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Preview: The State of Inmate Healthcare — Complexities in Design

On the next episode of Speaking of Design, we’ll meet an architect who spent a year researching how we provide healthcare inside a prison environment. While much of the data paints a bleak picture, we’ll look at the role design is playing to improve outcomes in our communities.


Bonus Episode: More with Jon Holler

Jon Holler, a senior facility design manager with HDR | MDG, calls his job fun. That mindset makes Jon an ideal person to lead a public meeting or design charrette, where stakeholders bring big ideas, diverse opinions and tough questions to map out a common solution for a project. In this bonus episode, Jon discusses that process for the LA Metro Division 14 Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility, featured on Episode 7 of Speaking of Design.


Bonus Episode - More with Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis describes himself as a "facility design zealot," and his passion shows when he talks about any of the more than 200 projects he’s contributed to at HDR | MDG. As the technical team leader for industrial workflow and equipment on the LA Metro Division 14 Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility, Mark and his team had the daily mantra, "Okay, does this really work?" In this bonus episode, Mark discusses more of the technical details of the Division 14 facility, featured on Episode...


Bonus Episode - More with Darren Pynn

Darren Pynn finds a common thread between his career and his greatest passion outside the office. The problem-solving process his team uses to design vehicle operations and maintenance facilities — like the L.A. Metro Division 14 Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility featured on Episode 7 of Speaking of Design — complements his songwriting process as a musician. In this bonus episode, Darren talks about those similarities and the process of realizing a great design in his role as a...


A Custom Fit for LA’s Expo Line

The Expo Line connects downtown Los Angeles to the beaches of Santa Monica. But the much-anticipated light rail expansion brought a need for a facility to clean, maintain and repair the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 45 light-rail vehicles. However, residents of Santa Monica weren’t too sure about building a rail maintenance facility right in the heart of the Pico neighborhood — inspiring designers to create much more than a cookie-cutter solution.


Episode 7 Preview

New rail transit services come with a need for building new infrastructure. However, residents of Santa Monica weren’t too sure about building a rail maintenance facility right in the heart of the Pico neighborhood — inspiring designers to create much more than a cookie-cutter solution. Hear the full story on the next episode of Speaking of Design.


Bonus Episode - More with Nathan Kutil

Featured on Episode 6 of Speaking of Design, the Basin Creek Water Treatment Plant is the first gravity-powered facility in the United States to use a ceramic membrane filtration system. Nathan Kutil led the team of engineers behind the plant's many technological innovations. In this bonus podcast, we hear more from Nathan about why the community of Butte-Silver Bow needed a new plant, what it means to treat drinking water "on-demand," and the benefits of using ceramic filters.


A New Source of Pride for the Richest Hill on Earth

Once known as the "richest hill on Earth" for its wealth of mineral deposits, Butte became the first major city in Montana thanks to the boom of copper mining. But early 20th century mining practices led to serious environmental consequences, including contaminated local groundwater unfit to drink. The city’s new Basin Creek Water Treatment Plant has become a source of civic pride, showing off some of the flashiest technology in the drinking water industry. But on top of many engineering...


Episode 6 Preview

We're back for Season 2, where we'll take you to what was once known as the Richest Hill on Earth, and learn how a one-of-a-kind water treatment plant that's helping a community change its perception.


Episode 6 Preview

On the next episode of Speaking of Design, meet a team fighting the effects of forest fires without boots, oxygen masks or a fire truck.


Episode 6 Preview

On the next episode of Speaking of Design, we’ll take you to Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, where environmental engineers are helping the town turn the page on a big part of its history.


Building a Little Bridge with Big Hearts

Civil engineers and construction managers often find themselves building massive bridges and interchanges capable of moving millions of vehicles efficiently through growing metropolises. But a small team from across the United States took a break from that world, volunteering two weeks of their time to venture into the rainforest of Panama and build a much simpler structure — a footbridge across a river. Despite unique challenges from travel, weather and living conditions, these volunteers...


Episode 5 Preview

On the next episode of Speaking of Design, we’ll meet a group of volunteers who traveled to Bajo Cobre, Panama, to build a pedestrian bridge that spanned a river, connecting the community to the school, hospital and markets that they depend on for their livelihood.


Kansas City, Here We Come! Hop Aboard the KC Streetcar

The people of Kansas City love the new KC Streetcar, and you’ll find the vehicles packed on a beautiful summer day. But the idea of building a modern streetcar faced questions and doubts from business owners and residents in a city without rail transit since the 1950s. To get the concept on the rails, the project team played had to educate, listen and collaborate to design a streetcar the community would support. The result? Today, many of those initial skeptics are singing its praises — in...


Episode 4 Preview

On our next episode, we'll take a ride on Kansas City's popular downtown streetcar, and find out what it took to bring streetcars back to the city for the first time in more than 50 years.


Rebuilding A War-Torn Country with Hope

As U.S. forces drew down in Afghanistan, a new phase of counterinsurgency strategy took place. In support of the U.S. Department of Defense, an Air Force Civil Engineer Center program sought to strengthen Afghanistan’s national security by building new universities, government buildings, training sites, barracks, recruiting stations, air bases, roads, bridges and other facilities needed for the country’s security forces. However, for the American construction management team providing...


Episode 3 Preview

On our next episode of Speaking of Design, you'll hear the story of how former American military service members working in the engineering industry are helping to reconstruct a nation whose people have suffered through decades of war.


How a Storm Sewer Project Led to Designing an Urban Oasis​

Just north of the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood had fallen into a state of disrepair. Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as "a barren expanse of cracked concrete, weeds and towering trees surviving against a background of neglect," the area was filled with abandoned buildings and prone to sewer overflows. But rather than going forward with a typical storm sewer expansion, residents of the area saw an opportunity to solve the...


Episode 2 Preview

Coming soon, an episode about one of Atlanta’s most popular wedding destinations, which started as a storm sewer project.


Meet a Landfill That's Greener than Grass

When you think of landfills, you may not think of design. But like almost every type of engineering or architectural design, landfills have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. In the pilot episode of Speaking of Design, you’ll meet one engineer who’s taken landfill design to a new level, creating a source of renewable solar energy at Atlanta’s Hickory Ridge Landfill.