Reflecting pools, flowing water, landscaped courtyards, tree-filled atriums, soothing art, and pleasing sculptures are what the public will experience for the first time at the unveiling of the new maternity center at Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia, NC. Affectionately known as The Birthplace, the maternity center reflects an evolution in healthcare design by focusing its priorities on family centered care. Designed by internationally acclaimed architectural firm KMD of San Francisco, The Birthplace is the largest facility of its kind in the nation.
KMD’s design not only celebrates warmth and community, but also maximizes efficiency. An interior “main street” connects the center’s principal amenities – courtyards, family rooms, media rooms, dining facilities, as well as the resource library, children’s library, and classrooms – with the surgery suites. Off this main street, visitors and staff are directed to several “neighborhoods” that accommodate 52 Single Room Maternity Care (SRMC) suites, the NICU and full-term baby nursery, and the surgical suite for complicated deliveries.
Each neighborhood features a town square with a central nursing station, lush courtyards, and widened corridors with cathedral ceilings. Diffused streams of warming, natural light filter through the entire “inside-out” garden design of the maternity village plan.
The SRMC suites employ the latest medical technology, placing The Birthplace on the cutting-edge of the future of healthcare. The suites allow families to stay in one room for the entire stay, thereby reducing stress and creating a supportive, family centered environment. The SRMCs are also equipped with high-speed Internet, digital cameras, full-size sofa beds, refrigerators, TV/DVD/CD players, and whirlpool baths.
Perhaps the most progressive feature of The Birthplace is the 16-suite neonatal intensive care unit. Newborns requiring Level II or III intensive care share their own private room with their parents. Research shows that individually controlled light, sound, and temperature, as well as parental involvement, lead to optimal outcomes and shorter hospital stays for both infant and mom.
“We conducted interviews with moms, expecting moms, staff members, direct and indirect family members, and together came up with the idea of creating a healthcare village that encourages family involvement, promotes wellness and education, fosters interaction, and celebrates the joyous event,” says Jim Diaz, director of healthcare, KMD, San Francisco.
Nation’s First Waste Carpet-to-Energy Project
Customers of Shaw Industries, headquartered in Atlanta, as well as citizens of Dalton, GA, will soon benefit from the nation’s first waste carpet-to-energy project. Shaw Industries and Siemens Building Technologies Inc., Buffalo Grove, IL, have developed a process for converting carpet and wood manufacturing waste into steam energy. This process will lower plant emissions, greatly reduce the amount of post-manufacturing carpet waste in landfills, and save Shaw’s Dalton plant up to $2.5 million per year.
Siemens will design, build, and service a conversion facility adjacent to Shaw’s carpet manufacturing plant. The facility, which is scheduled to be fully operable by the end of 2005, will convert by-products of Shaw’s manufacturing process – carpet salvage, seam waste, and wood flour – into gas that will fuel a boiler to produce more than 50,000 pounds of steam per hour. Shaw will then use the steam in its manufacturing operations in Dalton.
According to Bill Barron, vice president of manufacturing, Shaw, Atlanta, the project will convert approximately 16,000 tons of post-manufacturing and post-consumer carpet waste and 6,000 tons of wood flour per year. Customers of Shaw should benefit from the waste conversion process since the disposal of post-consumer carpet waste also poses a challenge for building owners and operators. More than 25 million tons of post-consumer carpet are deposited in landfills each year, comprising 2 percent of all landfill waste.
Citizens of Dalton will also benefit since the project will virtually eliminate Shaw’s post-manufacturing carpet waste destined for the community landfill. “This initiative will greatly reduce our landfill costs and help Shaw Industries become a sustainable organization,” Barron adds.
Threat Advisory System Response Guideline Published
ASIS International, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, has published the final version of its Threat Advisory System Response Guideline.
This guideline is a tool to help any entity prepare plans, procedures, and response strategies as a result of changes in the threat advisory levels set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The guideline’s matrix is divided into four major sections – green/blue, yellow, orange, and red – and is further broken out into three subcategories: emergency response/business continuity, personnel protection, and physical protection. The worksheet format will help determine which steps apply to specific security environments.
Up to five copies of the printed guideline are free to ASIS members; the non-member fee is $10. To order, please contact the ASIS Call Center at (703) 519-6200 or e-mail (email@example.com). This document is also available free of charge in its entirety at (www.asisonline.org/guidelines/guidelines.htm).
Roofing Knowledge Seminar Offers Helpful Info
A free, 3-day seminar offered by Beachwood, OH-based Tremco Inc. will provide facilities managers, facilities engineers, architects, and building owners with general roofing information, enabling them to make educated roofing decisions.
Offered April 5-7, experienced roofing professionals will discuss important topics such as:
Cost of quality.
Importance of quality flashing detail.
Roof design and decisions.
Roof asset management.
Other pertinent roofing practices.
Presented in a classroom setting with digital technology and Internet resources, the sessions also offer demonstrations related to green, non-solvent adhesive technology.
For more information, or to register, contact Kathy Ulery at (216) 766-5614 or visit (www.tremcoroofing.com).
13th Annual National Conference on Building Commissioning
Over the past decade, building owners and facilities managers have learned to view commissioning (a process ensuring that a building functions at optimal performance) as a significant quality-assurance component of construction and operation. The process is being accepted as a cost-effective way to reduce energy use, minimize maintenance costs, improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort, and increase overall net operating income.
On May 4, 2005, industry leaders will convene in New York City to discuss the latest developments and practices in the commissioning industry at the 13th Annual National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC). The NCBC provides the most current information on commissioning procedures and resources, and offers valuable lessons learned.
This year’s agenda is currently taking shape. Among the topics being considered: defining commissioning costs and benefits, making the financial case for commissioning, commissioning for LEED® certification, approaches for using in-house facilities staff in the commissioning process, new industry research, and various in-depth technical sessions.
NCBC is produced by Portland Energy Conservation Inc. (PECI). Information about the conference can be found at (www.peci.org/NCBC) or by contacting Summer Lewis: (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (503) 595-4484. The conference is scheduled May 4 through May 6, 2005, at the Grand Hyatt New York.