Apple and Amazon already recognize the space’s potential. Amazon launched an accelerator to foster startups trying to enhance care, lower costs, and improve the patient and clinician experience, for instance. Amazon also started its own healthcare platform, Amazon Care, which promises to make healthcare treatment more convenient.

But technology isn’t the only thing that makes a hospital successful. The holistic patient experience also includes facility design, staffing, continuous training, and patient education. The tech industry knows this, and many healthcare organizations are realizing it, too. With this in mind, hospitals will need to consider how technology can supplement every aspect of the patient experience.

For example, the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta decided to map out every interaction within its facilities and patients’ homes to identify areas that needed to be changed. A patient and clinical advisory team was put together to analyze the data and determine what technology could improve the patient experience.

We facilitated the analysis and provided recommendations while maintaining governance over the budget and operational impact to IT. This was a major undertaking, but it was one the hospital knew was necessary if it wanted to meet the modern needs of patients and maintain its high standard of care.

3 Tech Implementations to Create Smart Healthcare Solutions

Improving patient care should be the No. 1 priority for hospitals in the “next normal.” With that in mind, here are three areas where smart hospital technology can be implemented to create a superior experience for healthcare consumers:

1. Smart rooms in hospitals.

Technology can turn hospital rooms into command centers for patients and family members, giving them control over their entertainment, education, food delivery, and utilities (such as environmental controls and lighting). By empowering patients in this way, hospitals can significantly improve the hospitality experience and make people more comfortable in what are usually stressful situations.

A smart hospital room can also provide patients with more clarity about their condition and treatment. Electronic whiteboards can offer real-time updates to both patients and clinical staff, and digital footwall monitors and displays outside room doors can help ensure that everyone is up to date on patients’ healthcare journeys.

To be effective, patient-centric rooms need to be created with a comprehensive strategy in mind. Rather than haphazardly adding in different technologies that might or might not work together, leaders should make deliberate choices. After all, the spaces must work for patients, families, and staff, all while facilitating a continuous flow of data in real time.

2. Location awareness systems.

Real-time location systems are the cornerstone of a patient-centric smart hospital. This technology helps hospital staff better manage inventory, keep track of important equipment, guide patients through facilities, and know where to go.

A comprehensive, real-time location system will require updates to a building’s infrastructure. New cables will need to be run, and space will need to be created in supply areas for interactive walls. It can be a big undertaking, but with careful planning, location awareness systems can deliver significant benefits and efficiencies.

3. Interactive healthcare solutions.

Modern hospitals need to provide the interactive audiovisual tools and healthcare entertainment options necessary for education and positive distraction. This is especially true for children’s hospitals, where entertainment and education are critical components for creating calm and reassuring a child facing uncertain experiences.

COVID-19 made it especially difficult for hospitals to provide in-person entertainment, illustrating the need for this type of technology. With interactive solutions, healthcare staff can upload videos, livestream events, and bring a sense of fun and community to patients’ rooms. Playing games or video chatting with friends or family can also have a positive impact on children’s recoveries.

Modern consumers require better patient experiences. Technology alone won’t guarantee this need is met. But with care and planning, hospitals can use tech to create smart healthcare solutions that put patients first.

We can help guide your team during your next Healthcare Technology project. Contact us to discuss how our solutions can help you enhance the patient experience.