Carlos Marcet, AIA, ACHA, NCARB, LEED AP
Sr. Healthcare Architect
Fort Myers, FL
How has ACHA certification enhanced your career in healthcare architecture and/or design?
To the general public, prospective and existing clients, recruiters, and peers, ACHA certification demonstrates specialization. When presenting design solutions, a credentialled architect's communication carries weight; people are more inclined to trust your advice and vision.
What would you say to anyone interested in the field? Specialization in the area of healthcare facilities design provides architects opportunities to develop expertise within the broad spectrum of professional practice. And to become specialized and attain the level of competency required to successfully design healthcare facilities, in all its various forms, demands a disciplined approach to professional development involving focused knowledge and skills. Becoming a solid healthcare architect takes years of practice and experience to understand the myriad of needs of the healthcare industry (i.e., facilities owners, operators, custodians, investors, physicians, caregivers, patients, visitors, and staff), to be able to provide intelligent, high-tech building solutions that are also beautiful and enduring. The challenge to specialize in healthcare is a rigorous journey that may take at least 8 to 10 years. Once a certain level of proficiency is attained, there is not only potential career advancement and financial rewards, but a certain sense of confidence and deep personal fulfillment knowing that work performed is truly contributing towards better health of individuals and communities.
What led you to becoming ACHA certified?
My uncle, the late Enrique M. Marcet, AIA, inspired me to become an architect. He was not only a well-respected architect and founder of a Tampa-St. Petersburg firm, but also nationally recognized for his early expertise in design of medical facilities. Quite a few years into my career as a practitioner of healthcare facility design, I learned that one of my peers in the local area had just become ACHA certified. Well, nothing like a little peer pressure to instill some motivation! My friend and colleague at the time, Bill Hercules, and I decided to take the challenge to study, prepare applications, and take the ACHA exam.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you personally or your practice?
At Studio+, a 35-person Fort Myers-based architecture and interior design firm with an open-office environment, we have implemented new work methods in response to the current pandemic. Some of these strategies include work-from-home as well as in-office and hybrid models, reconfiguration of workstations to accommodate social distancing, in-office mask wearing, convenient hand-sanitation stations, and increased use of multiple platforms of web-based video conferencing (Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Teams).
We're also seeing a significant effect in the design and planning of healthcare facilities, particularly in public areas such as seating in waiting rooms and reception areas. There now seems to be a common need to incorporate a pre-screening station to assess all patients and visitors prior to entering facilities. There is also increased demand for isolation rooms and interventional spaces with negative air flow.
Education: B. Design. and M. Arch. at University of Florida
Over four decades of professional experience, I have enjoyed fruitful opportunities to work in firms of all sizes, including my own for a time. Project experience includes facilities of all sizes, ranging from small clinics to large academic medical centers in 12 states and a few international sites. At Studio+, my usual role is Project Manager / Project Architect and I provide QA/QC reviews, "at-large", for most all projects produced by the firm. I also mentor the younger and less experienced in the firm with medical planning, technical inquiries, codes, and overall professional development.
Recently completed projects include a 40,000 s.f. outpatient medical facility with free-standing emergency department, radiology, ambulatory surgical center, and physician offices. In addition to professional practice, I am also engaged with a local state college as an adjunct professor.
I live in Fort Myers with my wife, Maite, where we are part-time "Uber-drivers" to our busy teenagers, Lucas and Elsa, and we are blessed with an adorable terrier-mix dog named Lily. When not working, I enjoy reading history and spending time with family on the beach, kayaking, nature-trail walking, or fishing.