Insights from the 2024 ASHE Planning Design & Construction Summit | Henderson Engineers Insights from the 2024 ASHE Planning Design & Construction Summit | Henderson Engineers

Insights from the 2024 ASHE Planning Design & Construction Summit

Team Henderson recently returned from the 2024 ASHE Planning, Design & Construction (PDC) Summit in San Diego. Representatives from Henderson Engineers and Henderson Building Solutions attended the event, regarded as one of the top healthcare design and construction events in the industry, to learn, connect and recharge their design and construction batteries. The conference started with an excellent keynote presentation from author Shola Richards, which set the tone for a positive experience. Mark Chrisman, health sector executive, returned with the following key takeaways:

Sustainability and Decarbonization

Both topics remain a focus for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) as well as the healthcare industry as a whole. Educational sessions covered the definitions of scope 1,2 and 3 emissions and how to measure them as well as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and how it can be used to support/drive sustainable design and construction for healthcare owners. Some of the panel sessions gave great real-world examples of ways that health systems are utilizing the IRA in their capital expenditure programs as they work towards more sustainable and resilient infrastructure needs.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI continues to be a key piece of technology being used in the health and wellness planning and treatment for patients. As Dr. Daniel Kraft, M.D., pointed out during his session on “The Future of Health & Medicine; Where Can Technology Take Us?”, healthcare must quickly move to adopt digital transformation as it can have a big impact on patient outcomes. Dr. Kraft also pointed out how digitization and improvements in technology will drive changes in healthcare design such as a reduction in lab space needs due to smaller lab equipment or the need for drone ports to deliver medicine or support patient transport.


While the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is currently requiring compliance with the 2012 editions of NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code and NFPA 99 – Healthcare Facilities Code for healthcare facilities, the 2024 editions of both codes were recently released. Both updated codes include some changes that hope to improve life safety and design in healthcare facilities and address technology changes. While it is still early, discussions have started regarding the potential adoption of the 2024 editions. This will require some heavy input from many organizations but hopefully is the start of continued improvement on the regulatory side.

Looking Towards the Future

Presentations highlighted real-world examples of how healthcare facilities can move towards net zero or even a zero-energy building (ZEB). In the meantime, we can look to other industries and companies for best practices as Chrissa Pagitsas, ESG speaker and advisor, mentioned in her keynote. Chrissa walked us through her path (tinker, persevere and scale) to create big, hairy, ambitious goals (BHAG) related to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) for healthcare facilities.

While there are many challenges impacting the macro level of healthcare, we still need to be focused on the micro level through regulatory and code compliance. There were several sessions dedicated to upcoming code changes that impact design and construction as well as existing facilities. The industry continues to work towards being more flexible and accounting for technology that may not exist when the codes and standards are adopted.

Supply chain, inflation and political climate remain large issues that are impacting healthcare. Through this, we need to continue to focus on innovation. Nicholas Webb, healthcare futurist and innovator, talked about focusing on hyper-consumerism (working towards creating better designed spaces), enterprise innovation (building a client experience strategy that looks at the future), and human experiences (focusing on the client/patient and staff experience and finding a balance) his keynote.

The summit served as a catalyst for ongoing dialogue, collaboration, and innovation aimed at shaping the future of healthcare design and construction. Team Henderson is poised to apply these insights to our projects, contributing to the advancement of healthcare infrastructure and patient care.

Henderson Knows Healthcare

We’ve been designing healthcare projects for 25+ years and understand that each facility, campus, and project requires a unique approach. With that great responsibility comes the need to design solutions for patient safety, complex equipment, facility infrastructure, and resident comfort. The healthcare industry is growing and changing quickly. Our experts are on the frontlines helping healthcare providers navigate innovative technology, complicated code requirements, and the emergence of neighborhood medtail clinics – all while taking patient care and safety as seriously as our clients do.

Written By

Health Sector Executive | Client Relationship Director


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