Monday, January 12, 2009

When you fail to plan, you're probably asking me to draw something for you

I've been doing some master planning for a medical clinic facility in Denver, but it's unlike any master planning I've ever done.  Usually, master planning for a medical building or a campus involves drawing big, general-looking colored shapes and saying "the clinic goes here and the research facility goes here" or "radiology will go on this floor and admin will go on this floor when the women's clinic moves to this other building over here" and so on.  This master plan, however, is really specific, which is...odd.

First off, the clinic recently had an ADA survey and report done by some consultants who evidently do ADA reports for public buildings.  The report explained what was in compliance (this room works, nicely done), what was kinda in compliance (i.e., flip this door out of the room and you're golden), and what was totally not in compliance (dear God, either remodel this or quit calling it a toilet room).  Second, the facility knows they have some flow and space issues, such as having the wound care exam rooms too far away from the waiting room.  Third, the facility is indeed considering moving certain departments in and out of the clinic building into some other buildings they own.  

Fourth and most importantly, they need someone to help them figure out what moving things around could/would look like so that they can get a contractor to price it and then possibly build it for them.  So, instead of drawing big colored blocks, I'm actually moving rooms around and checking for accessibility clearances around toilet fixtures in the plans.

What's even weirder is that the higher-ups at the clinic's facility planning department don't want us to talk to any of the department's users about these changes.  This is exceptionally unusual--we generally ask the users of a department questions if we're going to remodel it, especially if the remodels are intended to improve clinical flow.  Evidently, the facility managers/directors don't want too much input from the users at this point because a simple what-can-fit-where exercise may turn into a full-blown design project.  Still, it's weird, and it leaves us flying blind.  We're having to guess what rooms can be demolished and what can stay, what offices can turn into exams, and what spaces are too big or too small.  

Usually, we guess wrong.

1 comment:

faded said...

The higher ups will not let you talk to the users? This looks rather Dilbert to me. Do any of the higher ups have pointed hair?