Clark Patterson Lee | Blog http://clarkpattersonlee.com/ Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2021 2021-11-29T15:54:27-05:00 <![CDATA[BLOG: In the Spotlight – Pam with a Plan]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-in-the-spotlight-pam-with-a-plan https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-in-the-spotlight-pam-with-a-plan “To bring order out of chaos” – that’s the mission statement of one Pam Houston, RA, EDAC, CPL’s first dedicated Healthcare Planner.

A technical subject matter expert, her experience covers the full spectrum of healthcare-related facilities, and she serves as an excellent source of information regarding the industry’s current trends, data and best practices.

Houston joined CPL in January 2021 and has since effectuated her mission statement by coordinating with national healthcare clients to develop a firm understanding of their goals, identify potential roadblocks and brainstorm creative solutions. When necessary, she arranges vision sessions – meetings with hospital administrators, doctors, nurses and other professionals – to discuss each project’s unique trajectory, affording the staff opportunities to voice their individual needs and priorities.

“I feel like good listening skills are number one. You have to be able to listen to clients and ask them the right questions. That’s really key,” she explained. “Those sessions often lead to a more big-picture way of thinking than most people are accustomed to.”

Working out of the firm’s Raleigh, NC office, Houston tackles the early phases of some of CPL’s largest awards, reviewing codes to ensure that plans adhere to all necessary guidelines and advancing health and wellness through collaborative design.

One of her current assignments involves intricate planning for the Care Tower at Wake Forest Baptist Health, referred to as “Project East.” She’s responsible for designing the intensive care unit, which will encompass two floors of a potentially ten-story building, and is currently analyzing the program, or the list of spaces that need to be included in the design. Her primary objective is to ensure the spaces are well-suited for both the patients and staff members who will utilize them daily.


“If we can plan to make these spaces more efficient by providing creative solutions that help hospital staff do their jobs and give extraordinary care to patients – to me, that’s very rewarding,” she said.


Although becoming an architect was a childhood dream of hers, Houston initially pursued a career in the publishing industry. She enrolled at The George Washington University, graduating cum laude with a degree in art history and a minor in visual communications, and proceeded to work for the American Society of Landscape Architects for several years, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in her free time. It was during this period that she realized she still wanted to be an architect.

Determined, she enrolled in night calculus classes and assembled a portfolio to apply to North Carolina State University, where she earned her Master of Architecture and launched her healthcare planning career. Her first project involved design for a neonatal intensive care unit and nursery at a hospital in the Raleigh area; she later went on to provide design and inspection services for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Health Service Regulation (NC DHHS DHSR), where she was commended for carrying and executing more than double her expected workload.

“I really felt like I was making a positive difference in the world, and the challenge of the codes and all of the requirements was something that I enjoyed consuming,” Houston said of working in the healthcare practice following graduation. “I’ve stayed in healthcare for almost 20 years.”

In addition to her almost two decades of experience, Houston holds Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) licensure with The Center for Health Design. Licensure is awarded to individuals who apply evidence-based research to their architectural design methodologies to significantly contribute to the health, safety and wellbeing of their clients.

“It’s evidence-based research that has resulted in us knowing that a view outside can make you feel less pain and lead to a quicker discharge than a room with no window, or a window to a brick wall,” Houston said. “So EDAC is taking, in my opinion, what we think of as ‘best practice’ and really trying to put a bit of scientific information behind it.”

Thus far, one of her favorite projects has been the Patient Unit Addition Study for Vidant Health, a hospital system in Washington, NC, which allowed her to bring her EDAC to the table with the creation of a presentation that helped the owner understand the benefits of universal patient rooms and their impact on staff.

Houston is also a yellow belt certified by Lean Six Sigma, an organization that recognizes professionals who are “skilled in identifying risks, errors or defects in a business process and removing them.” She describes the program as a system for doing things efficiently, which dovetails into her dedicated nature.

As a practice specialist with a talent for building strong interpersonal connections, Houston serves as a reliable resource for many of the firm’s healthcare assignments. “I have a lot of passion for and experience in healthcare planning, so it’s easy for me to quickly jump in and provide assistance,” Houston said. “I’m always invigorated by an opportunity to join forces with different project teams.”


“Pam brings to us a long career in diversified healthcare and great insight as to how we can improve our practices,” said Adam Chahulski, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Principal Architect in CPL’s Charlotte, NC office. “We are all about collaboration, and she assists not only our team members in North Carolina, but those across the states as well. She has been fantastic to work with, and I encourage anyone seeking guidance for the healthcare practice to reach out to her.”



When asked what she most enjoys about her role, Houston highlighted her core duties and CPL’s unified work environment.

“I appreciate being able to focus solely on the planning aspect of healthcare projects because that’s who I am, someone who plans ahead,” she said, adding, “I also appreciate the people I work with. The teams here are multi-disciplined, and we communicate across offices. It doesn’t matter how far apart you are, or what you specialize in – you get to work with everyone, and it’s been really fabulous.”



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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-11-29T00:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Ingenuity and Collaboration Opens the Faucet to Elba’s Water]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-ingenuity-and-collaboration-opens-the-faucet-to-elbas-water https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-ingenuity-and-collaboration-opens-the-faucet-to-elbas-water The fertile “muckland” where the Town of Elba lies has supported people and agriculture for over 200 years. With its bucolic scenery and rich soil, you would never think accessible, safe water was ever a concern here. But with a growing desire for public water and continuing legacy of farming, picturesque Elba needed help to ensure clean water for all.

The community had no public water system of their own, leaving residents and farmers reliant on private wells for water, which, at times, bore serious quantity and quality concerns. With critical improvements needed and a reliable long-term solution sought, CPL was engaged to develop a public water plan for the Town.

The project kicked-off with extensive collaboration and outreach involving community officials, residents and farmers, the funding agency, and other stakeholders to develop an efficient, durable, cost-effective solution. A safe, dependable water supply, fire protection, increased marketability, timely completion, and an economical solution were among Elba’s top priorities.

CPL Civil Engineer and Project Manager, Jason Foote, P.E., explained, “We knew we could provide the best options and implementation plan to provide safe, clean public water to all residents of the Town and at an affordable cost for everyone.




It was determined that the most effective, long-term solution for Elba would be to create a town-wide water district to include all remaining areas of the Town not already served with public water.

To do this, a dynamic, seven-phase project approach was implemented to ensure all tasks were accomplished efficiently. Over 50 miles of water main pipe and 500+ service connections were made in addition to a new, elevated, 750,000-gallon water storage tank constructed in support of the new water system.

Through this innovative, nimble plan, a single, large town-wide water district was created and completed within just three years, compared to commonly used approaches that develop multiple, smaller districts pieced together over the course of 10-15 years.



Although the water storage tank is the most visible component of Elba’s new water system, it is only part of a significantly broader, more impactful effort that has greatly enriched Town life and the surrounding area with a safe, consistent water system.

Team collaborative efforts yielded additional enhancements as well including water main pipe upsizing and water storage tank improvements for a separate, regional Genesee County Water Supply Project. An intermunicipal agreement (IMA) was also organized and created to share the costs of flushing water between the Town and Village water systems, eliminating the need for six costly master meter vaults.

The Town received a $3.8 million grant from USDA Rural Development, and, at the time, the $18 million project was the largest such funded project in New York State.

It goes without saying, people cannot live without a dependable source of clean water. If you pause to consider it, simply turning a faucet takes on an entirely new meaning. Dexterity, resourcefulness, collaboration, and a deep-rooted passion for community are just some of the elements needed to enrich communities and open the tap for all.

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2021-11-23T00:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: Yadkinville Welcomes New County Sheriff’s Office Annex]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-yadkinville-welcomes-new-county-sheriffs-office-annex https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-yadkinville-welcomes-new-county-sheriffs-office-annex Yadkinville, NC – On Thursday, October 28, 2021, CPL, together with Yadkin County and City officials, members of law enforcement, state judiciaries, and the community attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Administration Building.

The new, $4.1 million facility was designed in harmony and compliance with Yadkinville’s new downtown overlay zoning prescribing specific appearance standards for the town. As the “public face” for the County Sheriff’s Office, the new building relocates several other County divisions under one roof, including the Chief Deputy, Major, Captain, and the Civil division, as well as various public services such as concealed permitting.

Features of the 16,400 sq. ft. building include state-of-the-art security systems throughout, multi-purpose meeting and training space for up to 100 participants or citizens, a sally port connecting the new building to the adjacent detention center, and 1,500 sq. ft. of shell space for future growth.

Yadkinville Sheriff’s Office Annex 2

CPL architect, Josh Wheeler, AIA, explained, “This project will serve as a keystone in the county to ensure regional public safety today, while also establishing the additional infrastructure for tomorrow. Incorporating this flexibility into the design extends the building’s life and allows for the meaningful service of many future generations within the community.”

To deliver this impactful project to the community, CPL provided project management, architectural, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering, fire protection design, and landscape architecture services alongside project team partners, Simcon (General Contractor) and Jones Engineering (Structural Engineering Consultants).


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-11-16T00:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Change the Game with Artificial Turf ]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-change-the-game-with-artificial-turf https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-change-the-game-with-artificial-turf Modern synthetic fields are providing game-changing benefits that are too hard to ignore.

It is easy to see why this advanced “grass” has grown on us. Changes to its composition and materials over time have propelled its look, feel and usability. This and more has created a high demand for these surfaces, especially in K-12 school districts.

Greater Playability

Unlike sprawling college campuses, most K-12 schools have limited land for sports, yet are still looking to offer as many options as possible to their students. When compared to natural fields that often take a beating with each use, durable artificial turf can provide greater playability by hosting multiple sports, back-to-back, while remaining in tact.


Batter Up

All-weather surfaces enrich playing seasons, especially in cold or wet climates where rain-flooded or snow and ice-covered playing surfaces are all too common. To ensure all sports programs can commence and stay on schedule, synthetic sod can be an excellent solution. Not only can it be easily snow plowed, but it can also drained, so water doesn’t pool or collect long enough to freeze.


Safety First

Play on natural grass creates wear such as divots and uneven play surfaces. Combine this with weather-produced hazards like standing water, ice, slippery mud, or sunbaked ground and risk for injury rises.

Engineered turf provides a more consistent, safer play surface by eliminating most of these common issues. For instance, turf field construction provides more predictability when it comes to GMAX testing, which measures impact attenuation – the ability of the playing surface to absorb the “shock”, or kinetic energy – from a collision.


Economics

Watering, mowing, re-seeding, fertilizing, and drainage repairs are just a few of the regular maintenance tasks needed to keep natural sod alive and healthy. Annual expenses often reach or exceed five-figures leaving many schools struggling with the cost. In contrast, artificial grass needs just one grooming/maintenance per year (sometimes two, depending on use), and is just a fraction of the maintenance cost to keep up natural sod. With an average life of 10-12 years, investing in engineered grass makes sense.

The Wow Factor

With pre-striping, school branding and lasting color options, these perpetually green fields consistently rally a spirited response.


Today’s synthetic fields are a beautiful, safe, and economical solution for school athletics. With long-term use, low maintenance, and a rowdy boost to school pride, every school and student scores from play on their own artificial turf.


CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CPL'S K-12 SERVICES >


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2021-11-10T00:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[BUZZ: The 7 Best Commercial Architects in Rochester, New York]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/buzz-the-7-best-commercial-architects-in-rochester-new-york https://cplteam.com/blog/buzz-the-7-best-commercial-architects-in-rochester-new-york Rochester is the home and birthplace of many of the country’s most iconic companies including Xerox, Western Union, and Eastman Kodak. Today, the city hosts hundreds of established and emerging companies that continue to transform its urban and suburban landscapes.

Helping these developers, businesses, and project owners design spaces and structures that embody their brand’s vision and goals are the best commercial architects in Rochester. CPL is honored to have been named one of the seven best by GC Magazine.

Click here to see the full list of honorees.

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2021-11-04T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Downtown Olean Welcomes a Walking Public ]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-downtown-olean-welcomes-a-walking-public https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-downtown-olean-welcomes-a-walking-public OLEAN, NY – On Friday, October 22, 2021, CPL, together with the City of Olean, NYSDOT, and members of the community, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of Walkable Olean, Phase II. The innovative pedestrian safety improvement and revitalization project was developed to calm vehicle traffic, promote pedestrian use or “walkability”, and renew the City’s downtown area.

Important elements for the $1.5 million project included the addition of new bicycle lanes for cyclists, an enhanced roadway structure to help quiet and/or re-route downtown vehicle transportation, traffic signal upgrades to include pedestrians provisions, drainage improvements, and widened, multi-use sidewalks to promote pedestrian and bicycle access in a beautiful, park-like setting.

To deliver this impactful transit solution to the community, CPL provided project management, engineering and landscape design services alongside project team partners, Terracon; Quality Counts, LLC; R.K. Hite & Co. Inc., SJB Services, Inc. CPL also provided construction administration and inspection services relating to the construction activities performed by D&H Excavating, Inc.

“We are proud to have worked with the City and project partners to deliver this vibrant downtown transformation,” said CPL Project Manager, Jennifer Michniewicz, P.E., PTOE. “The improvements help ensure safe walking and bicycling, while also providing an appealing destination that the community and surrounding area will seek.”

The project was awarded Transportation Project of the Year by the NY Upstate Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (2021).


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-10-28T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Science and Design Come Together to Create a Healthy Interior Environment]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-science-and-design-come-together-to-create-a-healthy-interior-environment https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-science-and-design-come-together-to-create-a-healthy-interior-environment Nearly every living thing on Earth is influenced by a biological response known as circadian rhythm.


Cued by nature’s 24-hour day/night cycle, this involuntary, physiological process is like a clock that regulates the inner workings of living things to promote optimal health and wellbeing.

As designers, we stay connected to the latest science, news and technologies that are proven to enhance wellness, especially indoors. This naturally prompts us to wonder if spending long hours indoors under artificial lighting is negatively impacting our all-import circadian cycle?

A host of scientific studies back-up what we suspect is true: the circadian process can be greatly affected by too much artificial light and not enough exposure to the natural day/night light movement.

Quality of sleep, mental health and acuity, physical performance, mood, reproduction, and metabolic activity are just some things that can be negatively impacted by a disrupted biological clock. Not limited to humans, animals and plants also feel the effects when this process is out of step.

Fortunately, science and design have come together to develop an effective solution to help our bodies reset. Circadian lighting is designed to mimic the intensity, color, and timing of nature’s sleep and wake cycle. When used strategically indoors, it has shown to significantly improve health and wellbeing by working in harmony with our biological rhythm.

Offices, schools, hospitals, behavioral clinics, and other healthcare settings are just some of the places where this lighting has proven beneficial. In fact, a profound example of its success is its strategic use in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Studies show that infants exposed to cycled lighting while in the hospital go home sooner, establish feedings earlier, and go on to develop better language and motor skills as they age.


Further illustrating the dramatic impact that circadian lighting has on human health is when employees report on the benefits they feel when it’s used in an office setting. Enhanced mood and mental sharpness – even lowered blood pressure – are often experienced, especially when compared with those spending most of their days exposed to glaring artificial light.


Our non-human friends demonstrate proven health benefits from this lighting, too. With many animals and plants being nocturnal and just as many more highly sensitive to artificial and/or bright daylight, natural light cycles are critical to their survival. When used in aquariums, zoos and other indoor animal and plant settings, circadian lighting has proven highly successful in keeping these unique, often endangered, life forms balanced and thriving.


The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) supports circadian health and has set a minimum threshold for daytime light intensity. At present, there are a handful of therapeutic lighting options to employ, with most simply providing varying color, tone/temperature and intensity light levels based on what we would typically experience in a normal, natural 24-hour day light cycle.

In understanding our physiology, we know how indoor lighting affects us and recognize what can be done to counter-act its negative impact. Science and design have collaborated to bring the outdoor light cycle inside to help reset our biological clocks and illuminate mind and body wellbeing, naturally.


LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR INTERIOR DESIGN SERVICES >

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2021-10-27T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Modern Design for Behavioral Health — Human and Nature-Centered Healing]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-modern-design-for-behavioral-health-human-and-nature-centered-healing https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-modern-design-for-behavioral-health-human-and-nature-centered-healing Over the last half century, design for behavioral health facilities has radically changed.


Driven by great strides in medicine, research, and a deeper understanding of human physiology and psyche, modern design hardly resembles a once-common sterile look and feel. Today, these spaces are a warm, welcoming respite for healing.

By understanding the unique requirements of these patients and facilities, our design approach considers elements that ensure all are safe, supported and positioned to succeed. At a minimum, we recommend:

Open Up

Behavioral health designs should not include hidden nooks or shadowed corners, rather, they should embrace an open floor plan to improve visibility and allow care givers unobstructed visual monitoring.


Large, open and welcoming atrium at the Jonas Hill Hospital and Behavioral Health Clinic in Lenoir, NC.

Be Flexible

Expandable rooms, multi-purpose space, and convertible beds and furniture help centers quickly adapt to meet fluctuations in patient volume and varying methods of care. Include these early in design for maximum impact.

Adjust the Lighting

Bright, glaring, or buzzing lights can often make individuals feel anxious or uncomfortable. Circadian lighting, natural daylight, or other dimmable, noiseless options are healthier considerations that minimize negative reactions triggered by old-style light.


Comfortable, rounded furniture with an inspiring word wall in this day room at the Adolescent and Pediatric Behavioral Health Unit at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

Make it Beautiful

Finishes and furnishings should be comfortable without sacrificing beauty. Soothing artwork should be prevalent to evoke inspiration and positivity.

Embrace Nature

Gardens, bird feeders, and water features are just some sight and sound elements known to revive and restore. Next-level indoor courtyards bring nature inside, filling interiors with healthy sunlight and empowering patient come-and-go access, while giving staff an unbroken sightline to monitor safety.


Nature-inspired views of the community courtyard from this group room at the Jonas Hill Hospital and Behavioral Health Clinic in Lenoir, NC.

Allow Some Choice and Control

Granting a little control goes a long way towards individual recovery and wellness. Where possible, include adjustable sensory options such as light levels and colors, to promote self-esteem and independence.

Ensure Safety with Subtlety

Safety measures throughout should strike a balance between patient dignity and security for all. Minimizing sharp objects, rounding corners, and securely mounting furniture can be effective means to accomplish this.


Safe and secure furnishings and fixtures in this group activity room at the behavioral health unit at The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.

Modern design for behavioral health facilities is far removed from yesterday’s cold, institutional environments. Today, science-based, human-centered design warmly nurtures and safely mends with respect, positivity, and a healthy dose of Mother Nature.


Learn more about our featured Behavioral Health Projects >

Learn more about our Healthcare Practice >

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2021-10-18T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: City of Canton Breaks Ground for Downtown Parking Deck]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-city-of-canton-breaks-ground-for-downtown-parking-deck https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-city-of-canton-breaks-ground-for-downtown-parking-deck CANTON, GA — On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, CPL joined Canton City officials and members of the community to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new, two-story, 98-space parking deck located at the corner of Archer Street and West Marietta Street, in downtown Canton.

Centrally located and offering direct connections to the City Hall, the structure will provide a much-needed parking solution for visitors, patrons, business owners, and City government employees alike.

Covered on both levels, the deck's bottom level will be accessible from Archer Street, with the top being accessible from behind City Hall. The new structure will also feature a solar array on top to provide a sustainable power source for the deck lighting as well as electricity for ten vehicle charging stations.


CPL worked alongside partners, TerraMark (Land Surveying) and ECS (Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering), to provide architectural, M/E/P engineering, structural engineering, civil/site design and construction management services for the project.

CPL Project Manager, Brian Miller, P.E., stated, “Our team worked closely with the City of Canton to deliver a design that would be consistent with the historic architectural character of downtown Canton, while still featuring modern amenities to offset electrical operating costs for the City.”

The $2.9 million project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2022.


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-10-25T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BROADCAST: CPL Ignites — Sparking Conversation with Tom Pheonix]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/broadcast-cpl-ignites-sparking-conversation-with-tom-pheonix https://cplteam.com/blog/broadcast-cpl-ignites-sparking-conversation-with-tom-pheonix

The way we approach the design of high performing school buildings has forever changed.

Now more than ever, a critical emphasis must be placed on finding viable solutions to effectively control the spread of infectious diseases inside our K-12 facilities.

CPL Principal Architect, Chris Colby, AIA, LEED AP, is tackling this highly prevalent topic with colleague and subject-matter expert, Tom Phoenix, P.E., LEED AP, FASHRAE. Together, they debunk the all-too-common misconceptions about how to incorporate infectious disease resilience in our school buildings to keep children and educators safe.


Click here for more information on Tom's perspective on "Infectious Disease Resilience in School Buildings >

Watch more episodes from the CPL Ignites series >

Learn more about our K-12 Education Practice >

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2021-10-22T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BROADCAST: CPL Career Paths]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/broadcast-cpl-career-paths https://cplteam.com/blog/broadcast-cpl-career-paths

A career with CPL is an open door to a world of opportunity.

No matter what role you fill, there's a customized path of exciting growth and professional development for you to take.

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2021-10-26T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BROADCAST: CPL Ignites — Sparking Conversation with Mayowa Alabi]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/broadcast-cpl-ignites-sparking-conversation-with-mayowa-alabi https://cplteam.com/blog/broadcast-cpl-ignites-sparking-conversation-with-mayowa-alabi "It's not about just designing a physical building; it's about helping a community realize their potential and giving them the tools to aspire" — a quote from Mayowa Alabi, AIA, LEED AP, the newest Principal to join CPL’s Community practice team.

In this episode of CPL Ignites, Architect, Rachel Nilson, AIA, spearheads a compelling conversation with Mayowa about his philosophy on designing community assets that put inclusivity at the forefront and are infused with rich, cultural meaning and purpose.


Watch more episodes from the CPL Ignites series >

Learn more about our Community Practice >


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2021-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: Saratoga Springs City Hall Wins Preservation Award]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-saratoga-springs-city-hall-wins-preservation-award https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-saratoga-springs-city-hall-wins-preservation-award SARATOGA, N.Y. — On Thursday, September 23rd, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation hosted their Annual Preservation Recognition Awards Ceremony and gave honor to a total of 18 projects in the city that successfully preserved the architectural heritage of Saratoga Springs. The Saratoga Springs City Hall restoration project was among this year's award recipients, bringing home the prestigious Interior Rehabilitation Award.


Constructed in 1871, the Saratoga Springs City Hall is on the National Historic Registry and is very much a part of the city’s fabric today. After a fire in 2018 left the building with significant water damage and in desperate need of repairs, CPL stepped in to renovate and restore the 60,000 sq. ft. facility back to its former glory.

In addition to addressing essential building system upgrades, CPL helped re-plan the city’s departmental space assignments, which allowed for a significant expansion of the Courts Administration on the building’s second floor. The team also redesigned the heavily damaged Music Hall with acoustical improvements to ensure the space could continue to host future City events.


The effort to restore and re-create finishes, trim profiles and lighting fixtures was critical to achieving historic continuity and context. For example, the design team restored details from the building's original design, such as rose windows and stained glass, to reveal the building’s unique character and conserve its historical significance.

Today, the City Hall proudly stands as a safe, accessible and welcoming building with its historical integrity fully preserved and in tact.

To be considered for nomination by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Awards Committee, projects must meet a particular set of criteria and considerations. Click here for more information about the awards ceremony and this year's winning projects.


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-10-15T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Enriching Design Through the Common Thread of Trust]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-enriching-design-through-the-common-thread-of-trust https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-enriching-design-through-the-common-thread-of-trust Diverse communities offer a rich tapestry of individuals.

Economics, ethnicities, religions, languages and lifestyles are just a few of the unique threads that create the fabric of these neighborhoods.

As designers, we enjoy working with people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures because we relish in the ambitious opportunity to create designs that ultimately serve everyone in a community. Our approach to community-based projects often leverages creative public engagement strategies to help us better understand each neighborhood as well as build trust and consensus around designs that will enrich people's lives.

However, efforts to develop a strong consensus for these types of projects require extensive outreach that prioritizes inclusivity and builds faith to drive a united design forward. Our best practices for accomplishing this include:

1. All community participants should feel welcomed and deeply valued.

Efforts to include every stakeholder should be made early and earnestly by giving everyone a seat at the table, encouraging honest and open dialog, and recognizing that every person communicates their feelings and ideas in different ways. As soon as these relationships commence, trust can begin.

2. Work to discover what project success means to each and every stakeholder.

Surprisingly, harmony can be struck through a shared meaning or idea, even if end users are different. Identifying and developing the heart and soul of a project can powerfully unite all.


Visual boards displayed at a public engagement event to help identify the community's wants and needs for a new recreation center.

3. Practice clear and consistent communication throughout every stage of a community project.

In groups where trust is already fragile, conflicting objectives, missing information, or vague interpretations can often disrupt or in some cases, completely de-rail progress on a community project. Maintaining a commitment to clarity and transparency helps gain consensus and grow confidence in all design decisions.

4. Remain impartial and responsible.

All public engagement should be completely free from alternative agendas; political, personal, or any other motives should never be present. Only candor is acceptable regarding your role and how citizen input will be used in decision-making or implementation. If this rule goes unfollowed, trust may dissolve or completely slip away.

5. Trust requires everyone to work from a mutual understanding.

Faith in the project team and the process will wane if participants feel that information is not equitably shared. All information should be consistently presented through a variety of means. Explanatory boards, video and graphic presentations, and web landing pages are just a few tools that can help communicate essential information to the community at large throughout the duration of a project.


Printed survey of visual preferences given to members of the community during a public presentation of a new community streetscape project.

Trust is an indispensable component of any successful relationship. To develop, it requires commitment to word and deed. This rule is never truer when approaching project development in diverse communities.

Firmly established and carefully nurtured, trust can build a solid consensus for community assets that strongly enrich, connect and enhance a unique medley of lives through one lasting common thread.


Learn more about our Community Practice >

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2021-10-13T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BUZZ: Gleaning Inspiration From Urban Developments in Smaller Cities]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/buzz-gleaning-inspiration-from-urban-developments-in-smaller-cities https://cplteam.com/blog/buzz-gleaning-inspiration-from-urban-developments-in-smaller-cities Traveling can often be viewed as an essential component to the development of an architect. The more you travel, the more you are exposed to the many ways in which other cities, towns and rural communities are designed. This exposure can contribute greatly to a designer's collective experience of places and in some cases, even influence their design approach.

Experiencing other communities, exploring their downtowns areas and noticing their special features have made CPL Architect, Jason Streb, AIA, reflect on the current developments happening within his own city, Rochester, NY.

Read about the ways in which Jason is beginning to glean inspiration from urban developments in smaller cities that he's traveled to.

>> Click here to read the full article, featured in the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ).

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2021-10-01T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BLOG: Refreshment and Renewal for a Library That Never Sleeps]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-refreshment-and-renewal-for-a-library-that-never-sleeps https://cplteam.com/blog/blog-refreshment-and-renewal-for-a-library-that-never-sleeps Over the years, The Gleason Library has proudly stood as a rich academic resource as well as a buzzing hub for “Yellowjackets” to meet, study, socialize, and even grab a quick meal in between classes.


As the only facility on the University of Rochester’s River Campus offering convenient, 24/7 access, the building stays open to welcome and support a diverse community of more than 3,000 faculty, 12,000 students and 30,000 staff.

Having never closed in over 13 years, this steadfast campus staple had begun to show visible signs of wear and tear. Adding to concerns, facility technology was becoming outdated, and a growing campus population was sparking the need for additional space.

CPL was engaged to develop an effective renewal plan—one that would modernize this beloved campus building and enhance the student experience.


Our design process was driven by intense collaboration with the University’s Dean of Libraries, other library leadership and campus users. This included an engaging project visioning forum, all-inclusive meetings, detailed 3D modeling, and even a furniture fair, all to help develop a dynamic, customized renovation plan.

CPL National Higher Education Practice Leader, Mike Mistriner, AIA, explained, “We understand how critical these communal spaces are to campus life. By working closely with the University, we made sure the school’s mission was fully supported through our designs, which included the promotion of greater inclusivity, self-discovery and a higher-level of learning.”


From the start, the University expressed a desire for their library space to become a magnetic learning destination. In other words, instead of being an archive of books, they wanted to capitalize on opportunities to create openness and transparency to invite student collaboration and encourage creative exploration.


To accomplish this, the team selected modular furniture throughout the library to enable the easy manipulation and transformation of spaces within. Dedicated gathering areas for brain-storm sessions and social interactions were also incorporated as were spaces accommodating specific singular uses, such as dedicated quiet spots and pods for video calls.


Additionally, advanced technology and other support services were included, and a refreshed, modern look-and-feel was established with brighter, more contemporary finishes and furnishings.


A lockstep, team approach delivered the University of Rochester’s hard-working Gleason Library an exciting renewal. For students, “the library that never sleeps” now offers them an enhanced, modernized 24-hour destination, sure to enrich minds, nourish individual growth, and promote round-the-clock pride for years to come.


LEARN MORE ABOUT CPL'S HIGHER EDUCATION PRACTICE >

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2021-09-30T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Strengthens Community Practice with the Addition of Mayowa Alabi]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-strengthens-community-practice-with-the-addition-of-mayowa-alabi https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-strengthens-community-practice-with-the-addition-of-mayowa-alabi RALEIGH, N.C. — CPL, a full-service design firm serving public and private-sector clients for more than 45 years, has hired Mayowa Alabi, AIA, LEED AP as Principal Architect in their growing Raleigh office. Alabi will be responsible for growing CPL’s service offerings and geographic footprint for its Community Practice, while executing CPL’s strategic vision and building on the firm’s existing portfolio.

A long-time contributor to the community landscape in the Southeastern region of the U.S. and beyond, Alabi has experience collaborating with communities and companies to envision and plan for growth, and reimagine spaces to help realize their aspirations.

“Our community commitment is fueled by our dedication to the principle that we can make real and meaningful change in the community with our projects,” said Ken Mayer, FAIA, LEED AP, Vice President at CPL. “Mayowa possesses the ability to connect disparate elements that can yield latent opportunities in a highly creative and resourceful way—all qualities that align with our community practice and philosophies. He will help broaden our ideas of what a community project can be.”

Alabi has years of experience working on recognizable domestic and international projects that put sustainability, inclusivity and equity at the forefront. While with the Freelon Group, he was a key contributor to:

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, N.C. The 46,500 sq. ft., four-story center was reimagined with historically relevant, craft-making techniques to create an enhanced presence and give cultural character to the building’s form.
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss. The 73,000 sq. ft. space seamlessly integrated the architecture of the building with the permanent exhibit housed within it.

At Schema and Alabi Architecture, Alabi continued to collaborate on notable projects including:

— The Kuala Lumpur Boutique—a 16,000 sq. ft. fashion retail and designer incubator space in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, focused on facilitating interactions between craftspeople, their projects and patrons.
— The Visitor Center at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park in Seven Springs, N.C. The Gold-level LEED-certified center was built into the sloping terrain to minimize landscape disturbance.

“Civic spaces set a tone for the rest of the community, and represent local history and community values,” said Alabi. “It’s an exciting time at CPL as they evolve their thinking and practice, and I want to be a part of the next chapter in its story.”

Prior to joining CPL, Alabi was a Senior Manager of the Project Management Group at the Research Triangle Institute. He has also held positions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, The Freelon Group, and Alabi Architecture & Schema, PLLC where he was co-owner and Principal.


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-09-17T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Members in Albany]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-members-in-albany-1 https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-members-in-albany-1 ALBANY, NY CPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 46 years, is pleased to welcome Kevin McCann and Allison Sawyer to its growing team in Albany, NY.

McCann joins the mechanical engineering team as a Junior Mechanical Engineer, responsible for assisting project teams with the design of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for a variety of building design projects. He will also work closely with senior staff on conceptual designs, equipment selection, HVAC calculations and preparation of design drawings and specifications.

Prior to joining CPL, McCann interned as an Assistant Project Manager with GEM Roofing and Waterproofing. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from SUNY New Paltz and an associate degree in engineering science from SUNY Orange.

Sawyer joins the architectural team as a Project Architect, primarily responsible for managing the advanced technical design aspects of major projects, including the investigation, evaluation and recommendation of innovative architectural concepts and design solutions.

Sawyer most recently served as a Project Manager at SEI Design Group, and brings with her substantial project experience in both the K-12 education and healthcare market sectors. Additionally, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture and design from the University of Colorado and a Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting and Design from Monroe 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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-08-05T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Buffalo]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-buffalo-2 https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-buffalo-2 BUFFALO, NYCPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 46 years, is pleased to welcome Nuvia Rashid to its growing civil engineering team in Buffalo, NY.

As a member of our civil engineering team, Rashid will work with fellow engineers and other multi-disciplined team members to plan and design solutions for a variety of industrial and commercial development projects. Highly motivated and eager to learn, she will focus heavily on acquiring experience in water treatment and distribution projects as well as wastewater treatment and collection projects.

Prior to joining CPL, Rashid served as an Aseptic Process Mentor at Fresenius Kabi. She has a Master of Science degree in environmental and water resources engineering from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. She is also a Certified Engineer in Training (EIT).


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-08-02T00:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes New Team Member in Woodstock]]> https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-woodstock https://cplteam.com/blog/bulletin-cpl-welcomes-new-team-member-in-woodstock WOODSTOCK, GACPL, a full-service design firm that has served public and private-sector clients for 46 years, is pleased to welcome Scott Hughes, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP to its growing architectural team in Woodstock, GA.

Hughes joins the firm’s architectural team as a Senior Project Manager. He will be responsible for overseeing complex project efforts to ensure effective execution, while also participating in strategic business development efforts for new clients. He will also assemble talented project teams and effectively lead them to provide elegant, sustainable and cost-effective solutions that align with client goals and expectations.

Prior to joining CPL, Hughes served as an Associate Project Manager at Amec Foster Wheeler. He is a Registered Architect in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

Additionally, Hughes has an NCARB (National Council of Architect Registration Board) Certificate, is an active member of theAmerican Institute of Architects (AIA), and is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.


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 19 cities across five states. CPL specializes in the Healthcare, Transportation, Community 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.com to learn more.

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2021-07-29T00:00:00-04:00