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Understanding an Engineer's Role in Healthcare-Built Environments

Brandon Pinkerton and I recently sat down with Erin Peavey, a design researcher and licensed architect with HKS Architects in Dallas. Erin specializes in design for social connection for health and wellness. We discussed the importance of design and engineering in health environments.

Our conversation started with a simple question, "What is a built environment?"

"A built environment is a place or space that is physically or virtually built." Erin Peavey, AIA, EDAC, WELL AP, LSSYB, LEED AP BD+C

Built environments can range from physical buildings to parks, or even those spaces created in the metasphere. Architects and engineers know a built environment sets the tone and ambiance for a space or place. These spaces are designed to meet the particular needs of those who will be using them.

While all built environments are important, they are not all designed or created equally. Creating a healthcare-built environment is incredibly important and the engineer's job is to make that space or place a reality by ensuring the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural needs meet standards and exceed expectations. An engineer ensures the environment is comfortable and adaptable by sustaining the desired temperature, maintaining light brightness, and systems are performing efficiently as designed. Architects rely on engineers to bring their designs to life and to showcase what is important to the end user.

At HP Engineering, we have extensive experience in designing rural healthcare environments. When developing solutions and designs for these rural facilities, the future utilization of the space sets the tone for the entire design.

Often resources are limited in terms of maintenance and labor, making it difficult to maintain systems or service them. From the inception of a design or solution, engineers apply systems that will ensure the healthcare-built environment does not need ongoing repairs or maintenance. An engineer's goal is to ensure mechanical and electrical systems can perform as designed and meet the demands placed.

Additionally, engineers balance comfort and function without forsaking the fundamentals. In the evolving healthcare landscape, hospitals and wellness facilities need flexibility. Engineers are often tasked with designing solutions so spaces can be adapted for different use.

Built environments, especially healthcare environments require expertise and knowledge to ensure the longevity and efficiency of the systems and the flexibility of the spaces. See our experience and expertise in healthcare facilities and find out what HP Engineering can bring to your next project.

To view our full conversation with Erin, check out our video podcast:

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