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BIM Technology Helps Build Care Home for Children with Life-Limiting Conditions

Ryan House provides unique respite and palliative care

Boston, MA - October 13, 2009 – The nation’s first multi-generational respite and hospice facility is being built in Phoenix, Arizona, with the help of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology from GRAPHISOFT. When complete, the Ryan House will provide a unique, comforting environment to support children with life-limiting conditions, while also supporting their families. Adult hospice patients will be cared for as well.

Ryan House is a non-profit organization formed by local community members, businesses and healthcare providers, including not-for-profit Hospice of the Valley. The new facility, designed in ARCHICAD by Orcutt | Winslow, a Phoenix-based architectural firm, will offer palliative care in a supportive home-like setting.  Pediatric palliative care is provided by a team which aims to identify and address the physical, psychological, spiritual and practical burdens of illness from a child’s perspective, treating the child holistically. The Ryan House design reflects and supports this key objective, said Nabil Abou-Haidar AIA, architect and senior living studio director at Orcutt | Winslow.

“The architectural challenge was to design a state-of-the-art health care facility with a home-like environment. The design had to support the staff’s goal of providing an active and total approach to care, embracing all the physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements. Working with a 3D model in ARCHICAD enabled us to experiment and collaborate with the staff in a variety of designs, tailoring each space to its unique care-giving function,” he said.

For example, the facility will include innovative services – such as art, music, hydrotherapy and pet therapy – for the comfort and enjoyment of children and families. It will also include a sensory room and a fully accessible playground.

GRAPHISOFT donated ARCHICAD software to the building contractor to facilitate collaboration with Orcutt | Winslow architects and accelerate construction using a BIM model.

Family support is another critical objective of Ryan House. Families often care for a seriously ill child 24 hours a day over many years, putting them under enormous emotional, physical and financial strain. Family relationships can suffer, a parent's career may have to be abandoned, brothers and sisters often feel left out, and typical family activities can become impossible.

Family suites will be available for parents or caregivers who wish to stay at Ryan House with their children. A reflection room and memorial garden will offer a comforting place for families, friends and caregivers to spend quiet time.

Ryan House, expected to be completed in February, 2010, will serve as a national model for pediatric palliative care.

Brian Ledesma of Orcutt | Winslow was the project’s BIM Manager and Construction Administrator.