Introducing David Daining, Senior Healthcare Planner



TSA Architects is pleased to announce the addition of David Daining, AIA, NCARB as Senior Healthcare Planner. David is recognized for adding innovation and strategic vision to health care planning and design.  With 33 years of experience, he brings energy and expertise to all aspects of project development including predesign, planning and analysis, functional and space programming, facility and campus master planning, design development, and project coordination. He has revolutionized the planning and documentation approach to allow informed decision making in a timely manner. Past projects of note include the Primary Children’s Entry Lobby, Intermountain Homecare, Sophie’s Place music therapy, and the University of Utah Health Science Campus Master Plan. In his spare time, David enjoys travelling to State and National parks and roadtripping with his wife, Jane.


Project Commission : University of Utah Huntsman Arena Scoreboard Replacement

We’re very excited to partner with North Ridge and ANC to replace the University of Utah Huntsman Arena Scoreboard. As an office generously staffed with Utah alumni, we always enjoy a chance to give back and nurture a lifelong relationship with the University.

Our contributing team members include Tracy Stocking (code review) and John Meredith (planning and drawing support).

The project scope will include dismantling the existing scoreboard, replacement of the center-hung digital screens with a new modular assembly with multiple 1080p HD screens, and replacing other LED and projection screens with HD LED screens.



Rocky Mountain Care – Heber Ground Breaking

This past week we celebrated the groundbreaking for the RMC Heber Skilled Nursing Facility. The groundbreaking was attended by members of RMC ownership, the Heber City mayor, construction team, design team, and residents of the existing RMC Heber facility.




Located in Heber, Utah, the new facility will be nestled inside native, woodsy landscaping complete with a dry creek and tall trees. Accommodating up to 110 patients in both private and semi-private rooms, RMC Heber provides a large selection of day-to-day amenities and activities including a beauty parlor, occupational and physical therapy services, private and public dining, lush courtyards, and resident neighborhood wings.



The entrance is across a bridge and into a garden area before you reach the main lobby which is wrapped by tall curtain glass windows. From the lobby is direct access to the “main street” area where the activity and life of the facility will flow. Down main street you feel like you are walking along store fronts with hanging lanterns, planters, and a large skylight above. From here you have access to every amenity. At the far ends of the resident wings there are gathering areas around fire places which are open to the inside and outside in the courtyards for all the residents to enjoy.


Construction has commenced!


Estimated completion and grand opening is fall of 2018.


Here is a link to a virtual tour video of the new facility.

2017 Newsletter: Edition Two

University Hospital Cath Lab 2 & 3 Remodel

TSA Architects is assisting University Hospital with the remodel of two catheterization labs that will keep the state’s flagship academic hospital at the forefront of Cath Lab imaging technology. Cath Lab 2 will house a new Philips Allura FD20 Catalyst imaging system. Cath Lab 3 will be enlarged to provide more procedure space, and see a replacement of the Siemens equipment with a new Artis Q imaging system. Anesthesia, light and equipment ceiling booms by Skytron are being added to improve safety and efficiency by bringing power, data and medical gas lines overhead directly to the patient. Both lab’s control rooms will be remodeled to support the new equipment and staff work process. The entire Lab 2 & 3 suite will be updated to the current hospital standard for interior finishes. Construction work will begin in early June and should be complete by November.


Design Team:
Project Manager and Architect: Doug Banks
Interior Design and Project Support: Stephanie Kwok
Project Support: Frederick Berte

VAMC North Campus Transformation
We’re excited to announce that construction has commenced on Phase 2 of the North Campus Transformation at Salt Lake City’s George C Whalen VA Medical Center.  This Rehabilitation & Prosthetics Expansion-visible along Foothill Blvd-will provide significant Inpatient Physical & Occupational Therapy and Exam areas, as well as easily-accessible Outpatient Prosthetic & Mobility Support to improve care for our wounded veterans.  It will also create a new, two-level East entry to the Hospital that embraces views to the Wasatch Mountains.  We are thrilled to team with the VA Healthcare System in designing facilities that better enable their mission.
Design Team:
PIC:  Tracy Stocking
Design Principal:  Nathan Murray
Interior Designer:  Stephanie Kwok
Project Coordinator:  Blake Fredrickson
Project Manager:  Doug Banks


Business Services Building Plaza Remodel

The Business Services Building is a 5-story office building with 2 levels of underground parking. This parking garage has a larger footprint than the building and approximately 27,000 sf of plaza covers the balance of the garage. The plaza consists of a suspended structural slab with topping slab and various planters and landscaping and is terraced into 2 levels. Our exploratory observations revealed that there is no waterproofing system between the plaza deck and the structural slab. This appears to be the cause of most of the leakage.

The primary driver is to remove the existing plaza deck, install a rubberized asphalt waterproofing system and a new plaza deck with landscape features. The financial driver of the project provided an exciting opportunity to improve the aesthetics and functionality of the plaza. Creative design charrettes were held with the representatives of all the departments housed in the building, over two months, culminating in an optimized plaza redesign. The project includes replacement and upgrading the plaza landscape, creating a campus shuttle stop at to serve hospital patients and other building staff and visitors, and creating various shaded gathering and multi-function outdoor spaces for the 500 building occupants, including natural and artificial shade, convenience power, a gas grill, and myriad seating and gathering configurations.

Architectural renovation of the plaza for the purpose of making it more engaging, functional and inviting will include the hardscape portions of the plaza such as the plaza deck, retaining and planter walls, stairs and railings. Landscape improvements to the plaza will support the architectural goals stated above with new planting beds, trees, and lighting. The landscaping at the perimeter of the plaza will replace the existing sod with new xeriscape plantings. All new landscaping will be drought tolerant, and upgrade the scheme to Salt Lake City and University standards.

Design Team:
PIC: Tracy Stocking
Design Principal: Nathan Murray
Project Manager: John Meredith
Project Designer: Frederik Berte
Landscape Architect: Richard Gilbert (ArcSitio Design)

TSA Architects is excited to announce the promotion of Douglas Banks, AIA to Principal Architect, and Board Member. A recognized expert in healthcare architecture, over his 25-year career, he has assisted many healthcare facilities with the design of highly complex spaces such as operating suites, imaging centers, and cardiac Cath labs. Doug earned his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah and has spent his career providing architectural healthcare services throughout the intermountain region. His natural ability to coordinate the complexities of leading edge medical technology in critical care settings has earned the trust and respect of major health care systems. He brings with him a collaborative philosophy and focuses on sophisticated healthcare clients to improve their mission-driven operations.


Doug’s clients include: University of Utah Health, Intermountain Healthcare, HCA/MountainStar, Iasis Healthcare, VA Medical Center and many other healthcare systems in the western United States. Recent notable projects include Hybrid Operating Rooms for Intermountain Healthcare at McKay Dee Hospital and Intermountain Medical Center.


Doug Banks can be reached at  (801) 463-7108.


We are pleased to announce the addition of Rebecca Weidler to our team as our new Healthcare Planner. Rebecca is a recent transplant from Philadelphia with a decade of experience in architecture for health. Originally from Long Island, New York, she obtained her Master of Architecture from the Pratt Institute and her Bachelor of Arts from Southern Virginia University. She will be overseeing planning for the new Brigham City Hospital OR Expansion, and joining the University Hospital Infill Project team. Outside of work, she enjoys all kinds of creative pursuits including fashion design, drawing, sewing, and experimenting in the kitchen.


A sneak-peek of the inner workings of our new office! We’re looking forward to increased work space, easily-accessible sample storage, and expanded conference areas – as well as easy parking.



Dark, cold rooms and a boring fish tank vs. bright and cheery design and fresh baked cookies? We think the winner is obvious.


To Grandmother’s House We Go: The Importance of Good Design in Senior Living Care Facilities

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My earliest experience of health care design was as a child over 25 years ago, from my memories of visiting my father’s mother in a nursing home.  The home in which my grandmother was placed fit the very definition of institutional.  At the entrance we were greeted with a slightly used waiting area also used for social gatherings.  The main feature of the entrance was the dark blue fish tank filled with exotic marine life.   Resilient, easy-to-clean floors marked the path to my Grandmother’s room down the long and narrow corridors. While going for visits the path from our car to her room seemed daunting, however it was the patient room that was the least welcoming.  The patient rooms were oftentimes cold and dark with limited seating.  It usually was occupied by not only my grandmother but a complete stranger beyond the dividing curtain.  I won’t deny that the foreign aspect of the equipment, cold design finishes, and lack of patient privacy did not encourage me to want to visit my grandmother.  How unfortunate it was that when my grandmother needed my visits the most, I was repelled by the space she was residing in.  Visiting grandma in the care center was not the same as visiting her at home.

It is easy to develop perceptions and fears about health care spaces.  They are traditionally known for their long and dreary corridors, impersonal waiting areas, sterile rooms, foreign equipment, unseen diseases and unfamiliar smells. Fortunately today, owners and designers are breaking past that stigma of health care design and are making great strides in understanding how the environments we design influence health and well-being- especially true in Senior Care and Assisted Living.  Studies have shown that good design increases patient experience and recovery time, allows for higher quality care, and increases emotional support.

Good Design Increase Patient Experience and Recovery Time

Most Senior Living Residents receiving long-term care suffer from a chronic illness, thus the focus of care is usually on supporting and maintain rather than curing.  As such, creating a safe home-like atmosphere is key to improved sleep, better orientation and wayfinding, and reduced stress and aggression.  These factors play key roles in allowing better recovery time and experience for the patients.

Facilities today are offering more small private rooms than shared semi-private rooms.  The benefits of the smaller rooms include more privacy, more natural light, less aggression, better sleep for the patient, and also allows for increased mobility. The layout of the private unit allows for more safety features and rails for patients to maneuver from their bed and access their private bathroom.  These increased safety factors actually decrease the number of falls and allow for better recovery time.  In addition, private rooms encourages the patients to get out of their confined beds and into more public spaces to mingle with others.  From a guest perspective, visiting a family member in a private rooms increases quality time, and provides for a less stressful atmosphere with their loved ones.

As the patient ventures out of their private space, wide corridors with seating throughout offer opportunities for patients to sit outside their “front door” and view the happenings of the day.  In addition, amenities such as activity, dining, ice-cream parlors and a salon increase the interaction between patients as well as patients and their guests.  Outdoor courtyards and paths encourage more physical activity and reduce patient agitation.  Higher lighting levels in the dining spaces is also imperative as it allows patients to view their food better, which increases appetites and calorie intake.

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Good Design allows for higher quality of care.       

A happy patient makes for a happy nurse and a happy nurse makes for better care.  Nursing staff in long-term care settings work under challenging conditions and experience their own physical and emotional stress.  The high stress level can directly affect the quality care they administer to their patients.  In efforts of better design to increase quality care, it is important to position nurse stations within central proximity to the patient rooms they care for.  A central location allows more visual contact and quicker access to their patients.  A nurse station should be designed with natural elements and light to provide and encourage good morale and satisfying work environments. In addition, the staff is benefited in their work abilities by the smaller patient rooms and proximity to patient amenities.


Good Design Increases Emotional Support               

Recent research shows that feeling disconnected and alone can trigger major health problems.  Loneliness is not immune to those living with others in group settings.  Even those who appear most social and engaging can experience loneliness.  Visits from close family and friends, however, always

provide good opportunities for connection.  Good Design including private dining areas and private patient rooms creates an inviting environment for family and guests to congregate.  Interior finish selections also provide a strong factor to the comfortability of a guest visit.  Interestingly, studies show that guests stay substantially longer during visits when resident rooms are carpeted and furnished with home-like accessories.  When activities and amenities are provided for guests and patients to enjoy together, memories are created, increasing emotional support.  If a guest feels at home, there is no doubt the probability of return also increases.

Coming Home

8 year ago, I once again found myself making the trek from my car to my Grandmother’s bed in a nursing home.  My mother’s mom was aging and in need of more care and assistance.  My family chose to have her reside in a new facility mixed with assisted living, rehabilitation care, and skilled nursing.  The facility was large with many amenities including private dining, salon, an ice-cream shop, activities room, etc.  The finishes were elegant and cozy.   My memories and experience with this facility were much more favorable than my experience with the facility my father’s mother stayed in years before. The newer facility was bright and cheery, and inviting for patients to venture out of their room.  Overall the feel was much more inviting in provided many more lasting and uplifting memories of my grandmother that complimented the memories I had of her in her own home as I grew up.   Visiting my grandmother in a more home-like setting with the smell of freshly baked cookies is how I will always remember her, and that makes me happy.   Good design increases the quality of good memories.

— Written by Rachel Makenzie


Anjali, Joseph (2006).  Health Promotion by Design in Long-Term Care Settings Center for Health Design, Concord, CA.

Hunteman, Greg (2017) Evidence-based design in long-term care https:/

Scott, Paula Spencer (2017) Visiting the Elderly

Sketchaholics Anonymous: Preserving the Art of Hand-Rendering


In an increasingly digital world, computer aided design – or CAD – is quickly becoming the most widely utilized tool for communicating architectural and design concepts to clients. While it is certainly powerful and precise in communicating developed design, CAD lacks a few key benefits that preserve hand-rendering’s place as a necessary skill in today’s world.

Unfortunately, with the ubiquity of CAD hand-rendering is becoming less prevalent and receives less emphasis throughout an architect’s education despite its usefulness. In an effort to combat this and preserve the art of putting pen and pencil to paper in the up-and-coming generation of architects, our design principal Nathan hosts a monthly class (affectionately referred to as “sketchaholics anonymous” among our team), focusing on different techniques and applications and with a variety of subjects.

Why is hand-rendering a critical skill?

At the core of our mission is jointly creating architecture that facilitates meaningful experiences, inspiring the human spirit to flourish and thrive. To do so, we delve deep into our client’s vision – drawing out not only the necessary functions of the space but also aspirational goals – the “if it were possibles” and the “it would be really cool ifs” – from each stakeholder.

L2 Sketch 17sep2014web

As we do so, we sketch on the table right there with the client, a concept materializing for everyone to see, understand, provide feedback. It creates a truly iterative process and open dialogue. There is no lag time, no coming back in a few weeks with a digital rendering of what we hoped was communicated previously. This creates a true partnership with each client and stakeholder, giving them a front-row seat to the creative process from inception to completion.

Jordan valley cancer center exterior slider

Meet our new Healthcare Planner, Rebecca Weidler

We are pleased to announce the addition of Rebecca Weidler to our team as our new Healthcare Planner. Rebecca is a recent transplant from Philadelphia with a decade of experience in architecture for health, and has been involved in projects of all sizes and scope. Originally from Long Island, New York, she obtained her Master of Architecture from the Pratt Institute and her Bachelor of Arts from Southern Virginia University. She will be overseeing planning for the new Brigham City Hospital OR Expansion, and joining the University Hospital Infill Project team. Outside of work, she enjoys all kinds of creative pursuits including fashion design, drawing, sewing, and experimenting in the kitchen.