We work on various Process Control Industry buildings that require everything from blast resistant and safe-haven design to human machine interface (HMI) and space planning.  Read below for more detailed information on our most popular services.

What’s most important about our work is our specialization in integrating key human factors with architectural design to optimize operator performance, vigilance, and safety. Well-designed control rooms balance efficiency with ergonomics, acoustical lighting, and performance to create better operator alertness. The importance of safety for on-site personnel in industrial plants is critical and starts with the employees and a design that supports best practices for the operations groups.

SLA’s team of experienced design consultants listen, contribute to, and help clients define a solution that fits their needs and budget.

Services overview

  • BIM (Building Information Modeling)
  • Blast Resistant Design
  • Building Sizing and Space Planning
  • Chemical and Hazardous Material Inventory & Assessments
  • Conceptual Design Options
  • Construction and Contract Administration
  • Cost Analysis and Estimating
  • Energy Code and Envelope Design
  • Engineering Services (through consultants)
  • Engineering Standards and Deviation Approvals
  • Equipment Inventories
  • Existing Building Analysis
  • Feasibility Assessments
  • Findings and Recommendations Reports
  • Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FFE)
  • HMI (Human Machine Interface)
  • Interior Design
  • Life-Safety and Building Code Analysis
  • Pre-Design and Programming
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) Writing Services
  • Site and Campus Master Planning
  • Turnkey Architectural Design
  • Virtual Reality and 3D View

Command/Control Centers are our specialty, but we also design many other types of facilities including:

  • Laboratories
  • Maintenance/Shop/Warehouse Facilities
  • Office Buildings
  • Guardhouses
  • Locker/Facilities/Change Houses,
  • Emergency Facilities (EMS/Fire)
  • Blast Resistant Buildings
  • Remodels/Additions

From the initial data gathering process to the completion and commissioning of the project, we work closely with our clients to understand their vision and exact needs and wants are, providing creative and innovative solutions that deliver imaginatively designed buildings that optimize safety for their workers.

Mike Smith’s fascination and history with 3D computer design began in the early 1980’s, working in both UNIX and DOS platforms was an important influence on SLA’s early adoption differentiator.

In 2005 we began implementing Revit’s parametric three-dimensional modeling program. This Building Information Modeling (BIM) program allows a project to be modeled in 3D as opposed to older 2D CAD style programs. Revit contributes huge value and efficiency to our workflow (and our client’s like how cool their project designs look in Revit too).

Architecture is about communication. Working in 3D increases the clarity of communicating the design through the building finishes, lighting and architectural features before anything is ever constructed.

About BIM

BIM gives us the ability to design and construct a project virtually, forcing designers to consider assemblies, material, construction sequencing, product selection, and constructability throughout the design process.

BIM offers our clients the ability to see various aspects of their project prior to construction. By designing in Revit we communicate our design intent clearly and earlier in the process. It allows us to integrate consulting engineers’ work directly into our 3D model so that architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and civil are better visualized and coordinated throughout the design process.

This allows clients to make decision that help streamline the design process, becoming a positive impact on a project’s bottom line.

SLA prides itself on early adoption of emerging technologies in order to provide cutting edge services to its clients.

Case in point: virtual reality. VR generates the intended design virtually, facilitating the productive discussion of implications of design decisions. SLA’s VR product gives us the power to custom tailor the design to each client, throughout a building’s life cycle.

See a conceptual walkthrough.

See a design review walkthrough.

See a VR walkthrough.

SLA’s understanding of key human factors in work environments greatly benefits the 24/7 shift worker. 

For thousands of years, the need for a built-environment to satisfy a specific function, want, or need has driven design. SLA has developed a design process that considers the capabilities and limitations of people to help ensure better awareness, welfare, and productivity.

Specialized lighting and ceiling system designs, acoustics (both active and passive), HVAC systems distribution, computer access floor systems, materials, colors and finishes, control console ergonomics, and video display system specifications are just a few of the human factors elements that we coordinate in a design project.

When human factors are incorporated into our design solutions, the architectural solution begins to deliver an integrated design concept that not only supports the process control necessary, but also:

  • improves the operators’ alertness and vigilance while on an 8-12 hour shift
  • offers the operators various ways to enhance and restore their alertness
  • improves ergonomics resulting in a more functional space
  • improves situational awareness and timely interventions
  • promotes effective workflows
  • establishes effective operations practices to help minimize abnormal situations and plant safety incidents
  • takes into account the influence of culture, organizational structures, and use of technology to improve human performance
  • improves overall safety

SLA has significant experience designing blast resistant buidings for new construction and blast-hardening existing facilities.

  • Do you have a risk analysis completed for your facility?
  • What is your required protection or acceptable blast damage level (BDL)?
  • Do you have options to move outside of the blast radius?
  • What’s your side-on pressure and impulse duration?

If your people are working in an overpressure zone defined by RP752/753, you may need blast resistance.  With our team’s structural engineering capabilities, we can design a structure to have the strength and ductility to meet the overpressure and response criteria determined by a client’s risk assessment.

Risk Assessment

A comprehensive risk assessment contains many parts, including but not limited to:

  • Analysis Procedure
  • Blast Design Criteria
  • Building Component Response
  • Collateral Load
  • Internal Pressure Coefficient
  • Maximum Impulse and Pressure Loads
  • Net Uplift of Joists/Trusses
  • Seismic Importance Factor
  • Strength Design
  • Wind Design

Industry References

API RP-752

API RP-753

ISO 11064

Our fundamental design philosophy is that all persons involved should be informed of status and progress at all times. All project Q&As are compiled in one searchable document that tracks open/active and resolved items so nothing slips between the cracks.

Communication is key: throughout our design process SLA conducts weekly meetings via tele- or videoconference with all stakeholders in addition to issuing weekly status summaries.

As a shared vision of the project is developed and we move through design phases, we issue weekly updates to the central BIM file to ensure proper consultant design coordination. At the 50% and 90% completion stages, back-checks are completed to ensure that documents are coordinated, prescriptive codes are met, and the plans and specs meet or exceed our progress checklists and quality standards.

During the construction/contract administration (CA) phase, SLA schedules visits to observe the construction, responds to RFI’s, and coordinates the review of required submittals and shop drawings. We participate in weekly teleconferences to address questions and issue any addenda and clarifications needed by the builder.

Site Observations are conducted at scheduled times, and Observation Reports are issued to help ensure the project requirements are enacted.

We take pride in SLA’s record of clear design documentation, customer service, and follow through, effectively making the entire project run more smoothly and achieves best possible outcomes.

Have questions? Contact us for a free consultation.