Join Lisa Charrin and Pier Vettorazzi During the Medical Equipment and Technology Forum at PDC Summit

The Medical Equipment/Technology Forum is a platform for the interaction and conversation about leading-edge technology among owners, architects, engineers, facility managers, and vendors. Our Lisa Charrin, AIA, ACHA, Vice President, and Pier P. Vettorazzi, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, Regional Manager, will be speakers for this Forum during the 2022 International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC Summit) supported by the American Society for Health Care Engineering in New Orleans, LA on Monday, March 21 at 7 AM CT:

Register to Join the Conversation.

Along with Bradley Pollitt, AIA, Vice President – Facilities, for UF Health Shands Hospital, Lisa and Pier will provide insights into the latest technologies including hybrid OR’s, intra-operative MRIs, and other advanced procedure suites to ensure systems can be planned, procured, and installed to meet facility timelines to remain at the forefront of innovation while also considering connectivity and standards across a campus or larger health system.

Key Objectives:
• Explore a range of high-tech rooms and understand terminology among different solutions
• Discuss lessons learned from new construction, renovations, and relocations.
• Review strategies and broad impact of future flexibility vs retrofit.
• Explore degrees of integration within rooms and connectivity outside the room.
• Envision future state amid growing technologies, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, etc.

Why Attend ASHE PDC 2022?

The PDC Summit is a dynamic industry event coordinated by a trusted network of not-for-profit organizations with expertise in health care planning, design, and construction.

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.

Successfully Manage Your Next Medical Equipment Planning Project with Our Team

Juggling hospital personnel, program supervisors, engineers, and equipment vendors across multiple project areas is challenging, but our Medical Equipment Planning experts are here to help manage every aspect from planning to final installation. Trusted with top healthcare providers including UF Health Shands Hospital Specialty Surgical Tower and MD Anderson Cancer Center, contact us for your next project.

Join Aviation Vice President – Managing Principal Mike Zoia During the Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium

Join Mike Zoia, Aviation Vice President – Managing Principal, as he serves as moderator for the “Planning Track – Digital Twins – The Future of IT/Data Analytics” session during the AAAE/ACC Airport Planning, Design, and Construction Symposium on Wednesday, March 2 at 4:15pm CT

Exploring how data analytics can be applied in airport planning, this panel will discuss how proactive applications of data intelligence support airport executives’ strategic goals and business objectives. 

The panel also includes:

Alexei HolsteinConsultant Solution Architect, Schneider Electric

Andrew JollyGlobal Digital Engineering Director, Integral Group

Margaret Martin, C.M.President, Martin Airport Law, LLC

Keith WilschetzDirector, Strategic Planning, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority

Register to join the conversation in Nashville.

Why Attend This Year’s Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium?

Widely known as the preeminent technical event of the year, attendees gain critical insight into developments affecting the industry. The symposium offers highly technical content for airport professionals of all disciplines and experience levels.

Workshops include a balanced mix of presentations and interactive discussions between subject matter experts and participants on a broad range of topics. Technical tracks cover planning, terminal/landside, engineering/airside, and program management/construction management, as well as two minitracks featuring interactive workshops on the airport terminal of the future, and workshops on enhancing diversity at the workplace and in airport projects.

Sustainability, IT, security, and the latest in airport research will also be incorporated into the program.

Stay Ahead of the Game and Connect with Our Aviation Experts

Along with Mike Zoia, Business Development Directors, Jim Carey and Jen Zemba, will be in attendance. If you’re attending, contact us here to set up your one-on-one during this event.

Why Businesses Need to Start Taking Smart Building Security Seriously

Quick Insights:

  • The increased prevalence of smart office buildings presents a unique security concern.
  • Businesses need to look at physical security as another branch of cybersecurity in order to mitigate risk.
  • At Ross & Baruzzini, we take a holistic approach to security to ensure maximum protection.

In October 2021, Meta (formerly Facebook) was down for five hours, causing an upset among both the public and the company’s employees. When everything went down, access badges also stopped working. This left Meta employees locked out of their own office buildings.

via The Guardian

Clearly, even tech giants such as Meta must deal with the unexpected, and employees weren’t ready for the outage to affect their day-to-day tasks. Although this incident was the result of a simple error, it highlights a pressing problem that most companies continue to overlook: the safety and security of their own office buildings.

The Convergence of Physical Security and Cybersecurity

Smart office buildings provide huge boosts to convenience and flexibility for employees and management. However, each new smart element comes with vulnerabilities that need to be considered. Connected HVAC units, smart security cameras, remotely managed access controls, and other tech create potential entry points that bad actors can exploit.

This is more than a theoretical risk. In 2016, network-connected cameras and network video recorders were used to take down several important internet sites and platforms, such as Netflix, Google, Spotify, and Twitter. More recently, a security flaw in Cisco’s Discovery Protocol was uncovered last year that affected not only routers but also desk phones and webcams. In both instances, the devices were dangerous because they could be used to infect or take down entire networks.

There’s a lack of cohesiveness when it comes to security as a whole, creating vulnerabilities that put smart office buildings at risk. For example, a computer with important data might be protected from cybersecurity attacks. But if the server room the computer is connected to isn’t physically secure, the computer becomes vulnerable.

As offices become smarter and more open, businesses’ security challenges are only going to increase. It’s time for companies to take the security of their physical buildings as seriously as they take the security of their networks. Installation teams rarely double as maintenance teams, and most IT departments aren’t trained in operational technology. Unless companies create dedicated teams or partner with an organization that takes a holistic approach to security (such as Ross & Baruzzini), they might be at risk.

Navigating Modern Challenges to Cybersecurity

The convergence of physical security and cybersecurity has ramifications for a variety of industries. For example, in national defense, the building’s weapon security is as important as safeguarding the weapons. But even in more mundane environments, there are new vulnerabilities that have to be addressed.

Many of today’s workspaces are much more flexible than the traditional cubicle layout. Employees are able to work anywhere on campus, moving freely from desk to desk and building to building. Co-working businesses take this flexibility to an even greater extreme, offering spaces all over the world to virtually anyone willing to pay for them. It’s hugely convenient and can be a great boon to productivity, but it also has the potential to be a security nightmare.

Coworking spaces offer convenience as well as increased risks.

For example, to increase the convenience of these types of working environments, many organizations will offer blanket access to anyone with a badge. This means a Seattle-based remote worker can visit a San Francisco co-working space without any security checkpoints or safeguards. Not only does this call for an increase in physical security safeguards, but it also creates a number of potential challenges to cybersecurity that IT departments often overlook.

To properly address the unique needs of building security, companies should bring in a consulting firm with expertise in cybersecurity and building operations. Our company brings a wealth of experience across markets. Not only do we have dedicated teams of cybersecurity experts and physical security experts, but we’re also part of a much larger organization filled with OT experts. Our ability to handle every aspect of security in-house is a competitive differentiator.

Building security should no longer be viewed as separate from cybersecurity. After all, smart office buildings will only become more common. Businesses need to get serious about safety if they don’t want to find themselves dealing with a preventable security breach down the road. To learn more about Ross & Baruzzini’s approach to security, contact the team today.

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.

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.

Forbes Features Ross & Baruzzini Leading Technology in Latest Article

BMW, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Ross & Baruzzini are the three companies featured in a recently published Forbes article on how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies will change how businesses operate.

Our Mobility Systems project, HoloRail, led by Megan Huff, PfMP, Vice President, Managing Principal, is a groundbreaking case study on how AR interfaces for train dispatchers can disrupt the future of railway. This Transportation Research Board-backed project examined the usefulness of AR technology as a train dispatcher’s user interface.

What is HoloRail?

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 controls and ties dispatchers to one location.

HoloRail Functionality Outline

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.

Why are Tools Like HoloRail Important for Our Future? 

The Forbes piece highlights how AR/VR tools can help connect people and processes as we move into the next normal. By imitating real experiences, AR/VR opens doors to new opportunities to bridge gaps that were previously too wide to navigate. 

As the article reports, “It’s unlikely that things will return to the way they were before the pandemic, so leaders need to take note of what the future of work entails. Only by adopting new technologies and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible will businesses be able to secure competitive advantages.” 

Though the initial HoloRail system is a proof of concept, Megan Huff believes that the widespread adoption of AR technology in the transportation sector is fast-approaching. “About 90% of the dispatchers who used our pilot could complete the test procedures without assistance only after a 10-minute training tutorial on using the equipment and software, and 80% said they felt they could use the platform to complete their job duties,” she says.

“The gesture interface was easier for dispatchers to learn and use than anticipated. AR will change how the control room functions and the everyday work experience for all aspects of the transportation industry.”

Ross & Baruzzini was the only engineering firm to have recognition in the article. 

Please visit the Forbes website to read the full article or click here to read our HoloRail report.

To get in touch with our Mobility Systems team, send us a note here

There’s a Problem With Technology Integration When It Comes to Public Transit in the U.S., and It’s Not the Tech

If you had to assign a letter grade to the United States transportation industry, what would it be?

You might be surprised to learn that America’s transportation infrastructure has failed to score higher than a C-minus for several years, but if you look closer, the reason becomes clearer. In the transit sector alone, about 19% of vehicles are in poor condition, and most railways are made up of legacy infrastructure. Even if more Americans decided to take public transportation, 45% don’t have any access, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Government officials realize this, which is why a $1 trillion infrastructure bill secured a bipartisan win in Congress this year. The deal will expand and modernize roadways, bridges, public transportation, and digital infrastructure — all of which are pillars of an efficient, connected society.

Modernizing transportation infrastructure is a massive undertaking that involves large-scale technology integration. Luckily, the technology is available, but enormous volumes of data are still trapped in silos. Breaking down those silos and utilizing the data to fuel change management will improve the customer journey and drive operational efficiency.

This blog post will specifically look at U.S. railroads and what transit organizations can do to bring them up to speed, but know that these problems extend across all modes of transportation. The entire U.S. transportation industry needs to realize its vision of a smarter system — one where all modes are integrated with each other and additional pieces of city infrastructure (electric, water, trash collection, etc.). Only then will a region truly be able to function in real-time and move its citizens where they want to go, all while minimizing congestion and pollution.

Improving the Customer Journey

It’s possible to build smarter rail infrastructure; technology is not the issue. What’s really preventing transit organizations from closing gaps is siloed people and processes. Data analytics that are integrated across an entire organization’s assets and mined for insights through artificial intelligence can be incredibly powerful. Siloed data and teams, on the other hand, promote deficiencies in the customer experience. In the latter case, the result is a bloated, inefficient transit service.

Think about a hypothetical transit agency in a large city that offers regional rail and light rail options. The agency has implemented operational systems and hired staff for each of these modes of transportation. But it’s rare for them to share actionable, timely data on passenger journeys — even though many people use multiple modes in a single trip. As a result, passengers are subject to lengthy wait times at some transfer stations while the rail lines duplicate each other’s routes in other areas. All that translates to wasted time and money and disincentivizes people to regularly use public transportation.

By breaking down silos and encouraging technology integration, agencies can better understand the customer journey and improve the design of the transit experience. 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.

Achieving Operational Efficiency

Data silos also have an enormous impact on operational efficiency. Consider how complex public transit is in the U.S. Agencies must manage the flow of passengers in and out of their stations, the maintenance of their equipment and infrastructure, and the logistics of getting equipment out — all on top of day-to-day operations. Not only are these systems siloed off from one another, but they also often have silos within them.

Without an environment driven by connected data, it’s difficult to determine what maintenance work needs to be done, where that work should be concentrated, and when it should be performed, among other factors. For instance, let’s say a public transit agency needs to temporarily take a rail out of service to repair a portion of the track. Unbeknownst to the team in charge of the physical track layout, the rail also needs signal repairs. But because the two systems are siloed from one another, the repairs are completed one at a time. This means that the rail is out of service for more time than it needs to be.

If the agency had technology integration, it could have performed both repairs at once to improve operational efficiency. And with real-time data collection and advanced pattern analysis, the agency might be able to predict when elements of the system needed routine maintenance before breaking down and interrupting service. Considering all the technology available, modern railway systems should function more efficiently — not less.

What’s Next for Public Transit in the U.S.?

Transit currently has the lowest grade on America’s infrastructure report card. There’s currently a $176 billion public transit backlog in the U.S., and that deficit threatens to balloon to more than $250 billion by 2029. Considering the work that needs to be done, the transit sector is a great place to start solving this problem with technology integration.

The Congress-approved infrastructure bill will devote countless dollars to the modernization of infrastructure. However, the country won’t be able to truly ease the transportation industry’s issues without breaking down organizational silos and embracing change. Although we only explored transit in this blog post, all transportation sectors can encourage collaboration and use data to facilitate change management.

Megan Huff is the vice president and managing principal of mobility systems at Ross & Baruzzini, a premier international technology consulting and engineering firm.

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

The aviation industry was hit hard by the pandemic, but there is a silver lining when this issue is viewed from an innovation angle. The pandemic is ushering in a new age of digital and automated technologies. This momentum presents a great opportunity for organizations to rethink their digital experiences in ways that are seamless, health-conscious, secure, automated, and personalized.

Airports of all sizes need to have a plan for their digital evolution to take advantage of this time when their board members, passengers, and stakeholders are asking for innovation. The sky is the limit for those with a knowledge of touchless technology and the network to get things done. Consider the following advancements:

1. Adopting touchless technology.

Touchless technology and personalization aren’t new concepts, but they grew more popular during the pandemic and will define the future of aviation. Passengers, workers, and employers desire less person-to-person interaction due to health concerns. And considering the proliferation of smartphones, people are expecting personalized information at their fingertips throughout their days.

This digital transformation of the customer experience has been evolving for years. In 2006, Disney launched a biometric initiative across its parks to streamline and personalize the visitor experience. Another significant milestone for biometrics occurred in 2013 when Apple added Touch ID to the iPhone, which generated awareness, interest, and greater consumer acceptance of people’s digital identities.

Touchless technology isn’t a new concept to aviation, either. The Department of Homeland Security launched the Apex Screening at Speed program to enable a seamless checkpoint experience. Using passive detection technologies, the program quickly and efficiently screens people for threats as they walk through the security portal.

Graphic rendition of airport check-in in the future from Apex Screening at Speed (SaS) Program

Fast forward to a post-pandemic world, and touchless technology is becoming the norm and a business imperative. Consider how the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport uses facial recognition technology. Future-forward airports should prioritize touchless experiences and redefine the customer experience in the next normal.

2. Welcoming self-service and autonomous innovations.

Self-service is a major component of the evolving passenger experience, and it is maturing at a rapid pace. A full 89% of airports offer self-service check-in options, and technology providers are working with airports, government partners, and the commercial airline industry to roll out solutions. These technological advances in aviation include biometric bag dropsfood delivery droids, and Transportation Security Administration screening time reservations.

Delta biometric-based self-service bag drop

Health safety becoming a priority during the pandemic also bolstered the use of autonomous systems for sanitization. For example, Pittsburgh International AirportGerald R. Ford International Airport, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport deployed autonomous robots to clean floors with disinfectants and/or ultraviolet light as a tangible demonstration of their commitment to passenger health.

3. Innovating Together.

The most successful technological advances in aviation have been driven through strong partnerships. For example, in 2016, Delta partnered with the TSA and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to deploy the first automated security lanes. The system streamlined security processing by extending divesting points, diverting alarmed bags to a separate inspection area, and automating the return of empty bins. Wait times were reduced, and the solution began rolling out across the aviation system.

Atlanta Airport TSA checkpoint

Historically, partnerships in aviation focused on coordination among airports, airlines, and government entities. But now, airports and the commercial airline industry are increasingly choosing to form flexible partnerships that promote speed and creativity to deploy new solutions. In contrast to a prescriptive formal approach, open partnerships align toward broader objectives and allow evolving solution deployments. For instance, over the pandemic, Denver International Airport entered a long-term partnership with Daon to deploy contactless solutions that enhance traveler confidence and streamline airport operations.

Moving Forward

The aviation industry can make the most of a tough situation by investing in touchless technology, autonomous innovations, and creative partnerships. These opportunities will define the future of aviation, so leaders can get ahead by exploring what’s possible.

Looking for a technology consultant and engineering firm with experience in the aviation sector? Click here to check out Ross & Baruzzini’s work in the space.


Chris Runde is the head of corporate strategy and innovation at Ross & Baruzzini, a premier international technology consulting and engineering firm. He specializes in technology and analyzing its impact on infrastructure and security. Join him at the Future Travel Experience Global 2021 on December 7-9 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas as he discusses airport innovation in digital twins, autonomous systems, and robotics.

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

Most Wired Hospitals Use Information Technology for Improved Patient Experience

This year’s “Healthcare’s Most Wired” survey, conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), recently recognized several Ross & Baruzzini Healthcare Technology clients. CHIME’s Most Wired list acknowledges healthcare organizations that have adopted and deployed information technology to improve patient safety and health outcomes across the industry.

Our featured clients include:

Children’s Hospital Colorado


Duke University Health System

Essentia Health

Genesis Healthcare System

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Parkview Health

Saint Barnabas Medical Center

SCL Health

UNC Health

University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital

“Digital transformation in healthcare has accelerated to an unprecedented level since 2020, and the next few years will bring a wave of innovation that empowers healthcare consumers and will astound the industry,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell. “The Digital Health Most Wired program recognizes the outstanding digital leaders who have paved the way for this imminent revolution in healthcare. Their trailblazing commitment to rapid transformation has set an example for the entire industry in how to pursue a leadership vision.”

Building Patient-Focused Healthcare Systems:

Our Technology team understands the impact of patient experience relating to growing market share in a competitive landscape. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, improving patient experience can enhance health outcomes, build greater employee satisfaction, and boost an organization’s bottom line.

Achieving high patient experience ratings requires leveraging today’s advanced healthcare technology and digital tools. Learn how we can help your healthcare team accelerate efficiency, quality, and safety across your entire facility. For more information on how we can help improve your patient experience, contact our Technology team.

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.