A first-of-its-kind facility, the Emory Mild Cognitive Impairment Empowerment Program project provides innovative lighting, sound, outdoor spaces, and other best practices in architecture and design to support therapeutic programming in the space, including classes, assessments, counseling, lectures, and technology use and training.
A collaboration between Emory Healthcare and Georgia Institute of Technology, the Emory Mild Cognitive Impairment Empowerment Program space is a therapeutic living lab with high-tech features for research. Because lifestyle and behavioral research is a major focus of the MCI Empowerment Program, the construction of the space was exacting, from its on-time and on-budget delivery to the high quality needed in a research facility.
Since this space was a true collaboration between Emory and Georgia Tech, it was critical to not only maintain open communication and transparency to keep the project moving – culminating in a project delivered on-time, on-budget, and ready to start seeing patients.
The underlying theme of this project is innovation – from the usage of the space to the placement technology to the construction of uncommon features that require uncommon techniques. The Emory MCIEP project is enhanced through the construction of the space with the use of Circadian Rhythm lighting, Carvart sliding walls, and Maars walls.
This lighting feature creates a unique logistics challenge. With a long-lead-time for the custom features, the Leapley team had to create all custom controls where each office was controlled individually, but they all tied into the existing network with defaults- all of which happened before the lights were in hand. This coordination and testing of the lights are more difficult than the typical lighting install – which is not generally run from a single switch box.
Another construction innovation was the installation of the Carvart sliding walls. These walls have a minuscule one-eighth of an inch tolerance; therefore, the floor must be extremely level. During the constructability planning meetings, the team uncovered that the floors were not level after many renovations, including the unforeseen condition of finding un-demolished flooring underneath the top flooring structure. The original structure did not use laser leveling, creating a dip in the floor. The Leapley team correctly measured, laser leveled, and straighten the floor while the sliding walls were being manufactured to fit. Similarly, during the constructability review period, Leapley recognized with the addition of the Maars walls to the design that structural steel needed to be added for these walls to be structurally sound.
With careful coordination of these unique materials during the early stages of the project, the Leapley team was able to deliver the project on-time, on-budget, and with the highest quality.