Casey Health Institute
The Eugene B. Casey Building, originally built in 1990, became the new home of the Casey Health Institute, an Integrative Health Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland
The Eugene B. Casey Building, originally built in 1990, became the new home of the Casey Health Institute (CHI), an Integrative Health Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In preparation for the opening of this innovative method of health care delivery, the building and its systems were entirely modernized. Existing tenant interiors were completely gutted and replaced with a state-of-the-art medical office space including yoga studios, massage rooms, and unique collaborative areas. At the same time, the existing HVAC system was converted from perimeter fan coil units to a VAV system with hydronic heat requiring a complete replacement of all equipment in the mechanical plant. All this work was accomplished while the building was occupied with existing tenants in place under continuing leases.
The development of the Casey Health Institute required an immense planning effort by the practice’s founders. Along with a team of healthcare professionals, they traveled the country researching a broad range of sustainable models of Integrative Medicine and settled on a medical and business model that combined the most innovative and forward-thinking practices they encountered. While the date to open the practice was fixed, research into the best way to create the best physical environment continued. With limited funds from a non-profit foundation to create CHI, the founders needed to stay within budget but make decisions quickly so the new work could be designed and installed in time to meet the opening date.
“We started out with a building and an idea for an Integrative Health Center but really didn’t know what upgrades were needed in our twenty year old building to bring it up to current standards. We were familiar with Blake’s work and asked them to help. They set the project schedule, helped us establish a budget for the necessary building improvements, found an architect with the right mix of health care experience and design talent, and helped us select the contractor best suited for this project. Blake’s best work on this project was in steering the design team, especially the engineers, toward innovative and cost effective solutions. Their knowledge of what goes into a building, especially HVAC systems, gave us confidence that the proper upgrades were being made. Blake insisted the team look at re-using existing building elements with substantial useful life remaining and more than once sent the designers back to the drawing board to make sure the optimum design solution was fully developed.”– Ilana Bar-Levav, MD, Chief Operating Officer, Casey Health Institute.