Kris Noiseux: Consideration of resiliency goes much deeper than simply strengthening the building structure

Healthcare Lead, WSP Opus in New Zealand

image of Kris Noiseux Healthcare Lead New Zealand with blue background

What are the main trends challenging healthcare in New Zealand?

Resiliency post-earthquake is a major focus area for the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards. While this can be worked through on a new build as part of the design process, the challenge for us is providing cost-effective solutions for existing building stock. Consideration of resiliency goes much deeper than simply strengthening the building structure. In conjunction with local authorities we look at points of failure in infrastructure networks and in storage capacities for water and fuel to make sure emergency health facilities are operational for disaster management.

What are the main drivers that are changing healthcare delivery?

In New Zealand the main trend in healthcare is moving from the older framework of care, which is providing all services in all locations, to a tiered hospital approach. This creates centres of excellence for specialists while still providing general care in the regions. This is a far more cost-effective approach and ensures money is being spent on front line care instead of maintaining under-utilised facilities.

front view of Grey Base hospital

Grey Base Hospital

What aspect of your role in healthcare do you find most rewarding? 

I find the interaction with users the most satisfying.  I really enjoy the user briefing process and then, later on during the construction, walking them through the building as it develops.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing that I am helping create future-ready facilities for our communities that will provide them with first class health care services for decades to come, even as trends and models of care change.

If you were a piece of medical equipment what would you be?

I would be a stethoscope because I’m a good listener.

What job would you choose to do in a hospital? 

I’d be a surgeon.  I love DIY and I’m pretty good with a saw already.

About Kris

As the national lead for healthcare projects within WSP Opus, Kris’s role is to coordinate resources across our business to ensure our clients’ needs are met and exceeded. Kris is a multi-discipline building services engineer who directly engages with our regional offices to ensure our health clients, both public and private, are well supported in achieving their operational and aspirational goals.  Kris has worked on healthcare projects across the United States as well as in New Zealand, most recently leading the building services design for Greybase Hospital, a new 8,500m2 hospital and integrated family healthcare centre in Greymouth.

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