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Built to Order

Dec 2, 2009 11:47 AM, By Jessaca Gutierrez

From the ground up, the tenants of the David Braley Cardiac, Vascular, and Stroke Research Institute help envision the facility’s complex and sophisticated AV systems design.

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David Braley Cardiac, Vascular, and Stroke Research Institute

The newly erected David Braley Cardiac, Vascular, and Stroke Research Institute (DBCVSRI) in Hamilton, Ontario, has only recently been occupied. Its tenants played a role in its design, because after all, it was built to their exact specifications.

The facility houses two important people in the world of cardiac research: Drs. Salim Yusuf and Jeffrey Weitz. Bringing these two research doctors together under one roof integrates two of Hamilton Health Sciences’ strongest research programs, allowing the doctors to expand their programs and bring together their 400 research personnel. Establishing this synergy makes the research more competitive at the international level, and it also meant the facility’s AV had to leave no question that these colleagues were at the forefront of their field.

When Canadian systems integration firm Duocom learned that Hamilton Health Sciences, which has six hospitals and a cancer center in the area, would be breaking ground on the building, the company jumped at the opportunity to present its AV design ideas to the research facility’s board, which included Yusuf and Weitz. The company’s proposal, which Senior Systems Integration Consultant Omar Prashad put together and presented, won it the project and the ability implement a design before the building’s foundation was even poured.

“The earlier in, the better we are. I guess the complaint you hear from everybody in our industry over and over again is, ‘To get the building done, they call AV and then expect it to be done next week,’” Prashad says. “It’s usually a treat to be in early enough to get our infrastructure in and we can go through design revisions, which I went through a lot of with them. This is what they said to me in the first meeting: ‘The facility needs to be world-class. It needs to be able to send signals anywhere. It needs to be able to bring people together.’”

Those specifications left a lot of leeway in the initial design plans, and that extra time meant the seven-figure budgeted design would go through roughly eight months of proposals and revisions that came after meeting with users and Yusuf.

“Dr. Yusuf has colleagues around the world that are in a similar position to him—very highly regarded cardiac researchers,” Prashad says. “His thing was, ‘How do I collaborate with these people in a facility that’s going to garner me respect that meets my standard of research—he didn’t want just a projector on a table—and allow me to collaborate, and collaborate with people worldwide and different people within the building?’”

To that end, and after months of revisions, Duocom came to its present systems design for the building, whose occupants were in the final stages of moving in at press time.

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