Ross & Baruzzini Government and Healthcare Experts Featured in MedCity News

“No one said it’s easy to do construction renovation in healthcare facilities, but it is vitally important to ensure that medical facilities can deliver the best care possible.”

Senior Vice President – Managing Principal Mike Shea and Vice President – Managing Principal Mike Swanson spoke with MedCity News on construction best practices in healthcare facilities:

There’s no doubt that stakes are high during construction renovations in healthcare facilities that demand 24/7 operation. After all, downtime isn’t an option during medical facility renovations when critical building infrastructure is keeping people alive. In the digital era where medical records are electronic and major medical procedures are performed using sophisticated robotics, electrical power and telecommunication services are vital for patient care operations during healthcare construction.

Adverse outcomes associated with the loss of building infrastructure could reduce staff and patient safety and increase the risk of litigation. For instance, active construction can stir up dust and debris, compromising building sanitation and putting patients at risk. With this in mind, construction teams must be hyperaware of infection control during construction in healthcare facilities.

Regardless, medical facilities still require routine maintenance and repairs — just like any other building. The stakes are simply too high in healthcare environments to execute the associated engineering work in a traditional way. Not all firms have the specialized skill sets and foresight to anticipate needs, investigate the facilities and infrastructure, and phase work appropriately. However, experienced specialty design and engineering firms can ensure the best possible care through advanced preparation and proactive, diligent processes.

Construction best practices in healthcare facilities

Here’s what successful engineering firms must do before starting medical facility renovations to be successful in maintaining seamless operations and patient care during construction:

  1. Conduct an on-site investigation.

Don’t rely on the building’s existing drawings and “as-built” documentation. Although this seems obvious, it’s too often bypassed for expediency to the detriment of the construction timeline and budget. To understand the scope of a healthcare renovation project, firms must do their own fieldwork and conduct interviews with facility management teams to ensure they have comprehensive, up-to-date knowledge of the building’s physical condition and its supporting utility infrastructure, equipment, and systems.

  1. Understand the environment.

Next, firms need to examine specifically where construction will take place. For instance, let’s say a firm is replacing electrical gear in a hospital. The firm’s team will want to thoroughly analyze the project location and adjacent areas, noting any limitations in equipment’s physical size, room dimensions, and system capacity. If any areas or operations would be adversely affected if power was lost during construction, teams should develop contingency plans.

Then, they’ll verify the safe transfer of power sources from normal power to emergency generators and back to normal power — all without disrupting sensitive equipment, automation and control systems, and operations. Firms need to consider what the true impact of an outage might be. Can users go without a system for a certain amount of time? If so, how long? This step requires a lot of team collaboration between contractors, owners, and staff members.

Firms can employ software like Autodesk Revit to create 3D models and lidar technology to map out spaces such as mechanical and electrical rooms. Armed with these resources, teams can better understand the limitations within the space and identify opportunities where infrastructure can be installed and routed to minimize disruption to other services.

  1. Develop phasing schemes.

Facilities don’t usually have adequate “swing space” available to maintain clinical operations during healthcare renovations. Instead, they must create the swing space through the use of temporary modular facilities or phased renovations.

Some projects can come with challenges such as floor space not being readily available to install new equipment, or the facility is not able to tolerate a power outage during construction. To solve the first challenge, an exterior area well can be creatively enclosed and repurposed to house a portion of the new electrical equipment, providing an opportunity for phased feeder cutovers and creating available space within a basement region. Then, a robust temporary generator arrangement can be provided in conjunction with separate distinct construction sequences to phase the work in a manner that can minimize downtime and construction costs and maximize the existing floor space.

Experienced healthcare designers must lead stakeholders through the process of developing phasing plans for the duration of the project. The phasing documents will evolve and become more complete as the project design develops and more information is obtained relative to the operation and critical utilities infrastructure throughout the site. The design team should solicit input from maintenance and operations staff at each milestone design phase so that the ramifications of construction and stakeholder obligations are fully understood and advance planning can be coordinated.

Firms must develop initial phasing concepts during the concept stage and refine them during the final design to account for the zoning of existing infrastructure; the impact on clinical operations, including infection control during construction; and the desired end state. Ideally, firms should complete the project in as few phases as possible while minimizing disruptions to operations and keeping overall project costs down.

No one said it’s easy to do construction renovation in healthcare facilities, but it is vitally important to ensure that medical facilities can deliver the best care possible. Design and engineering firms can follow these steps to ensure that repairs, maintenance, and renovations are completed on time, with safety in mind, and with as little disruption to operations as possible. The result will be a game plan that minimizes services disruptions and maintains operations throughout construction, reducing risks to the healthcare organization.

We can help guide your team during your next Healthcare MEP projectContact us to discuss how our solutions can help keep operations running smoothly during a renovation.

After 5 Years in Kansas City, Ross & Baruzzini Celebrates Wins and Looks to the Future

As our Kansas City office celebrates five years, we’re excited to see this team’s continued success across healthcare, science and technology, and public sectors. 

Rendering from UMKC School of Computing and Engineering

Since opening, they have completed over 75 projects totaling $300+ million in combined construction costs with notable projects including the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, completed science laboratory renovations for Johnson County Community College, and handled renovations at the United States Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

“Based on the success we’ve seen in Kansas City in a short time, we’re excited to see what the future holds,” says Dan Phelan, Office Director for Ross & Baruzzini’s Kansas City office. “These projects helped demonstrate our ability to provide our clients with innovative solutions and exceptional service, particularly on challenging, multi-phase renovation projects. As our office continues to grow, we look forward to providing our clients with the full spectrum of our firm’s engineering and consulting services to deliver leading-edge solutions to their most complex problems — all while providing top-notch customer service.”

The Kansas City team plans to move to a larger office space in Overland Park, Kansas, to better serve its Missouri and Kansas clients while providing ample space for the growing team. The team is currently located in Prairie Village, Kansas.

“We have several exciting projects on the horizon, so I don’t see our momentum in the Kansas City region slowing down,” says Elizabeth Graff, Business Development Director for Ross & Baruzzini’s Midwest region. “With several upcoming projects at the University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Missouri–Kansas City, and Johnson County Community College — in addition to several significant opportunities in the healthcare, science and technology, and public sectors — I’m confident we’ll continue to build on our successes for many years to come.”

Read the full press release from Cision PR Newswire.

SAME’s 2022 Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo (JETC)

Connect with Senior Vice President – Managing Principal Mike Shea and Business Development Director Jay Shastri from our Government Services team at SAME’s Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo 2022 in Aurora, CO on May 10-12. Visit our team at Booth #811 for three days of education, training, and networking.

Please visit the SAME JETC 2022 website to register.

What To Expect At JETC

The SAME JETC 2022 in Colorado promises to be a must-attend reunion for members of the military engineering community and the A/E/C industry. After two years of virtual events, SAME JETC is ready to bring together professionals from across the public and private sectors to learn and network in a collaborative setting.

Connect with Our Experts on Mission Critical Solutions

We understand local and federal agencies must be agile. Our full suite of advanced solutions create safe, sustainable, and resilient facilities:

• Architecture and Interior Design
• Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing & Fire Protection Engineering (MEP/FP)
• Technology Consulting
• IT & Communications
• Physical Security
• Commissioning
• Systems Integration
• Energy Consulting

If you’re attending, contact us here to set up your one-on-one during this event so we can talk about your next project.

Connect with Mobility Systems Megan Huff and Maroun Ghanem During the APTA Mobility Conference 2022

Join Megan Huff, Mobility Systems Vice President – Managing Principal, as she joins the “Is Your Cyber Secure?” session during the APTA Mobility Conference on Tuesday, May 3 at 2 PM ET to discuss how transit agencies and businesses can defend against digital threats by creating a dynamic cybersecurity program.

Megan Huff will be joined by:

→ Ron Talwalkar, Vice President, Product Specialists/Cyber Intelligence & Solutions, Mastercard

→ Scott Belcher, Research Associate, Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)

→ Chelsey Waterman, Chief Operating Officer, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLink)

Please visit the American Public Transporation Association (APTA) website to register for this conference.

What to Expect at This Year’s APTA Mobility Conference

The Mobility Conference continues to address the critical priorities and challenges facing bus and paratransit systems and explores the changing environment in which systems operate in today’s mobility landscape. Participate in specialty workshops, APTA’s Bus Display, the Products and Services Showcase and technical tours.

If you’re attending APTA Mobility, contact us here to set up your one-on-one during this event so we can talk about your next project.

Committed to Sustainability: Earth Day 2022

Since our inception in 1953, energy conservation and sustainability have been core components of our design philosophy. As we prioritize these important features in our built environments, learn about some of our top eco-friendly projects:

Emory Musculoskeletal Institute – Brookhaven, Georgia

This specialty medical office building includes a Surgery Center, office space, and a research facility with six operating rooms, four procedure rooms, pre-op/post-op, two MRIs, radiology, physical therapy, 72 exam rooms, a 15,000sf advanced research lab, teaching operative suite, administrative offices for Orthopedics, and a 10,000sf conference center. The project also included a notable dedicated physiatry room within the design.

The new LEED-certified building is a comprehensive, patient and family-centered facility and was created to serve as this service line’s central location and house multiple centers of excellence and programs. Services provided include orthopedic and spine care, physical therapy, and imaging services.

Indiana University, Assembly Hall – Bloomington, Indiana

Ross & Baruzzini designed the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems for a major renovation and addition to the iconic Assembly Hall, home to the Hoosier basketball program and other athletics. The most visible renovations focus on the main lobby entrance, which was completely replaced. The new lobby provides a grand entrance to the facility along with amenities such as a Hall of Champions display area for memorabilia. Suites were added within the arena seating along with meeting and event spaces.

Washington University – St. Louis

Photography via Washington University McKelvey School of Engineering

Ross & Baruzzini provided mechanical, electrical, fire protection, and audio-visual systems engineering services for a new four-level, 75,000sf Computer Science building on the east end of Washington University’s Danforth campus. The facility incorporates large expanses of glass on the north and west sides of the building facing an interior courtyard.  The building houses several large open lab areas, tiered and flat pooled classrooms, conference rooms, offices, and collaboration zones.

MUSC Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Women’s Pavilion – Charleston, South Carolina

Photography via Perkins & Will. 

This project is the first comprehensive inpatient hospital project in South Carolina with LEED 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.

Engineering Holistic Design

Ross & Baruzzini collaborates with designers, builders, architects, and owners to successfully meet and exceed building requirements. Our related services include:

• Energy Master Planning
• Energy Auditing
• Advanced Energy Modeling and Analysis
• Commissioning/Retro-Commissioning
• Facility Condition Assessments
• Energy Programs (LEED, Green Globes, Energy Star, WELL Building)
• Measurement and Verification
• Energy Conservation Funding and Incentives
• Renewable Energy Design and Consulting
• Life Cycle Cost Analysis
• Water Conservation

Our extensive project experience includes MEP Engineering, Energy Consulting, Commissioning, and Consulting. Visit our full portfolio for additional projects.

Megan Huff, Vice President and Managing Principal – Mobility Systems, Featured in CEOWORLD Magazine

We are excited to share Megan Huff, PfMP, Vice President and Managing Principal – Mobility Systems, was featured in a recent CEOWORLD magazine article by Rhett Power on breaking down barriers between people and technology:

“By breaking down silos and encouraging technology integration, agencies can better understand the customer journey and improve the design of the transit experience,” says Megan Huff, Vice President and Managing Principal – Mobility Systems at Ross & Baruzzini. “But technology itself won’t solve the problem; it’s only an enabler. Agencies need to thoroughly invest in change management. Even if an agency pledges $100 million to collect and analyze more transportation data analytics, nothing will change if it doesn’t use the data to drive behavioral changes across the entire organization. That’s a people problem that must be addressed through strategic thinking and cooperation.”

Her quote originally appears in her article “There’s a Problem With Technology Integration When It Comes to Public Transit in the U.S., and It’s Not the Tech” where she dives into the importance of removing organizational silos that keep technology, people, and processes stuck in the status quo.

Visit our Mobility Systems page for more information.

Spring into New Hires: Welcoming New Hires This Week

As we leap into spring, we’re excited to share two new hires this week. Please help us welcome Associate Principal Hollis Heron and Medical Equipment Planner Eusra Amin:

Hollis Heron, PE LE ED AP, GROL

Hollis is experienced in engineering operations with a demonstrated history of working in the wireless industry. Her diverse skills across AutoCAD, electrical wiring, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP), electrical engineering, and construction management will help our Technology team continue to expand into additional projects across the country. Hollis will initiate relationships with clients, and serve as the executive point of contact, assisting the assigned project manager.

Eusra Amin, PMP

Eusra will help manage planning and design for various healthcare projects in the U.S and around the world. As an experienced Medical Equipment Planner, she will use her advanced analytical skills to collaborate with hospital operators, engineers, and architects as she works to ensure all planning activities adhere to client requirements. Eusra will also assist in revising medical equipment lists and estimated costs as projects move from schematic design through procurement and installation.

To learn about our current openings, please visit our Careers page.

April 2022 Conferences: Join Our Aviation and Baggage Handling Teams

Our Aviation and Baggage Handling teams are ready for the SEC-AAAE Annual Conference and the Airports@Work Conference this month.

Let’s connect during these events and discuss how we can help you build an integrated strategy tailored to your specific needs, ensuring your next project is safe and secure as passenger demand continues to grow:

2022 Airports@Work Conference

ACI-NA’s Airports@Work Conference brings together the most complex facets of airport operations for a collaborative discussion about today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities. This event will be held at the Loews Kansas City Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri on April 25 – 28.

The agenda will highlight the latest in technology, sustainability, operations, and security with plenary sessions on the state of aviation and post-pandemic environments.

Visit the 2022 Airports@Work Conference Website for Registration Details.

From airport technology to baggage handling systems, our teams have deep insight into the future of airports. We can improve your airport operations and customer experiences by developing integrated applications that enable airport processes and procedures to operate more intelligently.

Ross & Baruzzini provides a wide range of aviation services, including operations strategic planning, system design, engineering, installation, testing, commissioning, and program management support services providing staff augmentation to support all aspects of airport operations. Contact us today to see how we can help your next project, big or small.

2022 SEC-AAAE Annual Conference

The Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SEC-AAAE) was created in 1983 during the course of an annual conference of the Southeastern Airport Managers Association.  This year’s event will be held at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenneneese on April 10 – 12.

Key sessions include how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will affect future airport projects along with other important topics covering post-COVID recovery, unmanned aircraft systems, technology, and cybersecurity.

Visit the SEC-AAAE Website for Registration Details.

Join Ross & Baruzzini During the 2022 PDC Summit in New Orleans

Our Medical Equipment Planning, Technology Consulting, and Healthcare MEP teams are excited to attend the PDC Summit this year on March 20 – 23 in New Orleans. The PDC Summit is the premier event for thousands of healthcare and hospital facility senior leadership.

This summit will be your opportunity to:

  • Connect with other leaders and solution providers in planning, design, and construction management.  
  • Participate in sessions covering critical topics highlighting the real-life collaboration that’s required to create, maintain, and plan for the future of safe healing environments.  
  • Earn up to 22 continuing education credits, including AIA LUs & LU | HSWs.

Register for PDC Summit Today

Why Attend PDC Summit This Year?

The PDC Summit is a dynamic industry event coordinated by a trusted network of not-for-profit organizations with expertise in healthcare planning, design, and construction. 100% of conference revenue is reinvested into the mission of optimizing the healthcare physical environment. More than 3,000 senior leaders from hospitals, design firms, and construction companies attend the PDC Summit to share perspectives on optimizing healing environments. This is the one conference with an integrated audience of C-level, design, construction, and operations professionals with more than two-thirds of attendees returning to the event each year.

PDC Summit programming offers cutting-edge topics affecting the future of the healthcare built environment and presents thought-provoking research and presentations focusing on cross-team collaboration, PDC sustainability, designing for future generations, technology integration, and more.

Plan to attend the PDC Summit to network with top industry professionals in the field and get the information you need to maximize value in the healthcare built environment.

Designing Patient-Focused Healthcare Systems:

Achieving outstanding patient experiences requires leveraging today’s advanced healthcare technology with best-in-class engineering. Stop by Booth #415 or contact our team to learn how we can help your team accelerate efficiency, quality, and safety across your entire facility. 

The Infrastructure Bill Breakdown: What Has Ross & Baruzzini Most Excited?

Quick Insights:

• The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes over $1 trillion in funding for improvements to U.S. buildings, roads, bridges, railways, and more.

• Many aspects of the bill focus on improving sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, and focusing on resiliency.

• At Ross & Baruzzini, we’re excited to see the positive impact this bill has on the U.S. infrastructure.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Joe Biden is a bipartisan bill that includes over $1 trillion in guaranteed funding for United States infrastructure. It isn’t a one-time payment, but continual guaranteed funding through 2026.

But what’s in the infrastructure bill exactly, and why is our team at Ross & Baruzzini excited about it? As it turns out, there’s quite a lot of information to unpack. Sectors such as transportation, aviation, and rail and transit, among others, will receive funding for various improvements. We’re particularly excited to see the positive impact the bill has based on its consistent theme of resiliency and sustainability.

Check out the infrastructure bill breakdown below to see what’s included and why it matters.

Roads and Highways

The bill has a 34% increase in funding for existing highway programs, and every state department of transportation will benefit. Some of the key points the bill focuses on are reducing carbon emissions, increasing resiliency investments, and allocating new funding for Vision Zero. Some highlights of the bill include eliminating the “fiscal constraint” requirement in the transportation planning process and setting aside funds specifically for an EV charging infrastructure.

“The bill provides massive funding for both transit agencies and EV charging infrastructure, which excites me the most as I am part of the mobility team with an electrical background,” says Rashmi Khatuja, Associate Consultant – Mobility Systems. “It would be very interesting to see how the transit agencies adopt and work with the new framework of EV over the next five years.”

Transportation

Transportation is another large part of the bill, with $500 million over five years going to the new Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation program. State and local governments will receive grants for planning and funding innovative tech that improves the safety and efficiency of transportation. Different projects that can be funded under the SMART program include smart traffic signals, smart grid, systems integration, and more.

Maroun Ghanem, Business Development Director – Mobility Systems, believes the SMART program is one of the most exciting aspects of the bill. “This will open the door for innovation and opportunities in our field,” Ghanem says. “The most significant impact will be with smaller transportation agencies that historically struggled with funding. Most agencies will see at least a 30% increase from the infrastructure bill.”

Rail and Transit

The bill allocates a 31% increase in formula funding for the Federal Transit Administration, and it increases funding for the FTA’s Capital Investment Grant program. The bill increases funding for intercity rail (primarily for Amtrak and the Northeast Corridor), EV charging infrastructure, and rail-grade crossing improvements. In the next two years after the bill’s enactment, U.S. DOT will create a cybersecurity product that protects transportation agencies, highway owners and operators, and product manufacturers from cyberattacks.

Aviation

The aviation sector will receive $15 billion over five years for airport improvement projects. This almost doubles previous federal funding. Funds will be distributed among small, medium, and large airports based on a formula listed in the bill. Projects supported by the funding include improving air traffic towers, developing terminals, noise compatibility planning, gate area construction and maintenance, fuel storage tank replacements, power systems support, and facility security risk management.

Bridges

Almost $40 billion is set aside for highway bridge projects, $27.5 billion for state bridges, and $12 billion for a new grant program. The Discretionary Grant Program is a competitive program designated to help state, local, federal, and tribal governments repair or replace existing bridges and construct new bridges. The size of each grant is intended to cover the entirety of the bridge project it’s allocated for. There is also grant money available specifically for large projects, which will be awarded through an application and evaluation process.

Port and Marine

The infrastructure bill sets aside $2.25 billion over five years for the Port Infrastructure Development program under Maritime Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The program funding will go toward purchasing new equipment; addressing concerns related to rising sea levels, flooding, and extreme weather; developing microgrids for port terminals; electrification master planning; and installing infrastructure that supports electric vehicles and alternative refueling. The bill also designated $250 million over five years for reducing air emissions from idling vehicles at port facilities.

Water

Existing water infrastructure programs will be supported by the bill, and funding will be administered by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There are several grants available that state and local governments can apply for. Over five years, $11.7 billion will go to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, $10 billion will go toward removing water contaminants, and $15 billion will go toward removing lead in drinking water. Each year, $280 million will be set aside for sanitary sewer overflow and stormwater reuse. Western water infrastructure, which is overseen by the Bureau of Reclamation, will also receive $8.3 billion in funding.

Sustainability

Improving sustainability is a theme woven throughout the entirety of the bill. It also has a distinct focus on resiliency. Over five years, $14 billion will go to these efforts. Much of the funding will go to improving electric grid reliability as well as programs within the Federal Emergency Management Agency, such as the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program and the Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities Program.

Buildings

The bill includes funding specifically for sustainable buildings and places a large emphasis on increasing energy efficiency in public schools. The Department of Energy will administer the new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, which will have $550 million in funding over five years. Local schools and education agencies can apply for funds to invest in building improvements focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, low- to zero-emission vehicles for student transportation, and improvements that impact the health of students and staff.

Energy and Cybersecurity

The bill also focuses on addressing cybersecurity, which is an integral component of resiliency. There’s $1 billion in funding dedicated to new cybersecurity programs administered by FEMA for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; an EPA study on potential threats to wastewater treatment facilities; and the previously mentioned U.S. DOT tool that will safeguard agencies from cyberattacks.

The new infrastructure bill contains a lot of exciting updates, and our team is excited to be a part of the change. The bill impacts many aspects of our business and expertise, so we’ll be participating in the future of U.S. infrastructure as it unfolds.

“I believe the most significant impact of the bill would be on society as a whole as it provides better and safer infrastructure by transforming our highway and transit modes and improving transportation facilities for us; thereby trying to decrease the greenhouse emission which is the need of the hour,” says Khatuja.

At Ross & Baruzzini, we deliver integrated technology, consulting, and engineering solutions to a range of markets, including aviation, mobility systems, and public safety, among others. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help your team navigate the future of infrastructure and support your ongoing efforts.