Acute care projects need equipment planning more than most projects ever could. However, after hiring engineers, architects, interior designers, and others, there seems little left on the table. Equipment planning is also perceived by the client as something that the A&D team should have been taught to handle or should be experienced in.

Think of the project as the heart and the patient care as the flow through that heart. If equipment planning is not done at the early stages of the design development a hole is created and goes undetected until stress is placed on the heart.

Problems when equipment planning is done too late:

  • Sizing of rooms are correct per code but incorrect per the equipment needs.
  • Engineers have to plan for multiple scenarios in order to reduce massive future change orders.
  • Partnering is not possible and the client gets stuck with what will “fit.”
  • Proper budgets are not developed at the early stages of the projects.

Why architects and designers do not understand the repercussions of focusing on equipment planning:

  • Vendors often pick up the slack and do the work of the design team regarding equipment.
  • Architects and designers typically consider equipment as a “personal” choice/need of the client that only they can make and therefore they are just the receiver of information funneled to them as opposed to an active participant in the choice.
  • Great equipment planning involves vendor partnerships versus bidding. This goes against most A&D’s process of pitting vendors against each other to get the best price. In equipment planning, all is not equal.
  • There is little education for the A&D community by vendors. This is due to the proprietary nature of vendor’s products and that the client typically dictates the vendor to the A&D team, and therefore the A&D team holds no true power in selections.

Challenges with planning equipment upfront:

  • Most A&D fees based upon percentage do not include equipment planning, so the team ignores discussions regarding this.
  • The user team will need to make decisions early in the planning stages and stick with them instead of playing the waiting game for the next-best version to be introduced that could completely change the floor plan.
  • Most users do not wish to lock into a vendor early on as they perceive that they will lose their negotiating power.