Clark Patterson Lee | Blog Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2020 2020-07-08T21:10:29-04:00 <![CDATA[BLOG: Healthy Interior Environments]]> The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to look at spaces through a different lens and we have identified several elements of the interior environment that should be considered for improvements, modifications or replacement. One of the most critical considerations should be on the density of people in a specific area. Our design team is ready to help you with interior space arrangements and strategies to ensure your environments are both safe and inviting.

>> Click here to learn more

<![CDATA[BLOG: M/E/P Solutions - Maximizing Building Systems for Health and Safety]]> The COVID-19 pandemic has identified several building systems that should be considered for improvements, modifications or replacement. The first and foremost concentration of review should be the building’s mechanical and electrical systems. These systems provide the infrastructure to sustain your daily operations, and are the principal drivers of both comfort and life safety in the indoor environment. CPL is prepared to provide professional recommendations for short-term building and system improvements, as well as longer term planning and renovation projects.

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<![CDATA[BLOG: Healthy Buildings - Managing the Impact of COVID-19]]> We are prepared to connect you to our partners at Paradigm Environmental to help you evaluate your cleaning and disinfecting needs in this new era of COVID-19. Paradigm Environmental Services’ team of Epidemiologists, Public Health Professionals, and Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) can assist you with your Emerging Pathogen Response Plan, cleaning and disinfecting program and verification needs. Together, CPL and Paradigm can help you develop a long term strategy to manage the impact of COVID-19 on your facilities and ensure they are healthy for years to come.

>> Click here to learn more

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Architects Hustle with Design Changes]]> Few, if any, buildings need massive Covid-19 pandemic-related adjustments. Educational buildings, offices, retail and restaurant outlets are absolutes. So are sports arenas and entertainment venues. But there are plenty of minor projects.

Architects are fielding calls from developers and building owners about what modifications are needed as workers begin to make their way back into office settings.

Michael Mistriner, AIA, Vice President with CPL, said clients are worried about a timeline if there’s another spike in cases, as well as whether architectural changes are to be made for the short term (less than one year) or longer. Mistriner calls it an “unprecedented time” in architecture. “Our role is to play, at least in part, a trusted adviser for our clients,” Mistriner said. “Covid changes are not gimmicky things. You have to understand this is a difficult time for everyone.”

>> Click here to read the full story written by James Fink and featured in Buffalo Business First.

<![CDATA[BLOG: What Does a 'Healthy' Classroom Look Like Now?]]> While the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting many aspects of our lives, one area hit particularly hard is education. In March of 2020, school districts across the country (and around the world) experienced a major educational disruption as schools closed and remote learning practices were quickly put into place for more than 55 million children.

As students, teachers, administrators and parents all look forward to schools eventually reopening, CPL has remained mindful of both the short- and long-term effects this novel coronavirus will inevitably have on school districts. More specifically, our K-12 Education team has been hard at work re-imagining the future design of classrooms and instructional spaces to ensure they accommodate public health needs, and still facilitate an engaging learning environment for students.

Creative consideration is being given to a long list of elements that have an impact on the health and safety of students and teachers. This list includes classroom layouts, furniture selection, materials and finishes, touchless fixtures, indoor air quality, lighting technology and cleaning protocols - just to name a few.

New Classroom Layouts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has drafted new guidelines for how schools and other organizations can safely reopen. As designers, it is our job to follow these recommendations and ultimately rethink classroom layouts to ensure they are safe, yet still support active and engaged modes of learning.

Finding creative ways to rearrange desks and common seating spaces is one way to approach this. Another includes the use of visual aids and cues to help demonstrate physical spacing as well as illustrate traffic flow.

In younger grades, for example, the use of large, area rugs with distancing indicators can help encourage physical space between students. For older grades, the creation of one-way directional indicators could be vital in minimizing circulation paths.

Strategic Furniture Selection
Reconfiguring classroom layouts will undoubtedly be simpler if schools have flexible, agile furniture designed for easy manipulation. Whether it is tables and desks on casters, portable room dividers or mobile white boards, strategic furniture selection can play a role in creating safe, highly adaptable learning environments.

Utilizing light weight, movable furniture can certainly help to maximize the space between students. In addition to rearranging desks six feet apart, you can also turn desks to face in different directions (rather than face each other) to help reduce transmission caused from virus-containing droplets (ie. from talking, coughing, sneezing, etc.). Mobile teaching carts or stations that move with the teacher can have similar benefits.

Furthermore, installing physical barrier screens or panels, such as sneeze guards and partitions, particularly around desks can help limit the spread of germs in tight spaces. Schools can also be creative with the furniture they already have by using shelf units, cubbies or other storage pieces to create low barriers where they are needed.

Safe Materials and Finishes
CPL has been reviewing typical material selections to ensure that we continue to reject finishes that are on the “red list” of building materials. This “worst in class” list includes commonly used chemicals that can pollute the environment as well as cause harm to students and faculty.

Using resources like mindful MATERIALS and following certifications like UL, GREENGUARD and LEED, we have been actively researching sustainable products from leading manufacturers that are vetted by industry experts. This strategic selection process is especially important when choosing the materials used for high-touch areas like door handles, countertops, railings, etc. Our team is focused on selecting finishes that are durable, easy to clean and likely to help prevent the future spread of infections and viruses.

Higher Indoor Air Quality
A building’s mechanical systems are the principal drivers of both safety and comfort. This makes improving indoor air quality another priority for many school districts as it can often lead to better health and better learning outcomes.

CPL utilizes a holistic approach to building system evaluation and seeks out ways to enhance HVAC system features and components including ventilation, air distribution, air filtration, as well as temperature and humidity control. Centralized air handling systems, for example, provide the opportunity to incorporate multiple system enhancements that can result in substantial improvements in indoor air quality. Additionally, ultra-violet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), bipolar ionization, electrostatic filtration, and improved filtration efficiency can also be considered as possible system improvements.

While applying these concepts within a classroom served by unitary HVAC equipment (such as unit ventilators) is more challenging, enhancing a room’s air circulation with electrostatic filtration or adding bipolar ionization in recirculation ductwork are both viable solutions.

Innovative Lighting Technology
With an increased focus on cleanliness and hygiene likely being a long-term goal of our school districts, we can explore recent advances in lighting technology, which have helped enhance many cleaning and disinfection procedures. For instance, antibacterial lighting is becoming a popular solution due to its ability to inhibit the growth and regrowth of bacteria and other types of microbes such as fungi, yeast, mold and mildew.

There are many areas in a K-12 setting that could benefit from this type of lighting technology including classrooms, locker rooms, weight/exercise rooms, cafeterias and restrooms. And while antibacterial lighting has not been proven to kill viruses, it can eliminate harmful microbes found in high density areas, reducing the risk of associated illnesses when used in conjunction with traditional cleaning methods.

Final Thoughts
If nothing else, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of designing healthy and resilient buildings. Schools are at the heart of our communities and should be “safe havens” for all who step inside them. As designers, we take the health and safety of building occupants very seriously and we remain committed to managing the impact of this health crisis on our K-12 facilities. A quick fix, ‘band aid’ approach to this does not exist. Our goal is to remain thoughtful, flexible and creative in addressing both pressing and future needs.

<![CDATA[BROADCAST: Union Square Campus]]> We rely on our sensational healthcare professionals now more than ever. The Union Square Campus in Greensboro, NC is, and will continue to be, an important education and training resource for students and healthcare professionals alike. Take a tour and learn more about this special, collaborative facility.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Dietz Stadium & Andretta Pool Improvements]]> Working with CPL, the City of Kingston has begun Phase 1 of a multi-phased, comprehensive restoration of its major sports complex. The Dietz/Andretta complex is the Kingston City School District's home field for football, track, the marching band, and special activities such as the annual high school graduation ceremony. Residents and community groups also regularly use the facilities for swimming, walking, and a wide variety of other events.

Originally built in the 1940's, the main stadium is in dire need of structural repairs and upgrades, as is the Andretta Pool facility, which was added to the complex in the 1970's.

This important project has been kick-started with $2.5 million, which will cover the costs of a full master plan that includes improvements to the pool and pool house (including installation of a new splash pad!), scoreboard, bleachers, water fountains, fencing and gates, sound and Wi-Fi systems, lighting, bike racks, locker rooms, bathrooms, food vending, signage, parking and more.

>> Click here to learn more

<![CDATA[BLOG: Getting Started with Grants]]> Project funding is a major concern for many communities and institutions around the country. Counties, towns, cities, colleges and universities are all regularly tasked with securing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in grants each year to carry out important planning, design and construction projects.

With a limited amount of funding to go around, the competition for obtaining this additional capital is steep. Furthermore, the grant application process can be arduous and grant writing can be challenging work even in the best of times.

Fortunately, this cumbersome task does not have to be a “go it alone” process.

As part of our core in-house, multi-disciplinary services, the team members at CPL routinely help navigate the grant application process, putting clients in touch with the right funding resources, and successfully obtaining grants from a variety of State and Federal sources.

Over the years, we have helped clients acquire additional capital through grants to match up to 75 percent of their total project costs. In 2019 alone, we were successful in getting millions in grant dollars for several different municipalities throughout New York State (and beyond) to put towards a variety of critical projects.

More specifically, we recently helped obtain grants for the following projects:

- National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY
- Town of North Harmony, NY Water Study
- Town of Ripley, NY Sewer Replacement
- Town of Evans, NY Sturgeon Point Marina Repair and Shoreline Stabilization project
- Niagara Falls, NY Water Board Water Main Replacement and Sewer Overflow Abatement program
- Village of Elba, NY Wastewater Plant Disinfection Study
- Village of Corfu, NY Wastewater project
- Livingston County, NY Public Market

During these unprecedented times, many municipalities have had to alter budgets to compensate for a significant decrease in sales tax and other revenue sources. This reality clearly illustrates a strong need for outside funding to fill the gap. Having good foresight, proper planning and the right team in place is more important now than ever before.

CPL is current with the latest grant programs and continually seeks out creative solutions to bridge the funding gap. We are strategically positioned to help our clients identify potential “shovel-ready” projects, prepare competitive grant applications, and assist in the administration of funded projects.

With funding amounts and directives changing from year to year, landing grants can feel like an overwhelming, ‘pie-in-the-sky’ dream. The best first step is to start a conversation to identify funding options for a potential project(s). CPL plays the matchmaker and prepares the application so that each community has the best possible chance to benefit from outside funding.

Feel free to reach out to the CPL team today to have a preliminary discussion on how we can help you navigate through this critical process.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Team Member Spotlight – Meet Justin Steinbach, AICP ]]> Great communities host a mix of uses in order to provide for our daily need to live, work, play, dine, shop and spend time with one another. Through partnerships, good governance and thoughtful planning, they offer communal spaces such as plazas, greens and recreational parks as well as civic buildings like libraries, post offices, churches and community centers. They promote connectivity via critical thoroughfare types such as cross-town boulevards, Main Streets, bike lanes and walkable paths. Private buildings including residential homes, offices and mixed-use facilities add to this mix and result in a vibrant and dynamic community.

But how do we bake a great community?

Meet Justin Steinbach, AICP – a community planning extraordinaire.

As a Certified Planner at CPL, Steinbach is no stranger to helping communities figure out creative ways to reach their full potential. Often working alongside public officials, planning commissions and neighborhood groups, he develops land use plans and programs that identify both short- and long-term solutions to improve and revitalize communities.

“Comprehensive planning is kind of like helping someone bake a gourmet cake” said Steinbach. “After identifying your desired flavor, filling and frosting, we take all of the ingredients from your pantry, put it in a mixing bowl and then let you taste the batter before we put it in the oven. In other words, we help communities plan for their desired future based on their specific needs, constraints and available resources.”

Through research, data analysis and collaboration with interest groups, planners like Steinbach help formulate strategies to address issues and meet goals. For example, as an area grows or changes, he can help communities manage a variety of related economic, social and environmental issues. This could result in planning for new parks, sheltering the homeless, and/or making the region more attractive to businesses.

With more than 16 years of industry experience, Steinbach has spent the better part of his career creating sustainable community plans for towns, cities, counties and metropolitan areas throughout New York State.

He graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in environmental design (minor in architecture) and joined CPL's Rochester office in 2005.

“I actually spent my first few years after college doing civil engineering and field survey work,” Steinbach said. “But once I joined CPL, I quickly gravitated towards community planning and haven’t looked back since.”

Although happy with his chosen career path, Steinbach doesn’t regret the time he spent out in the field.

“I don’t discount that experience at all.It gave me a well-rounded view of construction and design, and has definitely helped shape my planning career,” he added.

For Steinbach, good planning drills into learning everything about a community – it’s origin, character, uniqueness, hidden assets and growth opportunities.

“I love uncovering every detail about a community and then using that information to guide them in the right direction,” he said. “In fact, one of my favorite projects to date was planning a small park for the Town of Lima. After acquiring a blank slate of land next to an existing park, the Town wanted to utilize it for a mix of active and passive activities. I truly enjoyed working with them to identify every item on their ‘wish list’ and then give them a visual phased plan to make it happen.”

In addition to being part of the American Institute of Certified Planners (NY), Steinbach is also a member of the American Planning Association (Upstate New York Chapter) and the Town of Bristol Planning Board.

Furthermore, he’s an avid outdoorsman, frequent camper, and proud family man with his wife, Ann, and two daughters, Allie and Tessa.

“One of the many reasons why I’ve chosen to stay at CPL all of these years is the incredible work-life balance this company allows me to maintain,” Steinbach explained. “Especially during these most recent uncertain times, I’ve appreciated the flexibility to work from home and be there for my family.”

Steinbach’s wife is a registered ICU nurse at Highland Hospital, and he admits, the first few weeks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was both challenging and scary for him and his family.

“Between suddenly having to help our kids adapt to at-home learning and not knowing what my wife was walking into every day at work, the stress levels were a little high at the Steinbach household,” he said. “But having the ability to work from home combined with receiving transparent and consistent communication from our leadership team, we’ve been able to successfully navigate through this unique situation.”

Thankfully, as an experienced Planner, Steinbach is familiar with having to adapt quickly to unique circumstances. Whether he’s adjusting a plan to accommodate changes in zoning codes, environmental regulations or projected population density, helping communities create nimble and flexible plans for their future is just a part of his every day.

Meaning “friendly, lively and enjoyable,” Steinbach enjoys creating convivial community plans that connect people.

<![CDATA[BUZZ; CEO of Company Reopening in Rochester: 'We've got to live with this']]> The CPL team is preparing to safely return to our office in Rochester and our 17 other locations.

Check out this great piece by Berkeley Brean on WHEC-TV.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Helping Businesses Create a New Workplace]]> Workplace design, space planning and safety have become more critical than ever. CPL is helping create the new workplace while keeping our team members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out this important story by Mark Gruba featured on News 8 WROC.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Albany]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Albany, NY - Friday, May 1, 2020 - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 45 years, is pleased to welcome Dawn Raciti to its marketing team in Albany, NY.

As a member of the marketing team, Raciti will provide management and administrative support to the firm’s leaders through the development of written responses to Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Qualifications (RFQs), and other marketing related communications projects, including print materials and presentations. She has more than 20 years of marketing experience and most recently served as a senior marketing coordinator for C.T. Male Associates.

Raciti has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Siena College and an associate degree in business administration from Hudson Valley Community College.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 17 cities across 5 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Suwanee]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Suwanee, GA - Friday, April 24, 2020 - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 45 years, is pleased to welcome Ravi Vachhani, P.E. to its civil engineering team in Suwanee, GA .

As a member of the civil engineering team, Vachhani is primarily responsible for roadway design, construction plan production and project management. He has a passion for taking conventional design and applying new ideas and concepts to better serve transportation needs among communities.

Vachhani has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University and holds professional licensure in Georgia. Outside the office, he is a member of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) and is currently in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) Future Leaders program.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 17 cities across 5 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit to learn more.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Members in Charlotte]]> Contact: Michelle Draghi
CPL Marketing Team

Charlotte, NC - Monday, April 13, 2020 - CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 45 years, is pleased to welcome two new team members to its Charlotte, NC office: Tony Lane, who joins the practice technology team, and Tracie Sansavera, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, who joins the architectural team.

With more than 25 years of industry experience, Lane works with the firm’s practice technology team as a M/E/P BIM Manager. Leaning on his passion for continuous learning, he is responsible for helping team members grown and develop their knowledge of the design and coordination of M/E/P systems.

Outside the office, Lane is a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He resides in Charlotte, NC.

As a member of the architectural team, Sansavera is primarily responsible for the design and management of healthcare projects. With more than a decade of industry experience, she is familiar with taking on the challenges of various project and code constraints as well as end user requests to create effective spaces for doctors, staff, patients and their families. Prior to joining CPL, Sansavera served as a project architect at Wright McGraw Beyer Architects.

Sansavera holds a Master of Architecture degree from Hampton University and an associate degree in computer and design graphics technology from Weber State University. She also holds professional licensure in North Carolina and resides in Mooresville, NC.

About CPL
Founded in 1975, CPL is a 450-person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering and planning firm offering inspiring design services and enriching communities in 17 cities across 5 states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Municipal and Academic sectors – providing architectural, interior design, civil engineering, buildings and structural engineering, planning, landscape architecture and 3D/virtual design services to a host of public and private clients. Visit www.CPLteam.comto learn more.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Telemedicine and the Future of Healthcare Design]]> For years, telemedicine was often referred to as the “future of healthcare." And until recently, both providers and patients may have been apprehensive on the switch to virtual care.

In the wake of this most recent health crisis, coverage for telehealth was temporarily expanded in order to facilitate social distancing and keep medical facilities free for possible surges of COVID-19 patients. This quickly brought the “future of healthcare” to the present.

Providers have been quick to adjust to this shift in care and patients have been accepting of a now safer, and at times more convenient, form of care.

So what does this mean for healthcare design? If patient care is moved out of medical facilities and into homes and communities, how can we best prepare for a more virtual healthcare future?

In recent years, we have seen “destination office care” in lieu of small office settings grow substantially. This is where multiple services are provided on a single campus as well as in commercial and/or retail locations. Virtual call centers, which only contain space for providers and staff (no patient areas), are also becoming a viable option.

Across the country, hospitals and physician offices are pivoting to incorporate telemedicine space for consulting. From a design standpoint, these virtual consult rooms can be smaller and much simpler than normal exam rooms since there are no patients to physically occupy them.

Similarly, telehealth space is being added to inpatient hospital rooms and senior living facilities, which is enabling virtual family visits in addition to virtual specialty care.

Additionally, virtual check-in stations are continuing to become more common. This involves having a computer kiosk for patients to use while registering at a doctor’s office or emergency room. The Kiosk can also allow for virtual triaging where based on responses to a few questions, the system can quickly assess if the patient’s condition is urgent or emergent as well as if they require a hospital, urgent care or doctor's office visit.

CPL has been working with clients, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), to incorporate ample check-in kiosk space.

Healthcare organizations and designers are strategically planning for a more virtual healthcare future. As telehealth becomes part of our “new normal,” opportunities for the future of the built environment will certainly arise, and there will be a need to assess the adaptability and repurposeability of medical facilities.

<![CDATA[BLOG: The Road Ahead - A Message From Our Board of Directors]]> Todd Liebert, AIA, NCARB
Chief Executive Officer

As we navigate COVID-19 together, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank our valued team members whose efforts amid this challenging landscape are immensely appreciated. Our Board of Directors and Principal leadership team have pivoted at a light speed to respond to clients and their current needs, as well as position CPL for future opportunities.

In addition to our essential discipline design experts in the healthcare, municipal, higher education, K-12 education and transportation sectors, our IT, finance, HR, administrative and marketing teams have been crucial in helping us stay as efficient, connected and as operational as possible. As we eagerly prepare to phase back to our new normal, we send good thoughts and well wishes to our partners across our offices and markets.

Dan Duprey, P.E.
President, Chief Operating Officer

During this pandemic, transportation needs including design, reviews and inspections have continued, and in many cases, have ramped up in certain regions. Our professionals have been safely working on critical projects to ensure construction can stay on track and we can quickly rebound after this crisis.

Even though some office staff have been working remotely, we still remain busy and productive. While a few design projects (considered to be non-essential) have been put on hold, most projects in Georgia, North Carolina and New York continue to progress. Construction projects are all considered to be essential and are also moving forward. In fact, we can’t find enough inspectors to fill the needs on construction projects. If you know of any inspectors looking for work, please call us!

Rick Henry, P.E.
Senior Vice President

I would like to thank all of our team members for their hard work during this time. They are well aware that municipalities and their respective infrastructure systems don’t pause – even during unprecedented times like these. Our clients expect and deserve the support needed to keep their facilities and systems such as water, wastewater, roadways and other utilities operational. We are part of these communities and are proud to represent them.

On another note, when we are given the all clear to start coming back into offices, I want to assure all of those who have been working from home that our offices are a safe place to work. We have added sanitizing stations, extra coffee machines and microwaves, and have ramped up weekly cleaning measures in every office to include the disinfecting of frequently used surfaces such as door handles and handrails. During this time, I have personally been to both our Rochester and Buffalo offices, and can attest that our people have been safe and very considerate of each other’s health and personal space.

Kevin McOmber, P.E.
Senior Vice President

Infrastructure remains a vital priority to all our public clients, and as such, our designers have kept a heavy foot on the gas throughout this pandemic to ensure we remain full speed ahead on these critical projects. While we have seen a few design projects put on hold, other areas of our business have expanded.

Many of our Georgia team members work in our client’s office space (City Hall), and even though these public buildings are closed, our staff have continued to serve the public in a very professional manner. Across the board, our architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners and municipal experts have all taken ownership of their responsibilities and continue to exceed expectations. It has been said that the best way to judge a person’s character is to observe their actions during times of adversity. I am proud to say that the character of our people is strong, and we remain thankful for each and every one of them.

Senior Vice President

The spotlight on our healthcare infrastructure in the U.S. has never shone so bright as it has over the last eight weeks. While there is much to be proud of, this pandemic has also exposed significant structural weakness in our system. Some of these weaknesses are related to inadequate detection/prevention/treatment programs available to all of our citizens, while others are related to the inability of hospitals and healthcare systems to adequately handle a large surge of critically ill patients. As healthcare architects and engineers, we are critically evaluating how to alter or augment our client’s existing physical facilities to be easily converted in the future for when, not if, this happens again.

I am so proud at how quickly CPL and all of our teams were able to pivot from "normal" to the "new normal" of conducting business in the virtual world. It hasn't been easy for everyone, but we have used this event to identify our own internal weaknesses, so that "when" this happens again, we will be in a better position to serve the needs of our clients while maintaining the strength of our teams.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Wedding Dress Wednesday]]> On Friday, March 13th, we all left the office and parted our ways for the weekend, fully expecting to reunite Monday morning with cheerful greetings to kick off another work week. (Of course, being that it was Friday the 13th, we should’ve expected something odd to happen)

That weekend, news and social media overwhelmed our phones, and we were suddenly encouraged to work from home. Besides the understandable anxiety surrounding the global pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty and stress that came from the sudden changes.

Two weeks later, I realized how quickly we had adapted to a “new normal.” We adjusted to our new routines and life like this became strangely accepted (it just didn’t include traveling to the office or grocery store).

Fast-forward another couple of weeks and this “new normal” began to give us all cabin fever. Without client meetings or construction site visits to break up the week, or social gatherings, family meals and soccer practices to look forward to (or not look forward to), the days started to merge together and we lost track of time.

Now more than ever, creativity is needed as we think of different ways to keep our sanity, stay positive and remain productive from our homes.

Google “How to work from home” and you will be inundated with tons of tips and tricks. Full of puns and sarcasms, the most useful tips I found were from Kristi Rugg, Videographer and Visual Information Specialist at National Park Service. Click here to view.

One consistent piece of advice from all the blogs and articles has been to get out of your pajamas and into work clothes. Professor Cary Cooper, Occupational Psychologist at Manchester Business Schools, says, “Get dressed in the morning, make yourself feel like you’re going to work, but be comfortable.”

Northwestern University, H. Adam, A.D. Galinsky / Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, performed a study on, “Enclothed Cognition,” which is used to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes (H. Adam, A.D. Galinsky, 2012).

I’m sure most of us are familiar with the popular, TLC reality television show, What Not to Wear, or the bestselling book, Dress for Success by John T. Molloy. These shows and books tend to focus on the perception and reaction of other’s based on your clothing/appearance. “The clothes we wear have power not only over others, but also over ourselves” (H. Adam, A.D. Galinsky, 2012).

And if that isn’t enough evidence that clothes hold power, let’s also think about whether wearing a firefighter uniform helps people act more courageously. Adam and Galinsky suggest, “Answering these kinds of questions would further elucidate how a seemingly trivial, yet ubiquitous item like an article of clothing can influence how we think, feel and act. Although the saying goes that clothes do not make the man, our results suggest that they do hold a strange power over their wearers.” (2012).

Furthermore, Peluchette, Karl, and Rust explain, “it is evident that attire plays a key role in individuals’ attitudes and beliefs regarding workplace outcomes. When [respondents] used their clothing to impress others, they experienced positive self-perceptions such as feeling dependable, competent, productive and friendly” (2006).

“What a strange power there is in clothing.” - Issac Bashevis Singer

As I pondered all of these concepts surrounding the power of clothing (and noticed that I was running out of yoga pants), I had an interesting thought: “What if I worked from home in my wedding dress?” Understanding that clothing can impact my overall state of mind, I sought to put on the outfit that I wore on one of the best days of my life.

Thus, the idea of #WeddingDressWednesday emerged.

Coworkers and friends jumped in on the fun challenge. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wear the one item that made them feel like a true star? In fact, your wedding dress might be one of the strongest symbolic articles of clothing you own and can intrinsically affect your self-image or emotions.

Imagine, all eyes on you and your beautiful dress; all the power, attention, super-woman emotions and before you know it, your production level skyrockets.

Courtney Ter-Velde, CPL design team member, was thrilled with how the challenge made her feel.

“Until Carly asked me if I wanted to participate, I hadn’t even looked at my wedding dress in almost seven years. In fact, I wasn’t even sure where it was,” she said. “When I finally found it, I was instantly transported to another time and place. A flash of memories lit my brain and all I could do was smile and laugh. Putting it on was comical on its own; a broken zipper, a torn bottom from dancing the night away, and time-soaked patterns of the deep purple cake frosting. However, it felt exciting to dress up for the day, something I know many of us have not done in weeks. It was also uplifting for me to be able to playful and reminisce on a very happy time.”

Thank you to every woman who participated with my challenge! I hope you felt like a star, brought out your inner playfulness, sparked creativity, and had fun with it!

On a personal note, when I put on my wedding dress, my posture instantly improved (mainly because I couldn’t breathe or move), and I smiled more than I had all day. However, what surprised me most was when my four-year-old daughter held my dress up to herself. For me, it served as the perfect reminder of the bright future we all have to look forward to. I can’t predict whether the next few months will be anything like the last but take my advice when you run out of yoga pants.We will all get through this together.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Infection Prevention and the Built Environment]]> As the world continues to face historic challenges with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, infection prevention, control and antibiotic resistant microbes are moving to the forefront of conversations happening on news outlets, social media platforms and in our daily thoughts.

Jumping in on those important conversations is CPL’s design team, who has been busy discussing specific products that are proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 in a matter of hours. These products can be used in everyday spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, childcare centers, senior care facilities and hospital settings where infection control is undoubtedly critical.

With recent studies claiming that coronaviruses can last up to nine days on some surfaces, utilizing products in the built environment that “self-disinfect” could be vital in helping to prevent the future spread of infections and viruses.

For example, EOScu is a self-sanitizing surface that eliminates over 99.9% of harmful bacteria within two hours, even after repeated contamination.

Click here for more information on Copper-infused surfaces.

CPL is currently working with Rochester Regional Health to implement prevention control measures on the Sands Constellation Center for Critical Care project. Products such as safe grip cubicle curtain rods are being considered because each rod is made from bactericidal copper, which kills more than 99.9% of bacteria within two hours.

Safe Grip by Drapery Industries has an antimicrobial copper handle called CuVerro. Using products like this can enhance overall sanitation measures within a cubicle setting and help prevent the spread of bacteria.

Click here for more information.

The CPL team has extensive experience designing both education and healthcare environments and understands the many ways to prevent the spread of infections on a variety of surfaces. By sharing this knowledge with our clients, we hope to provide safe design alternatives as well as some peace of mind during these uncertain times.

<![CDATA[BLOG: A Message to Our Team Members, Clients, Families and Communities]]> It has been an extraordinary few weeks as our world faces historic challenges with the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the stress and uncertainty, it has never been more crucial to stay connected with one another, even as we practice social distancing and other cleaning regiments to keep each other healthy and safe.

The CPL team continues to make proactive decisions that are grounded in the care of our team members and clients. As we navigate through this extremely fluid crisis, we are doing our part to stop the spread of the virus by working from home and staying true to our values of quality service, integrity and collaboration.

As healthcare designers, we are particularly tuned in to many of the issues associated with the spread of infectious disease, prevention and best practices. Much of the work we do supports essential business in this country like hospital expansion and infrastructure, and we have always been extremely proud of this difference making work.

While many of our healthcare clients have been impacted, along with our K-12, higher education and municipal partners and friends, we remain committed more than ever to a productive workflow. Our creative team has found innovative ways to telework and communicate remotely whenever possible, as well as safely report to the office and client sites periodically.

Furthermore, our team members have been amazingly helpful in sharing important information and updates from each of our regions, which keeps our emergency task force looped in on all office, local and state news in real-time. In addition to our discipline design experts, our IT, finance, HR, administrative and marketing teams have been crucial in helping us stay as efficient, connected and as operational as possible.

These are truly uncharted times and we are learning right alongside you as we continue to navigate COVID-19 together. Do not hesitate to contact us for whatever the reason.

Keep working together. We will get through this, look back and grow from the experience. Let’s continue to uplift and take care of each other. Be safe.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: RRH’s Innovative Hospital Facility to Open this Fall]]> The Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care is Rochester Regional Health’s largest project to date. The seven-story, 312,000-square-foot facility is a $250 million construction project that will add 132 rooms and 23 operating rooms to the hospital complex. The critical care facility expects to attract 200 to 300 new employees, sparking a major economic impact on the Rochester community.

The CPL designed project broke ground in the fall of 2017, led by LeChase Construction Services LLC, whose team has been working seven days a week. Construction is expected to give way to a ribbon-cutting for the new critical-care facility this fall.

Click here to read the full story written by Nicole Sheldon, featured in the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ).