The story behind 'Pedia-Pod,' BD+C's modular pediatric patient unit at Greenbuild

In the November issue of BD+C, you'll see our report on "Pedia-Pod," the modular pediatric patient unit we've helped design, outfit, and build at Greenbuild. Here's how it was developed.

November 11, 2013 |
Rob Cassidy

Pedia-Pod under construction at NRB - exterior

In the November issue of BD+C, you'll see our report on "Pedia-Pod," the modular pediatric patient unit we've helped design, outfit, and build at Greenbuild. Here's how it was developed.

As you may know, BD+C has a tradition of building modular "demonstration" buildings for Greenbuild: a classroom building at Greenbuild Boston 2008, an urgent-care center at Greenbuild Toronto 2011, a residential building at Greenbuild San Francisco 2012, etc. The goal is to showcase high-performance modular design and construction in a setting where designers, contractors, and building owners can see building products actually installed and working in a real building - in other words, a big step up from the usual trade show floor room booth. In fact, our urgent-care center was so authentic-looking that we had Greenbuild attendees stopping in and asking for medical care!


Our journey toward the next year's BD+C demo building starts as soon as we get back from Greenbuild, with planning for the type of building we want to help create. After weeks of study and research, we decided on "healthcare" as the general area; further deliberation and discussion with experts in the field led us to the idea of a pediatric care unit.

The editors then consulted with top technical experts like Jane Rohde, FAIA, FIIDA, ACHA, AAHID, and Linda Gabel, AAHID, IIDA (representing the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers), as well as a slew of top folks at KLMK Group (now CBRE Healthcare), a consulting firm that represents many hospitals, for their ideas and input.

The experts guided us on key points for a pediatric unit: the use of the right colors (no Barney purples!), the importance of "positive distraction" in a pediatric setting, and of course sustainability issues, such as the use of low-VOC materials, paints, and finishes.

Our partners at NRB, the same modular builder that did our urgent-care center in Toronto, went to work on the design, iterating it back and forth with our technical experts until we got it just right. Then NRB's Pennsylvania division started executing the construction, all of which came together over a less than two-month period, using contributed materials and systems from our sponsoring building product manufacturers.

Pedia-Pod was shipped to Philadelphia on Tuesday (11-12-13). Minor outfitting is under way to complete the unit in time for the grand opening next Tuesday, November 19.

Pedia-Pod represents a unique collaboration between the editors and business staff of BD+C, our modular builder, our technical advisors, and our sponsoring building product manufacturers.

If you make it to Philadelphia for Greenbuild, please visit Pedia-Pod outside Hall E on the Broad Street side of Pennsylvania Convention Center, Nov 20-21. The editors and staff of BD+C look forward to showing you around!



For more images, see our slideshow of the Pedia-Pod construction

Rob Cassidy | Building Team Blog

Rob Cassidy (“ClimateGrouch”) is editorial director of Building Design+Construction. A city planner, he is the author of several books, including “Livable Cities,” and was a co-founder of the Friends of the Chicago River.

Related Blogs

Benjamin Kasdan, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Design Director/Senior Designer with KTGY Architecture + Planning, Irvine, Calif. (Class of 2015 40 Under 40 winner)

October 26, 2015 | Building Team Blog

Are you an AEC superstar? The 2016 "40 Under 40" competition is now open for entries. Here are some helpful...

Competency-based learning: A glimpse into the future of higher education?

Photo: Xbxg32000 via Wikimedia Commons

October 16, 2015 | University Buildings | Building Team Blog

For better or worse, the higher education experience for many young Millennials and Gen Zers will not resem...

From Gehry to the High Line: What makes a project a game-changer?

El Peix sculpture in Barcelona, by Frank Gehry. Photo: Till Niermann via Wikimedia Commons

September 24, 2015 | Architects | Building Team Blog

Each year, there are a handful of projects that significantly advance the AEC industry or a particular buil...

Why AEC firms should be cultivating 'visible experts'

Photo: Cydcor via flickr creative commons

July 07, 2015 | Architects | Building Team Blog

A new study pinpoints the true dollar value of having knowledge leaders and market shapers on your team....

Tactical urbanism: Why bigger isn’t always better in urban revitalization

Each September, as part of Park(ing) Day, citizens, artists, and activists in more than 160 cities collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into micro parks, gardens, and art exhibits. Photo:

May 27, 2015 | Smart and Resilient Cities | Building Team Blog

A budding urban planning movement that is sprouting in cities across the globe proves that low-cost, small-...

Hackathons and RFCs: Why one developer killed the RFP

Image depicts design concepts from the hackathon winner, Pickard Chilton of New Haven, Conn. Photo courtesy Skanska

May 06, 2015 | Building Owner | Building Team Blog

In lieu of an RFP process, Skanska Commercial Development hosted a three-week "hackathon" to find an archit...

Chance encounters and the ‘action’ office: Do collisions spark innovation?

Google is among a handful of tech giants to unveil plans for “action” offices. Rendering courtesy Google, BIG, Thomas Heatherwick

March 29, 2015 | Office Building Design | Building Team Blog

Google, Facebook, Samsung, and Tencent have all unveiled plans for “action” offices designed to get their p...

The High Line effect: Placemaking as an economic development engine

Eight years into the transformation of an elevated section of New York Central Railroad’s West Side Line into a public park, the $273 million project is being hailed as a resounding win for the city. Photo: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons

March 02, 2015 | Cultural Facilities | Building Team Blog

As big money and eager tourists flock to Chelsea, cities across the globe are starting to take notice. Chic...

Photo: Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons

The National Institute of Building Sciences estimates the retrofit market for small commercial buildings at $35.6 billion. Photo: Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons

January 28, 2015 | Office Building Design | Building Team Blog

The real opportunity for shrinking the nation’s energy footprint lies in the mundane world of small commerc...

Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
Overlay Init