In planning the details of our role, we proposed a design-assist approach in tandem with Dallas, Texas-based WSP Partners, the engineers on the project. Design-assist brings clear advantages. Each party focuses on what it does best, which promotes accuracy. It also improves communication, which makes transitions smoother – and that adds efficiency. And where you have accuracy and efficiency, you save money.
“WSP’s role centered primarily on determining air flow in rooms, designing equipment size and specifying temperature control,” says David Vepraskas, head of B&K’s healthcare practice and the project manager for the Emory J-Wing assignment. “Our role was mostly to draw up and specify low-pressure runouts, then build and install all heating and hot water branch piping to equipment.”
Developing the core and shell of the tower was the first order. But rather than build out interiors along the way, the team finished the entire facility structure to give Emory’s healthcare professionals time to look at all rooms, both individually and collectively.
“Providing excellent patient care is their first priority, and so much of that comes down to how each individual room is configured, not only for mechanical function, but also for the people inside it,” Vepraskas says.
Design-assist, he adds, kept B&K and WSP focusing their efforts on areas that had been reviewed and approved, and holding off on interiors still under review. This eliminated the need to re-draw plans while decisions were being made.