HCD 10: Douglas King, architect


Douglas King’s 41-year career has been dedicated to helping healthcare systems around the world design, develop and refurbish facilities that respond to emerging industry trends. Specifically, his work focuses on a wide range of topics, such as community health/population health management, vertical building design with limited land use, and rapid response to emergencies such as natural disasters and global epidemics-which was the key to the latter last year Professional knowledge.

In the spring of 2020, King helped oversee the conversion of three halls in Chicago’s McCormick Place (the largest convention center in North America) into an alternative care facility, providing 3,000 beds for COVID-19 patients. The project was completed in only 25 days.

King’s involvement in the conversion of McCormick Place led him to participate in the development of new U.S. healthcare standards to address the emergency response of the Facility Guidelines Institute’s 2022 document update, and the project will serve as a case study.

Before the pandemic, King was involved in some of the largest hospital projects in the world and was responsible for overseeing vertical development as a strategy for building hospitals close to urban population centers, while leaving enough projects for outpatient services, research, and medical education Spaces (for example, Feinberg Pavilion and Galter Pavilion at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Prentice Women’s Hospital).

In 2021, he was appointed to the ULI Health Leaders Network of the Urban Land Research Institute and worked with public health experts to study the role of large hospitals in the urban environment. He also represents the healthcare community in the global high-rise building and urban settlement committee organization.

In addition, in the past year, King has expanded his focus to what he calls “forgotten spaces”-areas dedicated to mechanical/electrical/piping, IT and fire protection systems. His research on these areas shows that they account for more than 12% of the space of high-rise facilities, and when combined with structural elements such as stairs, elevators and exterior walls, they account for more than 25% of the total space of large structures. Through benchmarking, King developed guidelines to allow the project to better predict this square footage in early design and avoid cost overruns that can occur when these space requirements are ignored in programming.

King also continues to serve as part-time faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Kansas, and holds seminars and lectures at many other institutions and industry events.

What do you like best about your job?

I am currently the head of the national healthcare department at Project Management Advisors Inc. and I am very happy to have the opportunity to develop healthcare business in seven offices. This activity takes advantage of my greatest feature, which is to connect individuals in the industry and encourage others to expand their participation in the industry.

What industry challenges do you hope to solve?

I want to create a generally understood process to develop projects related to community health, and at the same time create a knowledge base. This knowledge has been proven through research to help improve public health in a healthy community environment. These two efforts will further attract people from the development community to invest in community health projects.

What have you learned in the past year?

The biggest surprise for me is how concerns about healthy design permeate our society as a whole. Examples include the ability to spread the virus on the surface, the behavior of the air system to spread the virus, the one-way flow of people through buildings-these are concepts that we are familiar with in healthcare planning and design, but become commonplace in our lives. World culture. The result of this social awareness is the appreciation of healthcare design and the importance of political groups informed/educated in public health affairs in our daily lives.

Who/what inspired you?

The leaders I met in the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Health Leaders Network inspired me. I have met some very talented and dedicated people who lead initiatives and research within the ULI Health Community. I was also inspired by pioneers in the teaching of healthcare planning and design. I am fortunate enough to meet many American university leaders who are dedicated to teaching the next generation of healthcare planners and architects. With the company of education, I am never tired; if anything, it is a vibrant experience.

What do you expect to be the next major trend in healthcare design?

I want to provide two emerging trends that I see. The first trend in healthcare is to further integrate research into the clinical and educational environment within academic medical centers. As the pandemic has led to growing interest in research — and research has brought huge benefits to the entire world — I think we will see this aspect of healthcare further integrate into the entire healthcare campus environment.

The second trend is that I see a surge in “public health” projects. Projects that use decommissioned sanitation facilities or strategically place available land in larger urban areas for community sanitation purposes to address inequalities in healthcare and overall community health issues. I hope to help promote this interaction between public health, urban design, and the healthcare provider community.



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