In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Read more
In moving a project from statement of work to completion of construction, regular collaboration between owners, designers, and contractors is no longer a luxury. It is the managerial insurance the project must have in order to stay on schedule and budget. Much of the unbudgeted time and expense incurred by change orders can be attributed to a lack of integration between the players. It’s often because these parties failed to include the resources and intentional effort for collaboration. Read more
The healthcare field is ever-changing. With advancements in operational models and technology, Principal Robby Aull, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, and Senior Associate Christine Adams, CHID, IIDA, shared their thoughts about some of the upcoming design trends they expect to see as the healthcare field evolves.
What is the outlook for healthcare, specifically new hospital construction, across the country and in South Carolina?
The healthcare industry continues to grow but is in a period of constant transition. One of the most important changes is hospitals are becoming systems of healthcare, and these systems include everything from primary and specialty care physician offices to outpatient imaging and surgery centers to the traditional inpatient hospital. Integrated systems like these continue to be developed across the country and in South Carolina. Prisma Health, located in Columbia, and Greenville Health System, located in Greenville in the upstate region, have recently partnered to create the state’s largest healthcare system.
What are the current trends you see in hospital design and construction?
The patients who are in hospitals today are generally sicker and frailer than in years past. Because of this, there is more equipment, more monitoring and more technology in general. At the same time, hospitals are being judged and even paid based upon patient satisfaction surveys. The design of spaces can help improve the overall experience and the overall healing process
So, the patient experience is still a priority?
Of course, the patient experience will always be a priority, but we’re seeing a lot of focus on improving the experience for the staff as well. Providing staff with space plan consistency and efficiencies reduces their steps to critical equipment and supplies that help them to do their job. This reduces errors and in turn improves staff satisfaction and patient outcomes.
For example, at the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit, we included the installation of a light system in the staff breakroom area that provides a natural mid-day color temperature designed to keep employees more alert. In addition to the installation of the specialized light system, we also renovated the staff’s work and teaching areas by incorporating more modernized environments that focus on alleviating stress and encourage interactions. All design elements that ultimately create a more pleasant experience for everyone.
In addition to the patient experience, we also consider the families’ experience. Having family nearby is a big part of the healing process. We incorporate dedicated family spaces in the patients’ rooms whenever possible. These spaces include amenities such as comfortable seating, controllable lighting, personal storage space, Wi-Fi, and outlets for charging personal electronics.
What are the challenges associated with designing hospitals?
Hospitals are one of the most technologically advanced environments. The heating and cooling, fire sprinklers, medical gas and electrical systems have to be coordinated within a design that creates a positive experience and aids in healing. Additionally, we also must integrate the latest technology into the current design while making spaces that can easily accommodate new and ever-changing technology being developed due to the pace of the industry. One example is the tunable lighting system currently being installed at Prisma Health.
What is tunable lighting?
Tunable lighting is a specialized system that mimics the light outside during a typical day. For instance, when the sun rises, it emits a warm yellow light. In the middle of the day, the light is cool, bright and blue, and by the end of the day, it is yellow again and very warm as the sun begins to set. Exposure to this normal, daily cycle reinforces our body’s natural circadian rhythms.
Today, light fixtures using LED technology have the ability to emit light that can become warmer or cooler, which mimics the natural and daily cycle of the sun. In places where people do not have access to natural light, such as large warehouses or manufacturing plants, these lights provide the ability to imitate the sun’s cycle. There has been research that demonstrates the positive effects on workers in these jobs, especially on night shift workers.
Why is tunable lighting an important addition to the healthcare industry?
Our goal as healthcare designers is to incorporate spaces that create positive experiences and promote a patient’s natural healing process. Research specific to tunable lighting is beginning to show light used within a space can directly contribute to helping healthcare professionals, like us, create better environments for the end user.
The lighting industry has just recently been able to produce a wider variety of fixtures that are tunable and able to reach the right light temperatures and frequencies needed to have actual measurable benefits for people.
Hospital patients, especially the sickest and in intensive care, are often unable to maintain the body’s natural circadian cycle, sometimes resulting in the onset of delirium that can lead to long-term issues even after they have recovered physically. Through the use of tunable lighting fixtures, we now have the ability to artificially create this light cycle, ultimately improving a patient’s short and long-term recovery.
From a staff point of view, tunable lighting can affect how doctors and nurses perform. We are incorporating tunable lighting in these areas as a way to increase productivity and efficiency among hospital staff. Again, we expect these new environments will be especially beneficial to night shift employees.
Were there any challenges encountered during the design and construction phases of tunable lighting at Prisma Health?
Prisma Health is the first hospital that has incorporated tunable lighting on this scale. Because this technology is so new, it required a great deal of coordination with the manufacturer to determine how to integrate it into the design. We worked with them to determine which fixtures were available and which ones were appropriate to use in a hospital setting. Control of the lights was also a challenge. Instead of simple switches, the system is controlled by a centralized computer with a console in each room. This control system allows for future modifications to the tuning as more research is published. Since this system is so new, the project required an enormous amount of teamwork between the hospital’s nursing, engineering, and maintenance staff along with our design team and the light manufacturer. Everyone had the patients’ best interest in mind, which is why this project has been so successful.
How do you see this technology being used in other places or advancing over the next 10 years?
As more research is completed, I expect studies will show positive benefits for people in all types of situations and environments. For example, if research shows students are able to focus and learn better when a specific light color is used, then we will see this technology being incorporated into new school designs. The same ideas may apply to office, manufacturing centers, laboratories, hotels – the possibilities are endless.
I completely agree. I expect to see tunable lighting used more widely in educational facilities next. Numerous studies already have shown students of all ages benefit from access to natural lighting.
But, this lighting technique can be used in any industry. The hospitality and retail industries, for example, currently use music and color psychology, therefore tunable lighting could be used not only for psychological benefits but for long-term, long-lasting health benefits. Any place where people are spending longer amounts of time indoors, where there is a disruption in one’s natural circadian cycle would benefit greatly from this technology.
Robby Aull, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, principal and senior vice president, has more than 25 years of healthcare design experience and is responsible for project conception and development. Robby is a graduate of Clemson University where he received both a Bachelor of Science in Design and a Master in Design and Architecture.
Christine Adams, CHID, IIDA, senior associate and senior interior designer, specializes in the design of acute care facilities. Christine’s expertise in programming, space planning, project coordination, and detailing, aids in her ability to create supportive and healing environments for her clients – projects that incorporate positive design principles for patients. Christine graduated from Appalachian State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design.
Justin Lipsey, VDC Specialist at SSOE, wrote an article recently featured in the industry-leading publication Engineering News-Record (ENR) titled “In-House Owner Teams and Designers Can Increase Productivity by Fully Embracing the Cloud.” A proponent and early adopter of Autodesk’s BIM 360 platform, Justin discusses the advantages of cloud technology services and its ability to allow project teams to steer the direction, improve protocols, and reap the long-term benefits of closer, more informed collaboration. Read more
Amy Cope, IIDA, RID, EDAC, NCIDQ, CHID, Certified Healthcare Interior Designer and Section Manager, and Jennifer Hrosko, IIDA, NCIDQ, CHID, Certified Healthcare Interior Designer, recently co-authored an article featured in Medical Construction & Design. In the article, Amy and Jennifer examine the evolution of surface, materials, and furnishings in response to infectious diseases. Read more
Robert Siebenaller, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Project Manager / Architect, and Loni Leveridge, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, EDAC, Architect, recently authored an article in Medical Construction & Design. In the article, Robert and Loni emphasize the benefits of meeting or exceeding healthcare facility ADA compliance such as greater access for the aging American population, healthier environments, and overall consumer satisfaction. Read more
Jen Hrosko, IIDA, NCIDQ, CHID, Senior Interior Designer at SSOE Group, recently authored an article in Medical Construction and Design which explains how the future of healthcare design is changing to keep up with modern trends. Waiting and patient room designs are now being focused on the demand for more comfortable and multifunctional furnishings that invite the feeling of home. Read more
Decision makers in healthcare companies are spending more time than usual crunching numbers and making projections … and some are shrugging their shoulders. Like every major U.S. industry, they are trying to figure out how to do business in this unpredictable economy.
Although healthcare is traditionally one of its strongest segments (the sick will always be with us), people’s needs, behavior patterns, and priorities have shifted in response to the downturn. And this is all giving rise to new trends. Among the trend watchers are SSOE’s healthcare experts. They are helping clients take advantage of the slowdown’s effect on facilities’ projects.
“Where is the silver lining?” you ask. Lower revenues, tight money, and risk aversion call for rethinking your strategies, but “there’s an upside,” suggests Matthew Kennedy an SSOE healthcare planning expert. “This is the perfect time to focus on your development strategy and careful project planning. Without the sense of urgency to break ground or start filling beds, you have the time to examine a broad range of options related to facilities projects.”
Essential Services in a Smaller Footprint
People who live far out in the country accept the inconvenience of long trips to a shopping mall or long rides on a school bus in exchange for the benefits of a rural lifestyle. But more than sixty years ago, the government decided that having to make too long of a trip to the hospital was an inequity that needed to be resolved. It committed federal dollars to the construction and improvement of hospitals in underserved areas. Then in 1997, as part of the Balanced Budget Act, Congress authorized the creation of critical access hospitals (CAH) to support the concept of small rural hospitals.
To make it financially feasible for CAHs to offer essential services despite low patient volumes, these facilities receive more generous reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid than typical hospitals. To qualify, a CAH must meet these specific criteria:
- Provide inpatient care, emergency care, laboratory services, and radiology
- Have a maximum of 25 beds
- Be at least 35 miles from another hospital or be certified as a necessary provider
- Have a 96-hour average length of stay
- Contract with at least one physician
- Have an agreement with a network hospital for quality assurance, patient referral, credentialing, and more
Despite the reimbursements, decisions related to space, staff, and services must be driven by cost efficiency if a CAH is to be fiscally viable.
If you think of interior design of medical facilities as picking out homey furnishings and a friendly color spectrum, it’s time for a short, friendly tutorial. In reality, designing healthcare environments is a complex discipline that draws on biology, chemistry, patient-outcomes research, psychology, physiology … and the list continues. SSOE’s interior designers explained how this varied knowledge comes into play in the day-to-day work of specifying healthcare facilities.
Saying No To “Nosocomial” Infection
Materials and finishes are among hospitals’ arsenal of weapons to prevent nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections and to establish sterile areas. In the majority of today’s hospitals, seamless floors and countertops, anti-bacterial carpets and upholstery fabrics are standard, which explains the prevalence of solid surface counters and work surfaces and the popularity of carpet tile or vinyl backed carpeting. Although rubber is low on glamour, it is a popular option for hard floors since it is both naturally anti-bacterial and durable. And even if it sounds like something from a sci-fi novel, there are fabrics that kill bacteria on contact and reduce them to dust.
Manufacturers continue to broaden their product lines to include more anti-bacterial options that are aesthetically pleasing. As an example, ceiling tiles now come with an anti-bacterial finish.
Suzan Huff, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Master Architect and Senior Associate at SSOE, recently authored an article in Lab Equipment Magazine where she explains in detail how meaningful involvement in the planning and design process of a lab project will ensure a uniquely suitable and successful project outcome.
User representation on the project team ideally needs to involve all parties affected, at all levels and departments. This includes senior managers, seasoned scientists, and intermediate management, with each individual bringing a unique and different perspective for the duration of the project. While this is no small task, she details a strategy of success to accomplish this. Read more
If it seems far fetched that stroke victims recover more quickly in hospital rooms painted in primary colors, you’re probably neither a healthcare designer nor a medical professional.
To them, making correlations like these are fundamental to evidence-based design.
Evidence-based design is a process used by architects, interior designers, facility managers, and others in the planning, design and construction of healthcare facilities. It requires systematically gathering and analyzing data on the effect of healthcare environments on healing, then using that data to make design decisions. (See Spring ’08 Dimensions “Do Healing Gardens Really Heal?”)
Over the last decade, evidence-based design has helped healthcare designers access research to support their recommendations. As an example, A/Es can reference studies that demonstrate improving acoustics in coronary intensive care units has a positive effect on patient healing. Imagine the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery if we can create more data, better data, faster data.
The tool for doing that already exists. It is Building Information Modeling (BIM) — a powerful technology that can store and access data about a facility and other subject matter.
TOLEDO, Ohio, February 10, 2022 – SSOE (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce several recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) board appointments within their Building Design Group business unit. The four SSOE individuals appointed are Todd Dolson, Heather Judge, Adriane McGillis, and Laura Morton. Read more
Suzan Huff, RA, LEED AP BD+C, Master Architect at SSOE, recently authored an article in Lab Manager magazine where she explains how a lack of existing or accurate documentation, such as building blueprints, maintenance records, and inspection reports, is a common challenge for laboratory renovation projects. She goes on to discuss how to approach this challenge and shares insights into on-site field observation, verification, and documentation that can save time, trouble, and money during the construction phase of these projects. Read more
“Evidence-based design” of hospitals has been credited with laudable improvements in patient care: faster recovery, reduced medication errors, improved staff safety and lower stress levels for everyone. The proponents of this design approach aren’t radicals. They are architects whose design reflects scientific research that proves certain environmental characteristics can create impressive results.
In the last decade, leading researchers proposed the idea that hospital design decisions should be based on documented results. From that point forward, rather than make assumptions about how to design a better functioning hospital, the
profession took the position, “We need to prove it.”
Most of us have first-hand knowledge of the annoying aspects of hospitals—the disruptive noises, harsh lighting, stark décor, uncomfortable furniture, lack of privacy and more. And the staff can cite many design features that make it difficult to deliver the best medical treatment. Thanks to the ongoing compilation and quantification of hundreds of studies on the affects of certain environmental factors, architects know much more about how to improve outcomes.
SSOE Acquires Martell Associates Healthcare Architecture, Inc.
SSOE is proud to announce that we have acquired healthcare design firm Martell Associates Healthcare Architecture, Inc. The acquisition will benefit both companies and our clients by providing more resources and experience, as well as expanded geographic reach. SSOE has identified healthcare as a key market and has expanded organically to support recent successes nationally and locally. Martell’s additional project experience, expertise and client relationships will enhance our national healthcare design practice leveraging the experience of SSOE’s healthcare teams across the United States.
SSOE Offers Free PM Training to Clients and Staff
For anyone new to the project management role or anyone else who would like a formal refresher, SSOE is offering a two-day “Fundamentals of Project Management” workshop. This workshop is interactive and includes small group exercises, large group discussions, and instructor explanations. Participants will learn the five process phases of Project Management and how to apply them to projects.
Jason Christen, PMP, Senior Account Executive at SSOE, and Mark LaBell, Senior VDC Technical Leader, were both featured in a BD+C Magazine article that examines the rise of 3D laser scanners, which have recently evolved into handhelds. 3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions. In addition to allowing us to scan harder-to-reach places, handheld scanners provide the ability to show clients results immediately after taking a scan with a workable model showing an accurate representation of the facility—a major benefit of the technology that often translates into cost savings for our clients. Read more
Sonny Hamizadeh, AIA, Senior Account Executive at SSOE Group, was recently featured in Modern Healthcare in an article highlighting the recent uptick in building renovation and conversion projects in the healthcare industry—as seen in the publication’s annual Construction and Design Survey results. Sonny explains that new construction is still prevalent, but when renovating is more practical and cost-effective, many clients are now considering that route. The feature goes on to detail SSOE’s recent renovation project for ProMedica Health System, still under construction, which the article appropriately dubs a “whopper remodeling job”. The project requires transforming two historical industrial structures in Toledo, Ohio into what will soon be ProMedica’s corporate headquarters. The design consists of repurposing a 19th century landmark steam plant and connecting it to a former bank building to create an office space for nearly 1,000 employees. Complex to say the least, the urban revitalization effort also required the demolition of two deteriorated 20-story brick smokestacks, which were replaced with smaller steel replicas that required close coordination with National Register of Historical Preservation officials. Read more
Industry survivors must embrace shifting paradigms in order to remain competitive in the private sector.
Suzan Huff, RA, LEED AP BD+C, Master Architect at SSOE, recently authored an article in Lab Manager Magazine highlighting three concepts trending in commercial laboratory design: flexibility, transparency, and positive branding. With traditional lab practices changing, the spaces themselves are being modified to accommodate. In addition to creating open, adaptable spaces, Suzan also recommends incorporating movable / convertible items, such as furniture, to create an easily transformable, dynamic group environment and interior and exterior image branding to better appeal to the public. Read more
TROY, Michigan, February 22, 2021 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that they provided architectural and engineering services on the recently completed Beaumont Health System Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) in Troy, Michigan. Read more
Master Planning vs. Strategic Master Facility Planning
Perhaps no other industry has undergone as many recent fundamental changes as health care. Matched with advances in medical science and technology, are changes in the design, composition, and location of buildings. Historically, medical services were delivered either in hospitals or doctor’s offices.
Now there is an array of building types – specialty group practices, community-based ambulatory care clinics, large research centers, small specialty hospitals, and even shopping mall locations and mobile units. And increasingly, large health systems own and operate these networks that reach across counties and states.
What has triggered this geographic dispersion of facilities?
TOLEDO, Ohio, January 14, 2021 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the appointment of six new Principals as a result of their recent acquisition of Stevens & Wilkinson (S&W), a 100-year-old architecture, engineering, and interior design firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina. The acquisition was finalized on December 31, 2020, expanding the firm’s geographic footprint in the Southeast U.S., market expertise in the general building arena, and overall portfolio. Read more
Global Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Management Firm Expands Geographic Presence, Design Expertise, and Market Capability with Strategic Acquisition of Southeast Design Firm with Offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina
ATLANTA, Georgia, January 4, 2021 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Stevens & Wilkinson (S&W), a 100-year-old design firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina, and their sister interior design studio IDEA|SPAN. The alliance, finalized on December 31st, expands the Southeast U.S. presence, market capabilities, and overall portfolio of both firms. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, November 19, 2020 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that Jennifer Bohn earned her Board Certificate in healthcare architecture from The American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) and Amy Cope earned the prestigious Certified Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID) certificate. Read more
SSOE’s Ryan Cousino, Project Manager with over 10 years of healthcare project experience, was recently published on the topic of life safety compliance—specifically a section of the Joint Commission’s survey assessing Life Safety Code NFPA 101 compliance. He recommends seeking assistance from a qualified architecture / engineering firm such as SSOE to prepare for this, guaranteeing a trouble-free outcome. Read more
Evan Baker, Data / Fire / Security (DFS) Manager at SSOE with over 10 years of experience, recently authored this illustrative article detailing best practices for designing an effective hospital mass notification system (MNS). Today’s technology allows for customized life-safety messages to be communicated in real time in various ways, with many features varying by vendor. Evan writes that a successful MNS design starts with calculated planning and the involvement of many parties—including the building’s architect, fire protection engineer, hospital personnel, insurance provider, and code officials—to help determine priority MNS features. Read more
Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit Expansion Receives
Birmingham Business Journal Building Birmingham 2020 Award
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, October 2, 2020 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that one of their projects has recently been recognized as a Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ) Award recipient. The Children’s Hospital of Alabama’s Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit Expansion project won the BBJ’s Building Birmingham 2020 Award. Read more
John Gill, Director of VDC and Craig Pickerel, Architect and Section Manager take a look at how VDC has already transformed the way design and construction teams work together to develop new healthcare facilities—and where they see additional benefits in the future in Medical Construction & Design Magazine. The pair provides insight into specific ways VDC could enhance operations, maintenance, and management of a healthcare facility, improve the patient experience, and enhance staff efficiency and performance. Read more
John Delaney and Mark Smith, Data / Fire / Security Designers at SSOE, were published in Health Facilities Management Magazine on the topic of infrastructure system convergence and how it can save healthcare facilities both time and money. This comprehensive article discusses the ways merging life safety and security systems have proven beneficial, making more information available faster to both healthcare facility employees and first responders. Whether a daily task or an emergency situation, consolidating these auxiliary systems offers several process improvements, including better communication between medical and security staff and quicker transmission of critical, high-quality information, while still maintaining HIPAA compliance. Read more
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, July 30, 2020 – SSOE Group, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the addition of three new professionals to their rapidly growing Southeast operations team. They are excited to welcome Davis Burton, Amy Cope, and Alex Costakis to their healthcare, commercial, and education business unit. Read more
John Gill, PE, PMP, LEED AP, SSOE’s Director of VDC, was recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR) discussing the topic of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Gill has over 20 years of industry experience and was responsible for the implementation of SSOE’s VDC program. He writes on the many strengths the VDC framework has to offer our industry, and offers some tips for implementing a solid foundation on your next project. Read more
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, July 1, 2020 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the recent appointment of Alyson Dinca as the new President of the Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) Huntsville Chapter. CSI is a national association dedicated to improving the documentation, management, and communication of building information as used by the construction community. Read more
Lee Building & 4th Avenue Parking Deck Project Receives AIA Alabama’s Excellence in Design Award
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, May 20, 2020 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that one of their projects has recently been recognized as a 2020 Excellence in Design Award Winner by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Alabama. The Children’s Hospital of Alabama Lee Building and 4th Avenue Parking Deck won an AIA Alabama Excellence in Design Honor Award. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 5, 2020 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, has partnered with American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s leading provider of urgent and accessible primary care, to provide A/E services on franchise projects across the United States, increasing access to healthcare for Americans. AFC selected SSOE for these projects due to their full-service capabilities. Read more
SSOE Group’s Alan Liddy, AIA, NCARB, PMP, Senior Project Manager, and Deborah Suzan Huff, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate and Architect, co-authored this technical how-to article in Laboratory Design Magazine. Lab design is unarguably involved and often perplexing, but Liddy and Huff share their lab-savvy design tips, offering solutions to four critical, yet common challenges. A project team equipped with details can ardently tackle these challenges by engaging intercommunication coupled with proficiency. Read more
Evan Baker of SSOE Group was recently published in Data Center Journal. Baker, who currently manages the data / fire / security systems group at SSOE and brings over a decade of data center experience to the table, offers his data center reliability know-how in his article “Case Study: Out-of-the-Box Reliability.” Baker highlights three projects in three different market sectors for which SSOE provided data center design and connectivity services. One thing that was static among the differing projects was cost reduction as a result of improved reliability and functionality achieved by variation in data connectivity via integrated voice-data networks and new technologies. Read more
In this document “Infection Control and Prevention: Healthcare Facility Preparedness Recommendations” readers will learn facility and mechanical system recommendations to help combat COVID-19. Click here for details.
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 29, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the appointment of new Principals and organization promotions for their planning year (PY) 2020. Read more
The worlds of higher education and healthcare are approaching a fundamental change via wireless communication. The advent of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) is facilitating a new, interconnected campus that will allow students and faculty, patients and medical professionals, first responders as well as facility managers, greater ability to monitor and control the environments where they live, study, work, and heal. Data / Fire / Security Specialist, Jim Otte, NICET IV, discusses the important role DAS plays in facilitating changes in higher education and healthcare environments in this article featured in Wireless Design and Development Magazine.
Open house to take place Thursday, August 22, 2019
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, August 15, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global architecture, engineering, and construction management firm, is proud to welcome clients and partners to their recently relocated office space with an Open House taking place at 2204 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 110 in Homewood, Alabama.
Lynne Gochenour, Senior Interior Designer at SSOE, highlights the importance of selecting the right interiors for health care facilities. A welcoming and friendly atmosphere attracts patients and has a direct relation to customer satisfaction. The key issue most facilities face is balancing an attractive environment with budget constraints. Gochenour outlines cost-effective measures health care facilities can take in order to find the right balance in Health Facilities Management Magazine’s September 2013 issue.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, April 10, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce it has been named one of the Top Engineering Firms for both the Birmingham Business Journal and Nashville Business Journal for 2019. The Top Engineering Firms List ranks the top 25 engineering firms based on the total number of licensed professional engineers. SSOE was named the third largest engineering firm in Birmingham, Alabama and the eighth largest engineering firm in Nashville, Tennessee. Read more
John Gill, Senior Project Manager at SSOE discusses what he considers are the two main contributors to the rise in Energy Star certification in hospitals in Medical Construction & Design Magazine’s 2013 May/June issue. The trend toward increasing Energy Star certifications is positively reflected in the EPA’s most recent data for Energy Star-certified hospitals, which Gill partially attributes to sustainability awareness and outreach to heath care facility managers by the U.S. Department of Energy.
SSOE provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, technology, and fire protection (MEPT / FP) design services for the project.
TOLEDO, Ohio, January 8, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, was recently recognized, along with their project team members HKS Architects, Rudolph Libbe Group, GEM Inc., Mannik & Smith Group, and Accel Fire Systems, with a “Best Projects” Award from Engineering-News Record (ENR) Midwest and Honorable Mention from Building Design + Construction’s (BD+C) 2018 Reconstruction Award for the ProMedica Headquarters – Steam Plant Project located in downtown Toledo, Ohio. ProMedica Health System is a locally owned non-profit healthcare organization serving Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 20, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that two project teams have been selected as recipients of the firm’s Founder’s Award and five individuals have been selected as recipients of Leadership Awards. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 13, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that they have achieved a significant milestone—documenting more than $1 billion in total project savings for their clients. Read more
DURHAM, North Carolina, October 29, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to have recently completed their first Net Zero LEED® Platinum project. The new 25,000 SF North Warehouse and Distribution Center for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is located at Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina and now consolidates all warehousing efforts onto the National Institute of Health (NIH) campus, not only increasing security, but eliminating the need for off-site leasing facilities. Read more
CHICAGO, Illinois October 09, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce it has been named one of Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2018 MEP Giants. The MEP Giants program ranks the top 100 mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and fire protection engineering firms in the United States based on total MEP design revenue. SSOE ranked 45th this year, holding steady at the same spot as their 2017 ranking. In 2016, SSOE jumped 37 spots. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 1, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global architecture, engineering, and construction management firm, announced today that they are proud to be a sponsor of the 8th Annual Midwest Urban Design Charrette hosted by the Toledo Design Center (TDC). This event will take place October 5-7, 2018 at the TDC at One SeaGate in downtown Toledo in the Garden Room. SSOE’s sponsorship will provide lodging for all 28 students and 5 instructors attending this event. Read more
Tony Damon, CEO of SSOE Group, was interviewed for the August 25, 2012 edition of The Economist. Damon provides insight on questions surrounding the increasing presence of work available in China and the effects this may have on jobs locally. In response, Damon states, “global growth is a question of survival, not choice, and that profitable work in China keeps jobs in Ohio”.
SSOE’s Jim Otte, Data/Fire/Security Specialist, is featured in Medical Construction & Design magazine’s May-June 2012 issue focused on patient safety. In this article, Jim focuses on currently available as well as future, emerging technologies that lend a hand in ensuring a higher level of patient safety Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 6, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global architecture, engineering, and construction management firm, is proud to celebrate 70 years in business this coming Wednesday, August 8, 2018.
SSOE was founded in 1948 when structural engineer Al Samborn returned to his hometown of Toledo after completing his military service to start his own engineering firm. Today, the firm has grown into a Top 10 Engineering / Architecture firm (BD+C) with 1,100 employees in 30 global offices across six countries and is one of Ohio’s largest engineering firms.
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 3, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management is proud to announce their re-certification as a “Great Workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. SSOE earned this credential based on exemplary ratings provided by their employees in an anonymous survey.
TROY, Michigan, April 25, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the addition of a new dedicated healthcare professional, Scott Courtney. Scott’s addition is just one example of how SSOE continues to move forward with its strategic commitment to expanding the firm’s healthcare portfolio and depth of resources to deliver great client service. Read more
SSOE Group’s Dave Verner, RA, ACHE, Deborah Suzan Huff, RA, LEED AP, and Health Care REIT’s Betty Elrod discuss how proper coordination between consultants when incorporating FF&E into a project reduces change order costs and schedule delays. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, February 23, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that Joe Kunkle, AIA, NCARB, PE, LEED AP, Architectural Department Manager, is retiring from the firm after nearly 35 years of service. The firm has appointed S. Sonny Hamizadeh, AIA, Senior Account Executive, to immediately take over the Architectural Department Manager position, leading the firm’s rapidly growing healthcare, commercial, and education (HCE) business unit. Read more
TROY, Michigan, January 18, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that they provided architectural and engineering services to Henry Ford Health System for the installation of the world’s first FDA approved commercially available linear accelerator (LINAC) based, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided radiation therapy system that can image and treat patients simultaneously. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 11, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce that Jennifer Hrosko, IIDA, NCIDQ, CHID, a senior interior designer with the firm, recently passed the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers (AAHID) examination and earned the prestigious Certified Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID) certificate. Read more
This article discusses how to unplug the internal bottlenecks and remedy the design flaws that increase patients’ length of stay in the emergency department. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 24, 2017 – SSOE Group, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the addition of three new professionals to their rapidly growing healthcare, commercial, and education business unit: Bob Siebenaller, Erin Curley, and Andy Burell. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 18, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management is proud to announce their re-certification as a “Great Workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. SSOE earned this credential based on exemplary ratings provided by their employees in an anonymous survey. Read more
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, August 25, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the acquisition of Birmingham-based architectural firm, The Burell Group (TBG). TBG brings an extensive architectural portfolio to SSOE, continuing the firm’s strategic commitment to growth in the Southeast U.S. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 2, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that Lauren Collier, VDC Department Manager, and Mark LaBell Jr., Senior VDC Technical Leader, have been selected to present at the annual Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Conference. This year’s event takes place over the course of four different dates in locations around the state of Ohio: August 15th in Columbus, August 23rd in Cincinnati, August 30th in Cleveland, and September 12th in Columbus. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 1, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, recently welcomed back Paul Spinazze as Division Manager and Senior Associate for their Asia-Pacific Operations. He previously worked for SSOE from 1987 to 1994 as an electrical engineer / project manager. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 11, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is privileged to announce that two of their own were selected for awards by the Toledo Chapter of the American Institute of Architect (AIA). Kevin Costello, AIA, was named “2017 AIA Toledo Architect of the Year” and Christopher Baker, AIA Associate, was named “2017 AIA Toledo Emerging Professional of the Year”. The awards were presented to Costello and Baker during the Honors Awards Program on April 21, 2017 at the Blarney Event Center in Downtown Toledo, Ohio. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, June 7, 2016 – SSOE Group, (www.ssoe.com) a global project delivery firm, specializing in engineering, architecture, and construction management is proud to announce their certification as a “Great Workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. SSOE earned this credential based on exemplary ratings provided by their employees in an anonymous survey. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 27, 2015 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, is proud to announce that Craig Pickerel has earned his Board Certificate in healthcare architecture from The American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA).
Craig Pickerel, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, an Architect and Section Manager at SSOE, recently passed an accredited examination following approval of a portfolio application and relevant experience, which assesses the knowledge and understanding of architects who practice as healthcare specialists. He joins the ranks of over 400 ACHA colleagues in the U.S. and Canada who have received this important architectural credential. Read more
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia, September 19, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that Architect David Gillespie, AIA, LEED® AP, of the firm’s Birmingham, Alabama office, has been selected to speak at the 24th Annual Health Facility Institute (HFI) Symposium. The event will be held October 27-30, 2013 at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia.
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 19, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announced today it has been named to 7 Top 10 spots in the recently released, revenue-based ENR rankings, the premier publication covering the AEC industry.
Toledo, Ohio, June 11, 2013— SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, was recently recognized with an Illumination Award of Merit from the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) for their outstanding interior lighting design at Slidell Regional Cancer Center in Slidell, Louisiana. The project was submitted in the category of The Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design. The awards are based on complexity of the problem, overall concept including integration into the architectural design, and design solution including energy and environmental considerations as well as budget and maintenance concerns.
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 20, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announces its sponsorship of the first annual “Evolving Energy Landscape” seminar July 15-16, 2013 at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio. The one and a half day seminar will deliver expert information and insights about the energy industry’s complex and changing issues to arm energy users with useful knowledge to be better equipped to reach short-term energy goals and set a smart course for the future. Attendees will earn .7 continuing education hours for attending.
TOLEDO, Ohio, January 14, 2013 – SSOE Group, a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, and Evergreen EDC, a multidiscipline engineering, design, and construction management firm, today announced a merger of the firms. The merger will expand both firms’ geographic reach as well as provide their clients access to enhanced services and resources. The merged entity will operate under the SSOE Group name after a brief transition period.
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 7, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global architectural, engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm welcomes David Schoonmaker as Senior Project Manager and the newest member of its Facilities Business Unit.
David has over 30 years of experience in the commercial, healthcare, laboratory, industrial and manufacturing fields with a primary focus on energy conservation and energy efficient design. His experience includes daily project supervision and guidance as well as extensive on-site practical project experience and strategic problem solving through system analyses.
Phoenix, Arizona, July 25, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that David Gillespie, AIA, LEED AP and Jim Otte, NICET IV, Data / Fire / Security Specialist, both of SSOE, have been selected to co-present at the 2012 HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference taking place November 3-6, 2012 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
The presentation titled, “The Remote Control Hospital: The Future of Healthcare in the Age of Robotic Medicine” is focused on future considerations for telecommunications, robotics, and imaging. Attendees will learn about advancements in tele-medicine and remote control surgery and the impact these increasingly popular technologies have on healthcare planning and facility design. Gillespie and Otte will take a closer look at the design requirements healthcare facilities need to consider in order to support remote control technology.
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado, July 16, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that David Gillespie, AIA, LEED AP, and Jim Otte, NICET IV, Data / Fire / Security Specialist, both of SSOE, have been selected to co-present at the Health Facility Institute’s (HFI) 23rd Annual Healthcare Facility Project Development Symposium. The event will be held October 21 -24, 2012 at the Inverness Hotel & Conference Center in Englewood, Colorado. This year’s symposium will focus on “Technology and Innovation – The Future of Healthcare Facility Development”.
TOLEDO, Ohio, April 2, 2012 – SSOE Group, an international EPCM firm, announces the acquisition of CRS Engineering & Design Consultants, a 50-person mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering firm with offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. The acquisition will expand SSOE’s Southeastern U.S. presence, broaden CRS’s reach to international markets, and provide both firms’ clients access to enhanced services and resources.
CRS has been in business for over 36 years and is a multi-discipline engineering and design-consulting firm specializing in healthcare, government, higher education, and other institutional facilities. CRS offers services in electrical engineering, plumbing engineering, fire protection engineering, mechanical and HVAC engineering, lighting design, telecommunication design, and security system design.
Nashville, Tennessee, March 1, 2012 — SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international architecture, engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center located in Tallahassee, Florida has received a National Excellence in Construction Award from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The ABC awards seek to recognize the nation’s most innovative and high quality construction projects and safety programs.
The winning project, developed by real estate investor, Health Care REIT, was delivered to the client ahead of schedule and below budget — resulting in a 52,000 SF building which was awarded LEED® Silver certification in April 2011. Sustainable features included the use of 92% recycled structural steel, a patient healing garden, separate public and staff places of respite, and strategies focused on recycling, water use reduction, thermal comfort, indoor and outdoor pollution control, and environmentally friendly low mercury lamp lighting.
TOLEDO, Ohio, February 21, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international architectural, engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm welcomes S. Sonny Hamizadeh, AIA, as Senior Account Executive and the newest member of its Life Sciences practice.
Sonny has over 25 years of experience in the architecture and construction field. His experience includes managing and operating architectural operations, marketing and client relations, project design and layout, constructability reviews, construction administration, project management, and the management of multiple design teams.
“We are excited to have Sonny join our team at a time when SSOE’s business continues to expand and grow.” said Dave Verner, Senior Vice President, Life Sciences SBU. “His extensive background and experience will allow him to further assist SSOE with our growth objectives for our Life Sciences practice. Sonny’s particular emphasis will be on higher education, science and technology, and continuing care.”
Nashville, TN, January 26, 2012— SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that it has received two 2011 Excellence in Construction Awards from the Mid-Tennessee Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). SSOE was awarded these honors for their design of the Austin Peay Hemlock Building renovations located in Clarksville, Tennessee and the new Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center in Florida. SSOE was chosen as a recipient for these awards based on innovative, high quality work where safety played an important role in the overall construction process. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, January 5, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, along with their design build partner DeMaria Building Company, announce that they have been selected for an 800 KW cogeneration system to be located at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The new natural gas fired co-generation system will use combustion turbine generators along with a waste heat boiler to provide both steam and electricity to the campus of 14 buildings totaling 1,200,000 SF. The proposed system will be located adjacent to the existing Energy Center and will be able to provide operator initiated automatic start-up and shutdown of the system. Steam will be used for heating, reheating, and sterilization and the electricity generated from this cogeneration unit will be fed into the VA’s power system. Read more
TROY, Michigan, June 8, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it is providing architectural and engineering support for six projects taking place at the Veteran Affairs’ Ann Arbor and Saginaw, Michigan medical centers. The projects are part of an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for the Ann Arbor and Saginaw facilities as well as the VA’s Detroit and Battle Creek medical facilities. As part of the IDIQ contract, SSOE is responsible for providing as-needed design and engineering for various capital improvement projects. These centers serve the healthcare needs of more than 700,000 area veterans. Read more
\BATTLE CREEK, Michigan, March 23, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it has completed the design development for the ambulatory care expansion project taking place at the Battle Creek Veteran Affairs Medical Center. A team comprised of SSOE, VOA Associates Incorporated, and three other consultants was selected as the most highly qualified team for this 21,760 SF expansion and 9,600 SF renovation project. Read more
Tallahassee, Florida, March 07, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international architectural, engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, is proud to announce the completion of a new $12 million full-service cancer center. This freestanding facility spans two floors and is situated on a 4.9-acre site owned by an affiliate of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH). Real estate investor Health Care REIT (www.hcreit.com) owns and developed the center.
Tampa, Florida, March 2, 2011– SSOE Group, an international architectural, engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announced today that two of their healthcare experts have been selected to present at the International Summit and Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC), March 13 -16, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.
February 3, 2010—SSOE Group is sad to announce the loss of a dear member of the SSOE community. David Rose, a former principal and vice-president at SSOE, passed away this morning in his home. He was 55 years old.
November 17, 2009– SSOE Group announced today that their healthcare experts have been selected to present at the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) 33rd Annual Conference, May18 -21, 2010 in Savannah, Georgia. The presentation, “A Call to Rethink the Healthcare Design Process for Rural Providers: The Healthy Building Concept,” will discuss a unique approach to designing rural healthcare facilities which integrates familiar design tools such as Lean, Sustainable, and Evidence-Based Design. This ensures a coordinated approach to creating “Healthy-Buildings” which in turn, properly supports a healthy community.
APRIL 27, 2009, TOLEDO, OHIO – SSOE, Inc. one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, has been named to top spots in recently released 2009 national rankings. The lists were issued by three independent national trade publications: Engineering News Record (ENR), Modern Healthcare, and Commercial Construction Magazine.
TOLEDO, OH, March 28, 2008 – SSOE, Inc. one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, is proud to announce that they have acquired healthcare design firm Martell Associates Healthcare Architecture, Inc. The acquisition will benefit both companies and their clients by providing more resources and experience, as well as expanded geographic reach. SSOE has identified healthcare as a key market and has expanded organically to support recent successes nationally and locally. Martell’s additional project experience, expertise and client relationships will enhance their national healthcare design practice leveraging the experience of SSOE’s healthcare teams across the United States. Read more
TOLEDO, OH, February 18, 2008 – Robert (Bob) Siebenaller, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP of SSOE, Inc., will make a presentation, LEEDing by Building, regarding sustainable building strategies to the Construction Financial Management Association and to the Associated General Contractors on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at Brandywine Country Club, Maumee, OH. He will be providing a general overview and introduction of the sustainable rating guide LEED(TM) (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for New Construction, which has been developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The presentation will focus on providing sustainable product examples that can be incorporated into facilities. Read more
Toledo, OH – November 27, 2007 – SSOE, one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, is currently designing the expansion and renovation to the Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers Bryan Hospital in Bryan, OH. The work will require the renovation of approximately 73,000 square feet of existing space and the design and construction of east and west expansions of approximately 185,000 square feet. Construction will kick off April 2008 and will be completed fall of 2010. Read more
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