At HHCP Architects, our knowledge of healthcare facility design comes from nearly four decades of client interaction, continuing education, testing of new design applications and understanding the changing nature of healthcare delivery and facilities. We strive for flexibility in the design, as well as functional enhancement, aesthetic quality and economic viability of our healthcare facilities.
HHCP Healthcare consists of designers, planners, licensed architects, project coordinators and support staff who have dedicated their careers to healthcare clients. The range of our projects span the entire continuum of services and include master planning, detailed designs for expansions and renovations to existing facilities and new or replacement facilities for a broad range of private and public clients. HHCP Healthcare has completed hundreds of projects throughout Florida, 16 other states, and Puerto Rico having a total construction value of more than $3 Billion.
Together, we go beyond the status quo in providing services to, and meeting the expectations of, our clients. We are committed to thoroughly listening, exploring and understanding the unique needs of every client and project. HHCP forms collaborative teams within an integrated design process that fosters innovative and creative strategies and solutions that are also timely, fiscally appropriate and maximize our client’s return on investment – at every level. The benefit: buildings that meet their intended purpose and use; a highly satisfied base of continuing clients; and a reputation as champions of our client’s vision and translating their goals into reality.
COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING & DESIGN APPROACH
At HHCP, the process of planning and designing a hospital project occurs through an interactive multi-stage process. We begin by listening carefully; evaluating existing conditions and data; identifying needs, concerns and expectations; asking and responding to many questions; and collaboratively evaluating suggestions and recommendations. These stages become the building blocks of the Owner’s hospital program or project.
The HHCP Healthcare Studio, and our consultants, form a collaborative, core team with the Owner’s/Hospital’s leadership, physicians, administrators, nurses and other representatives from all medical, administrative and support departments. Guided by their vision, participation and input, we form a strong partnership and mission to determine the most appropriate direction for their project. Whether the project is a new or replacement hospital or an expansion or addition, HHCP’s in-depth involvement can include the evaluation of existing and potential sites and the development of the planning and design solutions. Directed by the hospital’s vision, needs and requirements, the HHCP team develops the appropriate program, master plan, and/or design to deliver a project that meets its intended use, is cost effective, easy to maintain and a point of pride and trust in the community.
The planning and design of healthcare and senior care/assisted living facilities are highly specialized markets that require dedicated, experienced and passionate personnel.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF HEALTHCARE DESIGN
The everyday changes that occur in healthcare technology, services, and staffing must be anticipated in the planning of facilities. HHCP has dedicated health facility planners who are responsible for evaluating existing space, interviewing users of that space, and collecting information on current programmatic and functional standards in the industry. They bring to the hospital decision-makers a balance of future and present needs, code and accrediting agency requirements and what will serve the best interests of the institution in an economically sound manner.
Design includes not only the exterior appearance of the new building, but also the departmental adjacencies, the functional layout of the space to support operational needs, and the creation of an aesthetic internal environment that promotes health and well-being of both patients and staff. Selection of finishes, maintainability of the building and alternative solutions to balance cost and visual appearance are also addressed by our designers.
As an active corporate member of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), we recognize the importance of environmentally responsive design and the long-term benefits to owners, occupants and communities. HHCP has developed a design process that integrates the key principals for planning and designing buildings to meet our clients’ desired goals for LEED Certification. Nearly 30 percent of our technical staff are LEED Accredited Professionals and remain in the forefront of the profession through continuing education and active involvement on industry and client-related boards.
Breaking the design process into phases facilitates the flow of information necessary for timely decision-making. Each step of the creative design process is a building block that is necessary for the next phase to build upon. Customary phases are: Pre-Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding/Permitting, Construction, and Post Construction Close-Out.
Pre-design begins when the team meets with the Owner to discuss their goals and requirements. During this initial meeting, the overall understanding of the project needs and limitations are established and tested. This project phase includes contract development, program evaluation and the review of applicable codes and licensure requirements. Existing building and site conditions are also investigated and analyzed to reveal any elements that could be of benefit or detriment to the proposed use. These investigations include site survey, soils testing and the pre-testing of existing engineering systems (including, but not limited to, HVAC, electrical loads, medical gas capacities, water and sewer capacity, and the physical investigation of the areas being affected). This phase is usually completed with concept plans and outline narratives defining the team’s understanding of the work.
Schematic design combines the pre-design program data and applies the information toward defining the inter-relationships between major elements. During this phase, the departments are laid out, and engineering assumptions from the pre-design phase are further analyzed and evaluated. The building massing is investigated along with its effect on the site and the first pass at developing the medical equipment is generated and budgets reviewed. An Outline of Responsibilities is also created for the specific needs of the design. This document becomes a tool that enables the team to define their role in preparing and documenting the design. It also confirms their understanding of the budget by assigning the pieces of the building/equipment to cost centers: equipment expense, utility company expense, direct construction cost, fixtures/furnishings expense, and miscellaneous costs.
HHCP recommends bringing the contractor on-board early to provide cost estimating and pre-construction service. Our staff also schedules a meeting with the local code and building departments to review the project scope and impact. It is our belief that this relationship development and shared knowledge of the project builds a better understanding on behalf of the governing bodies that assist in smooth permitting and inspections later in the process.
The design team and user group work together to develop the plans department by department, room by room, as the schematic plans are refined to include detailed information. A detailed review places the medical equipment, discusses engineering support for HVAC, lighting and plumbing and establishes interior finish materials. The room-by-room development is documented with room environment sheets that list the room requirements and interior elevations are started indicating cabinets and equipment locations. Interior design and furnishings are developed at this phase and incorporated within the creative design process. The team is constantly monitoring the preliminary budget and constructability to ensure that there are no unforeseen surprises at bidding and later in construction. During this phase, preliminary layouts for the engineering systems are developed and reviewed with governing agencies along with the plans.
The construction document phase is the process where we refine the creative design solutions, which the team has created, to generate detailed instruction for the assembly of the pieces.
The building blocks developed through the pre-design, schematic and design development phases are refined and detailed as the team prepares the instructions for the contractor to assemble the pieces. The successful communication of the design requirements to the contractor, subcontractors and tradesmen takes place through written and graphic presentation of the construction documents. The skills, training and experience of our team, as well as the ability to work together, come from the repetition of this process. These blocks include plans, elevations and details representing materials and solutions to the questions raised in the design studies, notes and engineering calculations.
Final coordination and constructability reviews occur continuously through this phase. The team participates in weekly meetings to review status and needs to ensure every individual has the information necessary to complete their portion of the work.
Bidding and Permitting
The bidding and permitting processes occur simultaneously, but can be separated to expedite construction when necessary. Bidding/pricing depends on the Owners desire for a negotiated or competitive bid to secure the most favorable cost for the project.
Permitting is governed by City, County and State authorities that have specific criteria they look for when reviewing the project. Prior to our pre-design and follow up meetings with State and local officials, HHCP prepares the documents in a format which clearly presents what the officials are looking for in the design to ensure compliance with the rules and codes.
HHCP Architects has a formal Pre-Construction Manual that we use during the pre-bid conference that highlights the major topics a Contractor might overlook during their hectic bidding phase. Utilizing this Manual reduces request for changes later due to overlooked, misunderstood or needed design clarifications.
Construction Contract Administration (CCA) is one of the most challenging phases of a heathcare project. HHCP procedures and policies outlined in our management manuals assure the Contractor’s questions are responded to promptly and accurately. Our system for processing the necessary shop drawings, RFI’s (Requests for Information) and documenting field reports assist the Contractor by providing an efficient, timely and dependable flow of information throughout the construction/design team. Our proven CCA experience, regular participation in the Owner/Architect/Contractor meeting and pre-inspection observations have resulted in a 96% first time approval from regulatory agencies.
The project procedure that we have developed ensures that the process of preparing close out documents has been underway throughout the construction phase. Our logs and reports are followed up on a weekly basis so when we are ready to close out the project the work has been done. HHCP issues a standard close out letter edited for the specific needs of the project and issues this letter to the Contractor as a checklist 30 and 60 days prior to completion.
Our process for record documents places the preparation of the documents in the responsibility of the design team. The Contractor keeps a marked up set of as-built prints to review whenever the design team is on site, and turns it over to the design team within 30 days of substantial completion. The design team reviews for completeness and transfers the information to computer. The design team issues the computer disk directly to the owner within 30 days. This process has greatly improved the time the Owner usually waits for his record documents.
HHCP and its consultants utilize proven management techniques, experienced personnel and state of the art equipment to ensure that creative designs turn into clear, complete and straightforward plans and specifications that in turn provide accurate bids, with reduced chance of change orders. The use of the latest computer drafting and electronic mail document sharing, allows for all parties to remain aware of the activities of one another’s work as well as providing constant coordination between the disciplines. The team continually reviews the outline of responsibilities, and the project program throughout the course of the project. Any deficiencies or concerns are addressed in interdisciplinary teams meeting held regularly in the HHCP Healthcare office.