Blog

said
The COVID-19 Virus has forever changed our perspective on cleanliness, personal interaction and our environment. The thought of a post-pandemic state brings us hope. But what does a post pandemic environment look like and how does it operate? Bala has researched and collaborated with industry partners and health experts to present some of the most effective ways to make our buildings safer
Wakefield
Bala Consulting Engineers is currently assisting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) by performing HVAC system evaluations for more than 10 school districts encompassing over 60 schools. Since studies have shown that COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets in the air, schools (as well as businesses of all kinds) are eager to understand the systems within their buildings and strategies to improve indoor air quality for their occupants.…
Mill 19
Bala has made it a priority to support the architectural team in achieving this mix of the past and present. So far with the first two buildings, Bala has worked through several design challenges while creating an interactive space for the tenants and pedestrians alike. At the East end of the mill lies Building A, a 96,000 sq. ft three story laboratory and office space developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University.  This building contains a two story open high bay space for…
lab
Many developers are considering converting underutilized commercial office space into laboratories, especially since the Life Science industry has proven capable of withstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has been booming for some time now, and COVID-19 has prompted it to flourish in unprecedented ways. Large universities and healthcare institutions have a heightened demand for Life Science facilities to be located on or near their campuses, and developers are eager to deliver. Between…
butterfly
The Butterfly Effect refers to the phenomenon where a small localized change in a complex system can have very large effects elsewhere. Nowhere is this more evident than in operating a data center; the steady hum of commerce can cascade into a cacophony of panic within moments. But first, let’s take a step back and see how it happens, and more importantly, how to help prevent it. The lights are extinguished in a remote, undisclosed, unmarked, fenced-in, security patrolled, grey building…
classroom
This report is a continuation of our research on COVID-19 and how it impacts facilities across all market sectors.  This paper focuses on strategies and recommendations for K-12 educational facilities, as well as some general information on the COVID-19 virus and building systems recommendations that are applicable for many types of facilities. Executive Summary Schools in the K-12 market face unique challenges in preparing their facilities for the return of students, teachers and staff. …
Higher Ed
This report is a continuation of our research on COVID-19 and how it impacts facilities across all market sectors.  This paper focuses on strategies and recommendations for Higher Education facilities, as well as some general information on the COVID-19 virus and building systems recommendations that are applicable for many types of facilities. Executive Summary As all industries assess how to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Colleges and Universities are probably facing the…
Shore
Say you are the owner of a retail store and your building has a solid wall facing a busy street where potential consumers just walk right past instead of coming inside.  You wonder what's the most effective way to resolve this issue and decide to take action and open the wall up to showcase your product and let natural light in.  A contractor tells you that you will need to install temporary shoring to re-support the existing structure in order to make the opening.  Building a temporary shoring…
Bryn Mawr
Crawling into what the facilities manager referred to as “the catacombs” is not exactly what you would expect when doing work on a bank in the 21st century.  This is exactly the type of work you should imagine though when working in the heart of Philadelphia, one of the oldest municipalities in the U.S rich with history and, a lot of structural unknowns. Bala’s Structures Team was commissioned to upgrade two levels of space for Bryn Mawr Trust within an old building on the corner of Walnut and…
Isolation
COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that is predominantly spread through contact and dispersion of droplets between people and nearby surfaces.  Because the elderly are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, there are some measures long-term care facilities (LTC) can take to help prevent the spread of the virus.  Effective measures for LTC facilities include modifications to HVAC systems, cleaning, screening occupants, staff and visitors and containment. Isolation Wings In a long-term care…
Warehouse
When it comes to designing warehouse and logistic centers, it's all about size!  Spaces are designed around volume (footprint x height) and the demand for these facilities has become insatiable over the years. Structural engineering plays a key role in making sure the bones of these mammoth facilities are strong enough to sustain a wide variety of elements.