David W. Esch, AIA, Vice President, has 30 years under his belt as an accomplished architect and skilled project manager. Supporting Cannon Design’s Federal Practice both in the Mid-Atlantic and firm-wide, David has taken on the management of large complex programs for a broad range of project types—from laboratories, corporate headquarters and healthcare facilities—to educational and research projects for government and institutional clients.
Recently, David learned that he was chosen to participate in a group that will advise the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on revisions to their design standards: the NIH Design Requirements Manual (DRM). Selected from a broad pool of professional experts seeking to advise the NIH on technical issues, David will serve as a technical reviewer for the Architectural Sections of the 2012 DRM.
“Being selected from a group of national lab experts is testimony to the depth of David’s expertise in this area, and the extent to which he has earned this client’s trust,” notes Mark Farmer, practice leader for the firm’s federal government initiatives. “Lab and medical design professionals, and experts in the industry, recognize the important role that the NIH Design Requirements Manual plays in the design of both public sector and academic research institutions.”
To get an update on David’s special appointment, and his work, in general, we asked him …
How important is it to you to have received this appointment?
Professionally, this appointment is very important to me. It allows me the opportunity to not only meaningfully participate in one of the essential aspects of the A/E industry, but also advance and disseminate the critical knowledge I’ve acquired over my years of practice, and build upon that knowledge both within the firm and throughout the industry. I value the opportunity to interact with all of our professional colleagues in broadening our joint knowledge.
What exactly is the 2012 DRM?
Let me quote NIH’s description, which is eloquent in capturing the content and the mission of the DRM: The “NIH DRM* is used worldwide by A/E’s in designing state-of-the-art biomedical laboratory and animal research facilities. It is the most comprehensive design manual of its kind and the only prescriptive biomedical research laboratory and animal research facilities guidelines in the U.S. Although the DRM promulgates minimum performance design standards for NIH facilities, it also ensures that those facilities will be of the highest quality to support biomedical research. The NIH conducts bio-environmental research to improve indoor air quality while saving energy in bio-medical laboratories and animal research facilities. The results of these studies have been cited and adopted as national and international standards for labs and hospitals.”
As the nation’s “medical research agency,” how important is the NIH?
The NIH’s importance is huge. It’s the definitive agency that dictates and guides the medical and research priorities of our communities, nation, and the world. Its’ numerous missions, such as supporting the DRM, are important in that the NIH has the ability to mediate the many voices and points of view in broad practice areas. They bring to the table an attitude of using a quantitative, fact-based approach to establishing the DRM criteria—very much in line with the good research science they support as their primary mission. This methodology has much to do with the respect the DRM is given in the industry.
What other federal programs are you currently working on for Cannon Design?
My current assignments include work for one of Cannon Design’s long-standing clients—the U.S. Veterans Administration. My additional client roster includes the US Air Force Academy, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), a number of additional assignments with the NIH, as well as work for various other federal agencies. Cannon Design appreciates the opportunities we’ve had to support our Federal partners’ missions, while providing them our broad knowledge and expertise. Other clients in Cannon Design’s federal government portfolio include the U.S. General Services Administration, the Department of Energy, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) and other federal and quasi-government entities.
David has been the recipient of numerous honors celebrating his work, including regional and national awards from the American Planning Association, a GSA National Design Award for the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customhouse, the New York City Art Commission’s Award for Design Excellence for the Queens County Criminal Courthouse and a Lucy B. Moses Award for Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse of the Old 83rd Precinct Stationhouse from the New York City Landmarks Conservancy.
THIS IS A GREAT HONOR! CONGRATS TO DAVID!!!
*The current version of the NIH Design Requirements Manual (DRM) can be accessed on the WEB at:
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