In a new article with Healthcare Design, our Amir Rezaei, PhD, LEED Green Associate, BPAC, shares how data can drive successful resilient design solutions for healthcare organizations. A self-proclaimed data geek, Amir is constantly working to push the boundaries of performance modeling and analytics to support the design of high-performance buildings.
The full Healthcare Design piece can be read online. Here’s an excerpt:
How does your role apply to creating more resilient buildings?
When it comes to resiliency, my focus is on passive survivability. I can help health systems “emulate” power outage scenarios before they happen. So when an actual storm or other disturbance causes a hospital to lose power, they know exactly how much time they have before patients and staff face hazardous indoor temperatures. We also help them understand the best areas in the building to move patients to—where it is less cold or hot—when these dire situations arise. Having this information makes health buildings more resilient and can save lives.
Do you find more healthcare organizations are interested in not just being more resilient but having data to support design solutions?
Definitely. Healthcare executives are very comfortable using data to drive decision-making. They look at performance outcomes, clinical studies, salaries, etc., every day. They may not be as used to our types of data and data sets, so it’s on us to help them understand exactly what building performance means to their people and their balance sheets. Their understanding of building performance data can lead to better patient experience, higher profits, or lives saved when crises occur.
What will a better understanding of a project location’s climate, weather threats, survivability, etc., do to help create a better facility solution for healthcare organizations?
We used to just be able to look back to historic climate data, but now we can model the future with a degree of uncertainty. Knowing these buildings will be standing for 30-50 years, we can use software to simulate environmental conditions that far into the future. We can give health leaders a sense of how many extreme hot or cold days they’ll face in a quarter century. These climate changes impact budgets and design decisions today.
It’s all about scale. Understanding building performance today ensures health systems know what to do in those 3-5 hours after power goes out next year. And, understanding future climate conditions helps them know better what they’ll need to do 30-50 years down the line.