Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is swiftly revolutionizing industries and applications, creating new efficiencies and value for organizations across the globe.
However, this rapid advancement comes with a potential consequence for data centers – increased heat generation. As a result, cooling systems must work harder to maintain an optimal operating temperature, resulting in increased energy consumption and potentially reduced cooling efficiency. As the demand for AI evolves, our data centers must evolve also.
At HED, we’re exploring each project’s demands, expected development, and potential future needs when considering cooling systems. Click below to read how we weigh the pros and cons of cooling technologies.
Communities are built through connections between people. Running into neighbors at the grocery store, sharing a commute, or getting to know the regulars at coffee shops, dog parks, and libraries, creates shared bonds between residents and enhances our well-being.
Communities and local governments are increasingly seeking to create these conditions of serendipity and overlap, as well as resource and programming efficiencies, through developing shared or merged facilities. Below, we explore the top benefits and our approach to planning and designing multi-function community facilities.
With so much retail space going vacant across the country, many healthcare systems are taking advantage of the reduced rental costs of these spaces to locate clinics away from their hospital campus, and closer to the patients they serve. Tenant-improved retail space for primary care also offer long-term benefits: lower rents, adjacencies to other community services and businesses, and strong brand recognition due to locations near busy thoroughfares or on public transportation lines.
However, these conversions require careful planning with an understanding of how to blend both efficient clinic design with the nuances common to retail space. When transforming a commercial space into a healthcare outpost, HED has identified three critical categories to not only save design time and costs but to maximize the return on your investment over the long-term. Take a look below.
The design-build construction delivery model has gained significant traction in the construction industry over the past few decades. This approach is valued for speedy delivery and involves a single entity taking responsibility for both the design and construction phases of a project (typically this arrangement involves a design firm and general contracting firm partnership led by the general contractor).
Design-build offers several advantages, and disadvantages that need to be carefully considered before implementation and thoroughly evaluated against on the specific needs and goals of each project. Read more about this delivery method by clicking below.
Biophilia, meaning love of nature, can be utilized beyond potted plants in healthcare facilities. Design elements such as natural light, green walls, the incorporation of water, organic patterns, natural textures, and non-porous natural materials are all common biophilic elements that can be featured to help promote wellness.
Due to this, biophilic design has quickly been adopted within healthcare facilities to allow patients to connect with nature, adding a natural healing element to their everyday care. HED has developed several ways hospitals and other healthcare facilities can use biophilic design within their interior and exterior spaces, explore our insights below.
Clean rooms are highly controlled environments. Whether in a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, electronics, clean manufacturing or a healthcare environment, clean rooms must maintain strict air quality and cleanliness standards. At HED, our integrated architectural, laboratory planning and engineering teams focus on the following critical aspects first to design clean rooms that meet the programmatic goals and compliance needs of our clients. Download our key considerations for successful clean room design below.
By repurposing existing retail centers into mixed-use developments, often called ‘lifestyle centers,’ city and regional planners can address these changing consumer dynamics head on while still satisfying local and regional needs.
A mixed-use development has the potential to transform an area into a regional destination by creating a vibrant and dynamic environment that attracts people from near and far. Such a development combines different types of land uses including residential, commercial, retail, entertainment, healthcare, commercial, and recreational, into a cohesive and interconnected space offering a multitude of amenities and experiences.
With proper planning, these mixed uses offer opportunities to create a modern nexus that supports regional development and evolution. Since retail centers had their own gravity for years, adding new uses as part of a conversion to a lifestyle center reinvigorates the concept of the location as a destination and supplements it with a new local population within the residential component of the development. Download our considerations below!
When we picture manufacturing and product development workspaces, we may not see the sort of elements we think of in other work environments such as sleep pods, coffee bars, or fitness centers, but the fundamentals of an effective, healthy work environment are universal. A well-designed workspace can foster employee health, wellness, and overall satisfaction.
Consider our best practices for designing a manufacturing and product development work space that supports worker health and wellbeing below.
The absence of affordable housing in communities across the United States has placed significant strain on career educators, particularly those just beginning their vocations who may be burdened with significant student loan debt. The pandemic has compounded the strains already present in the profession, and many educators are opting to leave the occupation altogether.
Workforce housing initiatives contribute to the retention and overall well-being of teachers by significantly reducing the financial burden and stress levels of the educators. Dedicated workforce housing developments offer numerous advantages for teachers and the communities they serve.
Explore strategies we believe can help below.
The demand for data-driven operations, digitization, and connectivity has completely transformed every aspect of modern life. This seemingly endless need has created a surge in demand for data center development, expansion, and optimization – placing new burdens on the environment.
Sustainable data centers can significantly reduce operational costs through energy efficiency measures, enhance the reputation and credibility of data center operators, and better position the facilities to comply with evolving regulations and standards related to environmental impact and energy efficiency.
Download our Top 5 Design Elements for a Sustainable Data Center below.
Sustainable laboratory design is key to creating scientific spaces that prioritize environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, and occupant well-being.
Put simply, sustainable design is efficient, resilient, and healthier for occupants. As laboratories are known for their intensive resource consumption and potential environmental impacts, designing them with sustainability in mind is crucial for mitigating these effects and promoting a greener future - here's how we at HED approach designing healthy, sustainable, efficient laboratory spaces.
Funding, and the strategies behind securing funding, play a crucial role in the construction and renovation of Pre-K-12 buildings.
While traditional funding sources like government grants and bonds are commonly used, there are alternative funding options available for educational institutions that do not involve bonds or asking for money from the community at large. While none of these are likely to replace traditional funding methods, and not all may be viable, they are all worth exploring when planning how to fund a project.
Explore alternative funding options available for educational institutions below.
Student housing plays a crucial role in shaping the college experience, as it serves as a home away from home for students. The design of student housing facilities can significantly impact the well-being and sense of community among students.
Download our design considerations below.
Work, how we work, and what employees expect of work, has been transformed. Spaces built to enhance hybrid, flexible, and alternative work have outperformed more traditional spaces over the last several years, and leading organizations are doubling down on flexibility and alternative space planning as a strategic recruiting benefit and embracing square-footage reduction as a cost savings.
New generations view hybrid and flexible schedules as the norm. Hybrid, or at a minimum, highly flexible workplaces are going to continue to be leading and preferred options, calling for a greater investment in alternative workspaces and flexible design choices. But where to begin? Download our considerations below.
Even before the pandemic, the trend of converting retail centers to include new uses was becoming popular. The rise of online retailers left retail centers with a need to adjust on the fly to remain relevant and profitable. It is no secret that the pandemic created even more challenges for these assets.
But the pandemic also provided greater insight. The inherent walkability of retail centers made them prime candidates for adaption and conversion into true lifestyle centers: adding a mix of uses and giving space and opportunity for creating experiences.
Explore the 7 essential live / work / play lifestyle center considerations and design best practices for retail center conversions below.
A well-designed theater must be functional and accommodating to both the audience and performers, while consecutively creating an intimate and creative space.
There are multiple components to consider when designing a performance space for maximum flexibility and future adaptation.
Download our Top Three Design Considerations below
Renovations within healthcare are common. With changes to codes, equipment, best practices and care-based needs, these facilities quickly become the building equivalent of the ship of Theseus, renovated so many times that you could argue it isn’t really the same building anymore.
In the healthcare environment, a full gut does not carry with it the promise of a clean slate for your renovation – and many spaces are not as future-flexible as you might imagine. One key consideration we often see being overlooked is anchoring, placement, and planning for the future.
Download our thoughts on future flexibility and the role of anchoring below.
One of the more heartening actions to come out of the pandemic is the greater understanding of the power of connection. A repeated connection can turn into establishing a culture and community. This connection often results in greater retention. Fundamentally, people stay where they feel comfortable, safe, and happy.
How can the architecture and design help? Download our insights below!
The right elements can result in a facility that stimulates learning and discovery and remains a flexible asset for the changing needs of Pre K-12 education.
What elements and strategies create a school or learning space that gives children and young adults the best chance for success as they prepare for their futures? Download our Opportunity Elements book below to find out!
Your healthcare facility reflects your institution’s care — a setting that can foster wellness, empower staff, and instill pride in the community you serve. Design decisions within a healthcare facility can adapt to future changes, balance needs with resources, and be mindful beyond minimum standards.
Download our Restore Elements book below to discover how great design can help your teams reach robust benchmarks, represent good stewardship, inspire, collaborate with diverse stakeholders, and most importantly, assist in your mission of restoring health.
The Biden Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services have issued a call to all healthcare stakeholders to tackle the climate crisis through a new initiative and pledge aimed at reducing emissions across the healthcare sector. The Joint Commission, an accreditor, collaborator and evaluator of healthcare systems, as well as similar accrediting organizations, quickly moved to join what became known as the Health Sector Climate Pledge. They pledged to reevaluate their criteria for hospital systems’ environmental impact evaluations.
Evolving state codes, accrediting body evaluations, and movement at the federal level have made it clear: healthcare systems and their stakeholders must commit to aggressive change in their carbon footprint. Some of the most impactful changes they can make are at the facilities level.
Many systems are behind in facility upgrades that would bring them up to code in other markets, let alone be prepared for an increase of commitments or requirements in carbon neutrality from operational or embodied carbon. The challenge is substantial, and for many systems, these waters have gone uncharted. Like anything unknown, myths have built up around what is and isn’t possible.
As technology evolves, so do the demands of society and the skills needed in our workforce and communities. Spaces for movement, exploration, and hands-on knowledge and skill development are becoming the norm, replacing structured, single-use spaces.
Schools are reshaping themselves to facilitate nimble and adaptable approaches to education. Our experts at HED have identified three flexible spaces we’ll see more of, download our insights below.
We know that seniors prefer to age in place, and that it becomes harder to age in place with multiple hospitalizations.
Can the built environment play a part in this effort? Absolutely.
Wellness can be applied as an additional design dimension for senior living planning by looking for the opportunities where architecture can reinforce it. Download our examples below.
Market analytics indicate that there is over 232 million square feet of surplus commercial real estate up for subleasing. Predictions from future of work experts, and the growing number of hybrid and remote work arrangements, suggest most of that will go unfilled - so what can be done with the remaining office building assets?
Converting an urban office building to multifamily housing seems like the perfect solution. Demand for residential space is high, with many major cities requiring tens of thousands of new units’ year-over year. There are office properties that need to be repositioned to increase their value.
At HED, experience has taught us that converting these building takes thoughtful analysis and an innovative, surgical approach to manage costs.
Click below for our top considerations to protect ROI in conversions.
Since the rise of hybrid work, our design teams have been receiving questions about how to utilize and incorporate interior design to serve the whole project and improve hybrid work.
Here are our responses to some of the most common questions below.
The way societies deliver education has evolved over generations to accommodate emerging student needs and support new learning methods. At HED we recognize that school buildings must evolve as well, not solely to facilitate learning but also to create a positive impact on students and the broader community.
Schools are critical because, as Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” As school buildings take shape, they send a message to educators, students and the surrounding community. In a real sense, schools are value statements, communicating where decision-makers are investing and how they account for today’s needs while planning for the future. Our experts at HED have identified three school building trends to watch in the years ahead.
Click below to explore our Top 3!
The science sector has unique needs when it comes to workspaces, including a focus on employee recruiting and retention.
How can a Flex Tech design help meet growing demand, create operational savings, and enable higher performance for teams? Download our approach to learn more!
Steel has been a dominant material in high-rise and commercial construction for several decades, but there have been many changes to the material that add to its advantages.
Modern steel is probably more sustainable, reusable, and cost effective than you think. Explore some of the benefits of modern steel by clicking below.
More often, families are choosing facilities that not only prioritize community but make safety features and access control high priorities for their loved ones. So how do we create innovative, inviting spaces that allow residents to engage with one another while keeping areas safe and secure?
Click to download our key takeaways below.
In STEM, health, and medical/dental/veterinary student learning facilities, technology is an integral part of a well-conceived and designed learning environment.
In most learner-centered health and STEM environments, there is a significant amount of simulation-based learning, as this technology evolves, it can reduce or alter the requirements of learning laboratories - saving funds and square-footage that can then be redistributed.
Explore our predictions and insights on how these emerging VR and visualization tools will change learning labs by clicking below.
When we look around our rooms and office spaces, we are surrounded by many building materials ingredients and byproducts that may be harmful during one or multiple stages of the material life cycle. Many contain substances that pose a hazard during the manufacturing phase, use phase, or other stage of the life cycle.
For example, while vinyl flooring continues to grow in popularity, there are several serious environmental concerns. It is a nonrenewable material made from petroleum-based chemicals.
Vinyl has the potential to cause harm to both users and a broader environment from manufacturing, through installation and use, and after end-of-life of the material.
Read the case for less vinyl and get ideas for reduction or elimination of its use in your facilities below.
Industry-wide ASCs have continued to evolve, with cases formally handled in hospital settings taking place there as equipment and procedural sophistication continue to advance. The opportunity to create a “win” for all parties involved, particularity patients, is where the demand has developed. The ability to perform higher level complex cases in orthopedics, cardiology and other specialties has proven that safely testing the boundaries of these centers will continue.
With many health systems and private practices focusing on these dynamic environments due to reimbursement, efficiency, and convenience, it’s important to understand both the drivers and best practices for operation and the facilities themselves
“Material health” is shorthand for strategies to improve the impact of materials on human health. People spend 90% of their time indoors, where pollutants can be 100 times higher than outside. Research shows that common building materials contain harmful chemical substances that can cause both mild and severe effects on health and well-being.
Read our insights for how to select materials for user health by clicking below!
Encompassing products, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and human health solutions, the life science industry is flourishing. HED’s scientific workplace designers have taken a look back on 2022 and are putting forward predictions and lessons learned for 2023 and beyond.
Check them out below!
No one sets out for their project to go on hold – but there are things outside our control that dictate a project’s continuation. If a project has to go on hold, that doesn’t mean all work has to stop, or that you must lose your investment in permitting and planning.
No one can predict when or where restrictions will be lifted, but we have put together the list of factors you’ll need to calculate to make the most informed decision and make the most successful plan for your projects. Click below to access them!
Interested in understanding what pandemic design strategies will stick, what we'll see more of, or what designers want to stress to clients in 2023 and beyond?
Check out some of our 2023 predictions for workplace design by clicking below!
The laboratory is much more than a building filled with scientific instruments: it is a place where minds come together to innovate, discover, and create solutions to pressing issues. A suboptimal workspace can hinder collaboration as well as productivity, and a workspace that includes laboratories has specific needs. The new Wacker Innovation Center and Regional HQ (Wacker) in Ann Arbor, MI, exemplifies this model through its expression of three key design considerations.
Explore the 3 essential design considerations for collaboration in a scientific work environment below!
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the laboratory environment are vital for the advancement of science and a more equitable society. Education and employment within the sciences has historically been, and is still, majority white and male. As a result, research is often focused on those individuals, missing either the perspective of diverse peoples or the richer data they would impart. Welcoming women, people of color, disabled persons, and diverse cultures, religions, and creeds will expand the realm of discovery. The results of that science will be more valuable and efficient for the diverse world we live in. The benefits are economic as well as social.
There are two routes to consider when thinking about building inclusion and equity within science professions at the facilities level - educational and professional.
Read and download our considerations below.
Safety is a topic that is usually brought up during the start of construction and oftentimes at owner meetings, toolbox talks, and other contractor-led meetings. Architects usually attend these meetings during construction administration but rarely get involved or have much to offer to the safety conversations.
But how can the architect influence safety on a project? In the architectural and engineering (A/E) industry, we usually attribute safety to the design of safe buildings through building codes, national standards, and good design practices, but architects and engineers have more to contribute.
Explore how by clicking below!
At the recent United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, the delegation remarked that the San Marino Declaration is the "Hippocratic Oath for architects."
The United Nations have strongly urged architects, city shapers, and engineers to put sustainability principles into action. What does this mean for the practice of architecture and sustainable design going forward, and how should firms respond? Read more by clicking below.
Consider that rather than trying to compete with the home office, organizations could benefit from embracing and building on it.
Many organizations have settled on the hybrid model, with anywhere from 1 to 3 suggested or mandated “in-office days,” but many express difficulty in getting staff back for even those few days, and that over time attendance has slowly slipped away.
Attempting to compete with someone’s home for comfort and focused space is a losing battle, learn how to work with it by downloading our design insights below.
Sustainability-focused biophilic design has been generating buzz in the facility management space. By understanding the benefits for building inhabitants and the advantages this strategy provides to organizations of all types, you’ll be better prepared to make decisions about future building projects.
Explore some of the benefits of a sustainability-focused biophilic approach by downloading our handout below!
Biophilic design has shown multiple benefits to organizations, but biophilic design is more than just a "green look."
A false impression of sustainability, or "greenwashing," is just the aesthetics of biophilia. A wall of plant life doesn't replace efficient, cleaner HVAC systems, a natural color palette does not make up for insufficient natural light.
To avoid the pitfalls of greenwashed aesthetics, our Sustainable Design Leader Daniel Jaconetti weighs in on 3 key biophilic design components and steps to implementation -- download below:
Flooring is ubiquitous throughout any building, but not all flooring is created equal. When designing or replacing floor in a healthcare setting, material and aesthetic considerations are only half of the equation.
For best practice, a nine-step decision making process will help project stakeholders arrive at the right floor for every space within a facility based on use and function. Download these 9 steps below.
The right mix of elements can result in a STEM facility that stimulates interdisciplinary learning and discovery– namely research, collaboration and connection to the campus context.
How can these elements be successfully mixed in situations where innovation is key, and the departmental and programmatic demands are complex?
Download the handout below to learn more about HED’s planning and design strategies that produce behavior shifts in support of interdisciplinary learning and discovery.
The right elements can result in a facility that stimulates interdisciplinary learning and discovery and remains a flexible asset for the changing needs of STEM education.
What elements and strategies create a campus asset for STEM? Download our Discovery Elements book below to find out!
When opening a new hospital building, it’s a safe bet that you are going to be initiating your first renovation to that building very soon. Continual improvements to best practices, technology, and regulatory changes in the medical industry, coupled with lengthy construction periods, often combine to require these renovations to newly opened healthcare facilities. While setting up this inevitable architectural game of chess, you need to be thinking two moves ahead, all while accepting random new pieces added midstream to the proverbial chess board.
Through projects for private healthcare providers, university medical centers and government entities, we have sometimes learned these lessons the hard way or on the heels of another design predecessor’s mistakes. In preparation for this eventuality, we suggest the following 10 strategies for future-proofing the design of a new healthcare building and to help launch these inevitable future renovation endeavors off on the right foot.
We polled higher education institutions across the country – asking what they value in planning and utilizing their STEM spaces.
While there’s no doubt that the priority on safety from transmissible disease will, and should, climb up the operations/facility leader and designer’s priority list after this year, where it fits within the context of existing design priorities will be the challenge.
New design tools and guidelines exist to address safety, and hospitals and designers should be confident in designing with a balanced approach to deliver the appropriate patient room needs in these spaces.
What makes an office great? Or perhaps a more apt phrasing for this post-pandemic moment might be: What makes an office a productive, inviting, and, at the very least, tolerable place to do work?
How can you resolve the three biggest challenges in affordable housing: affordability, social justice, and environmental stewardship, quickly and efficiently?
As the healthcare industry continues to shift focus from simply caring for the sick to a more holistic approach of total health management, and as mounting evidence surfaces that anxiety and depression are more prevalent in the general population, it’s becoming increasingly critical for hospitals to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety throughout all areas of a facility.
For facility managers and healthcare designers, it means striving to build care environments for patients and healthcare workers that positively impact mental health. Interestingly, lighting is one of the more powerful tools that designers and engineers are utilizing to meet these challenges.
Since the pandemic and last great recession, healthcare systems have been changing how patients are being served, and subsequently how they operate their facilities to meet these changing needs. In many cases, healthcare systems are moving from massive, centralized hospital campuses that patients must seek out, to smaller “doc-in-a-box” facilities that can serve dispersed patients closer to their homes and places of work. Add to this the complications of air quality and filtration from the pandemic, and air quality and movement become ever more front of mind.
To respond healthcare providers are finding solutions to help ensure success at procedural levels, while saving money and increasing redundancy and control in HVAC systems.
To meet these challenges and others, there are several trends to watch in the HVAC design of both new and existing facility renovations beyond stricter cleaning and filtration.
Experts estimate there are over 11 million unfulfilled positions in the US alone at the outset of 2022. Why are there so many unfulfilled positions? This problem, and its contributors, didn’t take root overnight: economic expansion, delays due to COVID-19, and a growing digital skills mismatch have led to a highly competitive talent environment where holding talent is as critical as finding it.
The companies that connect the dots between compensation, talent development, mentorship/promotions, work/life balance and DE&I will be the victors in the war for talents.
How does an office support those strategic initiatives?
“Flex tech,” or flexible technology, is a framework for thinking about building design—primarily for real estate developers and investors, but also for companies looking to purpose-build their own facility or tenants evaluating leasable properties. It’s a framework that developers and building owners should have in their mind to make their buildings functional and desirable.
Tenants in the sciences should also be looking for when leasing space so that the space will suit their needs long-term through any growth, contraction, or reorganizing.
If you’re implementing these infrastructure practices, the space will be easy to lease and easy to rent for a wide variety of highly technical tenants for decades to come.
The laboratory is much more than a building filled with scientific instruments; it is a place where minds come together to innovate, discover, and create solutions to pressing issues.
A suboptimal workspace can hinder collaboration as well as productivity, and a workspace that includes laboratories has specific needs. The scientific workplace is a framework that focuses on fostering collaboration and creating a space where scientists love to work – discover the key traits of a successful scientific workplace here.
How can we make the work environment healthier and more productive as the nation returns to the workplace?
There is a wide array of options for tenants and landlords alike to choose from to actively promote health and wellness in the workplace. While there is no “silver bullet,” and no two organizations’ solution will be the same, here are some key points from design leaders to consider as you return to work.
When it comes to planning and support of our front front-line workers, the US has become complacent. In the past decade, we have concentrated on refining and squeezing efficiencies from what had become the norm, which has actually narrowed the range of options to consider as a result. Planning in this way has left us ill-prepared for a crisis (compared to the mobilized community response during the 2005 SARS outbreak). Meanwhile, natural disasters, violence in the community, and the ongoing frustrating fight against proliferating virus variants threaten to increase the number of reasons for caregiver stress.
The pandemic is a disruptor that activated a sea change for healthcare and frontline workers alike. What do we know about burnout, and how can it be mitigated or eased with spatial solutions?