Architect: Renata Presby Meier Architecture Engineering
Engineering: Meier Architecture Engineering, Kennewick WA (Civil, Structural, Electrical and mechanical Engineering)
Contractor: Bouten Construction Company, Richland WA
Meier Architecture engineering designed the new Tri-Cities Community Health’s (formerly known as LaClinica) healthcare building; an iconic 4-story 40,000 sqft fully sprinkled glass, EFIS and masonry masterpiece with three elevators; visually appealing and technically efficient. Don’t let the stunning good looks fool you; the heart of the structure is technology. The fact that the $5.5 million project was constructed in only 11 months tells you the planning was spot-on. The challenge the Owner’s presented early-on were to employ all of the technology we can but it must add substantial value and be really simple to use. Meier’s in-house “fully integrated” architectural and engineering team lead by Renata Presby, AIA, RA, LEED AP employed state-of-the-art sustainability software and documentation processes which enabled the construction team to pull it all together.
The Architect worked closely with the Tri-Cities Community Health (TCCH) staff on the programming and spatial arrangement to design most efficient building layout, which will help TCCH better serve their patient. The focus of design was to provide healthier work and patient environment through the use of sustainable materials. Although the project did not seek LEED certification many of the LEED components were incorporated into the building design. The Architect specified the use of regional and renewable materials, materials with low to no VOC to improve air quality of indoor environment. The curtain wall and window double glazing has inner layer filled with argon and Advantage Low E coating applied to glass surface in order to reduce heat gain, and decrease cooling loads. The roofing material has high Solar Reflectance index, which also contributes lower solar heat gain in the building. The new building is located on major public transportation routes and is centrally located. This promotes pedestrian and bicycle transportation thus reducing pollution by individual vehicle use. Daylight and Views though use of windows and full height glass curtain wall in most of occupied space contributes to energy savings and creates more productive environment for staff and pleasant experience for patients/visitors.
The interior design of the facility focuses on providing an inviting feel, with warm tone colors and soft materials in order to move away from the sterile white look of past healthcare facilities. The colors also reflect our region of desert climate and vegetation by using sage greens, desert yellow and reds.
Unique golden section geometry was used in design of the windows, which was then carried onto the curtain wall glazing system design, guardrail at the loading dock, and other interior design features.
Steel post and beam structure with metal deck and concrete floors.
The Owner can tell at any moment what the electrical loads are with embedded smart-metering; public and employee spaces are kept securely separate with hidden automated access technology; and with so many diverse public health clients present, an advanced voice-evacuation system, in two languages no less, was employed to eliminate evacuation chaos; no loud horns or bells to distract the impaired, aged or young.
Automated interior lighting solutions utilize the latest in super efficient lamps providing maximum system efficacy (lowest lumens/watt) with premium-ballast technologies were combined with optimum day-lighting and occupancy control systems in order to realize substantial energy savings. Automated exterior building lighting takes on the additional flare of art; it enhances the ascetic contemporary architecture with complementary shape and pattern lights to achieve fantastic visual drive-by appeal.
Conference rooms all have advanced teleconferencing capabilities; making both presentations and training sessions technologically seamless; the project has many other high-end integrated systems; camera, music and distributed television. Fiber-optic cabling runs between the four I. T. Server closets; additionally, the building’s entire I. T. functions can be remotely accessed from the existing building just down the road; achieving unlimited co-location functionality.
Energy and water use make up a significant portion of any building’s operation cost. The mechanical systems in the building are designed to provide a comfortable and healthy environment to the occupants while promoting lower energy and water usage.
The building is designed with high efficiency space heating, cooling, and water heating systems. Energy recovery technology in the ventilation equipment allows for further reductions in energy use by transferring heat to or from outgoing exhaust air and pre-conditioning incoming fresh air without using new energy.
Low-flow plumbing fixtures are used throughout the facility, and all toilets are equipped with automatic high and low flush operation, ensuring that water use is minimized with no conscious effort needed from the user.
Smaller details such as touch-less restroom fixtures, and the inclusion of shower stalls for employees to promote commuting by bike or walking, further reinforce the facility’s mission: promoting the health of its employees, volunteers, and the general public.
Location: Pasco, WA, US