Face Time: Robert Timperio
With more than two decades of construction experience under his belt, Robert Timperio knows a thing or two about demanding healthcare project schedules and budgets. “Keeping the lines of communication open goes a long way toward keeping the project moving in the right direction,” he says. Most recently, as vice president, healthcare division, at EW Howell Construction (New York), he’s been focused on delivering one of the largest healthcare projects in the New York region—the Medical and Research Translation (MART) building at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. Scheduled to open in spring 2018, the project brings together imaging, neurosciences, cancer care, and cancer research in an eight-story, 245,000-square-foot MART building and a 10-story, 225,000-square-foot hospital pavilion (Shown below; photo credit: Credit: Island Swann Studios). Timperio says he encourages his team to come up with creative ways to solve the inevitable problems that arise in the field. For example, on a recent project, the architect wanted to relocate an electrical panel that serviced the ED to accommodate a new wall, which would require an electrical shutdown. Timperio’s team instead suggested moving the wall a few feet, which eliminated the need to relocate the panel and saved work and time. “You need to think of ways that give you the outcome that you need, to keep the project on schedule and budget.”
What drew me to a career in construction
My dad and uncle were in the business, and I learned a lot from them growing up. I’ve always been fascinated with construction and got my bachelor’s degree in construction management from Wentworth Institute of Technology.
What do you like best about working in the healthcare sector?
The knowledge that when you finish a project, doctors and nurses will have the latest technology to provide better treatments and care for patients.
How has healthcare construction changed most in the last decade?
Changes in technology, more stringent regulations, and greater emphasis on safety. Some of the most important technological changes are in HVAC and building management systems. It’s important in a healthcare facility to have records of what the HVAC systems are doing regarding temperature, humidity, and air flow. These systems can provide continuous readings on critical care units and allow the facility to see in real time what the conditions are and make adjustments through computers.
What changes would you still like to see to help the industry move forward?
The use of BIM modeling during the design stage, and greater education on the best means and methods for working in the healthcare environment, especially as it relates to infection control and life safety.
Three words my co-workers use to describe me
3. someone people can come to for help
Three items on my desk
1. photos of my kids
2. sticky notes
3. anchor bolt nut I use as a paperweight
Outside the office, you’ll likely find me….
At the beach, surfing, or playing basketball and lacrosse with my daughters.
Architect/designer Frank Gehry. He’s one of the most important architects of our time, and I’ve always enjoyed his work. My favorite is the Ray and Maria Stata Center on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., my hometown.
Quote “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”—American author H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Vacation spot Puerto Rico.
Piece of furniture in my house A wood mantle on my fireplace that I made with a piece of driftwood I found on the beach after Hurricane Sandy.
TV character Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. He is hilarious!
Line from a movie “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” from “The Godfather.”
Way to unwind after a long day Working out.
Weekend activity Beach volleyball.