An autism-friendly hospital emphasizes nature for resiliency and healing

January 13, 2021 by  
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Charleston, South Carolina has raised the bar for inclusive healthcare design with the opening of the new Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion. Designed by Perkins and Will in collaboration with associate architect McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, the new, 625,000-square-foot facility aims to be one of the country’s most autism-friendly hospitals with its welcoming design that emphasizes access to natural light, a warm materials palette and an abundance of greenery indoors and out. The building also prioritizes resiliency by placing all patient care areas above the designated flood elevation and integrating flood-proof panels, an absorbent native planting plan and a series of flood walls into its design.  Using feedback from parents with children who are on the autism spectrum, the architects crafted calming interiors that take into account the full-sensory experience — from the removal of automatic flushers and hand dryers in bathrooms to the minimization of visual clutter — as a means of avoiding potential triggers. The biophilic design also taps into the healing power of nature by creating connections between the indoors and out wherever possible. Fresh air, natural light, indoor greenery and nature-inspired artwork by local artists create a joyful indoor atmosphere. Related: Biophilic campus provides a safe haven for children with autism The rich culture and history of Charleston also inspired the interior design, from the two-story main lobby with recycled cypress paneling that takes cues from historic Charleston’s Courtyard Garden to a large-scale, stained glass artwork that evokes Angel Oak, an approximately 400-year-old Southern Live Oak. Timber-lined patient bedrooms mimic local beach houses and come with simple furnishings and customizable features to encourage children to decorate their own spaces. The 10-story, 250-bed facility is set back from the street to make room for an “urban green space” in a nod to Charleston’s famous civic gardens. Defined by a low seat wall that can help mitigate low-level flooding events, the landscape is planted with native species for low maintenance. Outdoor terraces on the seventh and eighth floors also connect the hospital with the outdoors.  + Perkins and Will Photography by James Steinkamp and Halkin Mason via Perkins and Will

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An autism-friendly hospital emphasizes nature for resiliency and healing

2 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19

January 13, 2021 by  
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Two gorillas have tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time since the pandemic started. The gorillas showed symptoms, including coughing, at the San Diego Zoo last week. The staff took tests, which came back positive early this week. “Despite all our efforts and dedication from our team members to protect the wildlife in our care, our gorilla troop has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director of the zoo. Related: WWF releases report on avoiding the next zoonotic disease pandemic Zoo officials indicated that the animals might have contracted the disease from an asymptomatic member of the staff. Specialists look at this incident as proof that the biggest risk in the transmission of the virus is proximity to the infected party. “The fact that we are just seeing the first evidence of ape exposure now after months of transmission potential for captive and wild apes underscores the importance of proximity, as opposed to contaminated surfaces, as the primary source of infection,” said Thomas R. Gillespie, a disease ecologist and conservation biologist at Emory University. Throughout the pandemic, there have been concerns about the possibility of humans infecting animals and vice versa. There have been some reports of humans passing the virus to pets such as dogs and cats, but there has been no conclusive report to ascertain the risk that animals face. The most severe cases were reported in Europe, where millions of minks on fur farms were culled . In another incident, a tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City tested positive for the disease in April 2020. Later the same year, four tigers and three lions also tested positive for COVID-19. The news of the San Diego Zoo gorillas contracting the virus is already causing concerns among conservationists. The biggest risk lies in Africa , where the only remaining populations of wild gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees are found. Given that gorillas and other great apes share approximately 95% of the human genome, they are likely to suffer similar effects of the virus as humans. “Confirmation that gorillas are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 does give us more information about how the pandemic may affect these species in native habitats where they come into contact with humans and human materials,” the zoo said in a statement. “By working with health officials, conservationists, and scientists to document this case, we will be expanding our knowledge about this potential challenge so that we can develop steps to protect gorillas in the forests of Africa.” + San Diego Zoo Via Mongabay Image via San Diego Zoo

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2 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19

Trumps name found scraped into a manatees back

January 13, 2021 by  
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Manatees resemble half-ton potatoes, but researchers can tell them apart. According to Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and executive director for Save the Manatee Club, most adult manatees have unique scars from accidents like boat strikes. But one manatee stands out more than the rest. This week, viral videos showed a West Indian manatee with “Trump” scraped into its back. The maimed manatee was spotted in Florida’s Homosassa River last Sunday. In 2019, Inhabitat reported on illegal interactions between manatees and humans in this same river. Related: Effects of COVID-19 lead to increased deaths of Florida manatees While scraping the presidential surname into a layer of algae will probably not injure a manatee — unless the perpetrator scrapes too hard and the sea cow becomes infected — it is still harassment. Under U.S. law, anyone guilty of harassing a manatee faces a $50,000 fine and up to a year in prison. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is leading an investigation into the defiled manatee. The Center for Biological Diversity is adding $5,000 as a reward for intel leading to a conviction of the responsible party. “It’s a little hard to see the extent of damage from the video,” said Ruth Carmichael, marine biologist at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. “It is harassment, regardless. If the scrape penetrates the skin, then it likely caused some pain and stress. The animals have nerves and sensory hairs in the skin. Additionally, open wounds could become infected.” Florida has an estimated 6,300 manatees, a big increase from a 1991 estimate of 1,267. But the gentle giants are susceptible to terrible fates due to human activity. At least 10 were drowned or crushed last year by locks and floodgates, in addition to the usual boat strikes. In 2017, the IUCN upgraded manatees from endangered to vulnerable. But it’s especially cruel that a creature that has faced the threat of extinction should have to bear the surname of a man who has spent the last four years weakening protections of endangered species . Do you have information on who scraped “Trump” onto the manatee? Call the wildlife crime tips hotline at 1-844-397-8477 or email FWS_TIPS@FWS.GOV . Via BBC , HuffPost and Save the Manatee Club Image via NOAA

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Trumps name found scraped into a manatees back

Architects design COVID-19 mobile testing labs for underserved communities

May 21, 2020 by  
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Perkins and Will’s New York studio has teamed up with Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and multidisciplinary design group Arup to create a proposal for retrofitting defunct school buses into mobile COVID-19 testing labs as a means of improving testing in underserved communities. Informed by the newly approved Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test, the design concept would outfit school buses with ID NOW rapid-testing instruments as well as sanitation infrastructure such as plexiglass shields, negative air pressure systems and gravity-based hand washing sinks. All elements of the mobile testing lab would be sourced off the shelf from vendors for easy replicability.  The health and economic ramifications of the pandemic have disproportionately affected lower-income and underserved populations. In an attempt to make testing more accessible, the interdisciplinary design team has created an open-source mobile testing lab to serve vulnerable and isolated groups. To follow social distancing guidelines, patients would be encouraged to make appointments through a mobile app; however, smartphone access would not be a prerequisite for access. Related: Studio Precht designs a fingerprint-like park for social distancing For safety, the public would not be allowed onto the bus ; a canopy and protective barrier would be installed on the side of the bus, and samples would be taken from behind a protective barrier. Samples would then be labeled and brought into the lab environment on the bus via a pass-through box. Each lab would host two technicians who analyze the samples with the ID NOW rapid-testing instruments, record and upload results to the federal government’s official database and then discard test samples and expended materials in biohazard waste bags for safe disposal. Results would either be verbally communicated or transmitted via the smartphone app to the individual. “We aim to bring together intuitive technology and service design into a unique mobile care space,” said Paul McConnell, Arup’s director of digital experience design. “Through rapid prototyping, we can better learn and refine how we get people through the process and give communities the confidence to return to normal.” The retrofitted buses would draw electricity from generators mounted on the roof. Perkins and Will is presently looking for more project partners to expand on the design concept. + Perkins and Will Images via Perkins and Will

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Architects design COVID-19 mobile testing labs for underserved communities

10-year-old leukemia survivor wins trips to NASA with an award-winning bandage dispenser design

November 20, 2016 by  
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Bridgette Veneris is a 10-year-old Australian who not only battled leukemia and survived, but also designed a sterile waste-saving bandage dispenser design that’s won her a trip to NASA . Veneris got the idea for the design during her stay in the hospital, where she noticed her parents and nurses having difficulty unwrapping adhesive bandages. Her bandage dispenser design won the national littleBIGidea competition , which awarded her with a trip to NASA.

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10-year-old leukemia survivor wins trips to NASA with an award-winning bandage dispenser design

Paper artist Amy Genser’s new nature-inspired art mimics reefs, beehives, and barnacles

August 15, 2016 by  
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Although the majority of her works are similar in nature, each piece has its own personality—just like the real coral reefs living beneath the waves. The Connecticut-based artist spends hours and hours on each time-consuming paper artwork , as each individual component is cut and rolled by hand from mulberry paper. Her pieces range in size, but most have at least one measurement spanning several feet. Each intricate paper mural is inspired by the shapes of nature, and not just coral reefs . Genser also draws inspiration from beehives, and the organic forms of plants, rock formations, barnacles, and seaweed. Related: Amy Genser recreates the beauty of underwater reefs in paper Since we last featured her work, Genser was commissioned to create a custom 150-foot mural for the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware , which adds an oceanic touch to the cafeteria. Her paper murals were also on display earlier this summer in London at the Affordable Art Fair . Some of her other works are currently on display at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City through Aug. 17. Via Colossal Images via Amy Genser

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Paper artist Amy Genser’s new nature-inspired art mimics reefs, beehives, and barnacles

Colorful tree-inspired children’s hospital provides a green and supportive environment for young patients in Brisbane

February 16, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Colorful tree-inspired children’s hospital provides a green and supportive environment for young patients in Brisbane Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: atriums , australia , Bougainvillea , brisbane , Children’s Hospital , Conrad Gargett , green roof , hospital , hospital architecture , Lady Cliento Children’s Hospital , LCCH , living tree , lyons , pediatric hospital design , salutogenic

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Beautiful Energy-Efficient Surrey Hospital Expansion Targets LEED Gold in British Columbia

March 3, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Beautiful Energy-Efficient Surrey Hospital Expansion Targets LEED Gold in British Columbia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “leed” , bicycle parking , british columbia , canada , cei architecture , Critical Care Tower , Daylighting , energy efficient , healthcare , hospital , irrigation , landscape , LEED gold , Parkin Architects , stormwater , Surrey Memorial Hospital , Wood        

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Beautiful Energy-Efficient Surrey Hospital Expansion Targets LEED Gold in British Columbia

C.F. Møller Future-Proofs Greenland’s Dronning Ingrids Hospital With Striking Renovation

October 24, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of C.F. Møller Future-Proofs Greenland’s Dronning Ingrids Hospital With Striking Renovation Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cf moller , copper cladding , greenland , greenland architecture , hospital , hospital renovation , public building        

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C.F. Møller Future-Proofs Greenland’s Dronning Ingrids Hospital With Striking Renovation

Richest Man in Africa to Build a 1,000 Bed Hospital in Nigeria

October 3, 2013 by  
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Aliko Dangote is not only a cement tycoon, a billionaire, and the the richest man in Africa, he is also a philanthropist who plans to spend some of his money constructing a new 1,000-bed hospital in Nigeria. This incredible gift of health will be the largest such facility in the northern state of Kano. To be named the Mariya Sanusi Dantata Ultramodern Theater Complex, the new hospital will be situated near a wing of the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in Kano. Dangote made the announcement on Tuesday while laying the foundation for a $12 million theater and diagnostic complex which his charity organization, the Dangote Foundation , that he is also building. Read the rest of Richest Man in Africa to Build a 1,000 Bed Hospital in Nigeria Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Africa , Africa’s Richest Man , Aliko Dangote , billionaire , Cement Tycoon , Dangote Foundation , hospital , Kano , Mariya Sanusi Dantata Ultramodern Theatre Complex , Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in Kano        

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Richest Man in Africa to Build a 1,000 Bed Hospital in Nigeria

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