• Courtney Van Ostran, CPSM

Design Approach for Resilient Facilities

Ensuring the longevity of building systems has always been a goal for owners of any facility type. Owners look to their engineering consultant to design buildings that are resilient and last for many years into the future. It's also always been a tenant of our approach to design. As we adjust to a "new normal", Tec Inc., re-examined our design approach and we've adjusted to make sure we're looking out for your facilities now and in the future.


While Tec Inc., always remained knowledgable of healthy building systems applications and new technologies in the past, we are emphatic about the consideration of existing and emerging technology for overall occupant health, especially now, during the post pandemic environment. We've integrated design for resilient facilities into our standard design process incorporating increased healthy building systems into design. We recognize owner's increased need to ensure the future health of all facilities types and users.

Some ways we will ensure clients are aware of options for healthy environments are:

HVAC Design Considerations

  • Increased ventilation - to help reduce airborne spread of viruses

  • Filtering: Charcoal, HEPA - to limit virus entry to spaces

  • Control Building Moisture - to increase occupant comfort and keep surfaces clean

  • Capture Contaminants at the Source - using appropriate hoods to capture air for ventilation

  • Room Pressurization - another method to control contamination between rooms (often used in hospitals)

Electrical and Lighting Design Considerations 

  • Germicidal Ultraviolet (GUV) Fixtures and Lamps - to reduce airborne viruses

  • Antimicrobial light switches, receptacles, and faceplates - to reduce spread of viruses through touch

  • Touchless devices for operations including lighting controls and connected apps for heating cooling and security monitoring - to help with off-site monitoring and reduce spread of viruses through touch

Plumbing Design Considerations

  • Location / Access - for ease of maintenance and monitoring

  • Stormwater drainage - to avoid water damage and potential for unhealthy moisture in building

  • Emergency fixtures - eye wash basis and similar for accessible and frequent cleaning

  • Water temperature for bacterial control - to prevent Legionella and other water born pathogens

  • Fire protection when not required by code - to increase the safety of occupants and control fires


Many of these considerations have been used in healthcare or specialized work environments to increase the safety of occupants. Now integrated into our design process for consideration by owners of all facility types, your facilities can be healthier spaces for the future. Over the next month look for detailed discussions on these design applications from our seasoned professionals as the discuss how to design your building to be more resilient now and in the future.


Contact us for more information about your existing or future resilient building.

Contributors

Timothy Pool, PE, RCDD

Executive Vice President


Tim Pool is known for his genuine desire to make Tec Inc. a great place to work. He regularly shares his knowledge with younger staff and walks the walk of an engineer who gives back to our industry and community. Now executive vice president and our director of engineering, Tim runs an internal committee at Tec Inc. dedicated to the future of design, which is one of our differentiators. Tim is not only passionate about engineering, he also understands the importance of developing meaningful relationships — a value we live by at Tec Inc.


John Milenius, PE, LEED AP

Principal


Recognized as a pragmatic and skilled expert in HVAC engineering and plumbing design, John focuses on making the most of project budgets and schedules for our clients. A skilled troubleshooter and proponent of increasing energy efficiency, John manages and leads or mechanical engineering staff at Tec. In addition, he is always looking to help future AEC professionals along the way.